Songs as a history resource
Song-writers are essentially observers; that’s where the process begins; that’s where the ideas or interpretations or slants that song-writers present in a song originate. Each good song-writer, in his/her own way, is looking at his/her environment and relaying aspects of that. It follows then that when historians are going back over a period of history, they will often find in the songs of that period valuable indications of the state of affairs back then. Sometimes a casual passing comment by a song-writer will become an important lead for the historian.