The Long Winter saw a change in the tone of the songs in the Little House books yet again. This was the toughest year for survival for the Ingalls family and those of their neighbors. As such, many of the songs featured in The Long Winter spoke of resilience and hope for the future.
“And after supper, Pa, you’ll play the fiddle, won’t you?” Laura said. “Please.”
So after supper Pa called for his fiddle and Laura brought it to him. But when he had tuned the strings and rosined the bow he played a strange melody. The fiddle moaned a deep, rushing undertone and wild notes flickered high above it, rising until they thinned away in nothingness, only to come wailing back, the same notes but not quite the same, as if they had been changed while out of hearing.
Queer shivers tingled up Laura’s backbone and prickled over her scalp, and still the wild, changing melody came from the fiddle till she couldn’t bear it and cried, “What is it, Pa? Oh, what is that tune?”
“Listen.” Pa stopped playing and held his bow still, above the strings. “The tune is outdoors. I was only following it.”
- Chapter 12 Alone, The Long Winter
We saw a decline in how often Charles Ingalls would play his fiddle, as his fingers were damaged from twisting hay into sticks so the family had fuel to burn in order to keep warm during the harsh winter conditions in De Smet.
Songs from The Long Winter
- Hardcover Book
- Eugenia Garson (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 160 Pages - 10/01/1992 (Publication Date) - Harpercollins Childrens Books (Publisher)