When It's Springtime In Alaska Lyrics - Johnny Horton

Review The Song (4)



I mushed from Point Barrow through a blizzard of snow
Been out prospectin' for two years or so
Pulled into Fairbanks, the city was a-boom
So I took a little stroll to the Red Dog Sea-loon

As I walked in the door, the music was clear
The purtiest voice I had heard in two years
The song she was singin' made a man's blood run cold
When it's Springtime in Alaska, it's forty below
(When it's Springtime in Alaska, it's forty below)

It was redheaded Lil who was singin' so sweet
I reached down and took the snow packs off my feet
I reached for the gal who was singin' the tune
We did the Eskeemo Hop all around the sea-loon

With the Caribou Crawl and a Grizzly Bear Hug
We did our dance on a Kodiak rug
The song she kept singin' made a man's blood run cold
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When it's Springtime in Alaska, it's forty below

I was as innocent as I could be
I didn't know Lil was Big Ed's wife-to-be
He took out his knife and he gave it a throw
When it's Springtime in Alaska, I'll be six feet below
(When it's Springtime in Alaska, he'll be six feet below)






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Another response to Rick | Reviewer: Maggie | 8/31/11

I have lived in Alaska all of my life,...as did my parents and grandparents since before Alaska became a state. Not one of us have ever heard that "red headed lil" was a term for a gay man. Why is it that everything seen and heard by gays has got to be gay??? Sorry Rick...99.9% of the songs in any category are about man/woman love and relationships. As it should be.



Homosexual Hijacking | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/16/11

While it sounds like Rick is more intimately familiar with the gay lifestyle and what it means to be a redheaded lil, I must agree with Jay. At most, this song would seem to indicate that the author was confused about his sexuality.

This may have been a situation, somewhat like the institution of marriage, where the gay community hijacked an otherwise "straight" song and changed its meaning to fit a gay agenda. Who knows, in a few hundred years we may see comments like: "the institution of marriage has always been about and promoted gay life."



Response to Rick | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/14/11

Rick:
I find your review of this song most interesting, because I was one of those that lived in a more naïve and less enlightened time and so when I heard the song I never even suspected it was about homosexuality. Perhaps that’s because it was so very well concealed. In fact, it was so well concealed that until you pointed out that “ “redheaded Lil” was a common Alaskan term for the more passive partner in a snowed-in cabin relationship” I would still be totally ignorant of the fact that this song was about homosexuality.
I think the things that made this hard for me to see are all the gender related references. For example: “The song she was singin';” “I reached for the gal;” The song she kept singin':” I didn't know Lil was Big Ed's wife-to-be:”
See, in addition to all the references to the female gender; I had always made the assumption that Big Ed was a man and I wasn’t aware that in the gay world the redheaded Lils would be referred to as future wives; in addition to just being passive partners. In addition to that, the song mentions the Red Dog Saloon, and not a snowed-in cabin. Now it is a fact that the Red Dog Saloon is in Juneau and not Fairbanks, which might give some credibility to your statement.
However, in spite of that geographical problem, and in spite of your comment, I’m still left to wonder if it could have been possible that Johnny was: singing about going into a saloon (Not a snowed-in cabin)when he got to Fairbanks (After being in Point Barrow); where there was a woman named Lil that was redheaded; that was singing so sweetly; had a fiancé named Big Ed that got jealous of poor Johnny when he was dancing with his future wife; and in his rage threw a knife at him and killed him. While in the saloon; not a snowed-in cabin.
Jay



Great Early Homophile Song | Reviewer: Rick Lodewell | 3/7/11

This is one of the earliest songs which not only accepted the gay life, but promoted it. It's odd that it received as much radio play as it did, especially on country stations, but perhaps the listeners had no idea what it was about. It did come out in a more naive time, after all.

If you don't know "redheaded Lil" was a common Alaskan term for the more passive partner in a snowed-in cabin relationship.





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------ Performed by Johnny Horton

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