The Time of Lilacs by Sophie Anderson
Green Grow the Lilacs is a folk song of Irish origin that was popular in the United States during the mid 1800s.
Here is one version of the original song:
Green grow the lilacs, all sparkling with dew
I'm lonely, my darling, since parting with you;
But by our next meeting I'll hope to prove true
And change the green lilacs to the Red, White and Blue.
I once had a sweetheart, but now I have none
She's gone and she's left me, I care not for one
Since she's gone and left me, contented I'll be,
For she loves another one better than me.
Green Grow The Lilacs is also the title of the 1931 play by Lynn Riggs which became the basis of the libretto for the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Oklahoma!
In the 1930s, Oklahoma turned from green to brown causing a mass migration out of the destroyed heartland.
Many found greener pastures in California.
1934 to 1936, marked three record drought years for the nation. In 1936, a more severe storm spread out of the plains and across most of the nation. The drought years were accompanied with record breaking heavy rains, blizzards, tornadoes and floods. In September 1930, it rained over five inches in a very short time in the Oklahoma Panhandle. Later that year, the regions were whipped again by a strong dirt storm from the southwest until the winds gave way to a blizzard from the north.
On Sunday April 14, 1935, the sun came up in a clear sky. The day was warm and pleasant, a gentle breeze whimpered out of the southwest. Suddenly a cloud appeared on the horizon. Birds flew swiftly ahead of it, but not swift enough for the cloud traveling at sixty miles per hour. This day, which many people of the area readily remember, was named "Black Sunday".
The little one to the right of the elderly lady above and second from the left with her sisters graduated from Fowler High School in 1936 and had to go out into the world to earn some green.
She's also my mother who passed away when I was only 17 and even after 46 years, the memories are still green particularly on Mother's Day.