Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2] [3]


Origin: Barges (Girl Scout song)

DigiTrad:
BARGES
CANOE PADDLE
EACH CAMPFIRE LIGHTS ANEW
GIRL SCOUTS TOGETHER
HERE WE ARE
I CAN SAIL
I LOVE THE DAFFODILS
MAKE NEW FRIENDS
OUR CHALET
PEACE I ASK OF THEE OH RIVER
RISE AND SHINE
TALL TIMBERS
WE ARE CALLED THE GIRL SCOUTS
WEAVE
WHEN E'RE YOU MAKE A PROMISE
WHO CAN SAIL


Related threads:
Old Girl Scout Songs (119)
(origins) Origins: folk song - Living in tents and cabins (6)
Lyr Req: The Green Cathedral (Johnstone, Hahn) (45)
Lyr Req: Ramblin' Man (Iowa Girl Scout song?) (3)
Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager (52)
Origins: On the Loose (camp song)-author/publisher (17)
Lyr Req: the girl scout song Sailin' Away (19)
Lyr Req: Castles in Tovishka? (Toviska) (21)
Lyr Req: Girl Scout witchcraft song (20)
(origins) Origins: I am a rover, rolling along (The Rover) (16)
(origins) Origins: Walk With Me (Kanga's Song) (9)
Lyr Req: L-o-double l-i-p-o-p spells lollipop (27)
Lyr Req: Guess How I Feel (Sometimes) (13)
Lyr Req: Once a Giant Came a-Wandering (13)
Lyr Req: May all your dreams bloom like daisies (15)
Lyr Req: Suitors (O Le Le O Bahia) (trad. Brazil) (31)
Lyr Req: A Ram Sam Sam (30)
Lyr Req: Adoreo? / Sarasponda (camp song) (11) (closed)
Lyr Req: Swinging Along (Gladys Jacobs) scout song (5)
Origins: Sarasponda (child's/Girl Scout song) (31)
Lyr Add: Spider's Web (58)
(origins) Origins: White Coral Bells/White Choral Bells (116)
Lyr Req: Tumba ta Tumba (21)
Lyr Req: I Want to Linger (camp song)^^^ (34)
info Lumi sticks (41)
(origins) Lyr Req: Who Can Sail/Vem kan segla (37)
Lyr Req: Atacatanuba / Okkitokkiunga (20)
(origins) Origins: Mr. Moon, Mr. Moon - Origins (4)
Lyr Req: Peace of the River (G Gosling, V Wood) (33)
Girl Scout songs - from the fading ditto sheets... (24)
Lyr Req: Girl Scout Blues (4)
Lyr Req: Baby Owlet (60)
another girl scout tune about cabin by a stream (41)
Lyr Add: Falco Volava (Italian Scout song) (8)
Lyr Req: Spider's Web (Girl Scout song) (46)
Lyr ADD: Ging Gang Goolie (Robert Baden-Powell ??) (70)
LyrADD: I Love the Mountains/Daffodils/Flowers (12)
Lyr Req: Little Johnny England (15)
Lyr Req: The Birch Tree (Russian) (40)
Name of this song? (Land of the Silver Birch) (25)
(origins) Origin: Weave (Rosemary Crow) (32)
Girl Scouts singing grace (22)
(origins) Origins: & Lyr Req: 'River in my Heart'-camp song? (14)
Req:girl scout song-trees along black river/water (5)
Brownies, Scouts, Boys/Girls Brigade (35)
Lyr Req: Children of the wind - scouting (2)
Anybody remember 'Spider's Web' ? (10) (closed)
Lyr Add: Origins??? Scout Song Runboy (1)
BS: Help Girl Scouts stay inclusive of all! (76)
Help: Barges (2) (closed)
Req: Cowboy song - 'Web like a spider's web' (7) (closed)
The 'geriatric' girl scout (8)
(origins) Origin: Barges (9) (closed)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Barges


