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Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)

DigiTrad:
BARGES
CANOE PADDLE
EACH CAMPFIRE LIGHTS ANEW
GIRL SCOUTS TOGETHER
HERE WE ARE
I CAN SAIL
I LOVE THE DAFFODILS
MAKE NEW FRIENDS
OUR CHALET
PEACE I ASK OF THEE OH RIVER
RISE AND SHINE
TALL TIMBERS
WE ARE CALLED THE GIRL SCOUTS
WEAVE
WHEN E'RE YOU MAKE A PROMISE
WHO CAN SAIL


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(origins) Origin: Barges (9) (closed)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Barges


GUEST 15 Mar 19 - 10:05 PM
Joe Offer 02 Dec 18 - 04:43 PM
GUEST,Linda Edson 02 Dec 18 - 02:53 PM
GUEST,Rachel 21 Nov 17 - 11:05 AM
GUEST,bo 30 Jul 17 - 05:57 PM
GUEST 21 May 17 - 03:37 AM
GUEST,lyric req: That's My Land You're Walkin' On 28 Jul 15 - 09:48 PM
GUEST,Jeff Muller 04 Nov 14 - 11:05 PM
GUEST,Claire 03 Aug 14 - 04:34 PM
GUEST,Aubree 02 Apr 14 - 05:04 PM
GUEST,Dave Orleans 26 Oct 13 - 01:08 AM
GUEST,anon 30 Dec 12 - 11:56 PM
GUEST,The river rebel 28 Jul 12 - 12:34 PM
GUEST,me 25 Apr 12 - 02:24 AM
GUEST,adkhkr44 21 Jan 12 - 01:14 PM
GUEST,charlotte, camp sugar hollow 07 Oct 11 - 12:40 PM
GUEST,Camp tahigwa 20 Aug 11 - 03:03 AM
Joe Offer 29 May 11 - 05:16 PM
GUEST,Heidi 29 May 11 - 09:51 AM
GUEST,Jane Ann Liston 15 Jan 11 - 07:55 PM
Joe Offer 15 Jan 11 - 05:26 PM
GUEST,Jane Ann Liston 15 Jan 11 - 04:47 PM
GUEST,Annie 15 Jan 11 - 02:20 AM
GUEST,Kate 05 Jan 11 - 03:28 AM
GUEST,GSGUEST 14 Aug 10 - 11:20 PM
GUEST,Guest maddy 19 Jul 10 - 11:03 AM
GUEST,Saira's mom 09 Jun 10 - 09:54 PM
GUEST,Poetaster 01 Feb 10 - 04:28 PM
GUEST,St. Louis Guest 18 Nov 09 - 09:49 PM
GUEST,Terri S 23 Sep 09 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,Dean 24 Apr 09 - 03:16 AM
GUEST 24 Apr 09 - 02:15 AM
GUEST,Spices (Ginger Rainwater) 28 Feb 09 - 06:15 PM
GUEST 14 Feb 09 - 08:15 PM
GUEST,Guest; Sarah 05 Feb 09 - 03:52 PM
GUEST 16 Oct 08 - 11:24 PM
Joe Offer 11 Oct 08 - 01:48 PM
GUEST 11 Oct 08 - 01:43 AM
GUEST,KTG 31 Aug 08 - 11:23 PM
GUEST,Linz 10 Aug 08 - 05:58 PM
GUEST,Hannah 09 Jul 08 - 07:49 PM
GUEST,Sherry 30 Jun 08 - 04:28 PM
GUEST,Trisha - Daisy Ldr Troop 407 29 May 08 - 12:36 AM
GUEST,A Girl Guide 25 May 08 - 09:02 PM
GUEST,AMY 03 Mar 08 - 08:03 PM
Melissa 22 Oct 07 - 04:17 AM
Joe Offer 22 Oct 07 - 02:48 AM
Melissa 22 Oct 07 - 02:08 AM
Joe Offer 22 Oct 07 - 01:41 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Oct 07 - 09:57 PM
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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Mar 19 - 10:05 PM

Story has it that a girl sick at the hospital and she wishes she could go with the barges I donít know if any one else sings it like this but at the end I humm the tune of it once more because she supposedly died befor finishing the songs


