Margaret Benson is the mother of five and grandmother of six. But she has many families, some school-related, some church-related, some friend-related. Her arrangements and compositions have been written for those close to her heart. Ice Worms was written for the Harcourt YouthSingers, a wonderful bunch of teenagers at the church – especially for their trips to New York and Shrewsbury, England. As she gets used to retirement, Margaret keeps busy knitting, crocheting, and fusing glass, always with a song in her head.
When the Ice Worms Nest Again
arr. Margaret Benson
SAB a cappella – KH 115 – duration 1:30
Short and fun, this crazy folk song really comes to life with Marg’s vocal setting – in sweet-spot registers and intuitive voice leading.
The song describes a romance between the narrator and a “dusky husky maiden” in the Canadian Arctic. “When the Ice Worms Nest Again.” A favourite song of prospectors and trappers in the Canadian north, this ballad later became the theme song for the annual gatherings of silver miners at Cobalt, Ont, and fur trappers at The Pas, Man, as well. Its origin is not clear, but it seems to have been sung first in northern British Columbia and the Yukon and may date from the Klondike gold rush of 1898.