Beauty (the song)

Exeter Valley towards the Highlands

My post today is a song I collaborated on many years ago with an Alberta Cowboy Poet by the name of Buddy Gale. It was while I was in my “hay-day” as a singing cowgirl.  If you want to know more about those days here is the FB link to Katie, The Cariboo Song Rider

 

I took the photo for the song “Beauty” out in Exeter Valley (Bridge Creek Estate Ranch).   You can just see the Highlands where the cattle are in the distance. When I was kid this was always a great place to ride.

Beauty (Where All Cowboys Ride)

as performed by Gordon Maxwell

The Lyrics

Beauty

Chorus:
If beauty’s a land where cattle can hide;
Beauty’s the place where all cowboys ride.
If beauty is Hoare frost, rain, snow and sleet;
Then beauty’s the place where all cowboys meet.

Verse l
If beauty is sagebrush tumbling along
Then beauty is also the howling winds song.
If beauty is mountains and old Jack Pine rails.
Then beauty is muskeg and hard rocky trails.

Verse II
If beauty is sundown – cold hazy sky.
Then beauty’s a bedroll; a good place to lie.
If beauty is silence with smoke in your eyes.
Then beauty’s the night owl flying by.

From the poem “Beauty” written by Buddy Gale
Song Lyrics:  Buddy Gale & Katie Kidwell
Music:  Katie Kidwell
©Beauty, Buddy Gale & Katie Kidwell, 1995  SOCAN

The Story

This song is a collaboration between Buddy Gale and myself, Katie Kidwell. Originally a poem by Buddy called “Beauty”; additional lines and music made it a song. Recorded by Gordon Maxwell who is known as Ian Tyson’s bass player of many years. I am playing the acoustic autoharp in this recording.

You can also listen to Beauty at SoundCloud

©Katie Kidwell, The Living Of Loving, 2019
©GWJ Creative Art

Married With Cows

Married With Cows, Wendy Liddle Illustration for my book “Well Hell”

In my poem, “Married With Cows”,  I take aim.  I hope the poem hits your funny bone.  Here’s some background.

The Story

While I was on the ranch, I gave it my best shot to be part of the Canadian music scene.  My ability to write about my experiences is one of my strengths. For this, I was hired by Ian Tyson.  He was looking for a performer to represent the cowgirl at his Cowboyography Show during Expo ’86. Writing songs about cows and fencing had an audience…and now I had permission to write more!

For his show, I wrote four songs of which there was time for three.  After twenty-one shows that week, I was geared up to play my spurs on both sides of the border!  What a wonderful time. So many beautiful “salt of the earth” people to be around.  Like me, they were expressing themselves and their worlds.

Later I wrote “Married With Cows” to put into perspective all those phone calls I’d had on the ranch.  There I made cold calls to agents and managers I had heard of. 

Life is more satisfying when you can see the funny side of things.  Especially when you don’t have to make it up.  Even though…it meant I would never be part of the Canadian music scene or on the radio.  When was the last time you heard spurs played over the air?  

Not Just My Experience… 

“Married With Cows” was on at Poetry poem.  While it was there, I heard from several men (husbands).  They wanted me to know the same events had happened to their wives.  They felt bad about it.  

So this is what I found to be true as a folk performer.

Everyone loves a good song and a sincere presentation.  Everyone loves to laugh and learn a little about the country they are visiting.    

So after the cowboy gatherings, I started performing for bus and rail tours. I no longer aimed for agents or managers.  From my homeland, I sang to the travelling world about the wonders of the Cariboo as a “singing cowgirl”.  Spur playing included and I also taught the Cariboo Yodel! 

As a folksinger, it doesn’t get any better than that.  To sing about your country in your country.  My handle was Katie, the Cariboo Song Rider.  You can check me out on facebook and here is a link to my music on sound cloud.

Here Is The Poem

Married With Cows

I wanted to be a singer
and sing my own true songs…
They wanted to know my measurements,
was I a redhead or a blonde?
And just how old are you?
And before you send your tape…
Send us a great big picture
and for the last five years – your weight.
“We’re not signing married women –
their husbands make them quit!
With years and years of experience –
our investments have to stick!”
So I didn’t send that picture,
my hair type or my weight.
I didn’t bother fooling them –
and I never sent a tape.
For the rules, they were describing
I never could kowtow…
so I told them, “I ain’t single,
I’m married with cows!”