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Dec 18 - 04:43 PM

Hi, Linda, well, it was does seem that the girl-in-a-hospital story is very common. But the story has all the trappings of an urban legend. So, I'm not ready to believe.
Joe


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Linda Edson
Date: 02 Dec 18 - 02:53 PM

This was one of my fav Girl Scout songs as well. I also learned that it originated in Canada. Written by a girl in a hospital in British Columbia, she wrote the song as she watched the barges on the Fraser River from her bed.
I was part of the Washington state totem council and attended summer camps in the 1960ís. This origin fact was well known and described each year by the councilors and staff. We sang this song as one of the last at campfire each night. I still sing it to my 2 year old granddaughter as the last song before bed. Iím glad the lyrics are preserved because I could not remember all of them! We need to learn the name of this little author to give her credit.
Linda from Seattle


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Rachel
Date: 21 Nov 17 - 11:05 AM

Wow. I can't believe I just read through NINETEEN years of unsolved mystery around this song. From hunting around the web, I have to think it was of pre 1950s origin (just based on folks who have claimed to have learned it around or before that time), but alas... I am yet another commenter who does not provide a true answer.

I'm a Girl Guide in Ontario, where we still sing this song. I'm amazed at how this song seems to have travelled so pervasively! This has probably started a new compulsion in me... to open every song book and reader I see and check the contents. ;)

At any rate, thanks for what was an interesting thread nonetheless!


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,bo
Date: 30 Jul 17 - 05:57 PM

We sang this at my Girl Scout camp in Georgia. We were told it was written by a sick girl in New Orleans, watching the barges go down the Mississippi, close to the mouth of the river.

Out of my window, looking through the night
I can see the barge's flickering light
Starboard shines green and port is glowing red
I can see the barges far ahead

(CHORUS)
Barges, I would like to go with you
I would like to sail the ocean blue
Barges, have you treasures in your hold
Do you fight with pirates, brave and bold

Out of my window, looking through the night
I can see the barge's flickering light
Silently flows the river to the sea
And the barges, too, go silently

(CHORUS)

Though I must stay beside my window drear
As I watch you sail away from here,
One of these days, and it will not be long,
You will look for me and I'll be gone

(CHORUS)

Barges, I am going now with you
I am going to sail the ocean blue
Barges have we treasures in our hold?
Do we fight with pirates brave and bold?

Barges, we have treasures in our hold
As we sail away into the cold!

------

As an abused teenager, the line "One of these days, and it will not be long, you will look for me and I'll be gone" always stayed with me. I told myself it would be on a paper in my hand when I committed suicide. Fortunately, that never happened.

I like the bittersweet ending of our version of the song. The girl gets to go with barges, but is, of course, a metaphor for her death.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST
Date: 21 May 17 - 03:37 AM

Re: Nowhere to be found online! :-(

Words and tune are here:

http://dragon.sleepdeprived.ca/songbook/songs6/S6_3.htm


http://dragon.sleepdeprived.ca/songbook/songs6/S6_3.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dF2i6RQUqAE

Google for lots more links ...

CJB


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,lyric req: That's My Land You're Walkin' On
Date: 28 Jul 15 - 09:48 PM

Originally heard at Camp Na Wa Kwa (Poland, IN) c. 1974-75... Nowhere to be found online! :-(


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Jeff Muller
Date: 04 Nov 14 - 11:05 PM

I learned the version posted previously by Toni Trujillo at Camp Abe Lincoln (Iowa) about 1971. No information about its origin, we didn't use song books.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Claire
Date: 03 Aug 14 - 04:34 PM

again ... I learned it at Camp Monterey in Tennessee in 1963, and by then it was already an "old" song. I wish Bet (Aug. 03) had been able to sort out which reader contained the song. We never thought about its origin - just sang it.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Aubree
Date: 02 Apr 14 - 05:04 PM

I actually did not hear this song from Girl Scouts, but at a non-affiliate camp. However, we sang it a bit differently than what everyone else has posted:

Out of my window looking in the night
I can see the barges flickering light.
Out of my window looking to the sea
How I wish they too would carry me.

Barges, how I'd like to go with you
How I'd like to sail the ocean blue.
Barges, have you treasure in you hold,
do you fight with pirates brave and bold?

(We would then hum at the end... and it was always done as a round).