Theresa 01 Dec 98 - 12:02 AM
Joe Offer 04 Dec 98 - 04:20 AM
Debbie Vespo 17 Nov 99 - 05:07 PM
Marion 18 Nov 99 - 11:26 AM
Joe Offer 07 Nov 02 - 02:56 PM
sed 07 Nov 02 - 03:16 PM
Joe Offer 23 Jan 03 - 07:55 PM
GUEST 24 Aug 03 - 08:19 PM
GUEST 25 Aug 03 - 03:22 AM
running.hare 25 Aug 03 - 05:55 PM
bet 25 Aug 03 - 09:50 PM
LadyJean 26 Aug 03 - 12:36 AM
GUEST,Brynna 20 Oct 03 - 07:51 PM
LadyJean 21 Oct 03 - 01:09 AM
GUEST,Kendra 23 Oct 03 - 02:07 PM
GUEST,Kendra 23 Oct 03 - 02:08 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Oct 03 - 02:55 PM
GUEST 07 Nov 03 - 09:35 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Nov 03 - 09:39 PM
GUEST,Heidi 23 Jan 04 - 01:20 PM
GUEST,Pearl GSBLC PA 26 Feb 04 - 10:05 AM
Jen M 26 Feb 04 - 06:02 PM
GUEST,Emily (An ex-girl scout) 20 Mar 04 - 11:55 PM
GUEST,English GG 11 Apr 04 - 12:31 AM
GUEST,Kim 26 Jun 04 - 11:11 PM
Joe Offer 15 Jul 04 - 05:29 PM
Jen M 15 Jul 04 - 11:00 PM
Joe Offer 16 Jul 04 - 12:55 PM
Jen M 16 Jul 04 - 06:13 PM
GUEST,Carol Lee 09 Aug 04 - 11:23 PM
GUEST,Jillian 06 Oct 04 - 10:38 AM
Joe Offer 06 Oct 04 - 11:30 AM
GUEST,why? 07 Oct 04 - 09:54 AM
Joe Offer 08 Oct 04 - 03:41 AM
GUEST,Jo Frey 16 Oct 04 - 01:18 AM
GUEST, Jo Frey 16 Oct 04 - 01:29 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Oct 04 - 02:47 PM
masato sakurai 16 Oct 04 - 09:31 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Oct 04 - 11:09 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Oct 04 - 11:37 PM
GUEST,GUEST Fozzie 31 Mar 05 - 08:38 PM
GUEST,Gwen 20 Jul 05 - 10:41 PM
GUEST,Mary May 22 Jul 05 - 11:53 PM
GUEST,Necole Hurley 24 Dec 05 - 07:32 PM
GUEST,An ex-girl scout 13 Mar 06 - 08:54 PM
GUEST,happy camper 14 Mar 06 - 12:48 AM
Anne Lister 14 Mar 06 - 06:45 PM
GUEST 20 Apr 06 - 04:56 PM
Joe Offer 21 Apr 06 - 01:30 AM
GUEST,Guest 21 Apr 06 - 07:45 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Origin of BARGES (Girl Scout Song)
From: Theresa
Date: 01 Dec 98 - 12:02 AM

Can anyone help me find the origin of "Barges"? It's been sung by American Girl Scouts and English Girl Guides for decades, and the lyrics are here in Digitrad. Several legends exist, but I'd like to find some factual information about its background. Thanks

Theresa
ThDanks@aol.com


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of Barges
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Dec 98 - 04:20 AM

Any Girl Guides here who can tell us the story?
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of
From: Debbie Vespo
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 05:07 PM

I heard the story goes like this. There was a little girl who was confined to a wheelchair. All she could do was sit by her window and watch the barges go down the mighty Mississippi. She would imagine where these barges were going and wish she could go with them. I know there's more to the story, but that's all I remember.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of BARGES
From: Marion
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 11:26 AM

I learned this song in Girl Guides too. And the rumour at the time was that it was written by a Guide on her sickbed. I can't attest for the historicity of this, of course.

More popular among us was this version, presumably written by another little girl:

Out of my tent flap, glowing in the night
You can see the leaders' cigarette light
Silently flows the whiskey from its flask
As the leaders do go for a blast

Leaders, I would like to go with you
I would like to share your whiskey too
Leaders, are there boy scouts in your bed?
Are you prepared for the night ahead?

Do we need a new thread on songs for brats?

Marion


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Nov 02 - 02:56 PM

The tune is here (click) at Guiding UK and soon will be added to Mudcat MIDIs. As far as I can determine, the Girl Scouts of the U.S. added it to the 1973 edition of their Sing Together songbook, and had not published it before. They list it as "Source Unknown." My sister, who sometimes forgets to admit she is nearly as old as I am, sang "Barges" at Camp Singing Hills in Southeast Wisconsin in 1960, but she thinks she may have learned it at Brownie Day Camp the year before.
-Joe Offer-
The UK Girl Guide parody is a bit tamer than the one posted above.

