Sunday, 30 December 2018

in the land of the silver birch

One forgets how easy it is to access a memory sometimes. I was bopping along to some tune the other day and had a distinct memory of a classmate “Sunshine” Savage (her actual name, I wonder what happened to her) singing with me “Dip, dip and swing them back, flashing with SILVER” quite archly (in Dorian mode it turns out no less, I –♭VI, like Eleanor Rigby) and became curious all of a sudden about what public domain songbook that that was drawn from. I discovered to my delight that it’s considered a traditional Canadian folk staple:

My paddle’s keen and bright
Flashing with silver
Follow the wild goose flight
Dip, dip and swing

Though somewhat disavowed as kind of racist in Canadian school districts of late, apparently it is still a standard part of an American elementary school Thanksgiving pageant. I never experienced that personally but do recall other audience favourites, like the prodigal Señor Don Gato. Meow, meow, meow.