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.