Silly Songs And Cowboy Ballads

Published In Blog

May 18th, 2018

Music is something we carry with us, whether or not we’re actually hearing it at that moment. I think the songs of our youth are the ones that last throughout our lifetimes. They are for me, especially if you sing, “There’s a hole in the bottom of the sea.”

My daddy can’t actually carry a tune but that hasn’t stopped him from singing and enjoying music. From the time I was little we listened to cowboy songs and even without a radio we still had music and often it was “silly tunes.” I can still remember him strumming on an old guitar and singing his heart out.

There’s a hole in the bottom of the sea,
There’s a hole in the bottom of the sea,
There’s a hole, there’s a hole,
There’s a hole in the bottom of the sea.

There’s a log in the hole
In the bottom of the sea,
There’s a log in the hole
In the bottom of the sea,
There’s a log, there’s a log,
There’s a log in the hole
In the bottom of the sea.

There’s a branch on the log in the hole
In the bottom of the sea,
There’s a branch on the log in the hole
In the bottom of the sea,
There’s a branch, there’s a branch,
There’s a branch on the log in the hole
In the bottom of the sea.

There’s a bump on the branch on the log
In the hole in the bottom of the sea,
There’s a bump on the branch on the log
In the hole in the bottom of the sea,
There’s a bump, there’s a bump,
There’s a bump on the branch on the log
In the hole in the bottom of the sea.

And there are a whole lot of other verses! Daddy sang it with gusto and wouldn’t quit until I joined in. He sang it for my kids, he sang it for my mother. I believe he could still sing every single verse from heart and he’s 85 years old!

Favorite Songs

Another favorite was Roger Miller’s “King of the Road.” That’s another silly song we loved to hear and sing. But our all-time favorites were the “Gunfighter Ballads” by Mary Robbins.

I believe we must have worn out at least one record and a half-a-dozen tapes of the ballads. Every summer we drove from California all the way to Oklahoma listening to the “Gunfighter Ballads.” Even my kids were not immune from the catchy tunes by Mr. Robbins. Now who could forget — “Down in the West Texas town of El Paso, I fell in love with a Mexican Girl” or “I’ve got a hundred and sixty acres full of sunshine, Got a hundred and sixty million stars above, Got an old paint hoss, I’m the guy who’s boss on the hundred and sixty acres that I love”?

Musical Memories

All I have to do is think about one of these songs and I’m sitting in an old Ford in the middle of some desert singing these tunes along with my daddy. Songs take you back to where you first heard them. They help you remember good times that you may otherwise have forgotten.

What were the songs that you learned as a child that have stayed with you all your life? I don’t have to ask my parents, I inherited all their favorites.

Mama’s was the songs of Jim Reeves and I still know all the words even though Mr. Reeves died when I was ten years old. She also loved Patsy Cline’s “I fall to Pieces” and “Crazy.” Mama rarely cleaned house without the radio on. I could tell as soon as I opened the door after coming home from school if she was cleaning. I could hear her sweet voice singing along to the radio set to KRAK out of Sacramento. It was on that station that we learned of Mr. Reeves plane crash and death.

Riding in the car to church we always sang gospel songs. We didn’t need a radio for these. We knew all the words and all the tunes. When my kids were growing up, we still rode to church with my parents. Now that was fun to hear my daughter, my son and my parents sing four part harmonies to our favorite church songs. Now don’t get me wrong. None of us were great singers. That didn’t matter. We were sharing our love of music together.

Don’t forget to make music a part of your life and the life of your older loved one. Treat them sometime to an old album that you remember them enjoying when you were young. Oh, the stories that will come out will certainly surprise you. I know it will also take you back to a time when you were young and your life as a child was brand new.

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