Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Red Wing

Often during the nice weather months, my family will get together and have a campfire at one or another's houses. We used to do it more often when our kids were little, but life gets more hectic the older the kids get so it seems we have fewer campfires nowadays.

But we still enjoy these campfires, even though less frequently now. And what goes better with a campfire than singing around it?... Yep, we do that, too. I remember one song that my Daddy sings every once in a while... it didn't take me long to find it tonight on the 'net, thanks to this web site...

     (words Thurland Chattaway,
     music Kerry Mills)

     There once was an Indian maid,
     A shy little prairie maid,
     Who sang a lay, a love song gay,
     As on the plain she'd while away the day;

     She loved a warrior bold,
     This shy little maid of old,
     But brave and gay, he rode one day
     To battle far away.

     Now, the moon shines tonight
          on pretty Red Wing
     The breeze is sighing, the night bird's crying,
     For afar 'neath his star her brave is sleeping,
     While Red Wing's weeping her heart away.

     She watched for him day and night,
     She kept all the campfires bright,
     And under the sky, each night she would lie,
     And dream about his coming by and by;

     But when all the braves returned,
     The heart of Red Wing yearned,
     For far, far away, her warrior gay,
     Fell bravely in the fray.

I even found 2 versions of this old folk song on YouTube... I admit to being amazed, but then, Red Wing was a pretty popular song in its day.
This one is instrumental, and this one is vocal.

I love hearing my Dad sing this old folk song, sitting around the fire, everyone tired but too content to end the evening. Especially nice when the night sky is clear and you can see no end of stars. Sometimes, our campfires are at my folks', down by the river, and it's dark enough that you can't really see the river, but you can hear it. Sometimes, we can get Mom to do some yodeling, and I'm not talking Alps style yodel, I'm talking hillbilly yodeling. I have some great memories of trying to yodel like my Mom when I was a little kid, when we'd all sing in the car together.

A lot of times, around the campfire, my elder brother-in-law, Bob, will have some good jokes to tell us. Bob excels at joke telling. The long jokes. Those long ones that I so want to remember to tell to my friends at work the next Monday, but they're so long, I can't. Bob is also good at telling stories, so is my brother, Jim. Stories about goofy things that have happened to them or their coworkers, friends, neighbors or hunting or fishing buddies. Great times.

Which reminds me, the nurse, Pam, who came to our house today to change my PICC line dressing and draw some more of my blood, told me a good joke. Though, she didn't do that great of a job at delivery. Pam's husband is a minister, by the way. And I found the joke she told me on the 'net...

A minister was asked to dinner by one of his church members. He knew she was a bad housekeeper but agreed. When he sat down at the table, he noticed that the dishes were the dirtiest that he had ever seen in his life. "Were these dishes ever washed?" he asked his hostess, running his fingers over the grit and grime. She replied, "They're as clean as soap and water could get them." He felt a bit uncomfortable, but blessed the food anyway and started eating. It was really delicious and he said so, despite the dirty dishes. When dinner was over, the hostess took the dishes outside and yelled for her dogs, "Here Soap! Here Water!"

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