Archive | April 17, 2011

Why the camp songs?

I guess you’ve noticed if you are here regularly that this month is poetry month and that the poems I’ve posted are camp songs. Most people that weren’t camp counselors think camp songs are things like “John Jacob Jingleheimer Smith” or other silly songs but the songs I think of as camp songs are the songs like the one I have posted. Songs that we sang at campfire or to sing kids to sleep that had the values that we held dear.

Those songs talked about freedom and equality, about love for the environment and about friendship and love. They talked about the things that young idealistic young women dream about. I still hold a lot of those ideals.

The songs are special to me for other reasons too. They all have great melodies and are the kind of songs anyone can sing. They aren’t difficult like an art song or horribly complex. They are songs that are meant to be shared. And the sharing is part of what makes them special. I remember where I learned a lot of them and who I sang them with. I remember looking in the eyes of my sister singers and knowing we were creating something special and as fragile and as lovely as a soap bubble.

Most of the songs are anonymous as far as I know. Some were written by other scouts, songs that were passed from Girl Scout to Girl Scout or other counselors. Sometimes we could compare songs that were taught differently at other camps and learned to make allowances for “regional” differences.

But most of all we learned to sing and to harmonize and to share and we must have doen something right because now that a lot of us are gathering on Facebook we are still sharing our favourite songs.

Born Free

Born free a heart must wander
Born free a heart must roam
Out there the hills over yonder
Seem to be calling me home

Out there the restless wind blows
That’s where I long to be
I must go where the wind goes
Just like the wind, I was born to be free.

My heart has no chains
The world must be mine to explore
The hills and the plains
Are waiting just outside my door

Don’t wait for my returning
There’s much I have to do
I must follow this yearning
Feed this fire that is burning
I was born to be free.

I was born for roamin’

Born for Roamin’

I was born for roamin’
I guess I always will
I wonder if it’s greener
On the far side of the hill.

Hey Dan, look down yonder
There’s earth and green and sky
I bet that we could get down there
In the batter of an eye

Farther west there’s green
A miner told me so
And the sun shine’s so brightly
It scares off the winter snow.

Then sometimes I’m tired
Sometimes I’m lonesome too
Sometimes I see a farmer
Walking slow when the day is through

I know he’s got a woman
Waiting everyday
And I curse this wandering fever
That stole my love away.

Ally Oxen Free

Time to let the rain fall without the help of man
Time to let the trees grow tall now if they only can
Time to let our children live in a land that’s free
Ally ally ee, Ally oxen free
Allly ee ally oxen free.

Time to blow the smoke away and look at the stars again
Time to let our friends all know we’d like to begin again
Time to send a message across the land and sea.
Ally ally ee ally oxen free
Ally ee, ally oxen free

Small and weak, mild and meek
No more hide and seek.

Time to see the fairness of a children’s game
Time for men to stop and look and learn to do the same
Time to let our children live in a land that’s free.
Ally ally ee, ally oxen free
Ally ee ally oxen free