Monkton Yore
Monkton Yore

The Monkton Yore project took place during the 2011-2012 school year as a collaborative effort between the Willowell Foundation, Monkton Central School, and the Monkton Museum and Historical Society (MM&HS) to bring the arts and history together in celebration of the 250th anniversary of Monkton’s charter. Monkton Yore received grant funding from the Vermont Humanities Council and the Vermont Arts Council, and the Monkton PTO. David Schein, a Burlington-based actor and playwright and former Executive Director of Willowell, conceived of the project as a way to engage students in place-based education and historical research by teaching that history often inspires great works of art.  In fall of 2012, the Vermont Historical Society awarded the Monkton Yore project an award of merit for educational outreach. Monktonites can now own a piece of local history created in 2012 by the Monkton Central School students and Pete Sutherland, the well-known and loved Vermont musician and songwriter. The “Songs from Monkton Yore” CD features five songs that bring aspects of Monkton’s past to life, including the kaolin mining industry and the agricultural lifestyle of the town’s first residents.

Students and Pete Sutherland perform their songs at the Monkton Yore celebration at Monkton School.

Students and Pete Sutherland perform their songs at the Monkton Yore celebration at Monkton School.

Pete Sutherland collaborated with 1st through 4th grade students in Barbara Yerrick, Stacey Carter, and Virginia McLane’s classes to write “Songs from Monkton Yore.”  In 2011-2012, the Monkton Yore project provided every student at Monkton Central the opportunity to interface with a local musician or artist to create their own works in celebration of the 250th anniversary of the founding of their town. A map of Monkton created by artist Bethany Farrell and students served as part of the set for “Yore and Back Again," a play written and directed by Kathy Blume and performed by Monkton students.  “Yore and Back Again” tells the story of Monkton through time travel, voyages to alternate universes, and many colorful characters.  At the final Monkton Yore performance in May, students, teachers, family and community members gathered to experience the play, artwork, and music.  On June 24, after the 250th Anniversary parade, students performed three songs again at the celebration at the school.
The map and pictoral timeline created by Bethany Farrell of Vergennes-based Studio V and students.

The map and pictoral timeline created by Bethany Farrell of Vergennes-based Studio V and students.

Below are the lyrics to the original song "Farmland,"  written and performed by Pete Sutherland and the students of Monkton Central School. Click here for lyrics from all the songs appearing on "Songs from Monkton Yore: FARMLAND I am a farmer who grows apples These endless rows of mine - so very many kinds Cold, sweet and crunchy - come out and pick your own Sip cider from an old, old press that I am proud to own And the worst times? Hailstorms that sting my fruit in May And the best times are up a tree on a blue September day…. Chorus: And this land, it was farmland when I came With a long long history, and many farmers' names And some day, when I have had my turn I hope this land will still be farmland I am a farmer who milks Holsteins In this big barn of mine - all patient in a line Big, strong and chewing - I watched their warm milk run Twice a day for years and years, but now my milking's done And the worst times? Rainstorms on all my new-cut hay And the best times were new-born calves, and knowing they're okay! Chorus I am a farmer who grows veggies Those favorite foods of mine - I eat them all the time! Fresh, green and tender - and right out of the ground I planted, thinned and mulched them all, while sun and rain came down And the worst times? Wind that blew my new greenhouse away And the best times - picking berries with my kids on a summer's day. Chours I am a farmer raising piglets I never thought I would - but bacon tastes so good! And baby chicks and bunnies - there's critters everywhere And each and every little life needs all my love and care And the worst times? Trying hard to keep up with the pests And the best times - when chores are done, I finally get to rest! Chorus I am a farmer and I'll tell you: The hours they are long - you've just got to be strong You'll never learn it all, no matter how you try It's kinda like the weather, changing right before my eyes It's a hard life, but a good one, as far as I can see I didn't really choose it - I reckon it chose me! Chorus © 2012 Pete Sutherland p Epact Music, BMI

To purchase "Songs from Monkton Yore," please visit the Willowell store. View all lyrics from "Songs from Monkton Yore"