There are tales of the valor and prowess,
Of those knights of the saw and the ax,
Who made through the forest primeval
The first irretraceable tracks,
There are tales of soul-stirring adventure;
Of bears that were bigger than barns;
Of salmon with whalelike proportions—
But I cannot spin all these yarns.
Soon the little town grew so pretentious,
That it no longer fitted its name;
So out of regard for the cedars,
It finally Sedro became.
Now, to the northwestward of Sedro,
Rose Woolley; and lo! there began,
A strife that was long and unhappy—
Raging fiercely, as clan against clan
But Woolley kept creeping southeastward,
And Sedro kept growing northwest
Till it became clear to all people
That peaceable union was best.
So they formally buried the hatchet
And all was henceforward serene;
The two became Sedro-Woolley,
With only a hyphen between.
And I sing of a glorious future,
Well worthy the deeds of the past:
3 cheers for our own Sedro-Woolley,
Long may its prosperity last!
This poem has been part of my family's oral repertoire and tradition for nearly a century; it was only a few years ago that I discovered it was written by one Jessie Odlin. The above text is my own recollection of what I learned as a child; in the html code I have indicated where the Skagit Journal's no-longer-posted online text differed from ours. However, the last stanza was previously unknown to me; I've kept it because it fills out the meter of "Old Rosin the Beau" (MIDI), apparently the tune of choice. And in the penultimate stanza I have adopted the Skagit Journal's "all was henceforward" in place of my remembered "henceforth all was", because it scans better for singing.
Siwash: This was a local ethnonym, denotatively synonymous with "(American) Indian". Etymologically, it is derived from French sauvage, via Chinook Jargon (where it is properly shawash), and when used in English by Euroamericans (such as, decidedly, Jessie Odlin) it was presumptively derogatory. Cf. redskin.
Bug: According to local historian Noel Bourasaw, originally the founder of Sedro, Mortimer Cook, wanted to name the town "Cook", but Washington Territory already had one of those, so he named it "Bug" in honor of the mosquitos; later, under pressure from his wife and neighbors, he amended the name to "Cedra", which soon of its own accord became "Sedro".