Song Sampler

First, a note from author Susie Coleman…

Not everyone agrees on melody lines. If you’ve tried Googling an old song, I’m sure you’ve found that there are an amazing number of versions out there to choose from. Here at, I’ve attempted to express the most common form of the melody in my recall from 50 years of playing and collecting open-chord songs for the acoustic guitar. I’ve reviewed countless audio and video files as a reality check to get a good look at how other people are performing these tunes in recent times, and I share them with you on this website. provides a unique way to study a melody. Beside documenting the lyrics and chords in our books, we have a page on our website devoted to each song that displays two to four YouTube videos of people — mostly women — singing that particular song. Take your time and study these samples carefully and see which one rings closest to your soul. Our arrangement is intended to be a simple one, but I think you’ll be able to easily adapt the version I use to fit your custom take on the tune.

While all the songs found in the Fabulous Folksongs Every Girl Should Know series are old, I do not attempt to perform them specifically with old-timey expression. For teaching purposes, I choose to perform the majority of the songs with a folksy, slightly contemporary treatment. It’s my intention to show women and girls that these songs – in addition to being historical treasures – are still lovely, still relevant and continue to have a lot to offer today’s musician.

I heartily invite you to adapt these songs to your personal style, modern or otherwise.

Besides gaining access to great practice material, you’ll find some incredible story songs that I hope will inspire you. Perform them alongside whatever creative music you’ve written. Traditional tunes sung in a contemporary setting makes both old and new tunes sparkle. Even if you perform a traditional song in a nontraditional way, playing this music is like standing in the grass in bare feet. It just feels like home.

So come on home, sister…

  • Add unforgettable songs to your repertoire.
  • Most arrangements are easy to play but there are challenging ones to help you grow.
  • Learn new chords and strumming mechanics.
  • We have three collections currently available for the guitar – Traditional Treasures, Family Favorites and Gospel Goodies – and one for the ukulele: Uke Chicks.
  • All titles in the Fabulous Folksongs Every Girl Should Know series have been researched and are believed to reside in the Public Domain.
  • Books are available in both digital (.pdf) and coil-bound format. With a digital copy, you can print out just the songs you want to study in depth… or simply use it on your iPad or laptop.


Check out these song profiles from our collection:

Each sample song profile below has two pages. Click the song title on the left to open the song  profile sample tab.

Hard TimesIn The Sweet By And ByPolly Wolly DoodleThis Old ManLittle MosesO Mary, Don't You WeepAin't No Bugs On Me (Ukulele)

Featured in Traditional Treasures

Hard Times

See melody demonstration videos at: Hard Times, Come Again No More


Featured in Traditional Treasures

In The Sweet By And By

See melody demonstration videos at: In The Sweet By And By


Featured in Family Favorites

Polly Wolly Doodle

See melody demonstration videos at: Polly Wolly Doodle


Featured in Family Favorites

This Old Man

See melody demonstration videos at: This Old Man


Featured in Gospel Goodies

Little Moses

See melody demonstration videos at: Little Moses


Featured in Gospel Goodies

O Mary, Don’t You Weep

See melody demonstration videos at: O Mary, Don’t You Weep


Featured in Uke Chicks 

Aint No Bugs On Me

See melody demonstration videos at: Ain’t No Bugs On Me