Tennessee Music Blog by Candace Corrigan

21
Oct

Celebrating Emma

The Internet is a marvelous thing.

A few months ago, someone found me, and a song I wrote, because I had featured the song on my blog. Lisa Ferguson, a musician and newly crowned National Hammer Dulcimer Champion at last month’s prestigious Walnut Valley Music Festival in Winfield Kansas, wrote me an email after reading and listening to my song Spirit Of The Mountains- the Ballad of Emma Bell Miles.

She and some of her friends were putting on a special celebration of Emma’s life October 19th up on Signal Mountain, near Chattanooga. She asked me if I would like to be part of it. She also asked me how I ever found out about Emma Bell Miles in the first place.

A number of years ago, I received a grant from the Tennessee Humanities Council to research some Tennessee women’s writings, and write songs from their words. The program Through A Woman’s Voice was later made into a 4 part series for public radio.

Now it is a 4 CD set: Disks 1 & 2 are the radio programs, with humanities scholar interviews, radio theatre and the ballads, Disk 3 is the ballads only, and Disk 4 is a set of curriculum guides written for grades 4- 12 by Dr. Carole Bucy. I have recently made it a priority to get a copy of this 4 CD set into every school library in Tennessee.

Emma Bell Miles was one of the women that I chose for this project, much due to the kind insistence of Dr. Anita Goodstein, one of my advisors for Through A Woman’s Voice. She was well aware of the available diaries in the Tennessee Archives, and did not consider herself a sentimental historian. She recalled reading the 1914-1915 diary in the archives one dreary winter afternoon, and was amazed to find herself in tears reading Emma’s words.

After reading them myself, I was not surprised. Emma Bell Miles was quite a writer, and as she was confiding in her diary, she illuminated her difficult life in such a way that you wanted to turn back the years and help her if you could. The song resulting from her words is haunting, and yes, beautiful.

So I agreed to come to Signal Mountain this last weekend. Lisa Ferguson even had a dinner on Saturday night, where I met so many fine musicians, as well as the artist who conceived of this celebration, Anne Davis. Everyone was so kind and welcoming, I felt as though I were meeting old friends.

The celebration took place on Sunday afternoon, on Signal Mountain next to where Emma bell once lived. Emma is known as a naturalist, and an eco-feminist. She would have been proud to see the booths of lovely art, music, national parks, and ecology. There were quilters and spinners, and girl scouts selling hot cider. And one of the event organizers took my husband and I to see a rock bridge behind her house where Emma once gave art lessons and where she carved a small bird and her initials in a rock.


Stone bridge and waterfall where Emma taught art


Bird carving by Emma Bell Miles


John Boulware, fiddle, James Kee, mandolin, Joseph Decosimo, banjo


Bob Fulcher, banjo, Joseph Decosimo, fiddle


Celebrating Emma Bell Miles

Late in the brisk afternoon, I presented the song with local musicians who were perfect. Kay Gaston, a biographer of Emma bell Miles spoke directly after the song, and gave us a lovely synopsis of why we should be celebrating Emma and her life.

I was struck by the sweetness of the event and the legacy of care. Emma once had patrons who bought her paintings and postcards. Here, once again, 90 years after her death, people who care about the mountain she held so dear, gather to celebrate life.

Note: Please feel free to contact me about performances of Through A Woman’s Voice. I will do performances in trade for the purchase of copies of the 4 CD set to be placed in the schools of your choice.

15
Apr

The Ghosts of War

On Friday, April 11, we had a tornado here that tragically killed a young mother and baby, injured many others and left a lot of people without homes. My husband and I were just leaving the Murfreesboro Sportscom where we swim, when the television in the lobby issued a tornado warning, with severe storms headed our way. We drove home under threatening skies, with a pelting thunderstorm hitting as we came in through the door. The warning sirens started and about three miles from our house a tornado touched down with winds reported at 165 miles an hour. The aftermath of one of these things is the true meaning of the word devastation. Trees snapped in half, buildings flattened as if by a bomb, twisted power line poles, metal roofs that resemble discarded aluminum foil. And, after the weather cleared, came the abundance of friends and church members, ready to help; looking for scattered pictures, saving any and all possible treasures and picking up the crazy abundance of bits of insulation that seemed to be everywhere.

