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Red Wing lyrics

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Traditional – Red Wing lyrics

There once was an Indian maid,
A shy little prairie maid,
Who sang a lay, a love song gay,
As on the plain she'd while away the day;

She loved a warrior bold,
This shy little maid of old,
But brave and gay, he rode one day
To battle far away.

Chorus:
Now, the moon shines tonight on pretty Red Wing
The breeze is sighing, the night bird's crying,
For afar 'neath his star her brave is sleeping,
While Red Wing's weeping her heart away.

[Chorus:]
She watched for him day and night,
She kept all the campfires bright,
And under the sky, each night she would lie,
And dream about his coming by and by;

But when all the braves returned,
The heart of Red Wing yearned,
For far, far away, her warrior gay,
Fell bravely in the fray.

Now, the moon shines tonight on pretty Red Wing
The breeze is sighing, the night bird's crying,
For afar 'neath his star her brave is sleeping,
While Red Wing's weeping her heart away.

[Chorus:]



Lyrics taken from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/t/traditional/red_wing.html

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    This song was popular during the First World War - it is about war, death, and grief. My grandmother, who was in her teens during the war, was very fond of it and taught it to me. There is an almost equally moving parody sung to the same tune which was current at the time: "The moon shines tonight on Charlie Chaplin, his boots are crackin' for want of blackin', and his little baggy trousers, they need mendin' - Before they send him, to the Dardanelles."

    I am probably of the last generation to have grandparents who knew pre-Great War songs, and passed them down.
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    I'm 75, and as a small child my mother would sing this to me while laying down with me to take my daily nap. I always wanted the same song. I now have great grandchildren and I want to sing this sweet song to them. I can still hear my mother singing it to me. Oh how I treasure those days with my angel mother.
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    My mom sang this song to me every night when I was a little girl. I don't know where she learned it, but she's always known lots of older songs. Sometimes she'd give me the choice for a song or a story and I'd always pick Red Wing. I think I liked it because it was both a story and song. I looked it up tonight so I could sing it to my six-month old daughter. I'll make sure she loves it too.
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