Come take a trip in my airship
come sail away to the stars
We’ll travel to Venus
we’ll sail off to Mars
That’s part of the chorus of a love song about the pilot of an airship who woos a young woman by taking her on a cruise through the Milky Way and proposing to her there. The song debuted in 1904 and has been recorded hundreds of times by artists as varied as Johnny Cash, Natalie Merchant and Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton.
Come Take A Trip In My Airship plays a role in my upcoming novel Lost on the Prairie. My hero Peter hears the song being whistled by a young lad named Samson who is showing him the way to the West Hotel in Minneapolis.
As we walk down the street side by side Samson begins to whistle. “I don’t know that song,” I say.
“It’s called Come Take a Trip in My Airship.”
“My family likes music but I’ve never heard that one,” I tell him.
“It’s pretty new. Miss Ginger one of the entertainers in the dining room at the West Hotel has been singing it lately. I often have to take passengers to and from the hotel and sometimes when I’m waiting in the lobby for folks I can hear Miss Ginger singing. She’s got a voice can make your worries fly away.”
“Why would she be singing about an airship? What’s that?”
“You haven’t heard of them?”
“Can’t say that I have. I saw some hot air balloons when I was at the amusement park in Omaha. Is that the same thing?”
“I guess in a way but these are real airships that carry lots of passengers. They’ve been experimenting with them over in Europe, France mostly. This one fella earned a whole pile of money for flying his airship around the Eiffel Tower.”
The song was written by a Welsh musician named George Honey Boy Evans and the lyrics were penned by an American musician Ren Shields. They wrote other songs together including the very popular In the Good Old Summer Time.
This last week I have been going over the manuscript for Lost on the Prairie in its entirety almost every day as we polish all the details before it is sent to the printer. One thing that I’ve noticed during these marathon reading sessions is that music actually plays a pretty important role in my story. In the future, I will have to blog about other songs that are featured in the book.