By Maureen Gregory
“I love my home on Bainbridge Island,” written by David O. Chase, is the song many islanders remember as the island song. In fact, some can still recite the lyrics-which include the endearingly straightforward opening line, “I love my home on Bainbridge Island, in the middle of the good ole Puget Sound”-50 years after first learning it.
“Regina Spoor was our part-time music teacher, and in those days, everybody knew the song,” said islander Dennis Olsen, who performed the song as a fourth grader at Blakely Elementary in 1975.
But a little digging unearthed other songs too. Currently more than a dozen songs and fragments are part of a collection at the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum. For instance, songwriter Gerald Elfendahl wrote the “Gooeyduck Song” with Judie Elfendahl and Ron Konzak as part of a local effort to pioneer the geoduck industry. Its bouncy “Dig a duck, dig a gooeyduck, dig a duck a day” lyrics helped it gain airtime on KIRO Radio and to be played as far away as Australia.
“The Notice to Mariners,” with words and music by John Dwyer, humorously addresses the challenges of boating through local fog. “The Stadium Fight Song,” written by Ralph Munro, former student body president of BHS and Washington Secretary of State from 1980 to 2000, passionately advocated for saving the school’s beloved wooden grandstand.
Linda Allen wrote “Executive Order 9066,” with its recurring refrain, “Let justice flow like a river,” to remind islanders of the internment of Japanese residents during World War II.
But perhaps it’s the last line of “I Love My Home on Bainbridge Island” that helps keep it central in the mind of residents as the official song: “If I’m looking for a little bit of heaven, Bainbridge Island is good enough for me.”