Out of my tent flap, looking through the night,
I can see Guiders gathered round the light,
Drinking wine and colouring their hair,
And was it me, or did they swear?

Guiders, I would like to stay with you,
I would like to have some privileges too.
Guiders, have you cookies that you hold,
Do you fight with Scouters, brave and bold?

Out of my tent flap, looking through the night,
I can see the Guiders, having a fight,
Somebody throws a pillow through the air,
And there goes someone's underwear.

Guiders, I don't want to stay with you,
You would probably leave me black and blue!
Guiders keep those cookies that you hold,
While you fight with Scouters, brave and bold!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: sed
Date: 07 Nov 02 - 03:16 PM

It is a charming song and rather contagious. I learned it back in the seventies when I was performing in lots of schools in Alabama.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: ADD Version: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Jan 03 - 07:55 PM

I found these lyrics in a couple of U.S. Girl Scout songbooks. The lyrics are just slightly different from what's in the Digital Tradition. Note that the Girl Scout version does not have the second chorus that's shown in the DT, and I really like that second chorus:
Barges, I would like to go with you
I would like to sail the ocean blue
Barges, on the river you may roam
On the river, always, you're at home
You'll find a link to the tune at the top of this page.
I'm still looking for source information on this song. The Girl Scouts say "source unknown."
-Joe Offer-


BARGES
(Source Unknown)

Out of my window, looking in the night
I can see the barges' flickering light;
Silently flows the river to the sea
And the barges too go silently
CHORUS
Barges, I would like to go with you
I would like to sail the ocean blue
Barges, have you treasures in your hold?
Do you fight with pirates, brave and bold?
Out of my window, looking in the night
I can see the barges' flickering light;
Starboard shines green and port is glowing red
You can see them flickering far ahead.
CHORUS

Source: Sing Together: A Girl Scout Songbook, Third Edition, 1973, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.
Exact same lyrics are in Chansons de Notre Chalet, Fifth Edition (1971), published by Cooperative Recreation Service, Inc., Delaware, Ohio.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Aug 03 - 08:19 PM

I learned the song at Sarah Heinz House Camp in the 1960's (it was considered an old song then!). It is not just a "girl scout song." The story I heard was that it was written by a little boy (sick? dying? crippled?) in Paris, about the barges he could see from his window on the River Seine.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Aug 03 - 03:22 AM

The version I learnt was the same as that above but the story I was told was that it was written by a jewish girl/boy confined in one of the safe houses in Holland. The treasure was other Jews escaping from Holland and the Pirates were the Germans who all too often caught them.

I was taught it at the same time as Donna Donna another song about the persecution of the Jews but I have no idea if it is true or not.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: running.hare
Date: 25 Aug 03 - 05:55 PM

The "ledgend" I heard was of a dieing boy who was room bound but had a veiw out over the river & sea behond. but with these varius 'versions' It seems more like urban-myths than origins!

As to parrodies the local version (which I no-longer pass down the generations, being a guider myself now ;)) goes like this:

"Out of my tent flap looking in the night
I can see the Guiders Cigerette light,
Siently flows the whiskey to the glass,
As the guiders have their fun at last,
Guiders I would like to be with you,
I would like to share your whiskey too,
Guiders have you scouters in your beds?
Are You planning for nine months ahead???"

I have aso heard it sung with the whiskey flowing to the lips, as the guiders show off bums and t....omatoes!!!

I will be adding the other versions as exta verses :D
Thanks all.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: bet
Date: 25 Aug 03 - 09:50 PM

I learned this song around 1955 I think.   When I moved to the school I am now teaching in they had a really old out-dated series of books that they were teaching out of. I was delight to find this song in the 3rd or 4th grade book (I'm getting OLD) and can't remember the series name or with grade level but I'll look in the morning and get back to you. I don't really know the origin but it was an old song when I learned it in Scouts. bet
    Hi, Bet - I checked our School Songbook Index Permathread, and didn't find "Barges." We have indexed dozens of books, but no "barges" in any of them. If you can tell us the name of the book that has the song, I'd really appreciate it. This song has been a puzzle here for a long time. I've seen it in print only in Girl Scout songbooks.
    Thanks.
    -Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: LadyJean
Date: 26 Aug 03 - 12:36 AM