At our house, calls came in from around the country, making sure we had escaped the damage, which, thankfully, we had. In talking to my friend, the editor of the Macon County Times, we recalled his experience a couple of years ago when Macon County was hit by a much more destructive storm. We both remarked how similar it must feel to surviving a battle.

About a month ago I posted a blog about working with the Words and Music program at The Country Music Hall of Fame. Words and Music works with teachers and students, pairing the students’ writings with songwriters, resulting in songs that the songwriters then present to the class. My friend Janne Henshaw and I have been working with this program for a number of years, and this year we participated in both the fall semester and the spring session. Our friend Al Goll came along with his dobro to give the songs we presented a little more polish. One of the songs this year that caught my attention was entitled The Civil War Song.


After The Storm


Ulysses S. Grant


Captured Confederates

Two fifth grade boys, Jeremy McConville and Jarrell Reeves, chose the war as the topic for their song. The town that they live in was once rocked by a terrible battle there, literally in their backyard. This week, 148 years ago, the South fired on Fort Sumter, effectively starting the American Civil War. Jeremy and Jarrel’s lyrics talked about Fort Sumter, as well as battles throughout the South. The resulting finished song is, I think, honest and profound.

This week, I took the live performance recording of the Civil War Song and downloaded some Civil War photographs. I put them together in iMovie. Nothing fancy, just some images of the war, including a defiant 67 year old white-haired Edmund Ruffin, who claimed to have fired the first shot at Fort Sumter, as well as a war weary General Ulysses S. Grant whose eyes saw all the horror that Shiloh had to offer.




I find them all so compelling. As always I hope you enjoy it.

07
Apr

The Art of the Reprise

This week’s song is The Ballad of Pamela Thomas

Having a presence on the Internet means that if someone wants to find you, they probably can. Years ago, when I had a different last name and was working as an actress, I wrote a song based on a woman’s Civil War diary. The theatrical company that I was working for at the time existed on grants, and after hearing my Civil War song, the director suggested I try to get a Humanities Council grant. I knew very little about writing or getting grants, but with a fair amount of help from librarians, advisors and a local historical society with some imagination, I was able to get a grant to put together a program based on women’s diaries and writings. Later this program was made into a 4 part series for public radio, which won some national broadcasting awards, including Best Radio Portrait from American Women in Radio and Television. I got so many requests for the program that I quit my day job with the theatrical company and traveled around doing my own program entitled Sampler of Michigan Pioneer Women.


Sampler of Michigan Pioneer Women

For a couple of years, I saw the state of Michigan like a traveling salesperson or a politician. It seemed like there wasn’t a women’s club or town celebration I didn’t sing for. I went through two engines in my 1966 Chevy, and Civil War costume after Civil war costume, retiring the clothes to a rag pile when the “run” was done. I would find out later that this was the beginning of my love of blending history with theatrics and music.

For the last couple of weeks I have been revisiting that program. I was contacted by a number of school teachers who found me on the Internet. They had seen me perform Sampler, way back when, and they were wondering if I had ever put the program on CDs. I hadn’t. So I went back to the old tapes, got my friend Rich Adler to run me off some CD copies. I thought that might be the end of it, but there were a couple of songs that I just couldn’t live with. This was my very first recording project, and frankly, my voice was a lot higher in those days. Some of it was charming… some not so much. So my friend Daniel Market came over with his recording equipment and graciously set it up and let me do a few songs. I edited the programs and now I have them for sale…both in a 4 CD set and a digital download. You can access a downloadable PDF file of the lyric and curriculum suggestions here.

