West For America

Last month I had the opportunity to experience an extraordinary singer/songwriter, David Walburn, who performs at the Many Glacier Hotel in Glacier National Park, MT.  Walburn performs a music program based on the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition: The "Corps of Discovery." This expedition was commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson to explore the West in hopes of finding a "Northwest Passage" trade route from St. Louis, MO to the Pacific Ocean.

The expedition took place from 1804 to 1809. Although the Corps never found a Northwest Passage, they paved the way for settling the Great American West.  I'm privileged to be able to live in such a beautiful place today. 

When you listen to the lyrics of Walburn's inspirational songs, you can sense the thrill of adventure the Corps must have felt at the time. The lyrics resonate with the monumental purpose of the exploration of the uncharted West.  

Here are some excerpts from one of Walburn's songs:

"Roll up your bedrolls, shoulder your guns, let the journey begin. Give me your strong, give me your brave, give me your 30 best men."

Chorus:
"And we'll go west for America follow the sun, on the northwest passage to the sea. We'll go west for America God's chosen ones, and claim all this land for you and me."

"Say your prayers, bid farewell, in the morning we'll rise. Man our oars, cast off from shore, and leave St. Louie behind. Chorus. Bridge: We'll go where no white man has ever gone, see things he's never seen. And on our shoulders we'll carry the weight, of a Nation's hopes and dreams."

"Roll up your bedrolls, shoulder your guns, let the journey begin, and we'll go west for America follow the sun on that northwest passage to the sea. We'll go west for America God's chosen ones and claim all this land for you and me. We'll go West for America, God's chosen ones, and claim all this land for you and me."

- Words and music by David Walburn.

I have a strong appreciation for Native American history. So I find it important to note that although the government in those years talked of the West as being unchartered territory, Native Americans were well established in this area for centuries before.  This is a whole other topic I will address in a future post! 

Walburn's songs generate enthusiasm in me and remind me about the great adventure of life!  I once heard that "all art is just an analogy for the great art of life." I hope you look upon this day like the Corp of Discovery looked upon their adventure; as my Dad used to say - like a "song to be sung and not a sentence to be served." Today will, too soon, become that yesterday we were going to do so much about tomorrow. Live your dreams today!

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