Friday, February 08, 2008

Poetry Friday: Tribute to Laura

The first 'poetic' tribute to Laura Ingalls Wilder is "Billy Boy" from The Long Winter and By The Shores of Silver Lake. My choice might seem an odd one, but I remember my mom singing this song to us (me and my sister) when we were little. So when I read them in the book I get all warm and tingly.

Billy Boy

Oh, where have you been, Billy Boy, Billy Boy,
Oh, where have you been, charming Billy?
I have been to seek a wife, she's the joy of my life,
She's a young thing and cannot leave her mother.

Did she ask you to come in, Billy Boy, Billy Boy,
Did she ask you to come in, charming Billy?
Yes, she asked me to come in, there's a dimple in her chin.
She's a young thing and cannot leave her mother.

Can she make a cherry pie, Billy Boy, Billy Boy,
Can she make a cherry pie, charming Billy?
She can make a cherry pie, quick as a cat can wink an eye,
She's a young thing and cannot leave her mother.

How old is she, Billy Boy, Billy Boy,
How old is she, charming Billy?
Three times six and four times seven, twenty-eight and eleven,
She's a young thing and cannot leave her mother.

And I've been struggling with what to choose for These Happy Golden Years. It's not like I "know" any of the tunes of these songs. And so many of them are repetitive which can be good if you know it, not so much if you don't. But I think "In Dreamland Far Away" is a nice choice.

In Dreamland Far Away
Lyrics by George Birdseye

A beautiful castle I've built for thee
In dreamland far away
And there, gentle darling, come dwell with me
Where love alone has sway

Oh, sweet will be our blisses
Oh, rare will be our blisses!
We'll tell our time by the lover's chime
That strikes the hour with kisses

No sorrow shall enter our castle walls
For joy shall guard the door
No word shall be spoken that ever recalls
The cares we know before


Then let us enjoy every blissful hour!
Too soon our dreams will break
Alas, that we never may have the pow'r
To live them when we wake!


Here is the site where I found all the music compiled and sorted by book.
Roundup is at AmoXcalli.


sheila 9:24 AM  

Thanks for that link, Becky. I'm reading this series to my kids right now (we just started The Long Winter) and while I do sing the songs when they come up, most of the time I use my own melodies if I am not familiar with them.
And how timely are you, what with LIW's birthday yesterday!

Kelly Fineman 10:22 AM  

I never remember all the words to "Billy Boy", but I do know the tune. Excellent way to come up with a poetry post, Becky. I may have to try something similar in the future for favorite books!

Gina MarySol Ruiz 10:40 AM  

I love the Little House series and especially loved the Little House cookbook. Trying to make some of those recipes was a ton of fun with my daughter!

I remember Billy Boy, the tune and the words - my mother used to sing it and laugh about how silly it was because if you added up all the fourscores and sevens you came up with one very OLD woman. Thanks for posting and for the fond memory of an old song.

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