The rain came back again at the end of May, and all the Oregon girls in my daughter’s kindergarten class got colds. I found the song “Rainy Day Girls” sung by early Oregon pioneers in an article by the famous folklorist, Barre Toelken. It is sung to the tune of “Beulah Land” which orginally, was, as Toelken says, “a physical description of the bounty of heaven.” My husband found a recording of it and said, “You gotta love white people.” Thank God residents in every state developed parodies. The Oregon version made me laugh! I put on a raincoat with my girls, and got out there for some “soggy curls.” Here it is:
“I’ve reached the land of rain and mud,
Where flowers and trees so early bud;
Where it rains and rains both night and day
For in Oregon (pronounced O-ree-gun) it rains always.
Oh Oregon, wet Oregon
As through thy rain and mud I run;
I stand and look out all around
And watch the rain soak in the ground,
Look up and see the waters pour
And wish it wouldn’t rain no more.
Oh Oregon girls, wet Oregon girls,
With laughing eye and soggy curls;
They’ll sing and dance both night and day
Til some webfooter comes their way:
They’ll meet him at the kitchen door
Saying, “Wipe your feet or come no more”
From Barre Toelken, Northwest Regional Folklore. In Northwest Perspectives. Edwin R. Bingham and Glen A. Love. Seattle: U of Washington Press. 1976 (21-42).
Image by Richard Ford – richardfordphotography.com