©Katie Kidwell, 1997
Previously Published by Canadian Cowboy Country Magazine
Vol5 No.2, 2001

From My “Hay Days”

Katie, the Cariboo Song Rider with Abi Sha Trigger circa 1988

One of the songs I wrote for Ian’s Show – “The Cow-Boss Yodel”
You can practise for the next time we meet…

From the Tom Thompson Sessions – Meadow Show – Album I

©Katie Kidwell, 2019, The Living Of Loving Blog
©GWJ Creative Art

 

Lullaby

 

In 1976, while I was living in North Vancouver, I wrote “Lullaby”.  I composed it just before I went on the road working as a folk-singer for Whitefoot Entertainments.

So before the travel, the crowds and playing the Top 40, I wrote what I was fascinated with, in music. The idea you could sing a note out to nature and nature would take the note out to the universe and back. I still believe in this.

Lullaby ©Katie Kidwell, 1976 SOCAN

Lullaby

Now when I see a crow fly
I sing out a lullaby
On his wings, the notes will fly
Lullaby – Lullaby

Crow played it for the forest gate
Said the trees:  “It’s not too late”
Softly the trees began to sigh
Lullaby – Lullaby

Water whispered to the air:
“Lullaby is very fair”
Youth like the stars heard earth reply
Lullaby – Lullaby

Returns the night, the black crow free
Hushing forest melodies
Remember the crow to those who fly
Lullaby – Lullaby
©Katie Kidwell, 1976 SOCAN

Lullaby was part of my 2017 Parkside Art Gallery Show. The album for this show also titled: “The Little Birds That Fly” can be listened to here at Soundcloud.

Let me know if you have any thoughts on this or experience you would like to share.

©Katie Kidwell, The Living Of Loving, 2019
Message me @ GWJ Creative Art

Saddled and Gone

The Story

Sometime in the late sixties, The Star Weekly published a story about a woman who had been given a few months to live.  The magazine story focused on the fact that it was now 10 years and she was still alive and thriving! They wanted to know how she had done it and they wanted their Canadian readers to know about her choices.
 
I was a child then, and my Mother wanted me to know the story too.  Of how this woman had sold and rode away from everything, with a horse and a saddle.  I was fascinated with the newsmagazine’s large photo of her face.  I had never seen so many wrinkles before and she wasn’t even old.  Yet she had spent the last 10 years of her life sleeping on the ground with her horse.
 
I don’t remember the woman’s name only her face and big hat.  If you know of her let me know.  My question here is “Would it still work to do what she did?  Sell everything and buy a horse and a saddle and plan on sleeping on the ground?”  If you had a few months to live, what would you do different and what if it was the cure?
 
 I too have lost family members to cancer.  I know there are miracle survivors everyday we could all sing about.
Sometimes it’s a sad song when the miracle is to quickly leave the pain in the body.
I never forgot the story of this woman and the look of her face.  So years later I wrote a song to celebrate her with. It’s called Saddled and Gone.

The Song

Here are the lyrics to the song I wrote about her story and further down this page the recording:
 
Saddled and Gone
 
Did she pass on?  
Saddled and Gone?  
I like to sing her song…
Oh I oh…..
I…yi….yee…
 
She was one city girl with a fatal disease
A few months to live, so live as you please
Without any kids or a spouse
She sold her car and her house
 
“Goodbye job, Goodbye friends
I’ve bought a horse and we’ll be travelin”
Oh I oh…
I yi yee….
 
Under the stars
Sleep on the ground
‘Till winds wrinkle
Your face turns brown…
Oh I oh…
I yi yee…
 
Ten years went by and she was alive
Out went her tale along the news wire
And then my Mom read it to me
To a child, it’s no mystery
When your saddled and gone
Riding along
Your heart sings a thankful song
Oh I oh…
I yi yee…
 
Some tales I have heard, slip their way down
‘Least when I know it they circle around
And though it’s a tale from the past
I feel it is good and will last
Now did she pass on?
Saddled and gone?
Hawk and coyote sing her song…
Oh I oh…
I yi yee…
 
                  © Katie Kidwell, 1991     SOCAN
 
Here is the Tom Thompson acoustic recording of Saddled and Gone done in the mid 90’s.

