Contributed by Clive Beckmann
Over the years, I’ve had occasion to eulogize some of my DEWLine comrades, and in doing so, have frequently used the term, “Fiddler’s Green.”
Someone has asked me what is meant by Fiddler’s Green. Well, it has shown up in one shape or form across the centuries. It alludes to a place where the deceased of a special group of folks can gather in order to enjoy company together for eternity. Sailors, soldiers, cavalrymen, and the mariners from Homer’s Odyssey, all have their own special version, to name just a few.
In the cavalry version, the ghosts of departed riders are all camped in a grassy meadow, near a cheery canteen that is always open and always keeps the canteens of the patrons filled with their favorite drink.
In the sailor’s version, it is a pub in an idyllic village, far from the sea, where the mugs of grog never grow empty, no matter how long a draught is taken, the pipe tobacco is always free, and fair maidens dance to the song of a fiddle.
And so I thought it appropriate to have a version applicable to the dear departed members of our own beloved DEWLine Clan. But what of the setting for such a group? Coming immediately to mind were the many cheerful memories of the times spent in the DEWLine bars, where the drink always flowed in abundance and folks were always laughing in merriment. I can imagine such a merry place where our departed family members continue a perpetual party and, through the windows, the soft luminescence of the Northern Lights can be plainly seen, forever dancing and shimmering.
Here is the DEWLiner’s version of Fiddler’s Green:
Halfway down the road to Hell
In a shady meadow green,
Are the souls of dead DEWLiners gatherer
Near a bar like we’ve all seen,
And this eternal resting place
Is known as Fiddler’s Green.
Marching past, straight through to Hell,
Some natives can be seen,
Accompanied by some Prudhoe folks,
With some military in between,
For none but the likes of DEWLiners,
Stop off at Fiddler’s Green.
Though some go curving down the road
To seek a warmer scene,
No DEWLiner ever gets to Hell
While there’s a bar on which to lean,
So back they turn to drink again
With their friends on Fiddler’s Green.
And so when one of us goes down
From a bug or illness keen,
Or from old age that has just worn us out
No more breath remains to glean,
Just take that turn from the road to Hell
To that bar of high esteem,
And raise your glass and toast your DEWLine friends
Who are gathered on Fiddler’s Green.