I had a Calfornia dream. No, it wasn’t like the dream in the lyrics of the Mommas and Poppas song. It didn’t just happen along a walk on “such a winter’s day.” It was more like Calfornia’s official state song, “I Love you California.”
“Where the snow crowned Golden Sierras
Keep their watch o'er the valleys bloom,
It is there I would be in our land by the sea,
Every breeze bearing rich perfume.
It is here nature gives of her rarest. It is Home Sweet Home to me,
And I know when I die I shall breathe my last sigh.”
For my sunny California.”
(Words by F.B. Silverwood, music by A.F. Frankenstein. Copyright@FB Silverwood, 1913)
But that song still does not completely express my California dream.
That anthem reminds me more of my father, who grew up in California and may have been among the last generation to fully enjoy the natural wonders of the great state. His last sigh was breathed in Nevada, but we made sure his ashes were carried to the sea by strong Sacramento River currents.
No, my heart was recently tweaked by a song I heard on the internet in a video posted by the promoters of “Romancing the West,” a new traveling show featuring 250 years of music about the West. The words and music were written by Pam Mark Hall, and Christina Duane, and was the title song for Ms. Duane’s 2000 TV show about California, It is simply titled “California.” Ms. Duane is also the writer and producer of the traveling show.
“I stand upon the gold coast
Seeing ocean space and sky
And dream of California
When she lay untouched by time
And the pilgrim tells her story
And her spirit lives in me
The hearts of those who love her
Live the California dream.”
Words by music by Christina Duane
I was born in Oregon, but grew up in California, enjoying the rich deserts of the south, the wild ocean beaches and Red Wood forested cliffs of the west, and the ever awe inspiring mountains of the east and north. Countless miles I have walked and driven in her amazing Central Valley, as well. I miss her loveliness, but also have to confess certain anger toward my native state.
I’m jealous about of what others have done to her since I reluctantly left it in the mid-1970s, and angry about what people are saying about California today. Messing with California is like messing with my father’s legacy and my dreams of home. My heart yearns to love her again and live the California dream.
This song has awakened a old passion and I hope seeing the traveling show, more than once, will help me understand better the historic California dream.
For more information about “Romancing the West” visit http://romancingthewest.org/?page_id=26 Proceeds to benefit “Oh Oregon Frontier Park and Cultural Center” Home of the Romancing the West “A Journey Through Time.”