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Gimme the Light of the Campfire

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I just saw a singing spectacular that rivals our Gettysburg BINGO episode.


I was at OGE's woodbadge beading ceremony. (CONGRATS OGE!!! YOU ROCK!!!) Well, anyway, for all of you Woodbadgers, you know what I'll be talking about...anyway everyone else just imagine.


Well, the Woodbadgers get up and sing a little song about Woodbadge and Gillwell and then each of the patrols get up and sing their verse. We have all these guys singing and the bigger groups, like the eagle and the buffalo do this rockette-esque leg kick which was seriously the funniest thing I have ever seen!!!


I had to share my story (CampfireFairy and Campaholic, I'll act it out for you later). And again congrats to the awesome OGE!!

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Our paddles clean and bright,

flashing like silver,

swift as the wild goose flight,

dip, dip and swing.


Dip, dip and swing them back,

flashing like silver,

swift as the wild goose flight,

dip, dip, and swing.


Thanks for the memory.



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OT- I can indeed picture a rockette-esque kick, as you described it, being performed by OGE and the like, and I'll bet it was hilarious! What a coincidence that it's a rockette-esque kick and Mistah L is... well, I won't say... ;)


OGE- I'm sorry I couldn't make it to your beating- I mean, beading ceremony, but my grandparents needed me to help them out again with some things. Congrats!


MK- "I also love to sing all the patriotic songs. And most everyone either knows the words, or can fake them well enough to get by until they learn them for real." ...........I am a very good faker :p


Adrian- spontaneous singing is the best ;)


SMT- I think singing campfire songs is a good 75-80% of the campfire fun. Boys are silly, and you can tell your kids I said so... not that that'll mean anything to them... :)

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With todays modern Scouts it is important to choose songs they can relate to as well as the traditional ones. A favorite around here in San Diego is:


Ghost Chickens in the Sky

(To the tune of "Ghost Riders in the Sky")


A chicken farmer went walking out one dark and fateful day

He rested by the coop as he went on along his way

When all at once a rotten egg hit him in the eye

It was the sight he dreaded

Ghost chickens in the sky!


Bok bok bok BOK

Bok bok BOK

The ghost chickens in the sky


The farmer had raised chickens since he was 24

A-working for the Colonel for twenty years or more

Killing all those chickens and sending them to fry

Now they want revenge...

Ghost chickens in the sky.


Bok bok bok BOK

Bok bok BOK

The ghost chickens in the sky


Their feet were black and shiny, their eyes were burning red

They had no meat or feathers, these chickens all were dead

They carried off the farmer and he died by the claw

They cooked him extra crispy

And ate him with cole slaw


Bok bok bok BOK

Bok bok BOK

The ghost chickens in the sky!


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  • 1 year later...

I believe the song goes:


America, America

How can I tell you how I feel

You have given me many treasures

I love you so


However, I'm trying to find out about the story behind this song. I remember hearing the story in a really well done eagle project / flag retirement, but can't remember it fully. I believe the words were found on the body of an eagle scout who died in Vietnam while flying a medic helicopter. Can anyone confirm this or correct me?

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Just a couple notes from another enthusiastic but terribly untalented camp-fire singer...


1.) The BSA also offers a CD to learn along with, and quite a few of the old favorites can be found somewhere on-line to listen to or download- often without copy-right. Somewhere on-line, for example, I found some recordings done at Philmont campfires of popular camp songs.


2.) When it comes ot singing camp fire songs, willingness and enthusiasm trump talent. Sing proud.. unless you make other people's ears bleed, then sing more quietly.


3.) Most campfire songs become old favorites BECAUSE they are easy to pick up. You'll know most of the oldies in a few campfires.

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OK, one more time ! -


Young folks, old folks, everybody come.

Join the Boy Scout Sunday School and have a lot of fun.

Please check your chewing gum and razors at the door,

And hear some Bible stories that you never heard before."


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The world was made in six days and finished on the seventh

According to the contract it should have been the eleventh

But the union called a strike and the workers wouldn't work

So the only thing that they could do was fill it up with dirt


When they finished with the firmament they started on the sky

They hung it overhead and they left it there to dry

They studded it with stars made of pretty angel's eyes

To give us a little light when the moon forgot to rise

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Now, when the earth was finished in this awful dirty way,

It took the Lord a long time for to find Himself some clay;

He fashioned Mr. Adam out of a big mud pie,

And set him up along the fence to let the feller dry.


Adam was the first man that ever was invented.

He lived all alone and never was contented.

They made him out of mud in the days gone by,

And hung him on the fence in the sun to dry.


Along came Eve and they had a great battle.

She climbed up a tree and knocked down an apple.

She knocked down two and they each had one,

and ever since then the trouble has begun.


Along came Eve with a basket of fruit;

Adam winked at her and thought she was mighty cute;

So she picked up some apples and they each had one,

And ever since then the trouble has begun.


Adam was the first man, Eve was his spouse;

They lived in the garden in a pretty little house.

Everything was cozy 'till the first son came;

Then they moved to the suburbs and started raising Cain.

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Adam was the first man, and he lived all alone,

Til Eve was manufactured out of Adam's collar bone;

They went into the garden to pick a bowl of fruit,

And all that they got was the order of the boot.


Adam was the first man that ever was invented

Along came Eve and then he was contented

Then came the Serpent, knocking at the door

Eve et the apple and Adam et the core


Adam was the first man, we all do believe

He had a wife and her name was Eve

She was fair to look upon, and oh how she could dance

And her dress was made of shredded wheat, and so were Adam's pants


Adam was a quiet very easy-going man

He didn't chew tobacco and he didn't rush the can

But he stole a watermelon which he hadn't orter done

He heard the cop a-comin' and you should have seen him run


Adam was the first man, and Eve was the other.

Cain was a wicked man, 'cause he killed his brother.

Old Mother Eve couldn't sleep without her piller

And the strongest man that ever lived was Jack the Giant Killer.


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In our troop, when the boys get old enough to go on our high adventure trips (we rotate Philmont, Northern Tier, Sea Base, and Jambo) we provide them with a "lung powered, energy efficient, pocket radio". (That's right, we stole an idea from the old Woodbadge course...) The boys love it, they can pull any song, any time they want. The "radio" is 4.25" X 11", has 2 custom bent metal antentae (they are called staples for those of you with no imagination). The boys love it, the adults do too. This summer as the ran around Jambo, they developed this top 10 list, take it away Casey Cassem...


10 - The Quartermaster's Store

9 - It Ain't Gonna Rain No More

8 - On Top of Spaghetti

7 - Pink Pajamas

6 - I love the Mountains (we have our own version that talks

about local vegetation)

5 - The Canoe Song

4 - If I Weren't a Boy Scout

3 - Ain't That Funky

2 - Robert Baden-Powell

1 - Malu Malu Malu


You'll notice most of these are not serious, most have actions, or dance steps, and the boys love them. Rather than saying let's sing (insert song name here), their radios have the songs numbered (there are about 30 songs for each annual update of the radio), and they tell each other which song to sing by deciding on "channels". You'll hear things like "OK scouts and scouters, tune your radio to channel 24... ready? 1, 2, 3, 4..."


Hope this helps.

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