Tonight, I played my guitar and sang from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Sterlington Elementary School. They had a rotational program, and every thirty minutes I was supposed to do another set. I was with the 2nd grade teachers, and though the emphasis was on Scotland, the title was Music of the Celts.
I did my usual favorites, and even a few songs I’d never done before, and it went well. It’s amazing what a good microphone will do to improve a mediocre voice. It was a night of experimentation, and I discovered that my favorite songs to sing, were also the ones I did best, and it seemed, the ones the crowd liked best. “The Water is Wide” was best received. (E.B. please note that), but my original song, “Cry, Little Artillery Man” was also well received, and I received several comments on that song as well. Other songs I performed that the crowds liked in the sets were, “Come out you Black and Tans”; a Burns poem I had put to music about the love of his life, Jeanne Amour; “Monaghan’s Lament”; and “Botany Bay,” a sad song about the ugly transportation practices of the British.
The second grade teachers at Sterlington Elementary who had sponsored me were gracious, complimentary, and I thought sharp women. I was impressed with both their abilities and their attitudes. I sold a few books (Stories of the Confederate South) and did some publicity talks on my soon to be published children’s book, Jim Limber Davis: A Black Orphan in the Confederate White House.
I taught school today, then had bus duty, then drove to Sterlington. I changed into my kilt and played the two hours without stopping, without even sitting down. I think that is a sign I was really into the evening. Many of the adults asked me questions about my Scottish attire, and as I had opportunity I talked to the crowd about the Celtic nations and Civil War history. I’m tired, but I must say it’s been a good day.