Amazing what you can do with a Mac computer, Garageband, and little bit of time. This week’s song is one of the songs I re-recorded. It came from a few pages that Pamela Thomas wrote and published at the end of her husbands memoirs. She and her husband, Dr Nathan Thomas, had a major “station” on the Underground Railroad in Schoolcraft Michigan, at a time when they could have been easily fined $1000 and put in jail by the Federal government for their activities. Her written words were so compelling I felt I had to write the song. At one point she explains:

There are some that are Christians , who say they are Christians
Who condemn what we’re trying to do
They say we’re breaking the law and harboring fugitives,
But what would they have me do?
Should I turn them away, give them back to the slave hunters
To bondage and beatings too.
I could try not to notice them and call myself a Christian then,
But you know, it wouldn’t be true

I think of her words as we approach Easter, that most important of Christian holidays. I hope you enjoy the song. More importantly, I hope that you download or order the series. After a bit of reprise energy, I think it still holds up.

16
Mar

Wordsmithing

It is the early evening of an early spring day. I just walked in from seeing the first of the red bud trees along the highway. I started to sing the song that Janne Henshaw and I wrote last year

When the red buds bloom
In early spring
Will you come back to me
And the green returns,
And the wild birds sing
Will you come back to me
For to my heart, you are so dear
I wait for you, you’ll find me here
When the red buds bloom,
When the red buds bloom

Click here to read that post. and to listen to the song When the Red Buds Bloom.

It was during the red bud bloom that we wrote that song, on a particularly wet cold spring day. We had a fire going in the fireplace in the office, as we wordsmithed our way through the afternoon. Wordsmithing: that recurring pleasure for songwriters, turning the phrase this way and that, listening to the melody as it develops.

I often think of the year in terms of songs written and projects begun. I’ve been lucky enough to work on a number of songs with Janne this past year. This past week, we did another session for the Country Music Hall of Fame Words and Music program. It was our second “go round” in this school year. Every time we do this , I am taken by the honesty of these young writers. I love the challenge of getting their lyrics and turning them into songs, listening to the melodies that emerge as we survey our lyrics.

Janne and I asked Al Goll if he would join us on the dobro for the presentation. As luck would have it, there was a meeting in the community room where we usually perform for the students, so we got to present the songs in the Ford Theatre.

The sound was excellent, the audience was GREAT, and we had a great time. We only had time to work on nine of these songs, with Janne coming up with a start for a tenth song Navy Blue, and talking to the students about poetry in song writing.

I took the CD from the live show home, put the tracks into Garageband, and here they are in the order that we performed them in the show.


Janne Henshaw


Candace Corrigan


Al Goll

1. Beach Fun words by A. Phothimat & C. Wall songwriters, Janne Henshaw & Candace Corrigan

2. The Civil War words by J. McConville & J. Reeves songwriters, Candace Corrigan & Janne Henshaw,

3. My God words by J. Messick & G.McAvoy songwriters, Janne Henshaw & Candace Corrigan

4. Fishin’ words by D. Bowman songwriters, Candace Corrigan & Janne Henshaw

5. Friends words by M. Dozier, M. Fletcher & V. Martinez songwriters, Janne Henshaw & Candace Corrigan

6. My Parents Decided to Ground Me words by A. Russel & Scott Walkup songwriters, Candace Corrigan & Janne Henshaw

7. Ramen Noodles words by A. Burchfield & I. Ayala songwriters, Janne Henshaw & Candace Corrigan

8. Soccer Halfback words by A. Grow & P. Tawonezvi songwriters, Candace Corrigan & Janne Henshaw

9. Navy Blue (Just the chorus) words by E. Hughes & J. Mintlow, songwriter Janne Henshaw

10. Basketball words by C. Turner& M. Pramsey songwriters, Candace Corrigan & Janne Henshaw

09
Feb

A Valentine From Me To You

This week’s song is Why don’t you send me a Valentine?

