Annie’s winning smile
July 12th, 2020 | 0 Comments
This morning I woke up thinking I should have a Civil War era song in Annie Book 2, which uses “The War of Northern Aggression” as a metaphor for communication problems among characters. Researching a good song took about an hour, what with all the rabbit trails, “knowing how way leads onto way.” Nothing interesting turned up in the song publishing years of 1861-65. Mostly the songs then were about glory, battle, stars on flags, and so on. Finally I tried 1860. Popping up was this song by Charles Blamphin, “a popular piano tune through the years, even up to the early 20th century,” recorded by several big groups in the 1920s. It was just right for the book. Ms. Kelly pulls out a scratchy 1920s record to play for Annie’s mom one summer evening while Annie is swinging outside on the porch swing by herself. Annie’s sad but listening to the dog thumping to the beat of the man’s voice “swooping around like barn swallows going after bugs,” as Annie relates, and she finally hears the words float outside: “When the corn is waving, Annie dear, I’ll meet you by the stile...” ending with “Annie’s winning smile.” That’s the name of the song.