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Song is on my page, cut #2

Several great historical topic songs in the forum recently - Here's one about us Swedes moving to Minnesota. Loosely based on my wife's family WAY up on the Canada border. The little towns are dying up there now with big agriculture and less small farms. Any/all feedback welcome! Ross

Back in 1880, Great Grandad had a plan

Followed vague directions

to a promised land

Just a Swedish Fishboy,

never steered a plow

Never saw a bison, never milked a cow


But his heart was young and strong,

and it didn’t take him long to turn the river clay


and the River rolls north, and it always will

I might leave the valley,

but it’s flowing still

Try hard to forget it, but it’s in the blood

There’s a strong attraction

to Red River mud


Granddad raised pigs and cold wheat, Gram was a German bride

Built a barn and farmhouse down on the riverside

The farm went bust in ’30,

but no one bought the land

My Mom she paid the bank notes –

baking bread and married Dad


My Mom and Dad they stayed on, ‘til the auctioneers were gone, and lived

right off the land…


and the River rolls north, and it always will

I might leave the valley,

but it’s flowing still

Try hard to forget it, but it’s in the blood

There’s a strong attraction

to Red River mud


Dad died in the great war, Mom passed in ‘64

Me and my brothers left home, looking for something more

The land is solid green now, nine miles of sugar beets

The house and barn are grey ghosts, where land and river meet


Floods try to wash it away, but the barn stands to this day,

and will be when I’m gone…


and the River rolls north, and it always will

You can leave the valley, but it’s flowing still

Try hard to forget it, but it’s in your blood

Remember where you come from… 

Views: 39

Replies to This Discussion


Just gave a listen. Good tune, very memories based, family history is a great subject. With past histories it is sometimes hard to remember where you come from, if the memories aren't the best kind. But this has a great feel to it and there are some good memories to hang on to. I liked your chorus and the finish too! Thanks for sharing!

Hi Ross,

Enjoyed your song. I too was born on Red River, but on the border of Oklahoma and Texas - Oklahoma side. The red clay dominated there also. Real squishy nice to squirm your bare toes in.

Enjoyed this very much. Excellent story, and I like the contrast you build between what's transient and what's (relatively) permanent, Well written and performed (Who's the back up singer? - very nice sound.).
Thanks Walt - the female harmony os a friend who has a BA in vocal performance but works in marketing - lots of frustrated performers out there. Me included! She is also on City Kids and does the lead on Between the lines on my page. Glad you liked the song - it was one that came fast once I got going on the idea... Ross
Good stuff Ross, the story is epic and personal, the playing and vocals create a landscape that is authentic, giving space for lyric that directs the listener to identify shared experience with the story. Touches that common nerve we like to reach.To my ears the backing vox aren't quite there, I wonder what you think? Just a little disonnected in the mix. Think nothing of this,cos I've no idea what chance/inclination you have to do anything about this sort of nit picky opinion. I bet this works well live.

All the best.
Thanks Chris - strangely, the mix is much different in the MP3 compared to a much better sound on the Protools work file. My audio buddy and I are still playing with what happens when we squash these files. Funny things happen now and then. Glad you like the tune. It appears my UK trip is heading north to Edinburgh and then possibly Isle of Arran for a couple days, then back to London. Looking forward to finding local live music and possibly mixing it up with some players while there in Edinburgh especially. Still wrestling with guitar transport/safety issues - we'll see! Ross
Hi Ross, Nice song Red River Mud, Good story, sounds very personal. I hope you are enjoying your trip to England.
Greetings, Steve
HI Steve and thanks for the kind words. The trip actually starts tomorrow. Yahoo! I have located a number of pub "Song Circles" and jams I hope to join in on. I am STILL can't decide whether I should take a guitar or not. We're moving about Scotland a bit and it might be too much to carry. We'll see. Keep cool in VA - sounds nasty hot all along the east.


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