By the Shores of Silver Lake marks a change in the tone of the music. Some of the music is learned while Laura and her family are living and working in the railroad camp, such as A Railroad Man for Me, which Laura and her cousin Lena would sing while playing outside.
This book is also the book that introduces the song Highland Mary, which would make its appearance in later books as the song Pa would most often play first on his fiddle, as they would play the song “for Mary” when she left to go to the school for the blind in Vinton, Iowa, as a way of honoring Mary’s absence from the family.
After supper they all gathered in the warmth of the stove. Ma rocked Grace slowly to and fro, and Laura brought Pa the fiddle box. Now the happy winter evenings were begun.
“Hail Columbia, happy land!
(Pa sang with the fiddle)
Hail, ye heroes, Heaven-born band! Firm, united let us be,
Rallying ’round our liberty,
As a band of brothers joined
Peace and safety we shall find.”
He looked at Mary sitting quietly with beautiful empty eyes and folded hands in her rocking chair by the oven. “What shall I play for you, Mary?”
“I would like to hear ‘Highland Mary,’ Pa.” Softly Pa played a verse. “Now, Mary! Help sing!” he said, and they sang together.
- Chapter 14 The Surveyors’ House, By the Shores of Silver Lake
Songs from By the Shores of Silver Lake
- Hardcover Book
- Eugenia Garson, (Editor and Compiler) (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 160 Pages - 12/07/1992 (Publication Date) - HarperCollins Childrens Books (Publisher)