Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa NC

Swannanoa Gathering – Traditional Song Week – Day 4

And just like that the folks I have been sitting in class with all week have become friends!  Last night’s staff concert was especially poignant and meaningful as Dr. Kathy Bullock lead us worship at the end of the concert.  Focusing on the marvelous things the Lord has done was a great way to spend the 4th of July as we have so many deep hurts in our country that need healing. The Lord has done great things in my own life, so I know that He can and will heal our country.

 

Today, the morning class we learned the Brazos River.  This song and others can be found in the Max Hunter Collection

 

Here are the lyrics:

VERSE 1
We crossed th broad Pecos
We forded the Nueces
We swam the Guadalupe
We followed th Brazos
Red River runs rusty
The Witchita clear
But down by th Brazos
I courted my dear

VERSE 2
Then li-li-li-lee-lee
Pole th boat on
Li-li-li-lee-lee
Pole th boat on
Li-li-li-lee-lee
Pole th boat on
My Brazos River sweetheart
Has left me an’ gone

VERSE 3
She kissed me, she hugged me
She called me her dandy
The Trinity’s muddy
Th Brazos quick sandy
She hugged me, she kissed me
She called me her own
But down by th Brazos
She left me alone

VERSE 4
Then, li-li-li-lee-lee
Give me your hand
Li-li-li-lee-lee
Give me your hand
Li-li-li-lee-lee
Give me your hand
Th Trinity’s muddy
But th Brazos quick sand

VERSE 5
Th fair Angalina
Runs glossy and gliding
Th crooked Colorado
Runs weaving an’ winding
An’ th slow San Antonio
It courses th plain
But I never will walk
By th Brazos again

VERSE 6
Then li-li-li-lee-lee
Pole th boat on
Li-li-li-lee-lee
Pole th boat on
Li-li-li-lee-lee
Pole th boat on
My Brazos River sweetheart
Has left me an’ gone

VERSE 7
The girls of Little River
Their plump and their pretty
Th Sabine an’ th Sulphur
Have many a beauty
On th banks of th Natches
There’s girls by the score
An’ I never will walk
By th Brazos no more

VERSE 8
Then, li-li-li-lee-lee
Give me your hand
Li-li-li-lee-lee
Give me your hand
Li-li-li-lee-lee
Give me your hand
Th Trinity’s muddy
But th Brazos quick sand

 

The Max Hunter Collection and others like it are great because they serve as an online compendium of songs that were collected from people as a part of field research.  My hope is that in the days to come, I can explore these collections for other treasures.

Of course, I am especially fond of this piece because it is about Texas.  It is interesting that it was collected in Arkansas, but even that fact brought up interesting discussion in class about the ways in which music travels from place to place.

During my music interpretation class I was prepared to sing, but my turn will occur tomorrow.  I’m going to try to remember to record the experience, but we shall see how successful I am.

During our class about the music from Africa it was the day set aside to study the folk music of Jamaica and Bob Marley.  In terms of musical and historical facts, I knew SOME about Jamaica, but I had considerable holes in my knowledge and learned quite a bit.

Ya’ll know I’m crazy about children’s books, especially ones that focus on children’s music, so I went ahead and purchased two children’s books that have been on my list for a while that feature the music of Bob Marley.   

While ALL of those things were wonderful, the BEST part of the day was the conversation!  Having time to REALLY talk to people was a gift that I would be sad to have missed out on.

 

AND, I wrote another song!  – I’ve been working on it all week, and today it finally took a shape that I like.  I wasn’t really sure where this song would go, and it certainly ended up being different than I had expected, but it was fun to write. At this time, my best recording option is my cell phone in my dorm room with the big box fan turned off, SOOOOO, I don’t have a great deal of patience, but I will share it here.

Verse 1:

Along this path that we call life, with so much love but too much strife,

I would like to walk with you for a mile along the way.

For a mile or eighty-two, each step I take when I’m with you

Is filled with laughter, spiced with tears for a mile along the way

 

Chorus:

Time travels on like a road, and before too long all we know has changed

Verse 2

So, when the road gets treacherous, we’re stronger when there’s two of us

Hold my hand and don’t let go through the curves along the way

Traveling down this road called time it’s comforting to know your mine

I am blessed to walk with you for a while along the way.

Verse 3

When our paths should dare to part, you’ll always be inside my heart

And I’ll remember when I sing, every mile along the way

Every day I walk alone, I’ll remember all the love you’ve shown

Thoughts of you will make me smile as I walk along the way

 

Tag

All alone I think of you, rememb’ring things you used to do

Solace for a little while, all alone along the way.

 

Wish me luck, I am now off to a contra dance party!  I’ve never been to a “contra dance party”!  YIkes!

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