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Dave Orleans
Date: 26 Oct 13 - 01:08 AM

I know that this doesn't help much with the origins of Barges, but I was intrigued to find a source to add to this fascinating thread.

I was perusing the web for "Barges origins" and came across this thread:

http://ask.metafilter.com/242315/Out-of-my-window-looking-in-the-night-Barges-song-origin

and in it I found a link to a collected version of the verse and chorus from 1969 by a man named Clint Piney from Chicago: http://maxhunter.missouristate.edu/songinformation.aspx?ID=1346

There is an audio link on that page, however a further Google search of "Clint Piney" only comes up with references to this webpage.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,anon
Date: 30 Dec 12 - 11:56 PM

Another parody version from timberlake (north Texas):

Out of my tent flap looking in the night
I can see the councilors having a fight
Curlers in their hair and cold cream on the face
I can see their undies made of lace

Councilors I would like to go with you
I would like to see the boy scouts too
Councilors please don't throw me in the lake
I don't want to be eaten by a polka-dotted snake

I heard it in the early 00s.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,The river rebel
Date: 28 Jul 12 - 12:34 PM

At tomahawk ranch (Colorado) we sing this song and every time it reminds me of where I first heard it around a campfire while backpacking. This song is one of my favorites, good luck with finding the origin!!!

-river rebel


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,me
Date: 25 Apr 12 - 02:24 AM

i am an australian girl guide, last week on a camp we sang the origanal song, it is a sad, tragic song but still very beautiful, it's about a small girl, sick and dieing who wrote the song, but before finishing it she passed away, she used to look out her window at the barges and in memory of her, to this day girl guides still hum the last verse


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,adkhkr44
Date: 21 Jan 12 - 01:14 PM

I found this thread while researching the origin of Barges. I had found a mountain dulcimer tablature and wanted to learn more about the song because I love the tune. Regardless of the true origin, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading everyone's replies and theories. I attended girl scout camp (Kent, CT) back in the 50s but don't remember singing this song. Someone in this thread mentioned being able to convert the midi into sheet music; I don't know if Tabledit will do it, but I will try (I'm still a novice at that).


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,charlotte, camp sugar hollow
Date: 07 Oct 11 - 12:40 PM

Sang this song to my baby today, and my boyfriend wanted to know where it came from- guess we may never truly know. We sang it at Sugar Hollow in the 80s and 90s and heard the same dying girl story. Originally we hummed the 3rd verse until a counselor brought back a "new" third verse from another camp.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Camp tahigwa
Date: 20 Aug 11 - 03:03 AM

We were told the story about the little girl too and how she passed before it was finished. Her mom then finnished the song for her but it sounded plausable to me cause of the way we sing the end of the song. we sing the last verse like this.

barges i would like to g with you
i would like to sail the ocean blue
barges have you treasures in your hold
do you fight with pirates brave and bold.

out of my window looking in the night
i can see the barges flickering light
now is the time when i will soon be gone
and ill sail with barges on and on

barges i am sailing now with you
i am sailing now the ocean blue
barges you have treasures in your hold
and you fight with pirates brave and bold.

For me it gave the song a peaceful ending and it made sense to me that the sick girl story could be true. btu seeing as how a lot of others have this song but not this part I think we might have added this part but i happen to like the ending.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 May 11 - 05:16 PM

Hi, Heidi-
I think there's a lot of truth in what you say. Kids like morbid songs - I think it helps them cope with their fears and phobias.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Heidi
Date: 29 May 11 - 09:51 AM

Joe,
Re: Your thoughts on spontaneous songs vs. the "published" camp songs, I present to you my friend Ryan's camp song morbidity theory, which states that kids learn a song, eventually get bored with it, and then create a version where someone/something dies in it. I've yet to find a camp song yet that doesn't have some version along those lines. Maybe this is where the true origin of the dying girl story came from? :P

Heidi


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Jane Ann Liston
Date: 15 Jan 11 - 07:55 PM

Thanks for the link. But it should be 'dine beneath the boughs' surely, not 'bows'.

I'd sing it with a bit more oomph, myself, but with the bouncy rhythm it is still fun.