Previously published as:  “Have you lost someone to cancer?”  True to You (no longer on-line)

©Katie Kidwell, The Living Of Loving, 2019
GWJ Creative Art

World Singing Love

©”Spirit Of Song” w.c. by Katie
Several years ago I created a web site with an invitation for the world. I called it: World Singing Love. How it works is simple.
Everyone sings the chorus. The chorus is one word. That’s right, LOVE.  The music you can click on is easy to learn and the words are right there if you want to learn the verses! 
 
The recipe for how the magic works is on the web site so I won’t repeat it here. Find out for yourself what it is. Here’s the link to hear the song and read the lyrics: 

Web Site for World Singing Love 

Be in the spirit of the song and let me know if the magic shows up for you and your loved ones.
.
©Katie Kidwell, The Living Of Loving

Katie Sings Mother Goose

© “Four Leaf Clover” Art by Wendy Liddle from my book of Cowgirl Poetry

In Vancouver, British Columbia

In the 70’s I helped the “play therapists” in what was then the kids ward  of the Vancouver General.   Before the Children’s Hospital was built.  I brought my guitar and voice and played to the kids of all ages in all conditions.  It was heart touching and memorable.  For the young teens I played what was on the radio!

Looking back at the Mother who grabbed me and wanted me to know that her baby hadn’t slept for days….but fell asleep while I was singing!  I am reminded of another time on the ranch…when I created my nursery collage and songs and recorded them to play in a bedroom without me!  It worked too!  Maybe better because I wasn’t present to stimulate.

So I created a web site where people could go and play my recording if they needed a voice in the room for their little ones to fall asleep to.

You might surprise yourself at how many of these tunes and rhymes you already know!

Here are the Mother Goose Rhymes I recorded.

Did you notice how I changed the “Old Woman In A Shoe”?

Here are the nursery songs I recorded as a collage.

Katie sings Mother Goose has its own website. Hear the continuous loop of rhyme and song at this site and see if it helps to put your little one into happy sleep!

Let me know how it goes…

©Katie Kidwell, 2019 The Living Of Loving
©GWJ Creative Art

Testing…Testing…

I moved to Vancouver when I was 19

A high school graduate with shorthand, accounting and typing. I had always worked after school and during summers so I expected to find a great job with all my references! Excited to move away from the little cow town!

On one of my job interviews…

In downtown Vancouver I was applying for a receptionist position.  This was a company leading the way for other company’s on: “How to hire the right people for your business.”  Now I don’t remember their name.  But I do remember their office was full of packages,  pamphlets and signs for “industrial psychology.”  Something I had never heard of. They were very busy.

The test would take three hours…

I was informed at my interview I would have to undergo the testing they were teaching other company’s.  If I wanted to come back after lunch they would have the test ready and it would take 3 hours. I had a folded newspaper in my purse with the days job opportunities. I wondered if I wanted to give up most of my day to one application.


I thought about it…. 

Then I realized – Heh!  People pay big money for this and I get to do it for free.  So I came back and sat down to a stack of papers. Most of the questions were multiple choice.  When I finished – yes it was 3 hours – I went to their waiting room.  In time I was called in.

And the results of the test are…


The man behind the desk looked at me with what appeared to be a mixture of kindness and sadness.  Holding the papers in front of him he shook his head several times and then he apologized.

 

“I’m so sorry…I don’t know what to tell you. What you should do…”

You have the highest marks I have ever seen for someone in the field of writing…with music second and art third!”

He looked at me as if I should say something. I sat stunned. He continued.  “I don’t have a clue on what to advise you…maybe…(and at this he really sounded doubtful)…more schooling?” Then he really perked up: “I can tell you would never be the right applicant for an office job!”

