June 26, 2011

Malvina Reynold's Morningtown Ride

I came across what is perhaps Malvina Reynold's most famous song "Little Boxes" via Pete Seeger 15 years ago or so. And I remember wondering with awe who this frank, spunky woman was who really seemed to sing from her guts?!

From what I can tell, she lived a life that was creative and complete - she got herself a doctorate in English in 1938, she had herself a child who grew up to be a storyteller and songwriter (Nancy Schimmel), and she started writing songs when she was in her 40s. There's an extensive database of her song lyrics on this site, and even a quick perusal of the songs there reveals what a wide range of subjects she chose to write songs about. An artist doing what she loved.

The song I have to share today is far more gentle than Little Boxes; it's a lullaby. The ending lines -- somewhere there is sunshine, somewhere there is day -- nearly always make me cry, when I think of the hope and the longing we all have for living in a place that's filled with sunshine. And in case you're wondering - yes, I did geek out and use the names of the three felines I share my life with :)
ME <-- cat nerd!

Train whistle blowin', makes a sleepy noise
Underneath their blankets go all the girls and boys
Heading from the station out along the bay
All bound for Morningtown, many miles away

[Sarah's] at the engine, [Tony] rings the bell
[John] swings the lantern to show that all is well
Rocking, rolling, riding, out along the bay
All bound for Morningtown, many miles away

Maybe it is raining where our train will ride
But all the little travellers are snug and warm inside
Somewhere there is sunshine, somewhere there is day
Somewhere there is Morningtown, many miles away.


What a lovely song to end a little library program with, or a night-time storytime. The names of the children one is with can be substituted for the names of the children listed in the song. Egg shakers in everyone's hands can provide a gentle accompaniment.


Michele Pacey said...

Kapila, thanks so much for the education this morning. I've never heard of Malvina Reynolds. The Little Boxes song is a blast. I must show my little one! And my husband will definitely be delighted by it too. :)

Your version of Morningtown Ride is SO sweet Kapila. You have a special warmth that emanates from deep inside you and you are just a joy to watch!

Baroque Clouds said...

Sweet Michele, Thank you for your kind words and encouragement always! Oh, and Happy Canada Day! I'm missing being a Canadian in Toronto just now :(