By Jug Varner

If you read my musings in JUG’S JOURNAL, you may have seen a recent one entitled, Background Music, about music of my youth and old songs that keep coming to mind and for which I usually can piece together forgotten lyrics after giving it some thought.

Soon after that, for some odd reason a song I learned from the radio in my youth, titled In A Little Red Barn (on a farm down in Indiana), popped into my mind. And, while I recalled some of the lyrics, try as I may I could not remember all of them. Finally, I decided to search the Internet to see if I could find the words there. The song was available on tape or CD from a surprising number of sources, but practically every site was merely promoting the sales of various artists’ renditions of it along with other songs in their albums. - not showing any printed lyrics.

Undeterred, I knew if I searched long enough something would turn up, but I wasn‘t expecting the unusual source I discovered. Would you believe it came from Sri Lanka?! You may be familiar with this Southern Asia nation once known as Ceylon, but if not, it is an island in the Indian Ocean, just south of India.

My first thought was that some American in that far-off land was doing business there as an adjunct to his or her regular employment… or for whatever reason… but that wasn’t the case.

Carlo Fernando is a 51 year-old native of Moratuwa, south of the capitol city Columbo. In banking for 18 years, he resigned in 1992 and formed his own software company. He also teaches computing to grade 9 and 10 students at an international school. His wife Sandra and daughter are employed at the same school and his son is studying there for a degree.

His song indexing evolved over the course of several years as he painstakingly typed the lyrics to all the “oldies” he had collected. Once people found his Website, he gradually accumulated more songs from visitors and eventually invited several interested people around the world to become virtual web partners in collecting the songs - which continue to grow in number.

So, if you ever need to know the lyrics to your old favorites, bookmark his site at http://www.commsoft.lk/lg-book.html and have a look. Carlos might just have what you are looking for. His other site for Web Partners is at http://groups.msn.com/GoldenOldiesWebPartners.

The following was Carlos’s response to my initial request:

Dear Jug: I have the lyrics. The song you requested appears below. Thanks for visiting my page. Your voluntary contribution - a minimum US$2 in cash or money order - will help me to continue this service. Please send your contribution to: Felix Fonseka 1300 Lafayette E. # 2001 Detroit, MI 48207 (as it takes 12 -15+ days for mail to reach me in Sri Lanka and would cost you almost a dollar in postage). Thanks & Regards,
C. Fernando, Sri Lanka

By Joe Young, Jean Schwartz & Milton Ager
Copyright 1934

1st Verse:

I was born 'way down in Indiana,
Wish that I were there right now.
Want to hear my dog bow-wow
When I go to milk the cow.
Raised on corn 'way down in Indiana,
So was ev'ry little hen.
I was mighty happy then;
Wish that I were back a-gain:


In a little red barn on a farm down in Indiana,
Let me lay my back on a stack of new mown hay.
'Round the barnyard where the farmyard folks are pal-ly,
Let me dilly-dally all the live-long day.
I'm a Hoosier who's blue, thru and thru, and my heart is pining
For the sycamore trees where the Wabash breezes play.
What's more, I'm pining for a yellow moon that's shining
On a little red barn on a farm down Indiana way.

2nd Verse:

Work was done 'way down in Indiana,
Picked the eggs the chickens lay;
Pushed the plow and pitched the hay;
Ev'ry day a busy day.
Had my fun 'way down in Indiana
When the sun would go to rest.
Saw it sinkin' in the West;
That's the time I liked the best.

CHORUS: Repeat