Got a song flowing in your veins?
If so, the Connecticut River Watershed Council wants to hear it.
The Greenfield-based organization is launching a song-writing contest to celebrate the river, and eventually, all its tributaries.
The contest grew out of the singing of ”river songs” at watershed council board gatherings that often ended with people saying, ”Wouldn’t it be good if we had a song about the Connecticut River?” said contest coordinator Pat LaMountain, a songwriter and singer who’s been performing with her husband, Tex, for more than 30 years.
Those concerts included Bill Halley’s ”Miss the Mississippi and You,” and they left everyone wondering why, if there are odes to the Columbia, the Suwanee, the Shenandoah and even the Allegheny and the Monongahela, there’s shouldn’t be a theme song for the Connecticut.
Considering that the river flows 410 miles from the Canadian border through four New England states, LaMountain figures there are probably a lot of songwriters who feel a connection to the Connecticut, not to mention all of the nonprofessional lovers of the river whose original Native American name — Quinnetukut — means ”long, tidal river.”
The watershed council will allow up to three original song entries per writer by the July 15 deadline, with 10 finalists to be chosen by Aug. 15.
Finalists will perform their original works at a ”Living Along the River Concert” scheduled for Sept. 12 at the Great Falls Discovery Center in Turners Falls, at which judges will choose a winner.
The project is supported in part by grants from the arts councils in Greenfield, Montague, Northfield, Whately and Hadley.
An information session about the contest is scheduled for today at 7 p.m. at the council’s offices at 15 Bank Row in Greenfield.
”We could use good songs, for many reasons,” said LaMountain, who also works as finance director for the nonprofit organization. Not the least of these, she said, is to raise awareness about the river and to provide topical songs for concerts and gatherings, like the Source to the Sea cleanup the council held last fall.
The watershed council is looking at future contests to inspire songs about the Deerfield, Millers, Sawmill, Ashuelot and all of the other Connecticut tributaries, once it’s dealt with the main stem, LaMountain said.
”We’re not stopping with the Connecticut,” she said, adding that the tributaries extend through about half of Massachusetts. Her hope is that poets, musicians and people who simply feel moved will turn out for the cause.
”Everybody cares about the river,” she said. ”It’s in our blood.”
On the Web: ctriver.org
You can reach Richie Davis at: firstname.lastname@example.org or (413) 772-0261 Ext. 269