I don't remember all of it, but I do remember part of the song we sang at Camp Riamo:
    "Campers, I would like to go with you!
    I would like to torture counselors too.
    Campers, are there pitchforks in your tent?
    Do you fight with counselors old and bent?"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Brynna
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 07:51 PM

the story I have been told by many is that it's about a girl guide that was dying. She was in her hospital bed which had a view of the river, from there she watched the barges. She started writing the song but before she finished it she passed away, therefor that is why you humm the third verse. though I dont' know if many people do that anymore.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: LadyJean
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 01:09 AM

From Camp Riamo, Farmington PA

Out of my tent flap looking in the night
I can see the flashlights' flickering light.
Noisily go the campers to the john,
and the counsellors too go yelling on.
Campers I would like to go with you,
I would like to torture counsellors too.
Campers are there pitchforks in your tent?
Do you fight with counsellors old and bent?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Kendra
Date: 23 Oct 03 - 02:07 PM

I'm a girl guide from Canada and we learned that the song was writen by a little girl who was dying and could only see the barges from her hospital window too. Although I dont know if it was a view of the river.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Kendra
Date: 23 Oct 03 - 02:08 PM

Oh and we do still hum the third verse


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Oct 03 - 02:55 PM

Story probably fakelore. But one to add a note of sadness to the singing by the girls.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Nov 03 - 09:35 PM

BARGES


Out of my window looking in the night
I can see the barges flickering light
Silently flows the river to the sea
And the barges too go silently

chorus:
Barges, I would like to go with you
I would like to sail the ocean blue
Barges, have you treasures in your hold?
Do you fight with pirates brave and bold?

Out of my window looking in the night
I can see the barges flickering light
Starboard shines green and port is glowing red
I can see the barges far ahead

chorus

How I would love to sail away with you
As you sail across the ocean blue
but I must stay beside my window drear
As I watch you sail away from here.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Nov 03 - 09:39 PM

Nice version, guest. Any information about it? Seems to me that someone should come up with an author.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Heidi
Date: 23 Jan 04 - 01:20 PM

I don't remember all of it, but one year when I went to Camp Laurel (CT) my leader, learning that Barges was my favorite song, sang me a version meant for leaders. Here's the part that I remember and I would love if someone could tell me how the rest of it goes:

Out of my tent flap,
Looking in the night,
I can see the campers getting in a fight.
(forgot....)

Campers, I would like to go to bed,
I would like to rest my weary head.
Campers, You know you must obey the rules.
Oh why couldn't you go to summer school?

I remember there was a verse about "cots are flying right" but I forget if it was the first or last verse. In hindsight, I wish I remembered it, as I could have put it to very good use when I finally became a GS camp counselor myself...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Pearl GSBLC PA
Date: 26 Feb 04 - 10:05 AM

I was told of the sick girl in a wheelchair watching the OHIO river go by out her window. (Maybe being from Western Pa a small change)

My own girls in the troop has used this tune to write many versions of thier favorite song but they allways sing the original first (both verses memorised) We have a FLUSHIEs version for backpacking, a cookie sale version, a counselor version for camp and a horseback version. They may have made up more by now.

counselors version

Out of my tentflap looking in the night
I can see the counselors flickering light
Curlers in her hair and cold cream on her face
She can scare a turtle to a very fast pace

counselors I would like to go with you
I would like to see the Boy Scouts too
Counselors have you candy in your hold
do you fight with campers brave and bold

Latrine version

out of my tentflap looking in the night
I can see the latrines flickering light
Sides are painted brown and hands around the side
I can smell someone left the lid open wide

(Chorus)
Flushies, I would like to take you
back to my camsite yes I do
Flushies there is room in my tent
and I would't make you pay any rent.

