Shoaler Voices

Sounds of the Shoals

Star Island Gentlemen Playing Instrumentsby Laura Ermini, Star Gathering 1, Former Pelican

I have been coming to Star Island almost each summer of my life. I also spent an entire summer on island as a Pelican. There are certain songs that “bring me back” and each one would be included on my Star Island playlist. The choices are as varied as the weather and the ice cream flavors, so bear with me!

  • Oh Poiseidon of the Sea: This must have been a childrens’ nursery rhyme or a Raffi song, as we used to sing it as barn bunnies. Jean Maguire, who led us in my youth, would take us to east rock and we would shout, repeatedly at the sea, “Oh Poiseidon of the sea, you can’t catch me!” We’d scream it with ascending volume, and Jean always timed it just right so that when we were done with the last verse, a BIG wave would come! (Later she told me that waves come in 7s, and the 7th wave is the biggest).
  • Life is a Highway by Tom Cochrane: This song came out when I was in Junior High. The song doesn’t remind me of Star as much as the piercing guitar riffs that sound just like seagulls.
  • This Reality by Adrian Sicam: I bought Adrian’s CD when I was in Youth from the bookstore after he performed live in a Pel Show. A few years later he sat at my table when I was a Pelican. It was like having ELVIS at my table! I was so starstruck I could barely move!
  • If I had a Hammer by Peter, Paul & Mary: My FAVORITE part of my entire week on Star Island is the bonfire. My friend Brian Goldblatt plays his acoustic guitar and sings with my friend Janet Nobles, who has an equally angelic voice. This is the quintessential church camp bonfire song.
  • Out Here on Star Island by Brian Goldblatt: My fellow SG1 conferee Brian wrote this song years ago, and it’s a perennial favorite at the Bonfire or Chapel each year.
  • Send Me on My Way by Rusted Root: When I was in Youth, it was very popular to play “jam bands” and dance like crazy in Brookfield. The years we had African drums to add to this really seared memories into my head.
  • Any song from the Beastie Boys album HELLO NASTY: This album came out in June 1998 and I remember some of my waitae colleagues went into town the day it dropped. I can see the album cover in my mind and ANY of those songs remind me of the Underground.
  • The Myseducation of Lauryn Hill by Lauryn Hill & California Love (Tupac): Shack Deck. ‘Nuff Said.
  • Hail to the King by Avenged Sevenfold: Now in my adult years, my friends and I have long outgrown Youth Conference and being Pelicans. Now we spend our evenings in Newton Center playing “Bags” (cornhole) and listening to Pandora from someone’s phone. One especially fun night this year while playing bags I heard this song, and now think of Star each time I hear it.

Do you have your own Star Island playlist? Share your songs and what they mean to you with us by emailing