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Published on Oct 9, 2011
A tribute to Miss Wiley on her 103th birthday today. Here's one of my favorite songs by her accompanied by some pictures and the only film footage known to exist so far.
"From the Land of the Sky-Blue Water" is a popular song published in 1909. Charles Wakefield Cadman composed the music based on an Omaha love song collected by Alice C. Fletcher. "Sky-blue water" is a translation of the name "Minnesota" from Dakota into English. Nelle Richmond Eberhart wrote the poem that goes with the music:
A pretty, lyrical and jazzy version is performed by Harpo Marx in the 1940 film Go West, featuring his harp accompanied by a flute-playing Indian chief. Hamm's Beer also used the music for its advertising jingle. A snatch is sung by Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams in Scene Two while she is in the bathroom.