Click on songs below:
Scary Scarecrow I know the changing seasons by the pathway of the sun / ...
The Great Auk Cycle vocalises / melodies without words / ...
Two Old White Horses Nellie had worked all her life in a mine /...
This scary scarecrow was placed in a corn field to scare the crows and other seed-eating birds from eating the corn seed when planted, and the seed in the corn cobs when mature. It represents our cultural heritage of farming, including the songs, stories and art born on the farm.
Scary Scarecrow is the name of both the scarecrow and the song it sings.
The refrain to the song
was written and composed as a lively dance for both children and adults.
Scary Scarecrow sings and dances in a corn field beside Highway 400, about halfway between Toronto and Barrie, Ontario,
In year 2009, it is located in a corn field about 2 kilometres north of the junction of Highway 400 and
Simcoe Road 88, on the east side.
The Scary Scarecrow song was composed with
lyrics by Paul Aird of Inglewood, Ontario, and music composed by Luke Mercier of
Toronto, Ontario. Mary Lambert, a family entertainer and Juno Award Nominee from
Kingston, Ontario, sings the song on her compact disc titled Swinging on a
Star. Contact Mary at her web site http://marylambertmusic.com
Both children and adults love to sing and dance with Scary Scarecrow. Here are the lyrics, and a recording of the first stanza and refrain of the song.
Click to hear Scary Scarecrow. The first time you hear this song, it may stop and start repeatedly, until it is transferred to your computer. The next playing of Scary Scarecrow should be perfect. It's a delightful song.
melodies without words
composed and sung
the last female
of a flightless species
killed by hunters
collecting sea birds
Prelude to The Great Auk Cycle: Vocalise (nown, rhymes with legalese) is a vocal composition consisting of a melody without words. Vocalises are often used as a vocal exercise. The Great Auk Cycle is imagined as a collection of vocalises sung by different women to commemorate the life of the last female of the Great Auk species. Each vocalise to be included in the cycle will be sung by its composer, unaccompanied by other sounds. The author of this prelude would be delighted to hear the vocalises created in response to his poem ¾ contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Some of these vocalises may be reproduced on this web site titled www.loonsforever.com, but only with the permission of the copyright holder. Note that the Great Auk once lived on islands off Massachusetts, Maine, Québec, Newfoundland and Labrador, Greenland, Iceland, Scotland and Ireland. The name "Auk" may have been derived from the Great Auk's song, which was silenced before its voice could be recorded.
Music: Marie-Lynn Hammond
When Paul was about five years old, Nellie was one of three working horses on his family’s farm in Hudson Heights by the Ottawa River, Quebec. She had become blind while working deep in a mine and her owner had given his favourite horse to Paul’s father to work on the farm for the rest of her days. Paul has always remembered that when she was put out to pasture, her teammate would always lead her so she could drink from a safe place at the stream, avoid walking into the barbed wire fence, and enjoy shade beneath an elm tree.
One day in 1973, Paul took a backcountry ski trip from the top of Rigaud Mountain to his home on the farm. By chance, he skied through a maple woodlot where he found two white horses standing beside a maple sugar shack, and took the photograph above.
This photograph stimulated Paul to write a poem about Nellie and Winston. Even though Nellie had died before Winston arrived on the farm, Paul used poetic licence to harness them together in the poem where they became "a well-matched team." When completed, the poem was tossed into a drawer to join Paul’s other occasional poems.
Thirty years after writing this poem, Paul heard a song on CBC Radio by singer-songwriter-playwright Marie-Lynn Hammond about a naughty chestnut mare. He wrote Marie-Lynn, saying, “Chestnut Mare is a wonderful song! In return, I’ve attached the lyrics to a someday song titled Nellie and Winston. I want to share our love for horses.”
Marie-Lynn loved the poem and asked Paul's permission to make some changes, such as writing a chorus and a coda for it, so she could turn it into a song. Paul readily agreed. The song was then recorded by Tom Leighton at Beechwood House and aired on Shelagh Rogers’ CBC Radio program Sounds Like Canada. Dozens of people wrote in to say how much they had been moved by it. Some of these listeners had themselves rescued old horses at auction. One woman wrote that she was crying so hard by the end of the first chorus she had to pull her truck over to the side of the road since she couldn't see to drive. And they all wanted to buy copies.
Two Old White Horses
Marie-Lynn Hammond (SOCAN), music
Two Old White Horses
Winston had worked all his life in a town / pulling the bread wagons up hill and down
Chorus: Two old white horses tied up by a gate / nervously sniffing the air
Nellie and Winston came into the pen / while the auctioneer started his chanting again
Now sometimes I’ll harness them up for the day / to haul a few logs or a few bales of hay
Coda: Two old white horses now amble and graze / in the warmth of the late summer sun