The auld Irish melody “Buttermilk Hill” was sung beside cradles through the centuries.
The words varied with mood and season.
While their dad’s wrote their resolutions for their representatives to Continental Congress, Sis interrupted her chores at the loom and spinning wheel to cover for Bud’s chopping wood and tending the flocks and herds while he was away in the army. Then she returned to the wheel humming about her neighbor, Johnny.
Sell her flocks and sell her wheel to buy her love a sword to wield.
Then to the streets to beg for bread.
Johnny has gone for a soldier.
Without her flocks, there would be no eggs or wool.
Without her wheel there wood be no new clothes.
Suddenly they were less important.
The frontier militia officers attempted to keep the men’s time away from home to the minimum needed. A lengthy absence meant no crop, no herd, maybe bankruptcy. Three months per year was the most required from a head of household. Substitutes could be hired to satisfy service obligations.
Susan Boyle with a different song.