©2011 Ed McGuirl

Roger Williams he left Britain
And he sailed across the sea
To the Massachusetts colony
For opportunity
But the Church of England still maintained
The way that you should pray
Roger Williams disagreed
Said choice should be the way
The Governor was cranky and was having none of that
He said Roger you are banished now
And don't forget your hat

Roger he just rowed away down Narragansett Bay
He met up with Conanicus and found a place to stay
Roger learned the Native tongue
The Indian way of life
Believed church and state were separate
Discrimination strife
He set up all the boundaries
And then set up all the rules
So all could live in harmony
And ship away the fools

Now the Independent Man
He sits a-top the state house dome
Reminding all Rhode Islanders
Just why they call it home
We know "I Know A Guy"
Could be the motto of the times
And mobsters, politicians
Are convicted of their crimes
But if you don't like fishing, sailing, quahogs
All the things like that
Feel free to leave the Ocean State
And don't forget your hat

If you don't like the Ocean State
Then don't forget your hat

If you don't like the Ocean State
Then don't forget your hat

If you don't like the Ocean State
Then don't forget your hat
Ed McGuirl - Vocal and Resonator Slide Guitar

Recorded at
Scredco Studio
by Greg Bass

ED McGUIRL was with the well known Greencastle
Band from 1977-1987 playing Celtic music
throughout New England.  After taking some time
off to do family oriented things like coaching youth
soccer, Ed began playing solo and with fellow
multi-instrumentalist, long time partner Mike
Fischman as the Folk Support Group in the early
1990's. He became a member of the Rhode Island
Songwriters Association in the mid-nineties.  Ed's
songs have found their way onto numerous
compilation CDs, a soundtrack for an NBC
documentary on the problem of hunger in the US
and indie movies, "Broken Crayons" and
"Lumberjacking".  He has won the Providence
Phoenix Best Music Poll and the Motif Magazine
Reader's Poll in the Local Blues category and has
songwriting awards to his credit.  Of particular note
is his inclusion on the 2007 Rhode Island
Songwriters Association's "RISA In The Raw"
calendar as "Mr. March".  In recent years he has
opened for such greats as Duke Robillard and The
Blind Boys Of Alabama.  He is not sure if he is on a
no-fly list but has never gotten a gig at an airport
so sees no need to worry.  He aspires to be a full
time philanthropist as soon as some one give him
enormous amounts of money.
Song Thoughts:
This song is an historical haiku of sorts.  It started
with the "hook" which is appropriate for the Ocean
State's vibrant fishing culture.  It developed in the
standard 12-bar blues format which is in keeping
with legendary bluesman Paul Geremia's
statement that he plays music from the
Providence River Delta.  I felt it was important to
note Roger William's independence and his
significant relationship with Native Americans.  I
also felt I wanted to make the point that though we
Rhode Islanders have been given a somewhat
bad rap for the actions of a few, this is a beautiful
state and if it does not please you, please leave.  
And, of course, don't forget your hat. There are a
few coincidental facts that I feel are pertinent to
my being a genuine Rhode Islander.  Providence
is my recorded city of birth.  Since the late
seventies I have made Jamestown, originally
named Conanicut Island after Roger William's
friend Chief Conanicus my home.  I attended
Roger Williams College (now a university). Lastly, I
am fairly fluent in Rhode Island-ese.  In fact I
slipped into this dialect which can be heard as the
intro to this "ditty".  It is unclear whether the
etymology of this peculiar language can be traced
back to the book Roger William's wrote on Native
American culture.