Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Nancy at Flying Stars asked about singing.

I don't sing to my kids the way I'd like to. I just don't seem to make it fit into the day. Why? I wish I knew. We do sing along with tapes and CDs. Lots of Laurie Berkner, Raffi and They Might Be Giants going on.

I grew up singing - mostly show tunes or church music. Lots of choir at school. The show tunes were learned at home from LPs on the big console stereo. Did you have one of those? As big as a sideboard? With a radio and a turntable? Did you lay on the floor on the shag carpeting and sing along?

"The fellow sells bands, boys' bands. I don't know how he does it, but he lives like a king and he dallies and he gathers and he plucks and he shines. And when the man dances, certainly boys - what else? The piper pays him. Yesss, sir."

Then there was the church music that they don't "do" in our modern church here. The music that came somewhere between Latin and "Everybody sing Allelu."

"'Tis the month of our Mother, the blessed and beautiful days..."

And how about those songs people sing while traveling? As kids we would do lots of goofy ones, (The Ants Go Marching) and then we'd try our voices on songs like the ones in the "Fish Book". I don't know the real name of the book, but it was a book of just lyrics, no music, and it had fish on the cover. Maybe it had guitar chord notations. Anyway, it was the book always passed around on retreats and at camp, etc. Campfire music. The church youth group had several copies. It was mostly folk songs.

We also had a few LPs of kids' music. The one I remember best was The Land of Lemonade and Lollipops. That was back when the song Big Rock Candy Mountain still had cigarette trees in it. They don't sing it that way anymore. I see some versions have lakes of gin. The link is for the version most like the one I know.

Oh, and then there was Glenn Yarborough and Mitch Miller. Oh, good ol' Mitch. Those songs I still know, even though I haven't sung them in ages.

"And if I kiss you in the garden, in the moonlight, will you pardon me? Come tiptoe, through the tulips, with me."

My mom doesn't sing so much, but my dad does. His family was musical and the boys would sing together for mass, I think. Mom recites poetry. Hound of Heaven, anyone? As I commented on Flying Stars - I think mom doesn't sing because of her hearing problems. I am an idiot to only just realize that. I'll have to ask her.

My husband sings to the kids all the time, but it's always something that he made up himself or some Mr. Malaprop version of a familiar tune. I wish I could catch him to record sometime. I hope the kids remember it when they're older - it's so sweet and funny.

1 comment:

m!les said...

They Might Be Giants is a great band. I know that my mom did a lot of singing as a kid, too. They would play the old records, though I don't think their phonograph was as large as a sideboard. One musical that they would do was The Sound Of Music, particularly the good night song.