Squating dowm low and peeing in a hole
right next to me is a toilet paper roll
It's the worse I've ever smelled and the worse I've ever been
right now I could really use a latrine. (chorus)


See what versions your girls can come up with. Enjoy a couple of ours.
YIGGS Pearl


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: Jen M
Date: 26 Feb 04 - 06:02 PM

Pearl, interesting- at Camp Trefoil (Near Butler PA) I was taught the sick girl in South Africa story.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Emily (An ex-girl scout)
Date: 20 Mar 04 - 11:55 PM

I heard it was a girl, confined to her bed, in a hospital a long time ago. I believe I head that she had cancer, or another long-term disease. She used to lie in her bed at night and look out the window to the river, near the part where it emptied into the ocean. She could see the barges and hear their horns blow. She wrote the song, but died before she could finish. The story says that a girl scout finished the song, thus making it a Girl Scout tradition. But that was just at my camp, in the Bay Area in 1998. We didn't make up new, humurous versions because it was always kind of a sad, serious, and beautiful song for us. I cannot guarantee the authenticity of my version of the origin, but this is what I heard it was.
-Emily


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,English GG
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 12:31 AM

Same again, as an English Girl Guide in the late 70's we were told by our Guider about a sick girl lyng in bed watching the barges etc but we didn't hum the last verse - I'm glad as it was always very poignant and sad enough and never failed to have all those late evening, glorious outdoors, ebbing campfire, tired kid emotions overwhelm me to tears as it was!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Kim
Date: 26 Jun 04 - 11:11 PM

Out of my tent flap looking in the night
I can see the counselors having a fight
Suddenly there's a pillow in the air
And the stuffing and feathers go everywhere

Counsellors I would like to go with you
I would like to throw a pillow or two
Counsellors have you candy in your tent
Do you fight with boy scouts brave and bent

Out of my tent flap looking in the night
I can see the counselors having a fight
Suddenly there's a suitcase in the air
And the bras and undies go everywhere

Counsellors I would like to go with you
I would like to throw a suitcase or two
Counsellors have you candy in your tent
Do you fight with boy scouts brave and bent

Out of my tent flap looking in the night
I can see the counselors having a fight
Suddenly there's a body in the air
And the blood and guts go everywhere

Counsellors I would like to go with you
I would like to throw a body or two
Counsellors have you candy in your tent
Do you fight with boy scouts brave and bent


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Jul 04 - 05:29 PM

All this, and still no information on the origins of this song?
O Great Girl Guide Guru in the sky, enlighten us!!
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: Jen M
Date: 15 Jul 04 - 11:00 PM

the Our Chalet Songbook 1974 has Barges with no credit. The Sangam Songbook 1997 credits "From "Sing Together: A Girl Scout Songbook", 1973 while "Jubilee Songbook" 1993, Girl Guides of Canada, says it is public domain. Unfortunately, I allowed someone to borrow my Sing Together and never got it back so I can't tell if that book lists an author. The "sick girl" stories have been around since the 60's that I know of. I've requested info from the GS-USA, we'll see if they can answer.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Jul 04 - 12:55 PM

Hi, Jen - as I said above, the earliest printed version I've seen is the 1973 Sing Together, which is the third edition of the book - no attribution given there. It's not in the first edition (1949). I don't have the second edition.
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: Jen M
Date: 16 Jul 04 - 06:13 PM

It seems that there was a legend about this song that it was written by the Girl Scout who was very ill in a hospital that overlooked a river. She wrote the song about barges she watched for many hours.

Here;s the response from National Girl Scout Headquarters.

In response to that legend, there is a letter from Mrs. John Rivoire, Assistant to Director, National Equipment Services, from May 4, 1977 that says, "According to our records, the words and music were by an unknown camp counselor. The song is in the public domain and…appears in Sing Together on p. 96….I'm sorry we can't confirm the charming story…"



Hope this answers your question.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Carol Lee
Date: 09 Aug 04 - 11:23 PM

I now live in a house in Memphis overlooking the Mississippi River and sang "Barges" as a Girl Scout some 35 years ago. Interestingly enough, not one of my acquaintances knows of this beautiful song. As I watch the barges at night (yes, out of my window) with their starboard and port lights making the crescent bend through Memphis, I sing the song with many fond memories of innocence, wanderlust and friendship.

Do today's Girl Scouts still sing "Barges?"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Jillian
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 10:38 AM

Hi! I'm from Canada and we sang this lovely song at our summer camp. Our version goes like this:

Out of my window looking in the night
I can see the barges' flickering light.
Silently flows the river to the sea
and the barges do go silently.

   Chorus:
   Barges I would like to go with you
   I would like to sail the ocean blue.
   Barges have you treasures in your hold
   Do you fight with pirates brave and bold.

