- -Good gosh and golly aren’t our rivers GREAT! I mean they are dangerous and people die in them all the time but still.
- -A detailed explanation of a forest animals life that only slightly anthropomorphizes the animal.
- -I totally rebelled against the moral rules of my parents but now that I am an adult THEY WERE RIGHT ABOUT EVERYTHING and I will totally raise my kids the same way.
- -The prettiest girl in the area lives up that hill and I am going to go up there to court her even though her Daddy is ex-special forces and has trained all the birds on the mountain to spy for him and will probably kill me for trying.
- -PLOT TWIST, the pretty girl’s Daddy actually is a great guy and likes me but said pretty girl didn’t want to marry no stinking coward and told him to keep any out. Now we have five kids and he’s the best grandpa. (I am slightly afraid of my wife though)
- -I never shave or do anything to look attractive but my significant other loves me anyway. We plan on moving out to the country and living like hermits.
- -I went to Alaska to get rich and died of cold. My family down south will cry over my body.
- -I know all of my friends are worried about my hedonistic lifestyle but I don’t care, I don’t plan on living past 35 anyway.
- -I sure wish I had appreciated how much Daddy loved us all before he worked himself to death feeding us.
- -Did I mention how great our rivers are? Well our lakes are nice too.
- -Holey Moley isn’t that one specific river the BEST! It literally carried us from hunter/gatherer villages into the space age. (Please forget all the controversy over the giant dam.)
- -Mama loved us all deeply and expressed that love through rigid discipline. I still can feel that willow switch on my bottom.
- -To praise the merits of farm life I will mimic the sound of several dozen animals.
- -There used to be a LOT more salmon in the river, I bet it is the fault of whoever is in political power now and I will singe a thinly veiled metaphor for it that can be taken several ways so my song will sell no matter who is in power.
- -Grandma's house was a near magical place in the forest with all sorts of weird homemade food and we had great times there, sometimes she’d cry about missing Grandpa but she could probably kill a pig with her bare hands.
- -I went to the Alaska gold fields to get rich and escape my dull job. I got rich and came back south. Life as a rich man is pointless and dull. I deliberately let questionable women swindle me out of my money so I can go back to Alaska.
- -The forest is thick, the animals are dangerous, my best friend was killed by a cougar, still beats that horrible city job.
The folk music tradition in the Pacific Northwest (for those of you who don’t know that is the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska) is rich and varied. Despite some of the trite and common themes there are usually some deeply ironic twists that gives it its own special flavor. Some times looking back over the tunes you hummed as a child can be … interesting.
Betty Adams is an up and coming author with a bent for science and Sci-fi.