It is early morning as I am writing this. There is a crackling fire next to me in our little office fireplace. The birds outside are calling to one another as the light comes on. The mist outside in the grey morning begins to dissipate. The coffee is strong, just the way I like it. I love an early morning, when the town is not yet awake, before the world is too much with me.

This week we celebrate the mid-winter holiday of Valentines Day, the holiday of romance. Perhaps it was coincidence that the movie Casablanca was shown on TV last night, but maybe not. The lushness of exotic sun-washed Casablanca, remarkably shot by the way, in luminescent black and white; the interesting contrast of Richard when he was still in Paris and in love, compared to, only months later, the cynical club owner Rick, disillusioned by a love that left him escaping to Africa with only his faithful friend and piano-playing sidekick, Sam; the young, innocent beauty of a stunning Ingrid Bergman, dressed in the finest couture of the day, asking Sam in that delicious Swedish accent… “Please, play it one more time for me, Sam…you know how it goes…Da dum de de de dum, Da dum, de de de de….“.


Morning Mist


Tulips

The announcer tells us that Ms. Bergman didn’t think that it was much of a movie at the time. You could make a point that the dialog wasn’t Shakespeare, and yet, it was. In the middle of a war, complete with very real bad guys, star crossed lovers sacrifice, personally, everything for the love of … love.

Moonlight and love songs, never out of date,
hearts filled with passion, jealousy and hate…

That this movie was made in 1943, in the dark days of the War, when all was so uncertain, adds such an air of reality to the simple tale.

It’s still the same old story,
A fight for love and glory,
A case of do or die.

As we were watching this last night, my husband John remarked that he hadn’t realized before how important the music was to this film. It is almost a musical.

The world will always welcome lovers,
As time goes by.

Wikipedia tells me that the “U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that one billion valentines are sent each year, world wide.” Hmm. that’s a lot of Valentines. And it also says that men send them, two to one. Now that is even more impressive.

I asked my husband to take a picture of the tulips on our dining room table. The tulips are going through that tulips stage where, as they open up, they become as lovely in their demise as when they were first fresh. I thought the picture made a nice Valentine card…from our house to yours.

The song this week is one I wrote years ago. Once again, it is a duet between myself and Doc West. It has a little slide show with it. For the slideshow and song click here.

May love surround you all this week. When it does, well…Here’s looking at you, kid.

20
Jan

Robert Burns… A most successful songwriter

The songs are My Love is Like a Red Red Rose, and John Anderson My Jo.
performed by Kathleen Wolf and Candace Corrigan

It’s been a cold time here in Middle Tennessee. Not near as cold as it could be, but when its 8 degrees out, and the wind is blowing and whistling, and you don’t want to do anything in the evening but sit by the fireplace with something warm to drink… I call that cold.

250 years ago this week in Scotland, Robert Burns was born. Robert Burns grew up in poverty, working with his father and brother as tenant farmers on land my neighbors might describe as “hard scrabble”. Long hard hours of farm work gave him a slight stoop and delicate health for the rest of his short life. He didn’t have much of a formal education, yet by the age of 15 he was writing poetry, mostly about love, but also about life as he saw it.

He is sometimes called the Ploughman Poet. He didn’t have an easy go of it. Farming was an uphill battle, his attempts at public work didn’t work out well. But as a young man in 1786, at his brother’s urging, he published his first volume of poetry Poems Chiefly in a Scottish Dialect, which was an immediate success

He became well known across Scotland, and was received by the wealthy elite of Edinburgh, impressing a 16 year old future poet and author, Walter Scott, who later said, “His person was strong and robust; his manners rustic, not clownish, a sort of dignified plainness and simplicity which received part of its effect perhaps from knowledge of his extraordinary talents… His features are presented in Mr Nasmyth’s picture but to me it conveys the idea that they are diminished, as if seen in perspective. I think his countenance was more massive than it looks in any of the portraits … there was a strong expression of shrewdness in all his lineaments; the eye alone, I think, indicated the poetical character and temperament. It was large, and of a dark cast, and literally glowed when he spoke with feeling or interest. I never saw such another eye in a human head, though I have seen the most distinguished men of my time.”

