This is a blog about music, photography, history, and culture.
These are photographs from my collection that tell a story about lost time and forgotten music.

Mike Brubaker
{ Click on the image to expand the photo }

Don't I Look Fierce?

24 June 2016

Home on the Range
original lyrics by Dr. Brewster Higley (1876)

Oh, give me a home where the Buffalo roam
Where the Deer and the Antelope play;
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the sky is not cloudy all day. 
A home! A home!
Where the Deer and the Antelope play,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the sky is not cloudy all day.

Oh! give me a land where the bright diamond sand
Throws its light from the glittering streams,
Where glideth along the graceful white swan,
Like the maid in her heavenly dreams.

Oh! give me a gale of the Solomon vale,
Where the life streams with buoyancy flow;
On the banks of the Beaver, where seldom if ever,
Any poisonous herbage doth grow. 

How often at night, when the heavens were bright,
With the light of the twinkling stars
Have I stood here amazed, and asked as I gazed,
If their glory exceed that of ours.
I love the wild flowers in this bright land of ours,
I love the wild curlew's shrill scream;
The bluffs and white rocks, and antelope flocks
That graze on the mountains so green.

The air is so pure and the breezes so fine,
The zephyrs so balmy and light,
That I would not exchange my home here to range
Forever in azures so bright.

Aug.7, 1909

Dear Friend Susie,   I spose you
rec'd the other postal. here's one of
the Landa band on practice evening.
Don't I look fierce, don't judge me
to severely I'm not so bad looking as
the camera tried to make me.  Am
or was out of wind "Donchernaw"
I'm going to a y. P.S. to have a
good time drikke kaffe og spise
lefse og fattig mans behkelse. 
{drinking coffee and eating
flat bread
and poor mans pastry}

Dont you
wish you were here.   Au Revoir
I am with best wishes
your friend
Ed. Asker

Edward Asker was the eldest of 6 children of Kathinka and John P. Asker. They lived on a farm between Eidsvold and Landa North Dakota. In August 1909 he was 18 years old and played snare drum in the Landa Brass Band, which had 14 musicians, not counting children. Edward's father was an immigrant from Sweden and his mother came from Norway. 

Landa is a small community in Bottineau County in Northern North Dakota, about 7 miles from the Canadian border. In 1910, Bottineau County was booming with 17,295 citizens, nearly six times the population as in 1890. Today the county's farming communities have declined and population is only 6,716. 

Landa is located on a spur of the Great Northern Railway line that runs from St. Paul, MN to Seattle, WA. It incorporated as a city in 1922 and reached its largest population in 1940 with 149 citizens. As well as a town brass band, it once boasted of a bank, hardware store, lumber yard, hotel, and other businesses. But today the number of residents is estimated at only 38. 

North Dakota is very flat
and also very bright,
because the sky is not cloudy all day.



This is my contribution to Sepia Saturday
click the link, but whatever you do, please don't wake the baby.


La Nightingail said...

Goodness! I had no idea there were so many verses to "Home On The Range". I've only known the first and fourth - till now! :)

Jo Featherston said...

That first verse is quite familiar to me too, perhaps because it was the theme song for some US tv show? The little girl is a sweetue, and was presumably related to one of the bandsmen. They don't look terribly fierce to me.

Alan Burnett said...

Your words and pictures suddenly got me thinking about that song and question whether or not they have (had) antelopes in America. A trip to Wiki produced the kind of answer Wiki produces - they did, but there again they didn't.

Jodi Lynn Strait said...

Oh dear, I think I'll be singing this all day now… I love all the hats in the photo, especially the unusual bonnet the little girl is wearing. And, yes, Alan, out in the American west there are still antelope roaming. I've seen them.

Helen Killeen Bauch McHargue said...

Love the Haiku. So much more concise than the lyrics of HOTR. That range is so,so,so flat!
A sure cure for claustrophobia.

Little Nell said...

What a great postcard story to go with the picture 'Donchanaw'! The child looks bewildered and seems to be asking "What am I doing here?"

Lorraine Phelan said...

What a wonderful photo. Love the variety of hats but my favourite is the one in front centre.

Barbara Rogers said...

Oh goodie, now I can learn the rest of the song...I was trying to remember the only other verse I'd heard (4th) in my attempts to fall asleep to it one night. Now look what I can mentally go through! It will take many a try to remember it all. I did grow up with skies like that, and either Texas or Missouri gave me a love of the brightness of it.

Titania Staeheli said...

It is fantastic the music bands that were around at the time, travelling and bringing entertainment and music to others. A straight road to the never never and a never ending sky, a bit like in Australia.

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

Great band shots and the baby doesn't seem traumatised by being in the thick of it, but perhaps after all those verses the story may have changed :)

Tattered and Lost said...

Wow! So many verses I never knew existed. The song is much more than I ever imagined.

Love the photo with the fellas and child. I do wonder if Edward's long distance wooing worked. Did he...cough...snare her?


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