“all those things that don’t change, come what may”

Day 8:  A Song You Know All the Words To

Four Strong Winds – Neil Young

I started going to camp when I was 12.

I had no idea what to expect.

Best thing I ever did.

Because at camp, no one knew I was poor and smart and came from a weird family.

I got a clean slate to work with.

And during years 12-17?

That’s a pretty powerful thing.

At least once a week at camp, there’d be a campfire.  With marshmallows.  And ghost stories.  And singing.

I was far too cool to sing lame campfire songs.

I thought everyone else was, too.

The song books would get passed around.  The kids who’d been there before, done this previous summers, didn’t shun the books the way I assumed they would.  No, they fought over copies.  And they sang.  Because you can go to a campfire, hell, to camp, and be too cool for it all.  And then you wasted a week.  But if you put your whole self into it, a week at camp, a campfire, could turn into something bordering on magical.

In the dark, hundreds of miles from home, it was OK to like an uncool song.  To know it by heart.   And I still do.  I even know it with the misprint in the camp song books:  “But we’ve been through that a jundred times or more.”  Every last word, committed to memory.


7 responses to ““all those things that don’t change, come what may”

  1. My song is from karaoke.
    I enjoy yours (and had not heard it before).

  2. ‘i’ll look for you if i’m ever back that way…”

    if i ever had the balls to leave someone again, and go on a walkabout, this is what i’d sing in my head. out loud if i had Neil and Emmylou to back me up…

  3. If Shakey sings it it is definitely not uncool.

  4. Did i mention my new favorite song is by a Canadian? lately it seems all my favorite bands are north of the border but from the Kono approved songbook comes It’s Not My Party by Diamond Rings, i suggest the video as well cuz how often do you get to see a tall cross-dresser wander around and get drunk, the song is beautiful though, something right out of a John Hughes flick.

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