Campfire Songs

My name is Bobby Angel and I’m a singer/songwriter of the Nature Folk Movement (NFM), some say folk star. The truth is, I only know three chords. A guitar at a campfire at night – It’s a beautiful thing.

Bobby Angel Campfire

Ballad of a Florida Panther
Engineer and panther forge a lasting bond

How to you make a road safe …

for the panthers (and other animals) that cross it?

Bobby Angel is a troubadour of the Nature Folk Movement (NFM)

In this Bobby Angel standard, the singer/songwriter recounts the story of a transportation engineer named Krista who was called in to help prevent panthers from getting hit by vehicles on the Tamiami Trail. It’s one of the swamp’s most scenic roads, but also one that crossing wildlife often finds itself in harms way. At some point the song veers off into fantasy with the transportation planner and panther escaping into nature and forging a relationship for life — but is it fantasy, really, or just how life should really be? To answer that question, you’ll have to watch the video and judge for yourself.

Be sure to stay on after the song to hear an interview with Bobby Angel about the song. Topics discussed include an exclusive inside scoop on the making of the smash hit, including never before revealed details on his first sighting of (what he thought initially) was a “large dog,” why they used to be more rare than seeing Ivory-billed woodpeckers, the movie magic of he videos opening scene, and how the use of silhouettes really make the video pop.

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Escaping defeat
Victory lap into the trees

In the pandemic state of modern times,

Work gatherings are difficult to find.

Song (above) and lyrics (below)

That didn’t stop Bobby Angel from penning a song even if he inadvertently missed the party. Thank you Laurie for you contributions over the years, And most of all defecting to the Big Cypress! And also to Rita for tracking me down and encouraging me to write a song. Sometimes Bobby Angel needs prodding, or as is the case in these strange times just a reminder that someone is leaving when everyone is telecommuting from home. More about this song: I wrote it almost a year ago one the eve of us thinking everything was about to back to normal. So much for normal, or whatever hybrid of normal takes shape whenever and if ever we emerge from the post Covid-19 now Omicron coccoon.

Time to Retire
A farewell song for Tony Pernas

First the bad news:

Tony Pernas is retiring.

Bobby Angel’s retirement ballad to Tony Pernas

The good news is he’s right around the corner. And without supervisory responsibilities, that frees Tony up to do what Tony does best — solo missions into territory that only Tony knows how to find. Some people talk about the Kissimmee-Okeechobee-Everglades (KOE) ecosystem. Well, Tony’s canoed it, and not just over time, actually all at once, and somehow after the multi-week odyssey managed to gain weight. Other feats: There are too many to count, and all confidential. Do you need a fish? Tony can get you a fish. Any fish. But only if its in season because here’s the real secret behind Tony’s success. He’s a person of great character, high energy and knowledge of navigating in the backcountry that rivals the early pioneers.

The song tries to touch on a fraction of his feats, but is also incomplete, and — here’s the real inside scoop — also destined to rapidly get outdated as in the weeks, months and years ahead as Tony embarks on new adventures near and far. My guess is when its all said and done it will be worth another song, possibly two!

One more melaleuca
For the road (to retirement)

As contradictory as it may sound …

Sometimes saving a forest means cutting trees.

Stay on afterwards for the exclusive interview after the song

Specifically I’m thinking melaleuca in the Big Cypress Swamp, and even more specifically than that I’m thinking about a botanist named Tony Pernas. This Bobby Angel classic was written some 20 years back when Tony announced he was leaving Big Cypress National Preserve for the greener pastures of the Everglades and sung at his farewell party. Backstory: Tony had mentioned to me in passing that One More Cup of Coffee was his favorite Bob Dylan tune. Thus when it came time to write his farewell song, it only made sense to use the same chords.

More backstory: As is the case with all prodigal sons, Tony eventually returned — we call it “the missing 15 years” — and eventually went on to become the Resource Management Chief of Preserve. Fast forward the clock eight years later, and word just broke: After over 40 years of government service, Tony is retiring. Or “hanging up the ax” as exotic plant eradicators like to say. Not to worry: Tony will still be involved in a Phantom 2.0 type of way (i.e. filling swamp-rat extraordinaire Fred Dayhoff’s old shoes).

To say that Tony will be leaving behind a void is the understatement of the year. And by void, I mean all the melaleuca trees he cut down. Be sure to stay on for the interview after the song to hear Bobby Angel riff on comparisons to Bob Dylan, what makes Bob Dylan and Michael Jordan great, why he gave up guitar for 20 years, and why melaleuca is such a scourge.