In The Loop of the Octoraro Bend

Lyrics: Kevin Grewell (with Vance Hein)
Tune: Beaucatcher Farewell by Bob Zentz
This is the camp song for Camp Horseshoe.

It all began with the Dreams of Old,
the Indian Brave and the Pioneer Bold,
by camp fire light old tales retold
in the Loop of the Octoraro Bend.

Those early Scouts with their campaign hats,
their pressed wool shirts, their boots and spats,
rekindled the Dream that had gone before
in the Loop of the Octoraro Bend.

Refrain
They built a camp on the Mason-Dixon Line,
historic land where values shine,
o Horseshoe your memories will 'err be mine,
in the Loop of the Octoraro Bend.

The sun comes up over Flag Pole Hill,
where Old Glory flew and is flying proudly still,
and we'll march to the call at the end of the day
in the Loop of the Octoraro Bend.

Refrain

So let's hoist our packs once again my friend,
where the waters flow round the tranquil Horseshoe Bend,
and we'll hike and we'll camp in the Old Scout way
in the Loop of the Octoraro Bend.

Refrain



A note from Kevin Grewell :

Dear Scout Songs,

I am writing to you concerning a song entitled "In the Loop of the Octoraro Bend" which is posted on your web site. I am the author of the lyrics to the song (with Vance Hein, who deserves credit for the idea of the song, and who helped edit the song and provided a few lyrics).

First, I would like to thank you for posting this song. However, I would like to point out that you are missing about half the lyrics. Attached to this e-mail please find a complete copy of the lyrics to "In the Loop of the Octoraro Bend". I hope you will decide to update your posting so that the complete lyrics will appear on your web site (
We did - the full lyrics are posted above ).

Second, I hope you will include the fact that I wrote this along with Vance Hein. Horseshoe is a very old camp, dating to 1928, and is very conscious of history and tradition. Unfortunately this important piece of Horseshoe history is unknown and misunderstood. I don't mind being anonymous, but various false stories have circulated over the years concerning the origin of the song, and if any attribution is given, I think it should be the correct one.

No individual has taken credit for this song, but it has been variously attributed to several origins. The most prevalent theory is that two archaeologists from the State Museum of Pennsylvania wrote it during an archaeological dig conducted during the summer of 1988.

The dig involved an overhanging "Rock Shelter" called Buzzards Rock, which yielded many artifacts including arrow heads dating back to 7000 B.C., or roughly 9000 years before the present.

The site was visited by nomadic Paleo-Indian hunters, and other Indians trough the Archaic and Woodlands periods right up to historic times. The theory is that the archeologists were inspired to write the lyrics due to the fact that ancient Indians visited Horseshoe.

This is balderdash. I wrote the song, and I spent the summer with the archeologists (Mark McConoughy PH D and Doug Miller). Believe me, these two are scientists - not the least bit musical or poetic.

The dig did, however, inspire the lyrics to the song, if only indirectly. It was Vance who came up with the idea of linking the distant Indian past with the scouts of today, it was I who wrote the words to bring that concept into reality.

Thanks for your assistance with this.

Very Truly Yours,
Kevin Grewell


A note from Jeanne McDougall

Dear Scout Songs,

I'm writing on behalf of my partner, Bob Zentz.

Several years ago, Bob was notified by a fellow musician than his tune, "Beaucatcher Farewell," had been used as the setting for a Boy Scout text, "In the Loop of the Octoraro Bend." The attached pdf file has the correspondence, including a copy of the letter by the lyricist that is posted on your site along with the lyrics.

The tune was the title track of Bob's 1979 Folk-Legacy album, Beaucatcher Farewell. The album has recently be re-released on CD, and sheet music for the tune is posted in Bob's online songbook at http://www.bobzentz.com/songbook/b.farewell.TIF -- I've attached it here, along with a midi file, because in the correspondence the musician who wrote to Bob (who has also recorded the tune) indicated that the Scout troop that uses the song at the camp requested a midi. Do you know how to reach them?

Bob is always happy when someone uses one of his tunes, and just asks that his music is credited with the copyright notice, and that he be contacted if the use becomes commercial. If you would like to post a link to the sheet music for the convenience of your singers, that would be okay, too -- and ... if anyone knows the story of how the text and tune were matched, we'd love to share it with Bob's audience, too. :-)

Thanks so much, and keep on singin' ! Best, Jeanne McDougall



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