Some of you may recognize our Blog's Happy Wanderer theme from the TV show of the same name. Back in the mid sixties, The Happy Wanderers was a weekly travel log sponsored by the Ford Motor Company. The show focused on the backroad-ramblings of a jovial character named Slim Barnard. Each week, Slim and his wife Henrietta motored throughout the southwestern United States in search of adventure and beautiful scenery. And each week they produced a wonderfully artistic map of their travels which was available only at your local Ford dealership. The idea was for families to visit the dealer to pick up their personal copy of the map and get acquainted with all the new Fords. Though I was just a kid, I never missed Slim's adventures and would always prevail upon my mother to drive me to the local Ford dealer to get my maps. I was too young to drive, of course, but was simply planning for the future when I, too, would hit the road in search of adventure. The show employed a very distictive them song which I sing to this very day, usually as I wander the mountain tracks of California's San Gabriel Mountains. The music follows. Click on it once to make it larger. Click on your brower's back button to return to blog.
Here's the rest of the lyrics:
Words by Antonia Ridge
and music by Friedrich W. Moller,
copyright © 1954 by Bosworth & Co., Ltd.
I love to go a-wandering,
Along the mountain track,
And as I go, I love to sing,
My knapsack on my back.
Val-de-ri, val-de-ra, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha,
My knapsack on my back (repeat last line of each verse).
I love to wander by the stream,
That dances in the sun,
So joyfully it calls to me,
Come join my happy song.
I wave my hand to all I meet,
And they wave back to me,
And blackbirds call so loud and sweet
From every green wood tree.
High overhead the skylarks wing,
They never rest at home
But just like me they laugh and sing,
As o'er the world we roam.
Oh, may I go a-wandering
Until the day I die,
Oh, may I always laugh and sing,
Beneath God's clear blue sky.
Click here to listen to the Happy Wanderer theme. User your browser's back button to return to this blog. Be patient, sometimes it takes a moment to start.
Slim was born in 1903 and has been gone from the scene since 1975, but he certainly touched my life way back then. He was the first one to really awaken the travel bug in me and I'll always be grateful. Here's a copy of one of his wonderful maps from his TV series, The Happy Wanderers. All these years later, I still have a large collection them.