And this was just a receptionists job… 

So I had wasted a whole day.  One part of me agreed with him.  I did love writing, music and art, BUT I had already proven myself out working in office jobs I had references for.  I had all my high school training!  I could do short hand!  And this was just a receptionists job…I kept these thoughts to myself.  I thanked him and walked out.

I like to think I went for a nice coffee…  

Today, I haven’t forgotten the atmosphere of his office, his look and his words.  I wish now I had looked deeper at what he told me.

I became Secretary to the highest paid scientist in forestry…

 
I did work in Vancouver in temp positions moving in and out of many office buildings.  In the course I learned dictaphone and telex machines and zerox. I became secretary to the highest paid research scientist in forestry in Canada at that time.  A two year hiring on Russian research called “Muka”. But in the end I became sick with agoraphobia.
 
Eventually  I became a folksinger and a multi-media artist.  My ability to juggle the work on the ranch gave me what most ranch women get. Expert ability to handle logistics. This meant I could organize shows with successful outcomes and I did!  My typing has been invaluable and I still love short hand.  But everyday I’m faced with the same dilemma my “tester” had.

 I still don’t know what to tell myself about the writing, the music and the art.

 Oh well.  All’s well that ends well.

 I hope it does.
 
© Kathy Kidwell, 2015  True to You (no longer on-line)
©The Living of Loving, 2018
 

Mystery & Magic by Katie Kidwell

“The mystery is in the magic. How the magic appears is the mystery.”
Art by Wendy Liddle for my book “Well Hell”
 

Science Class

In school, science taught me to approach Life through dissection. To view Life as a study of how things work…
 
So to figure out the Life of a Frog – I would need to dissect a dead one. I refused. How can the dissection of what is dead ever lead to how it had Life? Only it’s anatomy which is now purposeless.
 
As an artist I find Life at the centre of everything worthwhile. I accept Life as a mystery…A mystery full of magic. I live fully engaged in this because I agree with the Magician and expect the mysterious. In return, I have received a wonderful Life.
 

Direction

How does an artist find their way in this world?
 
So without taking things apart how do I find answers? I find them in direction – by having a sense of one and by listening for it.
The distilled essence of artistic vision is a direction. The sense you were given one at birth and all you need now is the discipline to follow thru. Only you have yours.
 
Agreement being the vehicle of free choice – choose now to agree with this. You were created to create by a creator.
 
Your direction is?
 
A question to ask yourself: “What does my heart really want to do?”
 
Remember: What we absolutely love we must follow or we will have no peace.
 
Note: No one ever discovers their direction through someone else’s dissection. Sorry therapists!
 

Listen

Listen to your heart. Something great is there – speaking. Learn to listen. Be patient. But mostly give your heart – Your Love.
 
The right direction?
 
You will know you are moving in the right direction when the mystery and the magic show up and take you by the hand. It might even be slight-of-hand as in: “How did that happen?”
 
Be a child…reach up for the hand reaching down.
 

Act

Now’s the time to talk about all the things you love. What is living in your heart? Is it a mystery? Be prepared for magic. Write it down as words have a way of telling you something.
 

My Personal Experience

I find the multi-media work I do comes from the direction of my heart. The station I have tuned into. The life-long love I have for the creator who lives in my heart. In mysterious and magical ways – His Life shows up and asks me to create for him. He knows I am open to listening!
 

Recently

 Creating my Christmas cards (The Snowflake Butterfly), led to writing it’s story. This happened while I was still painting the cards! So the piece of watercolour paper I was testing my colours on started taking on words to.
 
It was a matter of brush and pen working at the same time.
 
There is never a dull moment when you are truly alive in what you love. I am thankful to return the results of my “loving” to the Master of it all. There is always another assignment waiting!
 
I Only Have Questions For You…because You have the answers for You!
 
How do you feel as a creator in your world?
 
Alive or dissected?
 
Like I heard and am now saying:
 
“The mystery is in the magic. How the magic appears is the mystery.”
 
Is there something hidden in your heart? What do you truly love? Listen for direction. It’s a road map…it’s Life!
 
Enjoy the scenery…the real you is on its way!