Right enough, I think that a barge of some sort was used to bring the Discovery back to Dundee, but I think it's more likely to be an approximation of 'barca' as suggested earlier.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Jan 11 - 05:26 PM

Hi, Jane-

I like the "Guide Marching Song," too. It's much gentler than I'd expect out of a marching song. You'll find lyrics at this link (click), along with a link to a YouTube Video.

I suppose there weren't many oceangoing barges at the time the "Barges" song came to be, but they're becoming more and more common nowadays.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Jane Ann Liston
Date: 15 Jan 11 - 04:47 PM

Extremely interesting. I was a Guide in Scotland in the late 60s/early 70s but never came across this song. The dying child story with so many diverse versions suggests a folk myth, like the origin of 'Ring a ring of roses' (nothing to do with the plague) or Loch Lomond (no evidence of Jacobite prisoners who fit the story). What also strikes me is that barges, as a rule, do not sail across the oceans! But doubtless it's a good song.

I liked the 'Guide Marching Song' which I see has had a new verse written for the centenary. A nice, jolly little ditty,


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Annie
Date: 15 Jan 11 - 02:20 AM

Hi! I learned Barges last year at Girl Scout camp as an Advanced CIT. At Camp Menzies (GSHCC or Sacramento Cali counsil) we're not supposed to sing it because many times it has made the younger girls cry of homesickness. As older girls we were allowed to learn it finally.
The story I heard was that an eight year old girl scout was just starting treatment for cancer in the eighties. She was given a special room that faced the Ohio River and one night she woke up with a melody stuck in her head. When she saw the many Barges in the river, she thought of all the things shell never get to do since she was terminal. She dreamed of sailing away to join pirates where nothing could ever hurt her. The melody floated back in her head and she put the words down on paper. At her last Girl Scout meeting with her troop, she presented it to them and taught them how to sing it. The troop sang it at her funeral the next week, and they taught it to their daughters and fellow girl scouts and spread it that way to never forget the memory of that brave little girl.
Well, that's the story they told me, any how. Needless to say, I cry every single time I hear this song.
Also, in case y'all didn't know, Melinda Carrol has a version of this song on ITunes for sale only 99 cents! It doesn't have all the lyrics I know, but it's beautiful nonetheless.
Hope this helps!
<3,
Annie


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Kate
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 03:28 AM

This song strangely popped into my head tonight while brushing my teeth! Canadian Brownie and Girl Guide from Vancouver, British Columbia, and I remember singing this song at Camp Tsoona in the 80s (82 to 89 I think.) We were told it was written by a BC Girl Guide who was dying of cancer at the Vancouver hospital and she could see the barges off in the distance on the Fraser River and beyond. It made sense to me at the time, the river WAS visible from certain areas of the hospital. We also hummed the last verse because the dying girl never got to finish her song. We sang it in the round--two groups of girls starting the song at different times. It was lovely and it would tarnish a childhood memory to know that the dying girl story was not true!


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,GSGUEST
Date: 14 Aug 10 - 11:20 PM

I'm 16 years old and have been an American Girl Scout in Washington (State) since 1st grade. I still remember a lot of camp songs from when I was a Brownie and Junior but sadly the rest of my troop has forgotten or finds it too tedious to remember camp songs. I've heard many different versions but the chorus with the "treasures/pirates" always stays the same, as does the "river to the sea" and the "starboard/port" verses stay the same. The third verse I usually hear is the "window drear" verse, I never learned the tradition of humming it.

I know very little about the legend behind it, but the version I heard was that it was a very sick girl who wrote the story from her bed and died an hour after writing the song.

Since learning the story and understanding how sad it is, I don't generally sing the parody we learned, but the one I know is about the Boy Scouts. A Girl Scout friend of mine taught it to me one day when we were playing at my house. If it didn't come from such a sad song, I'd love it because of how it insinuates that the Girl Scouts are tougher than Boy Scouts.

