The text here presented, however, is one I made up myself, inspired by architectural field work my wife and I did in Bowman County, North Dakota, in 1997. There we came across several sod houses recently occupied, various people who had lived in them, and indeed, one woman still living in one. This led me to ask why, when other people built new wood-frame houses, these folk stayed in their soddies--and led me to put a rather different spin on the old song.
|Little Old Sod Shanty|
Now the prairie sod is turned, and our homestead's proven up,|
And our fences make the landscape rather tame.
Our barn is full of fodder, and our granaries so full
Stand around our old sod shanty on the claim.
Our neighbors all are hauling piles of lumber out from town
And are building big frame houses on the plain,
And they wonder why we hesitate to join the building boom
And to leave our old sod shanty on the claim.
Oh the window-wells are deep, for the walls are two feet thick,So we bought a square of wood shakes and a little keg of nails
And we made our hip roof tight against the rain,
Then we laid a new wood floor, and we bought some window glass
For our little old sod shanty on the claim.
We hauled sand up from the river and some cement out from town
And our dirty walls white stucco soon became.
But the hardest part was plastering those inside soddy walls
Of our little old sod shanty on the claim.
One cold December evening we sat up to tend the fire,