Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sing Around the Campfire

So we're driving up to the lake early this morning. It was a beautiful morning and had been two long weeks since we had been to Lakeview. George says to me, "I love the mountains!" Thinking of a common (to us) camp song, I reply, " I love the rolling hills!" We couldn't think of the next line, but we both remembered the fourth line: I love the daffodills, and of course the refrain: boom de ada, boom de ada.... and we were off singing the round as we drove up the four lane!

Campfire songs are a big part of our history. George used to play the guitar and sing with the campers up the hill at Camp Keola. I remember the songs I learned in Girl Scouts, then sang at church camp when I was nine. There's something about a group of people gathered around the campfire singing songs together. Sometimes the "play list" is structured, sometimes it's just whoever can remember the words, leads.

What makes a song, a campfire song? I cherished my campfire songbook from my youth, but, like my youth, it has disappeared. When my kids were little I bought the Wee Sing Around the Campfire book & tape (now its called sing-a-longs). I looked up campfire songs with a Google search and found a list of 50 songs - few of which I considered "campfire songs." So what is a campfire song?

The words need to be known by most of us, or they need to be easy to learn. Generally the song needs to be accompanied by the guitar - which means basic chords. While sometimes we accompany with the harmonica, that's hard to play and sing at the same time. I soon realized there are different categories of campfire songs - usually based on the group of campers. There are scout camps, church camps, mixed age general publilc camps, same age camps. So, if you'll help me, let's make some lists of all time favorite campfire songs. Please make a comment, and if I know it, I will add your song to the list.

Scout Songs: Ash Grove, Kookaburra, Kum Ba Yah, White Coral Bells, Taps,

Basics: Clementine, Down In the Valley, I've Been Working on the Railroad, Oh, Susanna, Reuben & Rachel, She'll Be Comin Round the Mountain, Swing Low Sweet Chariot

Rounds: The More We Get Together, Make New Friends, One Bottle of Pop, Boom de ada, Row Your Boat, Sarasponda, The More We Get Together,

Folk Songs: The Hammer Song, Where Have All the Flowers Gone?, Puff the Magic Dragon, Michael, Row the Boat Ashore,

Church Camp: Rocka My Soul, He's Got the Whole World, I Lean, Arky Arky, Three Jolly Fishermen, Love Love, It Only Takes a Spark, They'll Know We are Christians by Our Love, River of Life, Dem Bones

Silly Songs: Sippin Cider Through a Straw, The Boarding House

70's: Anything John Denver (Grandma's Feather Bed)

Whoa! This list is going to take a while! I can just hear Keola Lifeguard, Art singing all these fun songs. I can even hear the campers shouting out "Arky, Arky!" It makes me smile and brings back such great memories. So, the next time you're by the campfire, why not suggest a song? It will bring the group together (hopefully) and be one of the highlights of your camping trip.


Tanya said...

I LOVE CAMPFIRE SINGING!! What about "I've got a river of life flowing out of me" ??

Susan said...

Don't forget "The Cat Came Back"