Redwing

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One way to survive the next four years is to “take a breath”, pick up an instrument and play a tune. I do this whenever I get the opportunity.

At our local music jams we all take turns picking out an tune and everyone joins in. Some classic tunes always get played including Red Wing a song which was written in 1907. We usually play it as an instrumental but it has lyrics which I’ve printed below. This was adapted by Woody Guthrie into the labor song Union Maid. Grab your instrument and play along with the recording (in the key of G).

Picking on the Mandolin

Richard Horonjeff picks out a tune on the mandolin at the monthly music jam.

There once was an Indian maid,
A shy little prairie maid,
Who sang a lay, a love song gay,
As on the plain she’d while away the day;

She loved a warrior bold,
This shy little maid of old,
But brave and gay, he rode one day
To battle far away.

Chorus:
Now, the moon shines tonight on pretty Red Wing
The breeze is sighing, the night bird’s crying,
For afar ‘neath his star her brave is sleeping,
While Red Wing’s weeping her heart away.

[Chorus:]
She watched for him day and night,
She kept all the campfires bright,
And under the sky, each night she would lie,
And dream about his coming by and by;

But when all the braves returned,
The heart of Red Wing yearned,
For far, far away, her warrior gay,
Fell bravely in the fray.

Now, the moon shines tonight on pretty Red Wing
The breeze is sighing, the night bird’s crying,
For afar ‘neath his star her brave is sleeping,
While Red Wing’s weeping her heart away.

[Chorus:]

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