The Blues and History

Contributor: Brian Anthony. Lesson ID: 11087

Music isn't just for entertainment or profit; it's a great, memorable way to make a point or preserve history! Examine the raw power of the blues and listen to the lessons this American genre teaches!


United States

learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Have you ever listened to a song over and over again, only to discover much later what the song was actually about? It can be surprising, shocking, or perhaps disappointing to know what was on an artist's mind when he or she composed our favorite songs!

In the centuries before history textbooks were ever imagined, before people could read and write like they do today, music was an important way to communicate the events of the past and the impact of those events on real human communities.

We have carried that tradition into the present.

Browse through this database, Songs About Historical Events, at Songfacts. Click on a song and the factsheet for that song will open. Read the historical connection for your selected songs, then choose two or three that you thought were especially interesting.

Write a reflection:

  1. What was the name of the song?
  2. Who performed it? Who actually wrote it?
  3. What was the historical connection?
  4. Why was that connection meaningful for you?
  5. What more would you like to know about that event in history?

Share your reflections and discuss with a parent or teacher. Ask them about a song they can remember that had a historical connection and why they felt it was so meaningful.

Boogie on over to the Got It? section to listen to and interpret some classic songs!

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