Out of my tent flap looking in the night
I can see the Boy Scouts having a fight
Silently flows the pillow through the air
And the Boy Scout Leader starts to swear

Boy Scouts, I would like to fight with you
I would like to make you black and blue
Boy Scouts, oh did you ever know
That you're fighting with Girl Scouts, brave and bold


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Guest maddy
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 11:03 AM

i heard this version at Camp Huronda

Barges
Verse 1
Out of my window looking in the night
I can see the barges flickering light
Starbort shining green
And port is glowing red
I can see the barges from my bed

Chorus
Barges i would like to go with you
I would like to sail the ocean blue
Barges have you tresures in your hold
Do you fight with pirates barve and bold

Verse2
Silently flows the river to the sea
And the barges do go silently
One of these days and it will not be long
You will look for me and I'll be gone

Chorus
Barges i would like to go with you
I would like to sail the ocean blue
Barges have you tresures in your hold
Do you fight with pirates barve and bold

Verse 3
Hum

Chorus
Barges i would like to go with you
I would like to sail the ocean blue
Barges have you tresures in your hold
Do you fight with pirates barve and bold

And the story was there was a girl that was very very sick and she could see the barges from her bed.
But before she could finish the song she died but she knew she was going to die so that is why she says
One of these days and it ill not be long you will look for me and i'll be gone.
You hum the third verse in her memory.

that is what i learned


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Saira's mom
Date: 09 Jun 10 - 09:54 PM

I've been singing this song to my daughter at bedtime. She is a year and a half and if I leave out any of the words, she fills them in. I look forward to years of bedtimes with "barges"


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Poetaster
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 04:28 PM

I first encountered the Girl Guides song Barges through a friend of mine, Bobby Lyre. It encompassed him, driving him to leave his school and family and realize The Great English Dream. He stole a barge, a cat and an accordion and floated down the Thames until he faded into the light.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,St. Louis Guest
Date: 18 Nov 09 - 09:49 PM

Just to pile on - I sang this in scouts too as a child (let's see - that would be late 70s early 80s. I was told the same story about the hospital and the mississippi. I always thought it was St Louis until my mom pointed out there isn't a hospital in St. Louis with a view of the Mississippi. Which is pretty funny given the number of hospitals here!!


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Terri S
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 11:39 AM

Out of my tent flap looking in the night
I can see my counselors having a fight
Pillows and feathers flying everywhere
I can see my counselors underwear

Counselors I would like to go with you
I would like to throw a pillow too
Counselors have you candy in your hole
Do you fight with campers brave and bold.

This is the parody that we sang at Camp Adahi in the late 80's.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Dean
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 03:16 AM

Wow - what an interesting thread.

Well, I learned the song some 20 years ago (early 80's), but it was at some sort of Catholic camp.

It popped into my head watching a discovery channel thing, including discussions of submarines, and shipping...

But I also know a woman with cystic fibrosis in London...when she was last stuck in the hospital for a week, she was taking pictures on her phone and later uploaded them to facebook.

The sick girl story is entirely plausible - there could easily be someone stuck in a hospital, overlooking a river, awake enough to write a short song. And, frankly, those who are sick like that REALLY get tired of being stuck in the hospital for health reasons...they want to go explore and see the world while they still can.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 02:15 AM

I think this must be the neverending thread. :) I sang Barges in the early 60's, Kamp Kiwani, out of Memphis.

I did find this lovely version on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dF2i6RQUqAE


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Spices (Ginger Rainwater)
Date: 28 Feb 09 - 06:15 PM

I also attened Camp Cahinnio in the 90's. my camp name was Spices.

I remember Barges going something like this:

Out of my window
looking in the night
I can see the barges flickering light
Silently flows the river to the sea and the barges to go silently

Chorus:
Barges I would to go with you
I would like to sail the ocean blue
Barges have you treasures in your hold
Do you fight with pirates brave and bold

Out of my window looking in the night
I can see the barges flickering light
Starboard shines green and Port is glowing red
I can see the barges far ahead

Chorus again

Out of my window looking in the night
I can see the bargs flickering light
People are going far far away
I would like to sail with them someday

Chorus again


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Feb 09 - 08:15 PM

The story I heard was that there was a little girl who had cancer. Out of her hospital bed, she could see the River and all the barges that went by, so she decided to write a song about it.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Guest; Sarah
Date: 05 Feb 09 - 03:52 PM

I have no idea where Barges originates but I used to sing it at Camp Cahinnio in Arkansas... this was in th 90's and now I sing it to my baby girl to help calm her down. I'd been looking for the lyrics for the first verse because I couldn't remember all the words.

