Keith plays for the Indian Princesses — 19April2008

The Indian Princess Nation that I was in for 10 years as my girls went through the program asked me to come back and play a “concert” for them as their Saturday Night Campfire program. I’ve been “gone” for a year, so there were a few new dads and daughters, but most of them know me, have my CD and know all my songs, and are my biggest fans.

As soon as I got ready to play, they were already shouting “Waltzing With Bears!”, so, although I had planned to save it for the end, I went ahead with that. The kids all jumped up on the benches, put their hands in the air and swayed back and forth, and held up their lit-up cell phones. Several of the dads said that it was like a Springsteen concert.

I ran through all my “hits”: “…Bears”, “Lollipop Tree”, “Marvelous Toy”, “Love Potion #9”, “Last Unicorn”, “You Got a Friend In Me”, etc. Also, of course, my sing-along “I’m an Indian Princess” song with the cue-cards, and my Princess-themed “Three Mile Hike” to the tune of “Gilligan’s Island”.

I also did “Teddy Bear’s Picnic” which is new (to them, ‘cuz it isn’t on the CD), and “Octopus’s Garden” (which really just doesn’t go over, somehow). I’d also learned a new song, “You Can’t Be a Pirate”, which is pretty funny and went over really well. I had set up my video camera on a tripod and just hit “record” to capture the whole thing, so I clipped out that song and posted the video so the kids (and you) can go see it. Click here.

The only downside was that the stage is a nice concrete platform with a fire-ring built into it at one end. That’s cool, but they put the fire-ring on the upwind side (the campground is only a mile from the beach, the wind always blows one way). I was smothered in smoke half the time, which was affecting my voice. I had some real trouble on the high notes of “House at Pooh Corner”, but I don’t think the kids noticed. You can see the clouds of smoke blowing by me on the video and in the picture above.

I had been “assigned” to make a pitch for the older-girls (Trailmates) program that we’re in now, so in the middle of the show I had all the near-graduation Princesses come down to the stage and get in a huddle for a “secret message”. I told them about the program in a stage-whisper, sent them back to their seats, and then “realized” that my head-mic was on the whole time! Not so secret after all. (Of course, the intention was that the dads get the info, too.)

After the traditional final song of my new-lyrics version of “Goodnight Irene”, I had some CDs ready for the girls that didn’t have one already, and I had brought a Sharpie to autograph them. I had a crowd of girls around me, waiting their turn for an autographed CD. That was pretty fun, too. After a while, a guy in the crowd said “Can you get a CD if you’re not in the group?” He’d come down from Ventura just to camp there, had heard the music, and come up to listen with his kids — and now he wanted to buy a CD. Flattering.

Anyway, it was a terrific time for me, since they’re the best audience I’m ever bound to have. Not to mention that kids are twice as demonstrative than adults, and they all know my stuff already, so they’re ultra enthusiastic. After the show, I walked around all the campfires just to talk with old friends, and the dads were appreciative, too. With any luck, they’ll ask me out again sometime.

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