Wagon Wheel Rag
About the Song
One of the angels of my childhood was my great-aunt Nita. She was a very colorful character–both literally and figuratively. She bleached her hair until it was flaming orange. She was fond of metallic gold fabrics. She drove a lavender Lincoln Continental. She lived a life that was… well… unrestrained in many areas.
One day in her later years, she called my mother on the phone. “Robin,” she said, “I’m joining your church. Can you come to my baptism?” The missionaries (I believe my mother sent them) had taught dear aunt Nita and she had accepted the gospel. None of us would have believed it possible.
She remained colorful–converted, but colorful. Her bishop asked her to play the piano for priesthood meeting, as none of the men could play. Little did he know, aunt Nita had played piano for silent movie theaters in her youth. None of the good priesthood brethren had ever before heard the hymns played like aunt Nita played them!
This little 1-page, Joplin-esque arrangement of “Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel” is dedicated to the memory of aunt Nita’s flaming orange hair and her kind heart.
It would do nicely at a ward social. Please don’t play it in priesthood meeting.
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