Out of my window looking in the night
I can see the barges' flickering light.
Starboard shines green and port is glowing red
I can see the barges from my bed.

Out of my window looking in the night
I can see the barges' flickering light.
steadily bound for a far away shore
I wonder what they're searching for.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 11:30 AM

Your last verse concludes it very nicely, Jillian. The usual two verses don't seem to be quite enough.
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,why?
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 09:54 AM

I was looking for the origins of the song for a project when I came across your site. Why are other people interested? Is it just because it's a lovely song? Did anyone find the answers they were looking for elsewhere?

I'm desperate to know! tee hee!
Jillian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Oct 04 - 03:41 AM

Hi, Jillian - it's a song that's widely known, and yet we haven't been able to find any trace of its origin. A number of us here really enjoy tracing the roots of a song. So far, we've been unsuccessful on this one.
But we're not likely to give up. It's a fascinating puzzle.
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Jo Frey
Date: 16 Oct 04 - 01:18 AM

I grew up a Camp Fire Girl (changed to simply "Camp Fire" while I was growing up), and we sang "Barges" every summer at Camp Kilowan,
near Falls City, Oregon (I attended from 1978-1989, missing only the summer of 1987).

We were told that this song was written by a little girl dying of leukemia in a hospital room overlooking the Columbia River.

Every night, from her bed, she would watch the barges go down the river, and she wrote the first two verses and the chorus.

After her death, her nurse wrote the final verse for her.

This is how WE sang it, in two-part harmony:

Out of my window, looking in the night,
I can see the barges flickering light.
Silently flow the waters to the sea,
And the barges, too, go silently.

chorus:
Barges, I would like to go with you;
I would like to sail the ocean blue.
Barges, have you treasures in your hold?
Do you fight with pirates brave and bold?

Out of my window, looking in the night,
I can see the barges' flickering light.
Starboard shines green, and port is glowing red---
I can see your signals far ahead.

chorus

How I would love to sail away with you---
I would like to sail the ocean blue.
But I must stay beside my window drear
As I watch you sail away from here.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST, Jo Frey
Date: 16 Oct 04 - 01:29 AM

I made a mistake when posting last (that'll teach me to cut-n-paste instead of writing them from scratch!). The third verse of my version, reputedly written by the nurse of the dying girl, actually goes as follows:

How my heart longs to sail away with you---
I would like to sail the ocean blue.
But I must stay here by my window drear
As I watch you sail away from here.

Thanks for your patience... and thanks for having this discussion in the first place! It's neat to hear all the different versions! :D


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Oct 04 - 02:47 PM

The dying, bed-ridden or wheelchair-bound child watching barges story has been told by several generations of camp story-tellers, as posted several times above, but no facts given to lift it above folklore.

Jen M (post above), following inquiry to National Girl Scout Hq., found that it was by an "unknown camp counselor." It seems that we can't get beyond that. No date was attached. Joe Offer's sister (post above) admitted to hearing it in 1960; that and a possible 1955 seem to be the earliest dates found.
Locale of the story varies from France and The Netherlands to South Africa to the Mississippi to Washington-Oregon. Any others?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 16 Oct 04 - 09:31 PM

According to Brunnings' Folk Song Index, "Barges" is in Marion A. Roberts' Chansons de Notre Chalet (Delaware, Ohio; Co-operative Recreation Service, 1968).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Oct 04 - 11:09 PM

"Chansons de Notre Chalet" was put out by the Girl Guides of Canada as well as Cooperative Recreation Service: 3rd printing in 1962, 5th in 1971. Could not find date of first printing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Oct 04 - 11:37 PM

Scouts Canada current songbook-
"Campfire Song Book," Ca$9.99. Item # 20627.
Order through www.scouts.ca/inside.asp?cmPageID=236
Catalogue


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,GUEST Fozzie
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 08:38 PM

Hey...the post by (Guest) Jo Frey caught my eye...she and I attended Camp Kilowan for a number of the same years. I am a little older than her...my first summer there was 1973, and I went every year until 1984. I recall the same lyrics, word for word, but the story I remember about the third verse was that it was supposed to have been written by her mother, not a nurse, after the girl's death.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Gwen
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 10:41 PM

I learned this haunting song at Camp Newaygo (Michigan) in the 1970s. Since my oldest daughter has learned to talk, she has requested I sing it to her every night. She is now nine (this song has staying power!) The lyrics to the version I learned are as follows:

Out of my window, looking in the night
I can see the barges flickering light.
Lighting up the water from the river to the see
As the barges to go silently.

