All of us in 6th grade Miss Clancy's class had to perform in the holiday assembly. She painted a beautiful autumnal backdrop and we liked up on risers in the front of the stage to sing along to Miss Titler's piano.
Swing the shining sickle, cut the ripened grain!
Flash it in the sunlight, swing it once again.
Tie the golden grainheads into shining sleeves,
beautiful the colors of the autumn leaves.
Then we broke into the Pilgrim's Anthem:
The breaking waves dashed high, on the stern and rockbound coast.
The trees against the stormy sky, their giant branches tossed.
The heavy night hung dark, the trees and waters o'er,
when a band of exiles moored their bark on the wild New England shore.
This was the fall of 1960. JFK had just been elected president. I had the best teacher in the school and it was going to be a good holiday.
Why were we singing songs with words that had to be explained to us? No idea what a sickle was nor a grainhead. We were singing songs from the turn of the 20th century.
I wonder if anyone but me remembers those stupid ancient songs!
I'm gonna try to look them up on Google, see if they are not just a figment of my imagination.