THE LONG LONG TRAIL… . . . .
Since becoming a widow (It’s been thirteen years now) I have saved the hour of 6 o’c.ock on Saturday nights to watch the old Lawrence Welk reruns. Music ever has been my best therapy, and Mr. Welk plays the music of the years of my life. We first started watching this show when it was broadcast in black and white back in the 50’s. My husband and I had different tastes in music, but we both enjoyed Lawrence Welk’s music.
Tonight the show was a tribute to American Music, honoring the 1976 Bi-Centennial, covering several eras and many American composers such as Stephen Foster, Geo.M. Cohan and Phillip Sousa.
As I listened tonight my early childhood years came sharply into focus, and I recalled that my father had come home fresh from the war—WW1.
He was raised in East Texas and music was in his bones. Music was always in our house.
The songs I remember from my early days were the songs my parents loved, songs from their courtship days: Moonlight and Roses: When I Come To The End of a Perfect Day; Those Endearing Young Charms; When You and I Were Young, Maggie!
I remember the looks that passed between my mother and my dad.
Many of the songs I remember came out of World War 1, and they were still often sung around mountain campfires, on family trips, and in church groups.
It’s a Long Way to Tipparary, Hinky, Dinky Parlay Vou ,were still very popular in those days following the war.
I was reduced to tears tonight when the Welk show included my very favorite of the old war songs—I never thought to hear it played on television, although it often runs through the windmills of my mind.
THERE’S A LONG LONG TRAIL A-WINDING
INTO THE LAND OF MY DREAMS. . .
WHERE THE NIGHTINGALES ARE SINGING,
AND THE WHITE MOON BEAMS.
THERE’S A LONG LONG NIGHT A-WAITING
UNTIL MY DREAMS ALL COME TRUE,
TIL THE DAY WHEN I’LL BE GOING
DOWN THAT LONG LONG TRAIL WITH YOU.
The melody is hauntingly beautiful and its harmony always carries me away.
But tonight it made me think of my parents during that long long war of waiting…. Waiting for news, waiting for the war to end, not knowing if they would ever see each other again.
So many times I have listened to it, and sung it, but never really heard it.
Tonight it nearly broke my heart.
Mother and Dad, were you listening tonight?