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.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sunday Singalong with Circlemending - Travel

We are about to hit the road. We're heading to Texas, Missouri, Tennessee, and Georgia (specifically, though also planning to spend some time in the states between here and there). The RV is nearly packed, the dogs are excited, and the instruments are restrung. I hate the packing and preparing, love the travel and experiences en route, and hate the unpacking and laundry when we get home. But it's that middle part (you know, the creamy center) that makes the rough edges worthwhile.

We will be doing some performing in Payson, Arizona at the Farmers Market there on Saturday, the 7th, so if you happen to be in the area at 9-11am, stop by & say HI! I'll probably blog more about that next week, after the fact. I think it will be great fun to start the trip with a musical experience; it got me thinking about the travel songs that are part of our repertoire.

So here's this week's Singalong challenge: identify a travel song (dealing with any kind of travel - train, plane, automobile, bus, taxi, or unspecified) or possibly a song that you (and your family?) like to sing while traveling. I know some people who sing while they take a bike ride and others who sing or whistle while they hike; that works too. Remember, you need not include all the lyrics (unless you just can't help yourself) - a single verse and/or chorus is fine, or the title or a link to an MP3 recording or YouTube video will also suffice. Your memory or explanation of why the song came to mind will add to the post.

Here's mine (yes, you guessed it, another Tom Paxton song - we love his traveling songs!) - "I Can't Help but Wonder Where I'm Bound." I've been playing and singing this song for almost as long as I've been playing guitar (hate to date you, Tom . . . no hard feelings, I hope). And, in spite of his horror in this admission, I did learn it at camp. But I found the verses the camp leaders left out and love the guitar riff (I learned it from Tom). Here's Tom doing it in live performance in 1994. Enjoy.

Your turn.


  1. From my Girl Scout years, 'Riding on a Donkey.' The song was always among the many we sang going up the hill to camp near Big Bear. Brings back lots of old memories. Our singing wasn't quite as novel as this YouTube rendition:

  2. I remember that song! I don't recall singing it while going up a hill, but we sang it after lunch during "singing time" at Tower Hill Camp in Michigan.