Cicada Summer Love Song

By Russell Ritchey

We moved to Waco in 1990 and raised four beautiful children born and raised on what to me is now hallowed ground. My wife, Angie, passed away last year, God rest her soul. But she poured her heart and soul into our kids. It was so beautiful. (She was actually born in Waco in 1964, her dad, Ira Thompsom, being a Methodist Minister at that time).  I penned a poem (actually a song) in 2003 as I pondered the ways of God, and life, as I listened to the cicadas in the lone oak tree above, and in Cameron Park all around, cradling my newborn son, Wesley, in my arms, nicknamed then as ‘Bug’. So now,  after all these years, I want to share how the summer sound of the cicada has impressed upon me a strong and enduring memory. I hope you find my poem (song) a pleasant and pleasurable read and that it will compliment the melody of the cicada bug in your Waco trees this summer, and all the summers to come, and ultimately, in your many memories.

Here’s to my children, and especially my ‘bug’, and to my late wife Angie.
That Cicada Summer Love Song

Cicada, cicada, singing that summer song,
Cicada, cicada, singing all summer long.

The sound of summer fills the air,
Gently soothing every care.

Cicada, cicada.

The sun is shining bright outside,
It’s wonderful to be alive.
And now and then there is a breeze,
Whispering sweet memories.

Cicada, cicada.

So many summers from the past,
Oh how I wished each one would last
Just like this moment here with you,
I hope it is a memory too.

Cicada, cicada.

As summers come and summers go,
I hope your love for me will grow.
And when you hear them in the tree,
I hope you will remember me.

Cicada, cicada.

The sound of summer fills the air,
Gently soothing every care.

Cicada, cicada …
Tempo: Grave – very slow (25–45 bpm) Just like the ‘dog days of summer’.

Use a guttural vibrato on the ‘ca’ in ci-ca-da using the vibrations of the epiglottis.  Hold ca——- for about three seconds (like gargling with water but with air instead) to emulate the sound of the cicada. Pitch goes from low to a little higher to fading out (just like the sound of the cicada).

Interestingly, Cicadas have a two to seventeen year life cycle, depending on the species. Their familiar sounds during the ‘dog-days’ of summer are sometimes pleasant, sometimes annoying (depending on your frame of mind). However, the cicada’s time in life is as brief as a midsummer’s night, and it comes and goes before you know it.

Just like the wondrous moments of youth, which swiftly pass along, and then are gently locked away in the never changing realm known only as memories.  May it forever be that we only have pleasant ones, and all that may be otherwise be gently washed away by the sound of the cicada.

Russell Ritchey may not be a native son of Waco Texas, but how close can you get? His wife, Angie, of 27 years (God rest her soul) was born in Waco, 1964. And their four children, Nathan, Le’Anna, Kristina, and Wesley all breathed their first air in the Heart of Waco on Texas soil. Russell took a job at L-3 in 1990 (then Chrysler Technologies) and has enjoyed his home in Waco ever since, and his family that brought him there, and his job at L-3 that made it possible.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these Aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email [email protected] for more information.

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