Monday, June 30, 2008

Warsaw/Wausau/Wha Saw? - Song #20

Mack reminded me of another song I can't believe I forgot, as most of the ones falling into that category are ones I never particularly liked. But "Wausau the 42nd" (as I recall it) was an old workhorse of a round, a dependable, lively and easily sung tune.

As I sang it, the words were:

Wausau the 42nd
Wausau gone to war
Wausau the 42nd
Marching through the bramble briar

Zoom diddy boom diddy
boots and stockings
Zoom diddy boom diddy
Lay et twa
Zoom diddy boom diddy
boots and stockings
matching through the bramble briar

I was never sure if it was supposed to be "Warsaw" or "Wausau" or some other place; what war; and the second verse doesn't make any sense - is "lay et twa" French? Or did I have the words wrong? Etc.

So my first look into this turns up not a lot, but it did turn up these Scottish lyrics:

Wha saw the forty-second,/ Wha saw them gang awa',/ Wha saw the forty-second,/ Mairchin' doon the Broomielaw. / Some o' them had buits an' stockins,/ some o' them had nane at a',/ Some o' them had umberellas [4 syllables!]/ Mairchin' doon the Broomielaw

I like that; makes a litle more sense and evokes a vivid picture. And who doesn't like a Scottish brogue?

(PS - I have added a post with a recording of "Wha Saw" that I made at a summer camp; you can see it here)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Boy(s) Meet Girl(s)?

I was doing some research on a round sung at the girls' sessions at Camp Ajawah titled "Rose, Rose." A slow, haunting tune seemingly about a medieval young woman's betrothal plans, but it turns out no one has been able to trace it back any further than the 1900s.

But I learned a lot of camps and groups sing it along with a song we sing at the boys' sessions, "Hey Ho, Nobody Home," which indeed has a similar melody. We always sung it as if we were hiking.

So maybe at Ajawah this summer they should try the combo platter - here is one version I found, along with another verse or two thrown in from elsewhere:

rose, rose, rose, rose,
will I ever see thee wed?
I shall marry at my will,
sire, at my will.

ding, dong, ding, dong,
wedding bells on an April morning,
carve thy name on a moss-covered stone,
on a moss-covered stone.

Hey ho, nobody's home,
meat nor drink nor money have I none,
still I will be very merry,
hey ho, nobody's home.

Mother, Father, dig my grave,
dig it with a golden spade,
bring some friends and a morning dove,
to show my die for love.

Au poor bird,
take thy flight,
high above the sorrows,
of this cruel dark night.

Should make the campers all cheerful for bedtime, eh? And a note: many of the versions of Rose have the line as "at thy will" instead of "at my will." I seem to remember our version being "as I will" which sounds better, I think (as well as being more feminist than "at thy will").

Monday, June 23, 2008

More Boomdiada

Or Boom Dee A Da... or whatever spelling you prefer.

I posted a while back about how Discovery Channel had co-opted this song as the centerpiece of their multi-million dollar rebranding around the silly tag line "The world is just awesome." Now they are having contests for people to submit their own versions of the song, etc.

While looking into that, I came across this - just a handful of teenage girls in someone's home, singing the song correctly, if not harmoniously:

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Austrian Song: Song #19

I got an email from Mack asking me about the Austrian Song, along with some lyrics he'd remembered. It didn't ring a bell immediately but then started coming back to me, especially as I did a little research on it. What threw me off, I think, is that I only recall it as a Girls Camp song and Mack only went to Boys Camp.

Looking for an audio file to jog my memory, I stumbled across something interesting or perhaps a little bizarre: a "virtual karaoke" site where people can post their Sims version of songs. There are a few for the Austrian Song. Check this one out - it also links to others:

Thursday, June 5, 2008

John Brown's still a-mouldering

Here is a link to the original song, a Civil War tune about the famed abolitionist, using a tune that had arisen earlier in the century:

Of course, this tune was then used as the basis for the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

Not finding much online about the origins of the nonsensical version we sing at Ajawah. There is another Civil War song to the same tune that begins "Hang Jeff Davis on a sour apple tree, down went McGinty to the bottom of the sea..."

Monday, June 2, 2008

John Brown's Body - Song #18

A few posts ago I wrote about a song used to dismiss campers from the Mess Hall after meals (Tramp, Tramp, Tramp). Another one was suggested to me by my friend Mack:

John Brown's Body lies a'molding in the grave
Down with McGinty to the bottom of the sea
She's my Nellie
I'm her Joe
So listen to my tail of... woe

Any ice today ladies?

More about these seemingly random lyrics in my next post.