We are music lovers and there is quite a range on my iPod, all carved up into little pouches of genré or moods otherwise known as Playlists. I have Easy, Dinner Party, Workout, Latin, Kid Play, Kid Sleep, All, Country, Meditation, Worship&Praise, Classical, and Rap. If I hit play and my iPod was connected to a power source, it would run for nearly 6 days without playing the same song twice.
We expose the twins to all types of music, because we expose ourselves to all types of music. Except organ. Which is why they cry and get scared when they sit in the sanctuary at church. Or maybe it’s the demons being exorcised.
Anyway, this whole post is really about nursery rhymes, see how it all fits? Because as far reaching as we think our musical repertoire is, we are pretty limited in acquisition and knowledge of the kid stuff.
A co-worker gave me a Nursery Rhyme Book (with CD!), and I’ve been trying to acclimate myself to some of these songs again. Because my childhood memories are buried somewhere in that ditch in the woods that my brother told me the werewolves lived in and would eat me alive after entering the window screens they’d tear through when my parents would cool the house with open windows and my mom couldn’t understand why I didn’t sleep well. Focus, focus, focus.
And after reading and listening for a bit, I am finding that the words to the nursery rhymes are not the words I thought they were (this happens to me with regular songs, too). Take the nursery rhyme “Where Is Thumbkin?”
“Where is Thumbkin, where is Thumbkin?
Here I am, here I am!
How are you this morning? Very well, I thank you.
Run away, run away.”
I always thought it was “How are you today sir? Very well, I thank you. Come and play, come and play.” Not to mention the fact that I never knew the song went through all the fingers, like Pointer, and Tall Man and Ring Man and Pinkie. See what I missed out on? What about those kids whose ring finger is taller than the middle finger?
In some instances, in moments of lullabalic desperation at bedtime, I just make my own lyrics up. With words like “lullabalic”. And “Hush, Little Baby”.
“And if that diamond ring turns brass,
Mama’s going to buy you a looking glass.
And if that looking glass gets broke,
Mama’s gonna buy you a billy goat.
And if that billy goat won’t pull,
Mama’s going to buy you a cart and bull.”
Whereas my version, in the throws of an overtired baby and thrush combo, goes like this:
“And if that diamond ring don’t shine,
Mama’s gonna buy you a five-and-dime.
And if that store just don’t go green,
Mama’s gonna file chapter thirteen.
And then we will reorganize
And we’ll reinvest in another prize.”
Etcetera. I can’t help it. I work in finance and the banking crisis and general state of the economy have been on my mind. But she went to sleep, so that’s what matters.
And I’m just really surprised by the wee bit sexist tone of some of them, too, now that I know the words.
Like this one:
“Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater,
Had a wife and couldn’t keep her,
Put her in a pumpkin shell,
And there he kept her, very well.”
Or this one:
“Arroz con leche! [Rice and milk!]
Me quiero casar [I want to get married]
Con una señorita [To a girl]
Que sepa bailar; [Who knows how to dance]
Que sepa coser, [Who knows how to sew,]
Que sepa planchar, [Who knows how to iron,]
Que sepa abrir la puerta [Who knows how to open the door]
Para ir a jugar.” [To go out and play.]
Or the hey-abuse-is-cute-if-you-have-a-good-melody! slanted ones like:
“There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children she didn’t know what to do.
She gave them some broth without any bread.
Then whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.”
CPS anyone? OK, so yeah, it’s supposedly about the British Empire trying to control it’s colonies blah blah blah. I think I’ll pass on singing this one. Unless it need be a warning song with a happy face about not sitting through church services quietly.
Nevertheless, I’m having fun trying to remember this stuff as we embark on nursery rhymes. Even if it does land me in therapy. Again. Or maybe we’ll just stick with sign language.
Rachel’s personal blog can be found at RaJenCreation.