As the final book in the Little House series, the songs found in These Happy Golden Years are more melancholy than the previous books. Almanzo is courting Laura, where they get to know each other and attend singing school together.
The later tone is wistful as she anticipates leaving her family to start a new one with Almanzo, and how she will miss her parents and sisters, and of course, Pa’s fiddle playing that has brought joy to her childhood.
One of the last chapters in this book place tribute to all the songs Laura grew up with and that Pa sang to Laura and her sisters from the Big Woods through to the current time, the eve of Laura’s wedding and leaving home for the last time.
After supper that night, Laura brought Pa’s fiddle to him, and asked, “Please, Pa, make some music.”
Pa took the fiddle from the box. He was a long time tuning it; then he must resin the bow carefully. At last he poised the bow above the fiddle strings and cleared his throat. “What will you have, Laura?”
“Play for Mary first,” Laura answered. “And then play all the old tunes, one after another, as long as you can.”
She sat on the doorstep and just inside the door Pa and Ma sat looking out over the prairie while Pa played “Highland Mary.” Then while the sun was going down he played all the old tunes that Laura had known ever since she could remember.
The sun sank from sight, trailing bright banners after it. The colors faded, the land grew shadowy, the first star twinkled. Softly Carrie and Grace came to lean against Ma. The fiddle sang on in the twilight.
It sang the songs that Laura knew in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, and the tunes that Pa had played by the campfires all across the plains of Kansas. It repeated the nightingale’s song in the moonlight on the banks of the Verdigris River, then it remembered the days in the dugout on the banks of Plum Creek, and the winter evenings in the new house that Pa had built there. It sang of the Christmas on Silver Lake, and of springtime after the long, Hard Winter.
– Chapter 32 Haste to the Wedding, These Happy Golden Years
Songs from These Happy Golden Years
- Hardcover Book
- Eugenia Garson, (Editor and Compiler) (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 160 Pages - 02/28/1992 (Publication Date) - HarperCollins Childrens Books (Publisher)