About Me

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Lake Mathews (Perris), CA, United States
I am a native of Illinois and grew up in Wilmette, a northern suburb of Chicago. I have one sibling, an older brother. After dropping out of college, I moved to California in 1973 with my first husband. I married my present husband, Butch, in 1977 and got 4 children in the deal. They have gone on to make me a grandmother 25 times over and a great-grandmother of 19. Three years after I married Butch I returned to school. I got my bachelors and masters degrees in speech communication and was a professor in that field for 13 years. I retired in 2001 to return to school and get my doctorate in folklore. Now I meld my two interests - folklore and genealogy - and add my teaching background, resulting in my current profession: speaker/entertainer of genealogically-related topics. I play a number of folk instruments, but my preference is guitar, which I have been playing since 1963. I work in partnership with Gena Philibert-Ortega with Genealogy Journeys where we focus on educating folks about Social History. More about that can be found at http://genaandjean.blogspot.com and more about my own business projects is on my Circlemending website.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What's Your Song?

No, I did not mis-type "what's your sign." I asked, "what's your song?"

I met my husband following a square dance (he was learning to be a caller) and soon we were going to square dances every weekend (modern Western square dancing continues to be quite the activity, though our joints no longer allow us to partake). One of the "calls" he learned early on & became our favorite was based on the Country Western Song "Something about You Baby I Like." Without any fanfare, that became "our song." While that first line ("Maybe it's the way you wear your blue jeans so tight") no longer applies as it once did, when we hear that song, we still smile at each other!

Having "a song" is quite common. Often, at weddings, the couple or the DJ will announce the next tune as "their song." Do you have "a song"? Or, more to the point for this blog, did your ancestors? As I mentioned in a previous post, many of our ancestors played musical instruments, but I wonder if they also had "a song." And I wonder how we could figure out what it was! Maybe your ancestors favored "Bringing Nellie Home"; "When You and I were Young, Maggie"; "You are my Sunshine"; "Long, Long Ago"; "Because, Just Because"; or some other song that was popular in "their day." I would love to know what special melody my great-grandparents danced to or what significant song my granduncle sang to my grandaunt. I don't know how we could determine those things, unless it was written in a diary or letter, but if you know the songs that were favored by your family members, be sure to include that in the notes or biographies for those people ... and share that information with me, too. I'd like to know!

Meanwhile: what's your song?

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