FALMOUTH – Musician Kim Moberg wanted to pay tribute to her great grandmother Josephine, so she wrote a song about the “fiercely independent” woman’s colorful life.
The song was among many highlights when Moberg played with fiddler Heather Swanson in a set lasting about 40 minutes in the backyard of Falmouth Art Center on Saturday, June 5.
The performance was part of the Virtual Woods Hole Trad Stroll, a reinvention of the annual music festival that typically takes place every spring down in the village of Woods Hole. Because of the pandemic, ArtsFalmouth, the nonprofit that puts on the Trad Stroll, is recording the musicians performing this year and the concerts will be aired beginning in late June or early July on the town’s public access television station, FCTV, according to Marilyn Rowland, president of ArtsFalmouth.
Moberg introduced the song “Josephine” by saying, “She was my very favorite relative on that kooky side of the family.” In addition to her independence, “she had a great sense of humor and family meant everything to her.”
The ballad tells the story of Josephine marrying at age 17 to Moberg’s great grandfather, Hamilton “Hamp” Hogan. After Hamp murdered a man for stealing from his well, he was found guilty and sent to jail. When he was released, he didn’t tell Josephine but instead went to live with another woman he had a secret relationship with and her family. As a single mother of four, Josephine could not manage and had to put her children into an orphanage. Her second husband had the funds to bring the children back home.
But it was Josephine’s third husband who she married at age 55 who was the love of her life, according to the song.
“I miss your spit-firing smile,” Moberg sang about Josephine.
In addition to “Josephine,” Moberg played another original plus a number of traditional tunes, ending with the classic “What A Wonderful World.” With a light breeze blowing under clear blue skies, it certainly felt that way.
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