Singing Rhode Island’s praises

Singing Rhode Island’s praises


RobertaMudgeHumbleWhat started out as a fundraising venture has turned into a cottage industry for one local woman.

Roberta Mudge Humble, an English professor at CCRI who maintains a cottage in Portsmouth’s Island Park neighborhood but primarily lives in Warwick, is passionate about a lot of things.

She’s passionate about the preservation of historic armories, and her coterie of pet birds, including three cockatoos, a cockatiel, and a Vasa parrot named Webster who is so clever, he’s learned to say “Armory!” if he feels Roberta is not giving him the attention he’s due.

And Professor Humble is passionate about Rhode Island. So much so, she has created a line of books and games about our state, full of trivia, firsts and bests, and other fun facts. She also gives dozens of presentations around the state each year.

Recently, she released a songbook (another first!) called “Sing Rhode Island.” This small, colorful book of lyrics about Rhode Island is set to 25 well-known melodies and includes a CD featuring soprano Maria Tavarozzi and keyboardist Kevin Keough.

Professor Humble’s songs sing the praises of the quahog and the striped bass; serenade our spectacular summers and fabulous cuisine; and celebrate the charms of our cities, towns and people. But it’s not all rainbows and sunshine — she tackles our driving and even weighs in on the Sakonnet Rive Bridge tolls.

The book and CD are available at Barrington Books and Island Books in Middletown, as well as all Benny’s stores. You can also order online at, with proceeds benefitting the historic Westerly Armory.

“There’s a mist on the beautiful Pell Bridge.
There’s a dew on the Washington Fairgrounds.
As Bristol stands by for the Fourth of July,
The Breakers prepare for another black tie.
Oh, what a beautiful ocean, oh what a beautiful bay,
400 miles of fine coastline
Fishing and play every day.”

– From “Summer in Rhode Island”