Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Minnesota teen debuts Dylan-style hit, “The Unforgettable Storm” July 30, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 8:27 AM
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TAKE NOTE, DYLAN FANS. Minnesota musician Emily Mattison’s debut performance of a Bob-Dylan-style song this past weekend has fans buzzing about this talented teen.

Strumming her guitar and following the talk-sing style of Dylan, the 16-year-old presented “The Unforgettable Storm” to a small-town audience in a city park edged by cornfields.

Fans embraced and applauded the young singer for her original lyrics that accurately captured one woman’s experience during a severe storm that ravaged the state Friday night.

Emily sang this rendition of a memorable ride through that storm following the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant in Walnut Grove:

Going home to Vesta

From the Pageant

A bunch of happy campers…not.


It was storming

The wind was howling

It was one of those Minnesota Moments*


My heart was pounding

The weeds were laying flat

And, mom, I saw them

It was very scary


At the Pageant

I’d had a good time

Watching Laura Ingalls in real life


But after it ended

The ride home was terrible


I put my camera on the floor

I don’t know what I was thinking

I was just waiting and praying


When the ride

Finally ended

I screamed “thank you, God!”


Then I went to my mother

And I gave her a hug

“that was so scary”


But now we can joke about it

I don’t have to worry about it

I wish I’d taken some pictures

Of the unforgettable storm


The unforgettable storm

Yeah, the unforgettable storm.


Yup, Emily’s version of my experience caught on the road with three other family members during a severe thunderstorm that packed 70 mph winds is spot on accurate. I did enjoy the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant in Walnut Grove. I did see the weeds blown flat along the side of the road.

My heart was pounding. I was praying. I did set my camera bag at my feet in the rocking car. (Why didn’t I take pictures?)

Yes, I hugged my mom and said, “that was so scary” when we safely reached her house an hour after we began the 20-mile drive back to Vesta.

I didn’t scream thanks to God, but I did quietly thank him. That’s OK, Emily. “Scream” sounds more dramatic and there was a lot of drama Friday night, at least for me.

The storm was, as Emily sang in verse three, “one of those Minnesota Moments.” A clever choice of words given I write for Minnesota Moments magazine.

Thanks, Emily, for putting a humorous spin on a truly terrifying experience. And thanks for publicly performing your original hit, per my gentle (maybe not-so-gentle) prodding at the annual Kletscher family reunion.

I loved the song, even if I didn’t love the unforgettable storm.

Minnesota musician Emily Mattison

TWIN CITIES AREA musician Emily Mattison is a member of the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies, has been playing violin for six years, guitar for two and nine months ago began strumming the ukulele. She wrote the lyrics for “The Unforgettable Storm” in about 20 minutes.

© Text Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

© Lyrics Copyright 2010 Emily Mattison

Photo courtesy of Ronda Mattison


6 Responses to “Minnesota teen debuts Dylan-style hit, “The Unforgettable Storm””

  1. Kristin Says:

    That’s great! How many people find the events of their lives put to music?

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Actually, I was impressed that Emily would write a song about my storm encounter. Very humbling.

  2. Lanae Says:

    Emily did a wonderful job on the song and singing. Who ever knew we had talent like hers in the family. I only sing in church because they can’t tell me I’m bad.

  3. Dawn Tietz Says:

    Emily did an amazing job with that song. It definitely was an “Unforgettable Storm”. I think I had to drive farther than the rest of you with 2 scared girls! Memories!! Great job Emily! Keep it up!!

  4. Janelle Russenberger Says:

    Ditto Dawn – the drive during the storm with scared kids was pretty memorable – one we’ll talk about for a while for sure. The storm seemed to last and last and last, unlike those that usually blow through in 5 minutes or less. Great job putting some of the moments to music Emily!!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Scared kids. Scared moms. Scared grandmas. Not so scared husbands/fathers/grandfather. Am I right? Or were the guys just a tiny bit afraid of “the unforgettable storm?” I think perhaps they were, but won’t admit it to us women.

      And you’re right, Janelle, we’ll talk about this storm experience for years. Such memories…

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