Friday, July 31, 2009

I'm Gonna Sit at the Counselors' Table: Lennie Friedman

Another story from the long-dead past, the true tale of the origin of " I'm Gonna Sit At the Counsellors' Table." It was 1941 or 1942. I am inclined to think it was 1942. Jerri (Wachman) and I were seated in adjacent booths in the lower la. We were talking about the songs we had just sung (we sang songs infront of the mess hall before each meal, Tuck (Kate Kirby) leading). We had just sung, "I'm Gonna Sit at the Welcome Table," and we thought we could write one about the special life of a counsellor, to wit: the counsellors' table, red Hudson Bay blankets, iced tea and coffee... I forget the rest.
We heard a noise behind us, on the other side of the la. "Oh oh," we thought. "We're in trouble again!" I was frequently in trouble, dragging poor Jerri along. We said nothing to anyone.
That night at supper, someone (who?) introduced a new song, "Im Gonna Sit at the Counsellors' Table," which was rapturously received and was sung for many years. But we wrote it.


  1. Well I have to say "wow!" again, as I did to your last post. We sang that song in the 50s. some other verses were "gonna take a smoke at staff house" and "gonna take a showere at Journeymans". Did they have Journeymans in the 40s? It was where the waterfront staff lived. Thanks for the fun postings!

    Linda Peck Ardrey

  2. In the '40's, Journeyman's Hill was where Journeymen lived. They were a group of pre-counsellors, between prenties and counsellors. They did away with Journeymen in about 1942.