Monday, August 28, 2006

In Tune with Your Family History

Let’s face it genealogy can be a tedious process at times. After I’ve spent several hours persistently searching all of my favorite online databases for 10 possible variations of a particularly tricky family surname, I admit that my enthusiasm starts to wane a bit. I often find that by listening to a few family history-themed tunes (purchased/downloaded legally, of course) helps to put the joy back in the genealogy and usually will inspire me to keep plugging away.

A few of the favorites on my play list include:


  • "Lady Liberty" by Orleans – on their Still the One Live CD (2003)
  • "America" by Neil Diamond – on the Jazz Singer soundtrack (1980), but also on a number of his greatest hits collections
  • "Ellis Island" by Marc Cohn – on Burning the Daze (1998)
  • "The Hands That Built America by U2" – Gangs of New York Soundtrack (2002) and U2 - The Best of 1990-2000 (2002)
  • "We Are Family" by Sister Sledge – Found on We Are Family (1979) and other various soundtrack and compilation albums

You can also check iTunes and other music sites for information on how to purchase legal downloads of these tracks.

I included “Listen to Inspirational Music” as one of five ways to put your digital music player to good use in my article, "Using Your Digital Audio Player for Family History" in Internet Genealogy Extra(special online issue) June 2006, p.55.

So if you’re looking to get back into tune with your family history, get out your ear buds, plug in and enjoy!

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