Learned Hand

Judge Learned Hand served more than 50 years on the federal bench, many of them as Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit. His judicial stature ranks close to that of Oliver Wendell Holmes and Louis Brandeis. Hand left behind an archive of more than 100,000 documents and a handful of folksongs that he learned as a child and young man. He performed them just like a traditional ballad singer, and the Library of Congress recorded several of them. Musician and researcher Stephen Wade offers a commentary on what Judge Hand's songs say about the meaning of folklore.



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