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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Owlkat Turn a poem into a folk song! (10) RE: Turn a poem into a folk song! 27 Jul 04


One of my many careers is to recite Robert Service to tourists, excuse me, visitors. "The Spell of the Yukon" is one of his better poems, and I've done it in a easy shanty style swingalong 6/8 ballad .
It starts:...
I wanted the gold and I sought it
I scrabbled and mucked like a slave
Was it scurvy or famine I fought it
I hurled my youth into the grave
I wanted the gold and I got it
Came out with a fortune last fall
But somehow life's not what I thought it
And somehow the gold isn't all

I use this as a chorus...
There's a land where the mountains are nameless
Where the rivers all run god knows where
There are lives that are erring and aimless
And deaths that just hang by a hair
There are hardships that nobody reckons
And valleys unpeopled and still
There's a land, oh it beckons and beckons,
And I want to go back, and I will.

It'a a beautiful piece of writing, and I recommend that you go online and find it at any of the many Robert Service websites and links, which is why I'm not going to type out the whole thing. I'm headed downtown for the gig in about a half hour anyway. Go nuts and make up your own tune. If you've ever heard a sentimental 6/8 English broadside ballad you're more than aptly qualified to meet the challenge.
Cheers,
;-)
Mart.


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