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Bridge implosion inspires song

KEESEVILLE - George "Speedy" Arnold, III has written and played dozens of tongue-in-cheek folk songs over the years, but none that have caught on as quickly as his latest musical project.

This well-known local jack-of-all-trades wrote a song last week entitled "They're Blowin' Up the Champlain Bridge" that has become a local favorite and somewhat of an internet phenomenon.

The song, inspired by the now executed plans to demolish the bridge over Lake Champlain, can be seen online on the popular video sharing site YouTube.

Arnold, who has sang and played as part of the bluegrass trio Three Doug Knight as well as in solo performances, said he had no plans to write a song about the bridge demolition, but it fell together Dec. 22.

"I had got up that morning and just read the headline," Arnold said. "I was in the shower, and when I got out, I wrote down what I had in my head for the first verse and the chorus."

He decided not to do anything more with it, because at that point, the bridge demolition was just a day away, but it was soon postponed to Dec. 28.

"When they put it off, that's when I said to myself, 'I have to finish this thing.'"

Words for a second verse came to him the next day on his daily bus run for AuSable Valley Central School. When he played the song for a few of his friends, they urged him to put it online.

Alice Knight and her son, Tanner, joined Arnold in his basement along with Gus Ayers. Together, they rehearsed the song with added harmony.

"We went through it two or three times and they had the down to where it was good enough," said Arnold. His sister, Alison Arnold, set up a video camera and recorded it.

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