By Murphy Hicks Henry and Mike McIntyre, Copyright 2010, Arrandem Music Co., SESAC
This song is ONLY available via free download (by clicking the link above). Despite the fact that there is a "Buy CD" button to the left, it's NOT available on CD!
How This Song Came To Be Written
(in case you’re interested!)
I have recently taken up square dancing and I love it! I’ve been going to lessons three times and week and dancing almost every Friday and Saturday. So, one Saturday night we had two car loads of folks going over to the Hagerstown, Maryland, dance from our local square dance clubs (Apple Valley Squares in Winchester, and the Rivermont Ramblers from Front Royal). My square dance instructor, Mike McIntyre, was riding in the car I was in, sitting in the middle of the back seat between me and my friend Marion. He was talking on his cell phone to the other car, who had just pulled ahead of us on the Interstate. He said, “If you get to the dance hall before me, save me a square on the floor.” I thought that that was such a great line that I grabbed a piece of paper and, in the fashion of songwriters everywhere, wrote it down. I knew if I didn’t, I’d never remember it.
Being new to the square dancing world, I thought perhaps the phrase was an old square dance saying, something people said to each other a lot. At next week’s lesson I asked Mike about it, and he said, no, it was just something he happened to say in the moment.
I kept that piece of paper around for a few weeks, lying by the telephone near the kitchen where I would occasionally look at it. At some point I added the words “my darling” to Mike’s phrase to make the timing come out better in my head.
Then I started trying to learn this complicated square dance move called “Load The Boat.” It’s not a maneuver for beginning square dancers, which I am, but I wanted to learn it so I could dance the more advanced dances. So, Load The Boat was heavily on my mind.
One Sunday morning, after a most excellent dance in Hagerstown where I danced all the advanced dances and didn’t break any squares down too often, I was taking a shower (too much information, I know, but I do some of my best thinking in the shower!) and this line came to me: “When the time comes around to load the old boat for Glory...” I kept it in my mind long enough to finish rinsing my hair, then jumped out of the shower and wrote it down in my song notebook. (I had a towel on!) After getting dressed, I spent the next two or three hours sitting on the studio floor, guitar in hand, putting the rest of the song together. The words were flowing pretty well and the tune came to me easily. By noon I had finished the song. I felt SO EXCITED, as I always do after finishing a song I am happy with.
I took my guitar into my square dance class the next Thursday and sang it for Mike and the rest of the students. Mike’s first comment? “That choreography won’t work.” (He was talking about the line that says, “Make a wave, swing through, centers trade, boy run.” As originally written I had “partners trade” which, as any good square dancer knows, doesn’t work! I don’t know that, but I’ll take Mike’s word for it! So I changed it.) But everybody was really complimentary about it and I really like it so, there you have it! Hope you enjoy it!