And Robert Burns wrote songs, most notably Auld Lang Syne. I love what he wrote about writing songs, singing the tune first:

“My way is: I consider the poetic sentiment, correspondent to my idea of the musical expression, then choose my theme, begin one stanza, when that is composed – which is generally the most difficult part of the business – I walk out, sit down now and then, look out for objects in nature around me that are in unison or harmony with the cogitations of my fancy and workings of my bosom, humming every now and then the air with the verses I have framed. when I feel my Muse beginning to jade, I retire to the solitary fireside of my study, and there commit my effusions to paper, swinging, at intervals, on the hind-legs of my elbow chair, by way of calling forth my own critical strictures, as my, pen goes.”


Robert Burns


Robert Burns’ first book of poems


Robert Burns’ signature


My husband’s daughter with her husband at a Burns Night outside of San Francisco

A few years ago , my friend Kathleen asked me if I would accompany her at a Robert Burns dinner…a Burns Night. She plays the celtic harp, and I play the guitar, and, although I’m Irish, I have sung a Scottish tune or two. I said I would give it a go. We had to study up on some Scottish songs. My friend who is a piper sent us some Scottish clothes to wear. We went to the dinner, where pipers piped, dancers danced, poems were recited, hagis was eaten, and above all, Scotch was consumed. I mean … a lot of Scotch. From our vantage point above the grand hall, we could see all kinds of expensively kilted luminaries, getting, for want of a better word, sloshed. All while we played on and on. Quite a hoot really.

There are over 5,000 of these Burns supper nights on his birthday across the U.S. alone. That a farm boy could write poems and songs that inspire all of these people, 250 years later… What better thing to do on a cold January night, besides sit near the fire, with a warm drink in your hand and contemplate, life, love, and the pursuit of happiness.


Here she is at a highland game

The whole family with the adorable children.
19
Dec

Christmas Issue

This week’s song is Oh Come, Oh Come Emanuel performed by the Marian Singers from St. Mary’s Academy in Portland Oregon, Kathryn Briggs, Director of Music and Fine Arts Department Team leader.

I was talking to my daughter this afternoon on the phone. I was remembering the first Christmas that she really “saw” a Christmas tree. The look on her little two year old face was one of true wonder. At the time, we were living at Spring Hollow Farm, off the Galen road outside Lafayette, Tennessee. My daughter’s family now lives in a very rural area in the mountains of Washington State on a 60 mile natural lake in the Cascades, a stunning area of the country. She has two young children, two and half and a 15 month old (two of the most adorable people in the world, as far as I am concerned) and getting ready for the holidays is full of hustle in a life already full of hustle. Just going into town can be a project. Today they were going to the big city of Wenatchee, Washington (pop. 30,000). She said she wanted to take the kids somewhere with Christmas lights and store displays. Somewhere that would inspire wonder.

Ah, I thought. Wonder.
Star of Wonder, Star of Light.

The Magi came with rich gifts, inspired to travel afar by a star of royal beauty bright.


Our christmas card: Hubble Space Telescope image of star cluster NGC 67919


my grandchildren, David and Elizabeth

I have always have been struck with the wonder of the Magi story. I love the optimism of the Magi. As luck would have it, they had observed the sky, and had seen the star that drew them to find the baby Jesus in the arms of his mother. And that baby would grow up to inspire much of the world with a message of love, for more than two millennia.

As the days grow shorter and darker, it feels like a good time to celebrate light. The warmth of a fire, the smell of the pine, the dressing of the Christmas tree, the fond memories of when a friend gave me this lovely whimsical ornament, or that star of crystal and glass, or holiday parties and meals…all of these are part of Christmas. Even when budgets don’t allow elaborate gifts, which is the case more often than not, Christmas is a time when I appreciate the genius of composition and art, of friendship and of love, of listening to lovely music, and rejoicing in wonder.

