Dona Dona

Once I get started, I can’t stop writing a song until it’s at a stopping place. So that is why it is 3 freakin’ AM on Monday morning. Anyways, here is my version of “Dona Dona”, quite different from the traditional folk version we know from Joan Baez. Please forgive the less-than-professional vocals and mic situation! (I’m doing this on my laptop with Garage Band ’09.)

On a wagon bound for market
There’s a calf with a mournful eye.
High above him there’s a swallow
Winging swiftly through the sky.

How the winds are laughing, laughing
They’re laughing with all their might
Laugh and laugh the whole day through
And laughing half the summer’s night.

Dona dona dona dona
Dona dona dona don
Dona dona dona dona
Dona dona dona don

“Stop complaining,” said the farmer,
“Who told you a calf to be?
Why don’t you have wings to fly away
Like the swallow so proud and free?”

How the winds are laughing, laughing
They’re laughing with all of their might
Laugh and laugh the whole day through
And laughing half the summer’s night.

Dona dona dona dona
Dona dona dona don
Dona dona dona dona
Dona dona dona don

Calves are easily bound and slaughtered
Never knowing the reason why.
But whoever treasures freedom,
Like the swallow must learn to fly.

How the winds are laughing, laughing
How they laugh with all of their might
Laugh and laugh the whole day through
And laughing half the summer’s night.

Dona dona dona dona
Dona dona dona don
Dona dona dona dona
Dona dona dona don

4 thoughts

  1. Allison, that is very cool! I think there’s a lot I could learn from you… way to go!!

  2. I wanted to rewrite the victimization of the calf as the freedom of the swallow. In other words, change the story so that one might choose in life whether they want to be a calf or a swallow, metaphorically speaking. But you could read it with irony, too. Folk song lyrics can go many different directions and that’s why I like them.

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