Steve Cotler

Steve Cotler

Little Songs on Big Subjects–Download

little-songs-on-big-subjectsI have posted about this long out-of-print album here, here, here, and here.

Finally, a commenter has noted that the entire album is available for downloading online.



  1. Arkansas Red-Ozark Troubadour says:

    I’ve been trying to find this song since I first heard it back in the fifties. Thanks for posting it. Now I can learn it and sing it for my audiences.

    Arkansas Red-Ozark Troubadour
    Ozark Mountains, Arkansas

  2. Mark Springer says:

    I had an album very much like this when I was a kid, mid ’60’s, called It Could Be a Wonderful World. My Dad often used to refer to it as Little Songs on Big Subjects, and I never understood why until tonight. The Jesters album you’ve so kindly made available for us to download with 11 songs must have come out in my father’s day, and after I was born, he went looking for it, and found a newer version, with nearly all the same songs plus 3 more, done by a different group of musicians-Leon Bibb and Ronnie Gilbert (including at least one female voice–Ronnie’s).

    Anyway, the 14-song version I had is available as It Could Be A Wonderful World on in MP3 format. The cover art shown on the Amazon page is also identical to what I remember from my childhood.

    Also, if any of you are American Horror Story fans, you might have noticed the title track was used at the end of the second episode about the Anne Frank character. They even showed the album jacket, which was identical to the one I had 45 years ago.

  3. jeannette davis says:

    I had this album as a child and I remember a few songs. Would love to get a copy. Will try amazon Little songs on big subjects. The cover said Vox Populi. (Voice of the people.

  4. jeannette davis says:

    I am 71 so I had this music about 60-65 years ago. I still teach and I’m sure the youngsters would enjoy the songs/lessons

  5. jeannette davis says:

    I’m also looking for Hot Shoppes memorabilia from the D.C. Virginia locale during the early fifties.

  6. Barb G says:

    I am amazed to find this! I was going through old boxes in the basement, and found one of the records, and wondered more about it. God Bless Google! I have often had “Close your eyes and point your finger” lyrics pop into my head… “it may be A or AB, it may be B or O…”

    I have no idea how these records came to be in our home. Maybe my aunt, who was a grammar school principal, gave them to us?

    This has made my day! I’m going to download and listen right now!

    • Steve Cotler says:

      Terrific! An affection for these songs is precisely why I blogged about them.

  7. leonard kessler kids books says:

    Oh what great songs..” “If each little kid
    could have fresh milk each day”’if we
    could consider each other.a neighbor a
    a friend a sister a brother,,

    OH Hy Zaret Lou singer we need you now..

    Len Kessler

  8. Steve Cotler says:

    I actually met Hy Zaret a few years before he died at age 99. Crusty old fellow, but very talented!

  9. repsac3 says:

    Too young to know the songs firsthand, but a highly positive mention of “Am I A Good American?” by someone at Amazon discussing “You Have to Be Carefully Taught” from the South Pacific cast recording set me searching.

    And after downloading the original album here and purchasing the Ronnie Gilbert album back at Amazon (along with the OCR of South Pacific), I’m most glad for the lot of you strangers for expanding my world of positive/patriotic/(and sadly, these days) protest music. (Whodathunk that tolerance for others would still be a thing folks would be against? Sad.)
    ((I was looking for the song “Carefully Taught” after seeing a photo online depicting two young children (& presumably their father) holding signs in opposition to the migrant refugee children being bussed into Murrieta, CA for processing by Homeland Security. Among the saddest most disappointing photos I ever saw…))

    Anyway, I humbly thank you all.

    • Steve Cotler says:

      One of the best things about these songs was that they did “carefully teach”…tolerance!

  10. Gene Keyes says:

    I have just posted a music vid with lyrics, “Close Your Eyes and Point Your Finger”, The Jesters’ version, of that fast patter tune about blood types, from the 1947 set of “Little Songs on Big Subjects”:

    with credit to you, & Argosy Music Corp.

    –Gene Keyes

  11. Dena says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! This morning at Twitter I viewed a video clip by @EmergencyKittens with the caption that read “Little meow.” Suddenly outta nowhere the “big bow wow and a little meow” tune started playin’ in my head. Not only did you help me ID it (as “Ol’ Commodore Gray”) but you put me onto a free download. (Guessin’ my dad used to play the Jesters album for us kiddos, along with his Woody Guthrie ones.) Anyhow, YOU ROCK!

    • Steve Cotler says:

      It continues to amaze me how many people were touched by this album. Thanks for your very lovely comment!
      (I’m a children’s book author…I have been to several schools in Rockford.)

  12. Sheila Cohen says:

    I attended a public school in Queens, NY after WWII and learned many of these songs.during recess.

    I suspect this was required in the NYC curriculum. They were very powerful teaching tools. We could use songs like these being taught in schools across the country at this time in our history!