About Me

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Lake Mathews (Perris), CA, United States
Born in Illinois, I grew up in Wilmette, a northern suburb of Chicago. I have one sibling, an older brother. I am married, for the 2nd time now, to Butch & got 4 children in the deal. They have gone on to make me grandmother 25 times over & great-grandmother to over 20!. After many years working in industry, I got my bachelors and masters degrees in speech communication, & was a professor in that field for 13 years. I retired in 2001 & returned to school & got my doctorate in folklore. Now I meld my two interests - folklore & genealogy - & add my teaching background, resulting in my current profession: speaker/author/entertainer of genealogically-related topics. I play many folk instruments, but my preference is guitar, which I have been playing since 1963. I write the "Aunty Jeff" column for the Informer, newsletter of the Jefferson County NY Gen. Soc. I work in partnership with Gena Philibert-Ortega & Sara Cochran as Genealogy Journeys® where we focus on educating folks about Social History. More about that: genaandjean.blogspot.com. More on our podcasts: genjourneys.podbean.com. More about my own projects: Circlemending.org.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday Singalong with Circlemending - Place Songs

Another week has sped by! I was pleased to be a featured speaker at the Chula Vista Family History Seminar yesterday, Oct. 2 (see Randy Seaver's blog for a full report on the lectures presented - mine and others).

On the way home from the seminar I listened to The Village (on XM radio) and a themed program of songs about places. I thought that would be a great idea for a theme for my own Sunday Singalong, so I am suggesting that you consider the many songs of geographic locations that you have learned over the years. Songs about places are not new - our ancestors wrote about the places they loved just as many do today (consider "Home on the Range"). The subject can be about a town, a state, or a general area (including a country or continent).

Most of us have a soft spot in our heart for a location that means "home" to us. I am from Wilmette, Illinois and was raised there from the ages of 1 to 20. No matter where I go, when I think of "home," I think back to those tree-lines streets (which were brick, back when I was growing up). But your selection need not be about your hometown (to the best of my knowledge, "Wilmette" figures into only one song - a piece by Chicago musician Steve Goodman, author of "City of New Orleans," who snuck it into the chorus of a song called "Lincoln Park Pirates" - well, there are 2 place names, though the former refers to a train, not the city).

Is there a song about a place that sticks in your mind? If so, share the lyrics here, or maybe just a verse and chorus, or just the title; or you can provide a link to an MP3, on-line set of lyrics, or a YouTube recording. But do tell why the song is special to you.

So here's one of my absolute favorites, which covers them all. It's by Lou & Peter Berryman who are known for their humorous songs that touch on subjects that most of us are familiar with but that we would never expect to find put to music. It is called "Your State's Name Here." I have been unable to locate a YouTube recording of it, but if you click on their website link here or Google them, you can find a number of other YouTube recordings they have done. Sure to make you smile, and that's one reason I love their material!

Your turn.


  1. The stars at night - are big and bright
    Deep in the heart of Texas.

  2. "Shenandoah" reminds me of home. The beautiful USA.

    A beautiful version from UTube enclosed:


  3. The song: Georgia in my mind is wonderfull!!!


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