The song this week is also from the Northwest. My husband’s niece, Annamaria Seward, is a lovely young lady attending St. Mary’s Academy in Portland, Oregon. Her father sent us some recordings of the choir she is part of (just a recording of a practice, really). I couldn’t resist sharing their production of Oh Come, Oh Come Emanuel. I think it is wonderful. The things kids are doing these days….

Merry Christmas.


Annamaria
11
Dec

Bright Star

Click here to listen to this week’s song, Bright Star.

It was snowing when I went out one morning this week. Somewhere between rain and snow, really. “The sky is spitting snow,” my neighbor said, as I walked out to the car, both of us talking about the novelty of it. The day remained gray-skied, and chilly enough to have a fire this afternoon in the fireplace next to my writing desk.


Hubble Space Telescope image of nebula NGC 1999

The crackling fire and the sipping of hot tea, the putting of a wreath on the front door, the beginning of the neighbors’ Christmas light displays… these are all welcome markings of the turn of the year to me, as we approach the Winter solstice.

I remember, some of my first year in Tennessee was quite cold, snow coming in January and staying for months, making travel up and down the gravel roads in the “hills and hollers” of Macon County, Tennessee, impossible. That first year I spent was one of a couple of odd years in the 1970’s when we had real winters around here. Having grown up in Northern Michigan, where my dad, who is a great singer, would often sing the phrase “Someday when the winter is over…” (I think he only knew that particular line of that song), I naturally expected that a Tennessee winter would always be a hard winter.

Snow in Northern Michigan often began falling in October and melted in late April. That’s what I call a long winter. From consulting the 2008 Farmer’s Almanac, I know that many Tennesseans are watching wooly caterpillars and early migrations of birds and concluding that we are in for a harder than usual winter this year.

Thinking about all of this, I found a song I wrote, one difficult winter.

The winter’s night when it first snowed.
A wild wind began to blow
My heart was hurt, I fell so hard
A storm was raging in the yard

I looked at the page, remembering that long night, so many years before.

A loss I had refused to see
Finally showed itself to me
Things I thought I knew about
Turned upside down and inside out.

From my current vantage point of so many years later, I can have compassion for my young self. But I also view those sorrows as something that I lived through, much like a hard winter.

And quiet snow fell through the night
And turned the world to winter white
Snow that covers up so much
Forgiving as an angel’s touch
Reminded me of a Greater Love
The Bright Star of a Greater Love
That melts away the troubled pain
And shows the world as new again.

This was my first Christmas song that I had written.

When Christmas comes for some each year
It’s full of hope and love, for some it’s pain and fear
It can remind us of a Greater Love
The bright Star of a Greater Love
That melts away the troubled pain
Shows the world as new again.

I took it over to Doc West last night, brought him some home-made chili, recorded it, and then left it to his magic. Doc created a personal tone poem, centered around my little song. His guitar work is both heartbreaking and lovely.

What an interesting way to rewrite a song.
I hope you enjoy it.

25
Nov

A Woman’s Prayer for Thanksgiving

Click here to listen to this week’s song, A Woman’s Prayer for Thanksgiving.

My friend Janne Henshaw and I were talking late one night last week about Thanksgiving songs. We were going to present some to our friends at the St.Clair senior center, and we were going over some titles and possibilities, and chatting about the origins of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Later, I looked online for information on Thanksgiving, and found a remarkable editorial, urging the establishment of a national Thanksgiving holiday, written in 1850 by Sarah Josepha Hale. The daughter of a revolutionary war captain, she became a popular novelist and poet and then became the editor of Godeys Lady Book.

(1788-1879) Sarah Josepha Hale
painted by James Reid Lambdin in 1831

Here is a paragraph I found:

Godey’s Lady’s Book appeared under seven different titles during its sixty-eight year history (1830-1898). Sarah Hale was its editor for forty of those years (1837-1877) and is credited with having a great influence over the reading, learning, and even political consciousness of women across America. Godey’s was the highest circulating and most popular women’s magazine of the era. Between 1839 and 1860, circulation rose from 25,000 to 150,000. The editorials wielded considerable influence over a large readership; Hale used Godey’s to campaign for Thanksgiving as a national holiday until Lincoln made it official in 1863.

