Heather and I often watch reruns of Lawrence Welk shows. It’s a reminder of older days and the music that was one part of my childhood. From time to I’ll hear a song that I once played on the piano or sung in the choir. This weekend the country singer, Clay Hart, sung, “The Streets of Laredo,” also known as “The Cowboy’s Lament.”
Here’s an early version from Hart:
This is a traditional western ballad and has many versions.
This line in the refrain is haunting: “Bang the drum slowly and play the fife lowly.”
Perhaps a more famous version would be Marty Robbins:
There are many other versions as it seems like every country singer at that time had a version of this song.
Being reminded of this song came on the same day of the news of John McCain’s death, which made me thing of the song Sgt. MacKenzie. This song was used at great effect for the last battle scene in the Vietnam movie, “We Where Soldiers.” This song was written in WWI, but its power is still there. Here’s my current favorite version of this song:
Perhaps I might borrow lyrics from both songs say this at the news of Captain McCain’s death:
“Bang the drum slow, and play the fife lowly for never more shall he see the sun.”
May all our combat veterans receive the honor and respect they deserve.