Bloody Mary, Don't Roast Me Tonight: A Thanksgiving Sing-Along

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In this season of family, good friends and, of course, the annual roasting of a grand feast, whatever that may be (Tofurkey is always nice!), I thought I might proffer a wee excerpt from the upcoming Savannah of Williamsburg: Washington, Wisdom and The West, Virginia 1754. Though originally written as a springtime campfire song, Bloody Mary, Don't Roast Me Tonight makes for a great family sing-along, no matter what the occasion! One might hear it 'round an 18thC. Appalachian campfire, or 'round your own Thanksgiving table, anywhere across this great country. Happy Thanksgiving, America!

Excerpt from Savannah of Williamsburg: Washington, Wisdom and The West, Virginia 1754

Dante turned his attention to Jeremiah, whom was tuning his cittern: a small, medieval-era, stringed instrument. It was similar to a mandolin, but with a longer neck and a flatter back. Usually played with a quill or a plectrum, Jeremiah needed neither. His claws were the perfect, natural plectrums. Cincinnatus was sitting up straight, lengthening his diaphragm as he prepared to sing. Both Mason boys had removed their trail hats, leather tricorns, and replaced them with what they called their 'ficial sing-songin' hats, which looked very similar to Robin Hood hats. They were green wool and sported an interesting and plentiful collection of feathers: one feather collected from each adventure they shared. This adventure had yet to provide the perfect find.


Jeremiah and Cincinnatus had an affinity for medieval music and their feathered hats helped them get into that spirit. In between them, staring dumbly into the campfire they'd built outside their tent, sat Sparky. He did not possess a 'ficial sing-songin' hat, but was always eager to join whatever the scene was. So, he had taken one of his neckerchiefs, one which happened to be of a thick, olive-green linen, and tied it around his head. He pulled it backwards into a point, so it approximated a Robin Hood hat, and sported it proudly as he awaited the music. When he tore his gaze away from the flame, he realized Dante was in-camp and yelled out to him, a little too loudly.


"Dante! Dante! Over here! Come sit with us! We's playin' music! We's having ourselves a mee-dee-vull sing-song!" he patted the empty space on the log next to him.


Dante happily obliged. In a contest of editing versus singing, singing always won. He settled onto the log and crossed a boot over his other leg, the way Washington had done. It turned out that the earlier argument between the mink brothers had been about a song. More precisely, it had been about the title of a song. In the end, Jeremiah had ceded to Cincinnatus' choice: Bloody Mary, Don't Roast Me Tonight.


Bloody Mary, Don't Roast Me Tonight

lyrics by Jennifer Susannah Devore


Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary,

Why is your heart so black tonight?

The sky is so clear, the stars so bright.

Why is your heart so black tonight?

Summer of 1553 began your Terrific Reign of Might.

Oh, why is your heart so black tonight?

Your hair gleams like a raven, your smile faint like a ghost.

'Tis a beauteous evening for a campfire,

But not for a Protestant roast.



Note: As with previous songs, in previous titles, Bloody Mary, Don't Roast Me Tonight is inspired by the author's many musical friends. Thank you, pals!

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Excerpt from Savannah of Williamsburg: Washington, Wisdom and The West, Virginia 1754, Book IV of the Savannah of Williamsburg series of books, by Jennifer Susannah Devore. All rights reserved. Property of KIMedia, LLC. Excerpt may be shared digitally for entertainment,  non-commercial purposes only and may not be reprinted in analog format or sold in any format, digital, analog or otherwise.