Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A book about camp songs

Just a quick note to share something I recently came across, a book that was published last year titled "Camp Songs, Folk Songs" by Patricia Averill.  She has a website with an exhaustive list of songs as well as information about her book and herself.

This is not a songbook, FYI, but an academic book about the history and usage of these types of songs.  If that's of interest, check it out.  I'll be doing the same.


Monday, March 23, 2015

The Ultimate Camp Song Playlist

It's still a work in progress, but here is a new playlist I've put up on Spotify:

Ultimate Summer Camp Songs

I'm about halfway through the @200 songs listed on the right side of this page.  The low hanging fruit is gone but I'll do my best to add the missing songs.  Some simply aren't anywhere to be found, some are under different names, etc.

If you know of any that I've missed - or have versions that you think are better than the ones I've selected - please let me know in the comments.

In the meantime, you can spend the next five and a half hours listening to camp songs, if you are so inclined...

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

I wrote about "When You Hear a Cannon" nearly five years ago, wondering how there could be so little information online about this simple round.  I searched again recently and found nothing new.  So I decided to put up a version on YouTube and to write the sheet music.  Nothing too fancy for either effort. 

First, the video:

Second, the sheet music:
Please chime in on the comments if you know this song.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Rock Versions of Camp Songs - A Playlist

I created a YouTube playlist of rock singers covering songs from the list on the right side of this page.  If you know of any videos that I should add to the playlist, please let me know in the comments.  For you listening pleasure, here are Jack White, Paul Westerberg, U2, Eric Clapton, the Real McKenzies, the Hooters, the Melvins, Jeff Beck with ZZ Top, Van Morrison with Lonnie Donegan, Relient K, and Bruce Springsteen:

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

"One Tin Soldier" - Song #38

This past summer, one of the more popular songs among both girls and boys at Camp Ajawah was "One Tin Soldier," a pop song from the early 1970s.  Unlike many camp songs, its origins are clear and the writers are still alive.  OTS was written by Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter, who wrote many Top 40 hits, from "Don't Pull Your Love Out On Me Baby" to "Ain't No Woman Like The One I've Got."

Dennis Lambert was nice enough to do a Q+A with me.  You can read at my other music blog, which consists of interviews with pop musicians.  The name of the blog says it all: One Song, Seven Questions.

Please check it out.  In the meantime, here's the original version of the song from 1969:

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wha Saw the 42nd sheet music

As mentioned in my last post, "Wha Saw the 42nd" has attracted more interest than any other song on this blog to date.  The variation we sing at Camp Ajawah has slightly different words and melody than what I find elsewhere online.  Most of what's available is a version for bagpipes, and the other traditional versions I have found mention nothing about singing it as a round.

So I created sheet music for Ajawah's version. We sing the song three times through, with each group starting the song two beats after the prior group.  You can sing it with any number of groups.  While the audio on my last post may not be clear enough, perhaps you can hear how it starts with "wha saw... wha saw... wha saw" as each group joins in.  And as each group finishes, the song ends with "bramble briar... bramble briar... bramble briar."

If you end up singing our version, please let me know in the comments.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Wha Saw the 42nd revisited - with video

Of all the songs I've written about on this blog, the one that received far and away the most comments was "Wha Saw the 42nd," Song #20 (to read them, click on the song's title in the list at the right side of this page).  And the comments have come regularly every few months for 5-6 years.

Last week I recorded the girls at Camp Ajawah in Minnesota singing "Wha Saw."  They use it as a round in the Mess Hall following meals.  I missed the first second or two, and once you have nine tables of eight singing along, it's hard to make out the words and melody.  The occassional loud bang you hear is girls keeping beat by banging their fists on the table at the start of a measure.