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.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Another Musical Mystery: Lifeboat Crew

Google turns up next to nothing on another one of the songs on my list; here are the lyrics in full for this short, lively tune:

Oh, the lifeboat crew are we
And we sail the stormy sea
Oh the ocean waves they roll

We heed our captain's call
Man the lifeboats one and all
And away goes the lifeboat crew

Can anyone solve this mystery or shed a little light upon it?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Ickey/Lollipop Song/(I'd Rather Suck on a) Lemon Drop

This song about how a lemon drop is less messy to consume than a lollipop (deep lyrics, eh?) is not widely popular nor is there a great deal of information about it online. But what info I can find shows that people sing and sang it at summer camps and to their children.

The most surprising thing is its first appearance - sung by a German ventriloquist who is going insane.  I am unable to embed the video, so here is a link to the scene from 1929's "The Great Gabbo":