Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Camp Ajawah Reunion - August 14-16

It's hard to believe anyone reading this blog who is an alumnus of Camp Ajawah doesn't also have a connection to the Ajawah Conservancy or the Ajawah Facebook group... but just in case, please see these links?

http://ajawahconservancyupdates.blogspot.com/2009/05/reunion-registration-is-now-open.html

http://ajawahconservancyupdates.blogspot.com/2009/02/80th-reunion-info.html

A month or two ago there were two recording sessions, one for girls' songs and one for boys' songs - I look forward to hearing the results this summer.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mail call

Yes, it has been ages since I posted. May be ages before I post again. Still busy with my work blog among other things. But in the meantime two friends have emailed me or commented on a post.

1 - John T commented on post Song 24 - Granny's in the Cellar:
***Last year I heard the missing first verse to this song, sung by DLM (our camp director)
"I grieve my Lord,
From day to day,
I've left the straight
And narrow way..."
and, he added this thigh-slapper:
"Oh you can't get to heaven,
With our SPL,
'Cause our SPL,
Is going to ....well?"***

SPL is "senior patrol leader," a Boy Scout position, as Camp Ajawah was founded by Minneapolis Troop 33.

2 - Mack asked ***Hey Joe,
what was the biggest song 'flop' that anywone can remember? What was the earliest flop that Moore can remember?

I recall the 'biplane' flop but I'm sure there were others***

I don't have answers, really, and if anyone has some, please share. Moore (the camp director) started at Ajawah as a small boy in the 1940s, so has certainly seen many songs introduced at camp only to die a dismal death, whether due to an unsingable melody, an uninteresting lyric, the incompetence of the person teaching the song, or some combination of the above.

-- The biplane flop he refers to dates to the late 1970s when Jim P tried to teach a song that, as I recall, had a chorus of "Bye bye biplane, once upon a sky plane." It as somewhat catchy and boys like planes, but it didn't last the summer. Interestingly, Jim has gone on to a long, fruitful career with the YMCA camps.
-- I tried to teach The Hobo's Lullaby, but couldn't carry the tune very well. I believe Bob F later was able to get it going a bit - he is the guy who to my amazement got Rule Brittania to become a popular song, despite it's extremely long syllables.
-- A few guys from Golden Valley tried to get "Son of a Son of a Sailor," a Jimmy Buffet tune, going, but it seemed not very melodic.
-- My brother and my roommate Tom once got up to lead "Black Water," the Doobie Brothers song - the idea that half of the mess hall could sing the "I'd like to hear some dixie music, pretty mama, come and take me by the hand" and the other half could sing the response: "by the hand, take me by the hand pretty mama, come and dance with your daddy all night long." Fun try...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I'm back...

Been a few months. Between doing a blog for work and the holidays, I have let When We Sing rest a bit. But I will try to get back to semi-regular posts.

I will start with a link sent to me by my buddy Mack; it's to a site where you can hear a woman's version of my favorite Camp Ajawah song, The Ash Grove. Nice voice, simple backing, works well.

She does split the two verses we sing at camp by interposing a verse that is an alternate version often sung by Girl Scouts, among others. I don't like that verse as much, but it's not bad.

http://www.chivalry.com/cantaria/lyrics/ashgrove.html