A Prairie Home Companion Camp-Song Songbook

You'll fine Muehlbach's comments throughout the Camp-Song Songbook, signed MM. -ed.

A Word from Our Web Camp Director
June, 1997

Mike leads a round
at Camp Knutson

The Camp Knutson camp-song cemetery
(click for a close-up view)

CAMP KNUTSON - Yes, such places do exist in Minnesota. As a director of Jeanette Holm Knutson Camp (i.e. Camp Knutson), I led many rousing songs after meals - interactive ones on rainy days, and those melancholy ones late at night around the campfire. It seems there are songs for just about any occasion at a camp, and placed between reveille and taps they can turn the day into a sort of Gilbert and Sullivan operetta.

My personal favorites run the gamut from old rounds like Scotland's Burning to the morbid Titanic and the interactive Old McDonald Had a Zoo where each dinner table would act like a different animal.

After some ten years of song leading, I saw the need to retire a few of the songs so we sang them one last time and buried them complete with headstones and flowers. Michael Row Your Boat Ashore; Row, Row, Row Your Boat, and Cumbaya have probably been resurrected by camp directors since, but perhaps they have buried a few of their own tired tunes.

Camp songs still play an important part in my life and occasionally I'll break into song at the nursing home where I now work, singing about The Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly and other appropriate tunes our residents know.

Keep singing!

Mike Muehlbach (MM), Minneapolis, MN

P.S. Thank you all for submitting your songs. I hope it was as much fun for you as it was for me - remembering the old chestnuts as well as being introduced to some new ones or different verses of the same song.

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Camp-Song Songbook

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