Here’s a short song about a big lake with a long name.
The lake in question has the claim to fame of having the longest name of all American lakes: Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg.
The legend, now disproved, is that the name means “you fish on your side, I fish on my side, nobody fishes in the middle.” The lake is located in my state, Massachusetts, in the town of Webster, and it looks something like this:
About the song
Well, the legend about the title was all very fine, but I had heard tell of another legend–that there had been a 1930s song written about the lake.
This sounded ideal for me, because I…
- live in Massachusetts
- like old songs
- really like silly words
So I set off to find it.
Not so easy to do
First of all, it’s very easy to misspell “Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg,” which means a simple little Google search can go screwy in a hurry.
Secondly, there seem to be at least THREE different song about the lake.
One, having no appeal at all, is Ethel Merman belting her way through a dull song of dull rhymes.
Another lead pointed to a video of the Webster, Massachusetts high school choir singing a song about their lake. And this was the one I knew I wanted. Yes, plenty of goofy rhymes like agog, frog, and geog (short for geography!), but catchy enough, and from the right era that there might be some nice sheet music for it.
A little more detective work, and, whew, here it is:
FREE SHEET MUSIC DOWNLOAD: The Lake Song (By Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg).
Note: Guitar chords are shown, not ukulele. Of course, you can read the chord names and use those.
Everything I’ve found online about this song mentions that it was “a minor hit for Fred Waring”–but I can’t find it! How can something not exist on the Internet??? So, get to work, uke pals. Surely someone has access to Fred’s minor hit?
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