“If there were witchcraft, I’d make two wishes,
a winding road that beckons me to roam,
and then I’d wish for a blazing campfire,
to welcome me when I’m returning home.
But, in this real world there is no witchcraft and golden wishes do no grow on trees.
Our fondest day dreams must be the magic that brings us back our happy memories.
Memories that linger, constant and true,
memories we’ll cherish, Camp Lo-Kai of you.
“I would sing this song at camp, always around a fire. We usually closed each night at camp with a big bon-fire. This would be the last song we’d sing before we headed to our cabins for the night! My friends and I just found out recently that the lyrics actually say “If there were wish craft”, so we’d been singing it wrong all this time! We do think the actual lyrics do make a little bit more sense than what we had been singing.”
Songs are an integral part of many camping experiences. In my mind, these songs help form a sense of community among the campers. This song in particular seems to evoke a certain nostalgia, a fondness for memories and a hope that the memories made during camp will last a lifetime. Indeed, this does seem to be the case for the informant, as she still meets with some of her camp friends, often singing this song when they do.
I found the shift in the lyrics interesting, especially given the fact that the informant and her friends came to like what was supposedly the original script of the song. This illustrates the change that is characteristic of folklore, but also brings up an important nuance: that this change is not always unidirectional, and can change back and forth depending on the sensibilities of the performer.