Here’s a song about a gray goose, the strangest goose 4. May 2013 “Here’s a song about a gray goose, the strangest goose” – The Gray Goose by Jonathan Lethem
6 thoughts on “Here’s a song about a gray goose, the strangest goose”
Goose conference :-) Such a majestic animal in the center! I love the reflections!
Me, too. The reflections I mean. Maaraue in January. So cold. Astonishing birdlife there.
The reflection becomes a peace sign with a goose. Perhaps that Canada Goose is about to sing, “Go tell Aunt Rhody the old gray goose is dead…”
Oh yes, indeed. The tree makes a peace sign. Didn’t see that. Thanks. This is one of the Canada Geese you mentioned? Ah, yes again. Of course. There are around here, too. But not that many.
Of course now I had to do some “research”:
“The tune is thought by some to have been derived from an air composed for a 1752 opera by the philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau. It was extracted as a song and printed in many settings, including shape note tunebooks that permeated areas of the U.S. where “Aunt Rhody” later appeared. It is believed that this is the source for the “Aunt Rhody” tune.”
See here http://www.alabamafolklife.org/content/history-behind-songs
The song was sung by folksinger Pete Seeger, and I learned to play it on my autoharp years ago as it is a simple tune. Thank you for the research linking it to Jean Jacques Rousseau. Who would have guessed such an origin for the tune? The central goose is definitely a Canada goose. We have many flocks of them around here, and mass migrations in spring and fall. Like your photo a great deal.
Jonathan Lethem mentioned Pete Seeger in the New Yorker Interview, too:
I wondered if the New Yorker choose this story/this title because of Pete Seeger’s birthday – but perhaps I am reading too much into this.