A Prairie Home Companion Camp-Song Songbook

Set 10, July 1


Sang the song at Clearwater Camp for Girls in Minocqua, WI. The lyrics were written by all the members of the 1966 Canadian canoe trip. Whenever a group would go out on a trip they would have to write a song about it.

Dear to the Hearts

Dear to the hearts of Clearwater trippers all
Calm lakes of blue and the rushing waters fall,
White of the gull and emerald of the trees,
I know the hidden beauty that is found in these.

CHORUS: I'm dreaming, I'm dreaming
Of the north woods I have trod.
The rocky shores and blue lakes
Make me one with God.

Moonlight and stars for campers to admire,
Mem'ries renewed while sitting 'round the fire,
These are the things which in my heart abide,
The wondrous beauty of them all will be my guide.

CHORUS

Judy Robinson, Lake Villa, IL

It must have been a wonderful trip to have written a song so lyurical. Imagine returning to camp and writing The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald or The Sinking of the Bismark. - MM


You said the deadline is July 1st! (I just found the announcement on the WWWeb.)

I didn't find any of these songs in your camp songbook on your web site. But they probably don't qualify, since as far as I know none of them are based on traditional melodies (although The Old Mill Stream is probably recognizable enough on its own.) I would be happy to sing them for you if you would like! Just e-mail me back, and it can be arranged.

I learned these songs as a child at our church's family camp at Camp Yenis Hante at Greenhorn Mtn. Park in Kern County, CA. As I began typing these submissions, the memories began flooding back -- tune after tune.

When Sammy Put Paper on the Wall

When Sammy put the paper on the wall,
He put the parlor paper in the hall.
He papered up the stairs,
He papered up the chairs,
He even put paper on Grandma's shawl!

When Sammy put the paper on the wall,
He spilled a pot of paste upon us all
And now we stick together like birds of a feather
Since Sammy put the paper on the wall.

Little Tommy Tinker

(Sung as a four part round. A new group starts as the first group reaches each subsequent line. Each group stands, throwing its hands in the air each time they sing MA!)

Little Tommy Tinker sat on a clinker
And he began to cry
MA! MA!
Poor little innocent guy.

Dona Nobis Pacem
I did this recently at a square dance camp with macarena motions! -MM

(The words are simply Dona Nobis Pacem (Give us peace) sung either as a three part round or with three different groups singing individual melodies. I think I may have heard Garrison do this one on PHC.)

The Instruments

(Each of four groups sings one of the instruments -- each instrument has its own melody. The result is a nice four part harmony.)

The clarinet, the clarinet
Says doodle-doodle-doodle-doodlet.
The clarinet, the clarinet
Says doodle-doodle-doodlet.

The violin's singing
(AAAH! I can't remember the words to this verse!)

The trumpet is blaring
Ta-ta-ta-ta-Ta ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-Ta ta-ta-ta-ta
The trumpet is blaring
Ta-ta-ta-ta-Ta ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-Ta The horn, the horn
Awakes me at morn.
The horn, the horn
Awakes me at morn.

I remember this from the Dick Van Dyke Show - I think Morrie was the trumpet...or was that Rose Marie?

Hay! What happened to one entry per person? - MM

Down By the Old Mill Stream

Down by the old mill stream
Where I first met you
With your eyes so blue
Dressed in gingham too.
It was there I knew
That I loved you true.
You were sixteen,
The village queen,
Down by the old mill stream.

(The first verse is sung "straight", but on the second verse silly interjections are interspersed throughout. The interjections may be sung by the ladies between the men's straight lines.)

Down by the old (not the new, but the old) mill stream (not the river, but the stream)
Where I first (not second, but first) met you (not me, but you)
With your eyes (not nose, but eyes) so blue (not purple, but blue)
Dressed in gingham (not plaid, but gingham) too (not three, but too).
It was there (not here, but there) I knew (not old, but knew)
That I loved (not hated, but loved) you true (not false, but true.)
You were sixteen (not seventeen, but sixteen,)
The village queen (not the king, but the queen,)
Down by the old (not the new, but the old) mill stream (not the river, but the stream.)

anon.


I know the deadline is July 1, and it is just that. Hope this can make it into your camp songbook for Yellowstone.

This little ditty was sung at Camp Winmor, run by the Moravian Church in central Wisconsin - I remember it from junior high, about 1955. The melody doesn't have a name that I know of, but if you call me, I'll sing it for you.

Verse 1
Oh, I wish I were a little bar of soap
Oh, I wish I were a little bar of soap
Oh, I'd slippy and I'd slidy
Over everybody's hidey
Oh, I wish I were a little bar of soap

Verse 2
Oh, I wish I were a little mos-ki-to
Oh, I wish I were a little mos-ki-to
Oh, I'd itchy and I'd bitey
Under everybody's nighty
Oh, I wish I were a little mos-ki-to

Paul Sorenson, New Berlin, WI


Hymn to the Septic Tank

(Tune: For the Beauty of the Earth)

For the folks of every child,
Just to drive the director wild;
Tang for our gracious dining hall
Pine and bracken isn't all.
So on high we send our thanks
Blessed be our septic tanks.

For several summers in the late fifties, there were problems with the septic tank at Camp Loons on the Lake in northern Wisconsin. The tank wasn't quite big enough to get through the entire summer, and inevitably it required pumping out during the last few days of camp, just as parents were arriving for the end-of-camp festivities. This song was written one of those years when the tell-tale odor began to arise from the septic field, which was unfortunately located just outside the dining hall. I think this is true of any camp. - MM

Sue Ferguson, Memphis, TN


I Know How Homely I Are

(sung to the tune of How Gentle God's Commands)

I know how homely I are.
I know my face ain't a star-
But I really don't mind it because I'm behind it,
It's you folks out front get the jar.

I learned this from my Dad, who put it into the LDS Girls camp songbook he made up for my Mom. What a dad! - MM This from the same man who would recite:

I eat my peas with honey,
I've done it all my life.
It makes the peas taste funny
But it keeps them on the knife.

Oh, and one more thing, Sweet Violets has a second (and third, but I don't know it offhand) verse:

The girl told the farmer that he'd better stop
Or she'd call her father and he'd call a...

Taxi and get there before very long,
Someone was doing his little girl...

Right for a change and so that's why he said,
"If you marry her, sir, you're better off...

"Single because it has been my belief,
"Marriage can cause a man nothing but...

(chorus)

Carrie Griffin, Albuquerque, NM


Tune: Ta Rah Rah Boom De Ay

Camp: Loons on the Lake

She's a counsie and a pip.
She has just been on a trip.
She has taken lots of lip.
Had no time to take a dip.

Chorus: Ta rah rah boom de ay.
Ta rah rah boom de ay.
Happy, merry every day.
Counsies all are made that way.

There's a fragrance on the breeze,
Wafting out among the trees.
It's enough to make you sneeze.
Hide those jodphurs, if you please. Chorus.

She's a sailor, you know where.
Wind and spray blow through her hair.
Splicing rope up on the deck,
And she knows her terms by heck. Chorus.

Soon our figures you must trace
In a dress of frills and lace.
Though we leave this happy place,
We'll remember every face. Chorus.

Thank you very much.

Alma Lee Scott (Scotty), Minoqua, WI


Set 1 - Set 2 - Set 3 - Set 4 - Set 5 - Set 6 - Set 7 - Set 8 - Set 9 - Set 10

Camp-Song Songbook

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

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