Barges, I would like to go with you
I would like to sail the ocean blue.
Barges, do you carry any gold
Do you fight with pirates brave and bold.

Starboard shines green and port is glowing red
As the barges do go far ahead.
Lighting up the water from the river to the sea
As the barges do go silently.

Chorus repeats

I think that when I sing this song to both of my school- (and camp-) age daughters they can feel the good spirit of Camp Newaygo channelling through the melody.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Mary May
Date: 22 Jul 05 - 11:53 PM

Hi there. I love seeing all the various histories of this wonderful song. I grew up as a Guide and am now a Guider here in Canada. The version of the story we learned growing up is very similiar but based out of London England. In the version I learned it was a British Girl Guide dying of leukemia and watching the barges on the Thames from her hospital bed. We still hum the third verse as a tribute to this unknown girl. It is a beautiful song and my two girls who are now in Guides themselves love to sing this song. I have yet to meet a Girl Guide who didn't love it!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Necole Hurley
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 07:32 PM

I was looking for the origins to another GS song and found this thread. I know it's an old thread, but I wanted to add one piece of the legend as I'd been told at an international Wider Opportunity (now Destination) in North Carolina in 1993. All of the Scouts and Guids present knew the basic story, but the additional part that was added was that the girl's parents had four verses (I'll search for what I know as the fourth) and had separated them across the country with the hope that the four verses wouldn't be sung as one song (or in the "written" order) as their daughter never got to sing it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,An ex-girl scout
Date: 13 Mar 06 - 08:54 PM

This was my favorite song from girl scout camp and I was just looking for it as my dad plays folk song on guitar. It was still being sung in the early 90's when I went to camp and the story was much the same. Our version, however, was a wheelchair bound girl on the St. Laurence (being from northern VT).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,happy camper
Date: 14 Mar 06 - 12:48 AM

Here's the real story; I know because I was told it by the canoeing instructor, Paddly Whitmore, who knew everything. This was at Kamp Kwagmire. The song was composed by a one-time counsellor at that very camp, but before this counsellor could finish the last verse, he was surprised by the mad axe-murderer of Algonquin Park. The counsellor's body was never found, and on certain nights, it was said, he would come prowling around the camp looking for that last verse - or his head; there was some disagreement on that point.

Of course, I went to a boys' camp, which might explain some of the discrepancy between this true story and some of the other not-so-true accounts. Apparently girls had to be sheltered from the hard, cold facts. In those days, anyway.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: Anne Lister
Date: 14 Mar 06 - 06:45 PM

I remember singing this as a UK Girl Guide, back in the 60s. I was sure I had a copy in print from then, but have just sorted through all of my songbooks and it's not there - not even in the Chansons de Notre Chalet.   I also remember the story of the dying child - I always thought of this child as being in the Netherlands, but that might just be because of canals and barges.

Wish I could come up with an origin!

Anne (Lister)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 04:56 PM

I've sung this song at a camp many times. The story was that there was a little girl lying in her bed, watching the barges go by. She was bored and lonely a lot of the time, so she wrote this song to pass by her time. She wrote two verses, but halfway through the song she passed away from her leukemia, never got to finish the third one. I'm actually pretty sure there was no axe-murderer involved...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Apr 06 - 01:30 AM

No, the axe-murderer was only in the boys' version...

It's one of many songs that were written by counselors at camps I've attended (well, "Barges" was written at Girl Scout Camp Singing Hills, which my sister attended). It's really upsetting, 45 years later, to hear people say that the same songs were written by counselors at their camp. I know it's not true, since I personally knew the counselors who wrote those songs. Heck, I'm sure I wrote some of them myself - I just can't remember which ones.

-Joe Offer, who has been to camp about 40 of his 57 years-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin of: BARGES (Girl Scout song)
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 21 Apr 06 - 07:45 AM

I learnt this song as a New Zealand Girl guide in the early 1980's and now sing it often with my daughters. I too was told the story of the sick girl watching the barges on the Thames, in England and writing the song. I actually googled a seach (finding this site) as I was eager to discover its true origin....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 16 December 5:00 PM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.