When my daughter Lauren was born – from the day we brought her home from the hospital (and for years) – I sang to her. Every night before she went to bed. I would play my guitar and sing “Froggy went a Courtin'” “This Little Light of Mine” “Trouble in Mind” and a host of others. But I would also lapse into some old songs that we used to sing in the Gamma Alpha Beta (“GAB”) Fraternity at Augustana College. And I would always close the evening, as Lauren was closing her eyes, with the GAB “Sweetheart Song” and “Oh Shenendoah” — a song that the GAB’s sang at a Homecoming event one year (and won).
When Lauren was married just over two years ago, I thought long and hard about what song I should have played for the Daddy/Daughter Dance at the reception. Then it hit me. And I smiled. Lauren had some general notion about the universe of songs from which I would select (“Dad, you’re not going to have them play ‘Froggy went a Courtin’ are you?”). No. Instead, I picked the one that I’d closed each evening with — “Oh Shenendoah.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etC59HVD-tg
The music started and we both had tears in our eyes as we danced to this song that will forever be in our hearts.