First Thoughts #1: Sarasponda

evergreen branch

Sarasponda, sarasponda,
Sarasponda ret set set
Sarasponda, sarasponda,
Sarasponda ret set set.

A doray-oh, A doray boomday-oh
A doray-boomday ret set set
Ah-say pah-say oh.

Remember the Sarasponda song? Apparently, I do. I learned it forty years ago when I spent a week at Camp Kiwanilong as a camp counselor for a bunch of 5th graders.

“Outdoor School” at Camp Kiwanilong was everything one could hope for in a nature educational experience. Forested trails, a lake for canoeing, wildlife; and sleeping cabins without heat, lights or any other amenities other than rough wooden bunk beds (for keeping one’s sleeping bag off the floor; no mattresses).

There was nothing fancy about the main lodge, either. It consisted of two rooms: a no-frills kitchen with Paul Bunyan sized griddles for cooking up a ton of food at once; and a dining room with two long wooden tables that spanned the length of the room, and benches on either side of the tables. A deep fireplace covered the wall between the kitchen and dining room and served as an ersatz fire pit when it was too rainy to be outdoors.

We held outdoor classes in the daytime, and in the evenings, we played games, put on skits, and sang camp songs. No internet, no cell phones. You know, the (almost) dark ages.

Hence, I learned Sarasponda. It’s a favorite around-the-campfire tune, as it has all the requisite qualities: (a) the words are repetitive and easy to learn; (b) it can be sung in rounds; and (c) it’s nonsensical, even before one attempts singing it with a mouth glued shut by marshmallows.

So, here it is forty-odd years since my camp counselor stint. I haven’t sung or heard Sarasponda sung in the interim, nor even thought about it until this morning, when I woke up with the song running through my head.

It’s not like I’d been dreaming of dingy cabins, stinky-damp socks, or even dingy-stinky-damp 5th graders. It was just there, in my head, between should-I-mow-the-lawn-today and I’ll-have-cold-brew-instead-of-hot-coffee-this-morning. What kind of mental blip put it there, I don’t know.

It’s evening now, and the song is still here. I’m craving s’mores and wood smoke. I’m getting ready to go to bed on my comfy mattress in my warm, dry, lighted bedroom. No wildlife here, just an old dog snoring, a young dog twitching in his dreams, and a cat warming up for his nightly bout of climbing the walls.

But okay, before I retire for the evening, here’s to the good ol’ times at Camp Kiwanilong:

Sarasponda, sarasponda, sarasponda ret set set 

About Maggie C

Stained glass artist, writer, respecter of life.
This entry was posted in humor, prose and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to First Thoughts #1: Sarasponda

  1. This is delightful! I sang right along with you. Twice! Bet I learned that song at 4-H camp during the summers after 4th and 5th grades. Must be the right age group for a silly song. It is funny, isn’t it, how something like that will just materialize in our memories for no apparent reason. I really enjoyed this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sarasponda to you too! 😀 Lovely memories. I can’t say I have ever heard this song but I used to be a happy camper too, organised or not, tent or not. We sang this one, with accompanying hand gestures. I write this without googling it. I wish to leave my memories intact:

    Anikuni aiwani
    anikuni aiwani

    Aiaiai pikanaikanai
    aiaiai pikanaikanai

    Eiaui pikini
    eiaui pikini.

    All well to you. I hope you’re having a good start of summer.

    Liked by 1 person

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