Looking over the editorial, which included a lovely poem/prayer, I picked up my guitar and the words fell into place. I called my friend Doc West, went over and recorded this song with a simple guitar track, and he added some guitar and drums. As usual I hope you enjoy it. Happy Thanksgiving.

17
Nov

Words and Music

For four years now, Janne Henshaw and I have participated in the Words and Music program at the Country Music Hall of Fame. Last year, one of our collaborations ended up on “the best of” year’s end performance, and I wrote a blog post about that, which includes a beautiful song that a talented young writer, Lauren Thomas, and Janne and I put together.

At the time I wrote:

This is how “Words and Music” works. Using a lesson guide, teachers assist students in the songwriting process. The writings are then given to a songwriter or songwriting team, and the songwriters add melodies. Teachers assign a project to students to write lyrics to a song. The writings are then given to a songwriter or songwriting team, and the songwriters fashion them into songs. The teachers and students then come to the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum, where they take a tour, and then come to a program, where the songwriters present some of the songs.

This is a fun project, and I always look forward to it.

So this year we signed up, and we got our package of lyrics. One afternoon last week Janne came over and we worked on our set of over thirty lyrics from two classes of 4th grade students from Gower Elementary in Nashville. Janne teaches piano. She has many young students and is very sensitive to the feelings of young people. She is always careful that we choose equally between the two classes, with an equal number of girls and boys. In the past we had so many songs to present in our time with the students that we felt rushed. This year we settled on eight tunes, though I had a nagging feeling that we could have used a couple more. Curiously, after our late night conversation on Wednesday night, we both took the same song, independently of each other and wrote a version of Matt is a Fat Rat.

We asked our friend Al Goll to come and play the dobro, and went down the Hall of Fame on Thursday morning. After a tour of the Country Music Hall of Fame exhibits, the kids came into the community room. This was the youngest of the classes we have worked with, and they were excited. We introduced ourselves, and started presenting the songs.

As a songwriter, I think it could be difficult to hear what you have written taken and put into a song form by somebody else. But these kids were sweet, if a bit embarrassed, when their song was chosen. I love what they write about, which is usually from a very honest perspective. There are always at least one or two sports songs, usually about sports superiority. Some songs about friends are usually in the mix, and concerns for the environment. And this year had some magical, dream-like songs.

We are presenting these at the Country Music Hall of Fame, so we try to include different country music styles in the show. They had many questions at the end of the session, and to use a term that I would have used when I was in 4th grade, we had a blast.

Julia Laughlin, the Words and Music coordinator recorded the live performances of the songs and gave me a copy. I took it home and put it into GarageBand, cleaned it up a bit and here are the songs. They are far from professionally done, but I wanted to put them up, so that the students could download their own songs.

As always don’t hesitate to comment on this posting or others. I hope that you like them.

Here are the songs:

Say You Will by Anittasia/Henshaw/Corrigan Mrs. Schnaar’s class

October by Gabrielle and Mariah/Corrigan/Henshaw Mrs. Mann’s class

Creatures by Noah and Ali/Henshaw/Corrigan Mrs. Schnaar’s class

Troublemaker by Joshua P/Corrigan/Henshaw Mrs. Mann’s class

Where Did The Sun Go by Devan/Henshaw/Corrigan Mrs. Schnaar’s class

Horses by Kayla S./Corrigan/Henshaw Mrs. Mann’s class

It’s My Family by Clare/Henshaw/Corrigan Mrs. Mann’s class

Matt is a Fat Rat by Deron/Henshaw Mrs. Schnaar’s class

Matt is a Fat Rat by Deron/Corrigan Mrs. Schnaar’s class

Soccer by Xavier /Henshaw/Corrigan Mrs. Schnaar’s class

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