We used to sing it on the last night as we sent our candles on little pieces of bark out onto the lake. And then we'd sing Linger.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Oct 08 - 11:24 PM

I've heard that this song originated at Hanover College. The story goes that a co-ed, disdaining curfew, looked out her window at the barges on the Ohio. This has been passed down through one of Hanover's sororities since at least the early 1950s.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Oct 08 - 01:48 PM

The story about the sick girl watching barges out the window, is the one we hear most often. However, we've never been able to find any written documentation of the origins of this song - so I'm not convinced the "sick girl" theory is true.
Same with a lot of Girl Scout songs - it's very hard to trace their origins.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Oct 08 - 01:43 AM

I started my path in girl guides when i was 5 or six and was in it until my late teens. Barges was written by a girl scout who could see the barges from the window. She passed away before the song was finshed and that is whythe last "verse" is hummed. So the information you were told is true.


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Subject: RE: Origin of: 'Barges' (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,KTG
Date: 31 Aug 08 - 11:23 PM

We- at GS camp in Iowa- were told it was written by a girl in Holland who was in a wheel chair and confined to the top floor of her house. I'm pretty sure the sick kid/wheel chair story is a bunch of bunk made up to inspire solemnity in hyperactive kids still crazy from the day's adventures, and then warped slighty each time it made it's way to a new camp. For me, personally, the fact that it is such a strong Girl Scout/Guide tradition and that so many camp people are tied together by it is sentimental enough.

We only sang the first two verses, sometimes with harmony, sometimes without. We never hummed a third verse.

I'm afraid the message Jen M quoted (four years ago!!) is all the origin we're going to get with this one.


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Subject: RE: Origin of: 'Barges' (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Linz
Date: 10 Aug 08 - 05:58 PM

Came across this site while searching for the origins of the song but looks like no one is any the wiser really! I 1st heard Barges as a Rainbow/Brownie in the late 80's/early 90's in the UK. I was always taught that it was written by someone in Holland (and even sang it at a Thinking Day celebration when our Brownie's were representing Holland). Always knew it as an unfinished song with the 3rd verse being hummed.


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Subject: RE: Origin of: 'Barges' (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Hannah
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 07:49 PM

my mom used to sing "barges" to me when she put me to sleep:

"out of my window looking through the night,
i can see the barges' flickering light.
starburt shines green and port is falling red
i can see the barges far ahead

barges, i would like to go with you,
i would like to sail the ocean blue.
barges, have you treasure in your hold,
do you fight with pirates, brave and bold?

out of my window looking through the night
i can see the barges flickering light."


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Subject: RE: Origin of: 'Barges' (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Sherry
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 04:28 PM

Ilearned thisat Girl Scout Camp in Ohio in the mid 60's. I remember it above except the last line of the first verse \
"as the barges do go merrily.

Also, We were told it was a sick child looking out their window overthe Mississippi River. I have always loved this song.


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Subject: RE: Origin of: 'Barges' (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Trisha - Daisy Ldr Troop 407
Date: 29 May 08 - 12:36 AM

I remember singing the song as a child (in the 80's)
& I seem to remember the story being about
a girl who watched the barges from her window,
The stories I've read on here about the sick little girl
seem kinda familiar but all I remember is I liked the song.

I was looking for songs 2 teach the girls
& came across this version of Barges (6 Verses!!!)
I only knew of 2! LOL

BARGES

Out of my window, looking in the night
I can see the barges' flickering light
Silently flows the river to the sea
And the barges too go silently


CHORUS:
Barges, I would like to go with you
I would like to sail the ocean blue
Barges have you treasures in your hold
Do you fight with pirates brave and bold

Out of my window, looking in the night
I can see the barges' flickering light
Starboard shines green and port is glowing red
I can see them flickering far ahead

CHORUS

How my heart longs to sail away with you
As you sail across the ocean blue
But I must sit beside my window dear
And watch you sail away from here

CHORUS

Out of my window looking in the night
I can see the barges' flickering light
Harbor ahead and anchorage in view
I will find my resting place with you

CHORUS

Away from my window on into the night
I will watch 'til they are out of sight
Taking their cargo far across the sea
How I'd wish that someday they would take me

CHORUS


Out of my window looking through the night
I can see the barges' flickering light
People are sailing far and far away
And I hope to go with them one day

CHORUS

from this website:
http://su663.grgsc.org/girl_scout_songs.htm


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Subject: RE: Origin of: 'Barges' (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,A Girl Guide
Date: 25 May 08 - 09:02 PM

Many Canadian Guides still sing it. We have been told it was writen by a girl guide with cancer, and she had a hospital room overlooking a river. She was said to have passed away before she finished the third verse, so we hum the final verse. Although there are many stories, most of them agree on a sick girl that had a room overlooking a river.


