Sunday Song Lyric:
This week, John McCain looked north, to Alaska, to find his running mate. In 1960, Johnny Horton recorded "North to Alaska," the title song for the John Wayne movie of the same name. The Horton song, penned by Mike Phillips, was a hit (and was subsequently covered by several folks, including Dwight Yoakam and Johnny Cash). Time will tell whether the Palin pick is as popular. In the meantime, here's a taste of the lyrics to the song penne:
Big Sam left Seattle in the year of '92,
With George Pratt, his partner, and brother, Billy, too.
They crossed the Yukon River and found the bonanza gold.
Below that old white mountain just a little south-east of Nome.

Sam crossed the majestic mountains to the valleys far below.
He talked to his team of huskies as he mushed on through the snow.
With the northern lights a-running wild in the land of the midnight sun,
Yes, Sam McCord was a mighty man in the year of nineteen-one.

Where the river is winding,
Big nuggets they're finding.
North to Alaska,
They're goin' North, the rush is on.
A guy I knew in college swore that his class prom theme was North to Alaska. He was from Hawaii. The girls in the class were not happy.
8.31.2008 9:32am
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):
didn't the Weavers do a song, prior to 1960, very similar to "North To Alaska"?
8.31.2008 10:07am
Interesting comparison, given that McCain's nickname at the Naval Academy was "John Wayne" McCain
8.31.2008 11:24am
DiverDan (mail):
I think Robert Service is more appropriate for the Palin Pick --

The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see . . .

from "The Cremation of Sam McGee"
8.31.2008 11:33am
I love Johnny Horton. I have his greatest hits CD and every song is great. I love Ballads. I listened to him as a child on the radio and have loved his songs since. Classics they are. Some are extremely sad and some are very funny.
8.31.2008 12:32pm
metro1 (mail) (www):

The GOP base is ecstatic with Palin. If Gustav doesn't mess up the convention too bad, the convention members may be singing "North to Alaska" in unison when Palin steps up to speak. Already at GOP rallies around the county, when other speakers are at the podium, the crowds yells out "We want Sarah!"

See, e.g., here:

* * *

"There is an electricity going through the social conservative crowd right now; it's unbelievable," said James Muffett, head of Michigan's Citizens for Traditional Values, who had met with McCain in the weeks leading up to his selection of a running mate. "Especially given all the set-ups and head fakes — it's amazing. A lot of people were sure he was going to show his more moderate colors."

Muffett said the effect on his conservative comrades in arms has been immediate and visceral.

"My wife and I watched an MSNBC special on her last night," he said. "My wife knew nothing about this woman. But she was in tears listening to her articulate the views she had."

Since the pick, Muffett said, he's gotten "dozens of e-mails and the phones have been ringing off the hook"...

* * *
8.31.2008 1:39pm
Cornellian (mail):
For most of the country, wouldn't it be more accurate to say "Northwest to Alaska?"
8.31.2008 2:50pm

No. Many of the people involved in the Klondike Gold Rush were westerners who had distant (and occasionally not-so-distant) memories of the California Gold Rush and other mining exploits in the West. There were certainly folks involved from the East, lots of professional types, but most were from the West.

And yay for Johnny Horton, North to Alaska is a great song.
8.31.2008 3:07pm
lee (mail):
Even so, the easternmost(excluding the Aleutians that lie west of the 180th meridian)point in Alaska is some 200 miles west of any point in the continental US. Because of those Aleutians west of the 180th meridian Alaska is the northernmost, westernmost and easternmost state of the US.
8.31.2008 3:50pm
Syd Henderson (mail):
For people in Washington, it might be North by Northwest to Alaska.
8.31.2008 4:04pm
Rachel (mail):
The Weavers? Are you high?
8.31.2008 4:25pm
DiverDan (mail):
Metro1, Just so it's clear, my reference to the Robert Service quote was not at all intended to be jab at Palin, or at McCain. From what I've seen of Palin so far, I like most of it - but almost certainly NOT for the same reasons the Religious Right likes her (I'm more than a little put off by her quote regarding the teaching of creationism alongside evolution -- apparently a BS Degree from the University of Idaho doesn't require any understanding of science). Rather, the quote was intended to convey my level of shock &surprise at the audacity of the pick.
8.31.2008 9:30pm
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):

The Weavers? Are you high?

The Weavers had a song that sounded very similar to it- the tune, not the lyrics, IIRC. Ya tranny.
8.31.2008 11:04pm