Sunday, June 21, 2009

Classic Country

In honor of Father's Day, I decided to write a little story about my dad. There are lots of things I remember about my dad, but there's always one memory in the forefront of my mind. It's about a little "ditty" he used to sing and I've never forgotton the words. I didn't even think it was a real song until I looked it up...sure enough, it is. It's the "Classic Country" hit titled "Battle of New Orleans" by Johnny Horton (circa 1950s?) Here's the words: (As I remember my dad singing them, not necessarily as Johnny wrote them)!

1814 took a little trip

Along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip

Took along some bacon and we took along some beans

Met the bloody British in the town of N'Orleans

Weeeeeeeee farred (fired) our guns and th' British kep'a comin'

Twasn't (there wasn't) as many as twas (there was) awol (a while) ago

Farred once more and they began a runnin'

Down the Mississppi to the gulf a Mexico...

On and on he sang a couple of more verses until he got to the chorus where he really started to whoop and holler! Here it goes:

Weeeeeellllll, they ran through the briars and they ran through the brambles

They ran through the bushes where the rabbits wouldn't go

Ran so fast that the hounds couldn't catch 'em

Down the Missisppi to the gulf a Mexico!

Ok, strange little song for sure. But to hear the tune just cracks me up everytime. Maybe it was the way he would really "beller" it in a true Southern style. Or, maybe it was the way he would even crack himself up. But, I think it's because of when he would choose to sing it. Every summer, we'd take family trips. We'd go to the beach, on hikes, to the it's really the "where" I remember hearing my dad sing this song. I can still see him now sitting in a lifejacket (like it was a inner tube) in the lake just bobbing along singing this song. Or hiking through the mountains, and my brother and I being concerned that all that singing was going to attract the bears.

I guess I got a lot of things from my dad - Here they are: my southern heritage, love of quirky songs, the ability to get a lot of joy from something really simple, my love of summer vacations, how I enjoy spending time with my family, my innovation, sense of pride, and faith. Among other things, he's also the man that took me to every gymnastic meet and even made me a homemade "beam", made sure I had a trampoline, go-kart, bb gun, slingshot and swimming pool, took me skiing and tubing, branded me with the "lizard rae" nickname, taught me how to bowl, clean and fry a catfish, bought me my first car (and a Mustang at that -thanks dad), walked me across the 50 yard line for homecoming, came to see me cheer all those years in college, bailed me out a few times in college when I couldn't pay my phone bill, and walked me down the aisle. There's really nothing to say to the man in my life that could have done all that (and more) other than this - HAPPY FATHER'S DAY, DADDY. I LOVE YOU!

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