On a tour of the Transylvania region of Romania in 2005, Dan Berggren and his friends sang in small towns and big cities, orphanages, schools, hospitals and churches. One night in the little village of Almas, after their last song they asked the audience to sing something for them. They sang, in Hungarian, a song hundreds of years old about their town. That experience inspired Berggren to want to write a song about his hometown, Minerva.
Three years later the inspiration became reality, thanks to a project with Kathy Halloran’s fourth graders at Minerva Central School, and their music teacher Sabrina LaPointe. The children interviewed their grandparents and older neighbors about what had changed in their hometown, and what had remained the same and the verses grew from what they brought back. The song’s chorus came from a list they generated, letter by letter, of all the things in their town that were meaningful to them.
The sound, recorded at their school spring concert, is now available online for the first time.
Here’s the link to the song “Minerva, My Hometown”:
The song is © 2008 Dan Berggren and Mrs. Kathy Halloran’s Fourth Grade Class. Used by permission, Sleeping Giant Records and Berggren Music.