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Subject: RE: Origin of: 'Barges' (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,AMY
Date: 03 Mar 08 - 08:03 PM

I'm sure someone else has told the same story but I'm not gonna read them all.
There was a lady in a hospital and she wrote this song while she was stuck there watching the barges. She died before she could finish it which is why the 3rd verse is traditionally hummed rather than sang because it doesn't actually have any words.
There really isn't a fancy story to it other than that she didn't live to write the third verse.


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Subject: RE: Origin of: 'Barges' (Girl Scout song)
From: Melissa
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 04:17 AM

yeah..I've found hundreds by snooping around in threads and clicking stuff. Mudcat is a pretty easy place to navigate--a treasure.

I would have thought camp songs started building steam in the early 20s? There's a pretty strong emphasis on singing while you Work, Hike or Wait in the earliest GS handbooks. I don't know much about other organizations, but I think the first official GS songbook was printed in 1928.
One of these days, I will probably open a thread to try getting a solid handful of songs to sing as part of a 1920s re-enactment GS troop, but for now, I'm content sitting around following existing threads and picking up information vicariously.
This place certainly attracts people who are generous with their knowledge!

Thanks,
M


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Subject: RE: Origin of: 'Barges' (Girl Scout song)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 02:48 AM

Oh, you'll find hundreds of them here at Mudcat, Melissa. Look at the threads crosslinked at the top of this thread, the "Naughty Kids" threads I spoke of above, and the threads crosslinked with this camp song thread (click). These songs weren't collected by the well-known collectors like Lomax and Sharp and Warner and the like. Camp songs are a newer phenomenon, a product of the post-Depression Twentieth Century. Many of us here grew up with these songs.
And if you can't find a song, start a new thread and ask for it.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origin of: 'Barges' (Girl Scout song)
From: Melissa
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 02:08 AM

Too bad..I was hoping to get access to a wad of songs I'm starting to forget. I've got plenty of words, but the tunes are beginning to vaporize.

thanks,
M


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Subject: RE: Origin of: 'Barges' (Girl Scout song)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 01:41 AM

Melissa, you asked if anyone has ever "collected" camp songs. Your mention of "floating down the Delaware chewing on her underwear" led me to Google up this (click). I didn't know the Delaware/underwear song, but I knew most of the other songs on the page. There are tens of thousands of camp song pages available. One of the most impressive is the Prairie Home Companion Camp Song Songbook. You'll find many more of that ilk in our Naughty Kids' Greatest Hits threads.

Now, to my mind, the Delaware/underwear songs are the real camp songs, and published songs like "Barges" are of secondary interest. Still, "Barges" intrigues me because we haven't been able to figure out where it came form originally. In general, though, there's a lack of spontaneity and creativity in the songs in "official" songbooks of camps and camping organizations.

As for "collecting" camp songs, that question goes unanswered.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origin of: 'Barges' (Girl Scout song)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 09:57 PM

A last verse not seen before by me, but I could have missed the posting. I'll post the four verses and chorus.

BARGES

Out of the window looking into the night,
I can see the barges' flickering light.
Silently flows the river to the sea,
As the barges do go silently.*

CHORUS
Barges, I would like to go with you,
I would like to sail the ocean blue.
Barges, have you treasure in your hold,
Do you fight with pirates brave and bold.

Out of my window looking in* the night,
I can see the barges flickering light.
Starboard shines green and port is glowing red,
I can see the barges far ahead.

Now my heart longs to sail away with you,
As you sail across the ocean blue.
But I must stay beside my ocean clear,(1)
As I watch you sail away from here.

Away from my window on into the night,
I will watch til they are out of sight.
Taking their cargo far across the sea,
I wish that someday they'd take me.

* Minor mistakes here- perhaps suggesting a translation?
(1) ...my ocean pier, ?

Barges


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