“The Davis Song”
By Heidi Bekebrede
16 miles from Sacramento, heading west on 80.
You will find an oasis where avenues are shady.
Laid out on a grid of alphabets and ordinal numbers,
You’ll find merchants selling pizza, cars, groceries and lumber.
Folks go ped’ling to and fro, to work, to shop, to classes.
Others sit and chat at cafés, clinking ice-chilled glasses.
Some would rather jog about, or do some skateboard jive.
Yes I guess, I really must admit, some people drive.
The city I sing of is DAVIS.
It’s the place the UC Regents gave us,
Over hundred summers are the norm I better warn ya.
D-A-V-I-S C-A spells Davis California.
Aggies, bikes, tomatoes, Picnic Day, greenbelts and vet school,
Farmers Market and the Rec Pool
Amtrak stops here umpteen times a day,
What more could a person ask for, what more can I say? Oh!
Pu-tah Creek, the Ar-bor-ee-tum, Cen-tral Park, you just can’t beat ‘em.
Solar homes and a sloooow freight train through town,
I don’t understand how any one can put it down.
The city I sing of is DAVIS. Where the peace of mind I crave is
If I ever move I know I’m gonna mourn ya,
D-A-V-I-S C-A spells Davis California
Some may claim we’re in the sticks…please write 95616
….And now that we are oh so great, we’ve added 95618.
A mural depicting The Davis Song in ceramic tiles will be unveiled Sunday on the south wall of the new bathrooms in Central Park. Bring your singing voices.
The ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. sharp with a rendition of the song performed by Frankie and the Fabletones. Afterward, a drumroll will sound, the bathroom wall will be unveiled and the community, with full view of the mural, will be invited to join a singalong of the song.
The ceramic-tiled mural was imagined and put together largely by Heidi Bekebrede, the local multi-media artist who wrote “The Davis Song” in 1987. The city’s new piece of public art will be called “Davis Song Mural.”
“When I was asked to do this mural, I thought, what can I do?” Bekebrede said Monday. “I knew I wanted to do something really big that you could see from far away, and something to draw people in closer, and I said, I’ve got to do ‘The Davis Song.’ ”
When the new bathrooms were planned, as part of the city’s two-phase renovation of Central Park, city staff immediately thought of Bekebrede to dress up the new facilities.
The mural, 22 feet long by 5 feet tall, has been finished but it remains covered by a large sheet in advance of Sunday’s ceremony. The mural is made up of 440 individual 6-inch square tiles with the illustrated song lyrics carved into them.
“I put a cover over it because I wanted to have build-up, build anticipation and make an event out of it,” Bekebrede said. “I wanted it to be a dramatic event.”
In addition to Bekebrede, several other individuals helped put the mural together, including her husband George; Voice of the Wood partner Dianna Craig; Mark Rivera, a local mosaic artist; Bekebrede’s father Alfred Bekebrede — who completed one tile — and her cat, who smudged a few others.
The mural also features a large, smiling sun at its center, the names and mascots of all the schools in town and even a QR (quick response) reader code that people can scan with their phones to hear the song or learn about its history.
At the unveiling Sunday, Frankie and the Fabletones will be accompanied by Bill Cavins to sing the first rendition of the song. After the sheet is pulled away and the mural is unveiled, Bekebrede will lead the community singalong.
Representing a line from the song: “Laid out on a grid of alphabets and ordinal numbers/ You’ll find merchants selling pizza, cars, groceries and lumber,” Nugget Market in South Davis, Swift Chrysler Jeep Dodge and Hibbert Lumber will be on hand providing refreshments for the crowd.
Bekebrede also will host a small raffle.
“The Davis Song” was written in 1987 by Full House, when Bekebrede received funding from the city’s art contracts program, which was eliminated last year due to budget cuts. The funding paid for the original recording and a second grant paid for the production of a stock of red vinyl 45 records.
The song was named the official song of Davis by former Mayor Don Saylor, now a Yolo County supervisor, in September 2010. The song was amended when the city received its second ZIP code:
Some may claim we’re in the sticks … please write 95616
…. And now that we are oh so great, we’ve added 95618.
The mural is Bekebrede’s first piece of public art in Davis.
— Reach Tom Sakash at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @TomSakash