©Katie Kidwell, The Living Of Loving, 2019
GWJ Creative Art

There’s A Snowman Out In The Meadow

The Painting

My “Snowman”
©GWJ Creative Art
Christmas Card
2015

The Story

I was an early riser at the ranch.  Cows to milk and feed, horses to feed,
chickens…well you get my drift.  If I wanted a coffee first I really got up early!
 
One winter with the tiniest of light on our Long Horn Meadow I saw a huge snowman.  Right smack dab in the middle of the meadow!  Of course it was my imagination but I thought it would be so neat if my family could see it too.
 

So I’m not sure if I wrote the song right away or if I fed the animals first…but I did follow thru on what I saw.  This is how my song “There’s A Snowman Out In The Meadow” was born… On a cold winters morning!

The Song

(Guitar players…this is an easy melody to play.  Have fun! )

The Lyrics

There’s A Snowman Out in The Meadow

There’s a snowman out in the meadow
A snowman big as Life
And how he got in the meadow –
You’ll have to ask my wife.

For the children in the forest,
Asked her if she could play…
And they built him out in the meadow
Just the other day.

There’s a snowman out in the meadow
A snowman smiling at me
And the shape they gave the snowman
Looks a lot like the letter “B”.

Oh he’s big around and “rolly”
He’s awesome in a snowman’s way
And I met him out in the meadow
When the sun was far away…

The owl’s were there in the evening
The birds at the break of day
Then the sun began it’s journey
And the snowman ran away…

But a sound I heard this evening
From the forest there was a sigh…
Oh the snowman’s back in the meadow

And so was I………………….

©Katie Kidwell, 1982  SOCAN

©The Living Of Loving Blog, 2019
GWJ Creative Art

Sleigh Ride

My song “Sleigh Ride” was inspired by the sleigh in this picture.  The story of this particular sleigh is another story for another time.

Bridge Creek Estate Sleigh circa 1970’s. Photo by my father Jim Moore.
Over a space of ten years, two different Turtle Dove choirs performed “Sleigh Ride”.   Under the direction of Moira Hunter and Beverly Maize at Martin Exeter Hall.
 
The Turtle Doves were three to seven year olds.  Performing with me they were the live vocal bells in the chorus!  We had lots of fun and energy on stage and our audience loved it.   It was winter time and the right time for an imaginary winter sleigh ride.  Thank you Moms and Dads, Grandma’s and Grandpa’s!
 
In SoundCloud, Sleigh Ride is my second most popular song. Some teachers are having fun with it!
 
Here is the horse whinny recording of Sleigh Ride and the lyrics.  Enjoy!
 
Katie, the Cariboo Song Rider

Lyrics

SLEIGH RIDE

Oh I went for a sleigh ride, a real winter hay ride
Out in the farm country.
And the horse’s wore bells and had real long hair
And they wore special shoes you see.
They went a chinga, chinga, chink, chink……..

Through the fields of snow by the full moon light
We headed out on a starry night
And the Leader danced and the “others” pranced
And the sleigh ran along behind.
It went a chinga, chinga, chink, chink……..

Well I held the reins, rolled around in the hay –
Laughed and acted like a fool they say.
And the horse’s ears went back and forth
As we sang those sleigh bell tunes.
We went a chinga, chinga, chink, chink……..

There by the glow of the Milky Way,
I fell asleep ‘neath the pricky hay.
And the horses nodded their shaggy heads
As they dreamt of sawdust beds.
**********(slowing down till very slow)*************
They went a chinga, chinga, chink, chink……..

Down from the hill in the dark of the night
They saw the glow of their barn light.
And they thought of warm water and oats and hay
And they pranced and they whinny’d away.
**********(with quick excitement)**************
They went a chinga, chinga, chink, chink……..

Oh I went for a sleigh ride, a real winter hay ride
Out in the farm country.
And the horse’s wore bells and had real long hair
And they wore special shoes you see.
They went a chinga, chinga, chink, chink……..
(fade:  chinga, chinga, chink, chink….)

©Katie Kidwell, 1987 SOCAN

Katie, the Cariboo Song Rider
Art by Wendy Liddle, CCI

©The Living Of Loving, 2018

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