Old Pine

12 Sep

Once again I find myself apologizing for taking so much time to get back to writing about music. It is certainly not for lack of ideas or inspiration. I’ve been intending to write about the song “Old Pine” by Ben Howard for many months. Last January I sent myself an email message with a link to the lyrics to this song as a reminder that I needed to include the words of this song in my post. Well, this past weekend provided me with the push that I’ve been needing to get myself blogging again.

I was fortunate to go a very special overnight camp on Cape Cod with a wonderful group of girls/women. Last year it was the 50th anniversary of the camp and one bold camper/friend organized a reunion. I was only able to stay for the 1st night, as I had a wedding to attend that weekend, but how amazing it was to reconnect with so many inspiring women from my past. This past weekend I was able to stay through the weekend which meant that I did not have to miss campfire. For any of you who have gone to overnight camp, I’m sure you can agree that campfire is one of the most special times at camp. The songs, the rituals and the smells all become cemented into your soul in a powerful and emotional way. After my oldest camper year in 1985, the camp became co-ed and campfire became a slightly contentious issue that had to be sorted out. Wingate had her way of “doing” campfire and Kirkand had his way. The camp director at the time moved swiftly and with precision to appease both sides and come up with a solution that planted the seeds for a new set of traditions, rituals and songs for a new generation of campers. And what I learned this past weekend, is that even within our Wingate community, that there were different campfire traditions through the years. There were songs that some older campers sang that we never sang when I was there and vice versa. Which leads me to this song….

When I first heard “Old Pine”, I immediately thought of camp. The lyrics grabbed my sentimental side and wouldn’t let go. And it made me wonder… “what do they sing at campfire these days?” Had contemporary music made it onto the song sheets or were people still singing “Fire & Rain” and “Leaving on a Jet Plane”? If newer songs have a place in current campfire traditions, I am sure that people must be singing “Old Pine” somewhere.

Read the lyrics first and then take a look and a listen to the song.

  • Hot sand on toes, cold sand in sleeping bags,
  • I’ve come to know that memories
  • Were the best things you ever had
  • The summer shone beat down on bony backs
  • So far from home where the ocean stood
  • Down dust and pine cone tracks
  • We slept like dogs down by the fire side
  • Awoke to the fog all around us
  • The boom of summer time
  • [Chorus]
  • We stood
  • Steady as the stars in the woods
  • So happy-hearted
  • And the warmth rang true inside these bones
  • As the old pine fell we sang
  • Just to bless the morning.
  • Hot sand on toes, cold sand in sleeping bags,
  • I’ve come to know the friends around you
  • Are all you’ll always have
  • Smoke in my lungs, or the echoed stone
  • Careless and young, free as the birds that fly
  • With weightless souls now.
  • [Chorus x2]
  • We stood
  • Steady as the stars in the woods
  • So happy-hearted
  • And the warmth rang true inside these bones
  • We stood
  • Steady as the stars in the woods
  • So happy-hearted
  • And the warmth rang true inside these bones
  • As the old pine fell we sang
  • Just to bless the morning.
  • We grow, grow, steady as the morning
  • We grow, grow, older still
  • We grow, grow, happy as a new dawn
  • We grow, grow, older still
  • We grow, grow, steady as the flowers
  • We grow, grow, older still
  • We grow, grow, happy as a new dawn
  • We grow, grow, older still

 

 

One Response to “Old Pine”

  1. rob September 26, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

    All songs sound better on an acoustic guitar by a fire at camp. First place I go back to when a time machine is invented. Great song, nice find. We should get together some time. I know a place

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