March 5, 2023

MAR 5, Canadiana: (prairie) home

Authors' Note: In its evolution from poem to unofficial anthem, the iconic American song "Home on the Range" was known, for a time, as "Western Home". The lyrics evoke the wilderness surrounding settlements on the "High Plains" in the old west, but do not mention the construction techniques for homebuilding. With little timber available to build cabins in some areas, thick prairie grass could be used as a covering for dwellings, even allowing the cutting of standard door and window openings.

   In Canada, the geographically similar area bordering the American plains has been known almost exclusively as the Prairies. The author imagines that living in a sod hut ('soddy') on either side of the border would be a more inviting prospect for settlers once the herds of buffalo had been thinned out by overhunting (an environmental desecration that occurred in the latter part of the nineteenth century).

For further reading; 



3)readers interested in understanding the human-buffalo interaction in modern times might also enjoy our further posts "Mammalian Wildlife: Buffalo", and "Selfie with Bison".

Alberta, 1908
web-photo, Glenbow Archives


If you have an undeniable urge to sing these lyrics, we have the tools to help. Grab your guitar or ukulele, remember the tune used for the verse of "Home on the Range"as sung by Gene Autry on YouTube HERE, and then follow the bouncing ball! 

Prairie Home    (uke-chords: E9 = 1222; A9 = 0102);
I'll con[D]struct us a [D7]home on a [G]large grassy [Gm]plot;

Only [D]building tools: [E9]shovels I [A7]bought.

With tech[D]nique skilled or [D7]shoddy,

The [G]hut called a [Gm]soddy

Has got [D]used on the [A9]Prairies a [D]lot.

Safe to [D]roam there, with [A7]bison herds [D]shot.

(optional chorus):
[D]Home on a [G]large Prairie [D]plot;

Walked ten 
[E9]miles for the groceries I [A7]bought.

Where [D]seldom is [D7]heard

A dis[G]couraging [Gm]word --

Sit a[D]round nights, swat [A7]bugs and smoke [D]pot.

You can review poems, pictures and diverse nonsense related to Canada on the post "Canadiana" on our full-service blog  "Edifying Nonsense".

No comments:

Post a Comment