Thursday, August 18, 2011

Just Sing, Sing a Song!

The one thing that all the baby books agree on is that babies enjoy music and singing.  Though they themselves cannot sing, they really enjoy their parents la-la-laing.  Our little fellow is no exception.

This is not a bad thing.  Before he was born - or even thought of! - there was a good deal of singing going on around here.  But there is something else to realize about this, however.  Babies are highly attuned to the mood of music and they don't like it when you don't know the words.

I don't know if it's mommy brain or if all the lyric of children's songs have been replaced slowly at school with other things deemed more important (bye bye Baby Beluga, hello History of the World -18th century), but I forget the lyrics to children's songs a lot.  And sometimes the tunes.

As they say, "necessity is the mother of invention," and this mother has been inventing things left, right and centre.  I'll be belting out Down By the Bay and suddenly realize that I have no idea what's near those growing watermelons.  Insert frantic wordsmithing: "Haaaaave you ever seen a llama performing a drama?"  The little boy has not been provided with the liner notes and graciously allows discrepancies between renditions.  And even though I sing many real children's songs in a day, as I sit and write this I cannot think of another one.  They are like fairy godmothers and only show up in times of need.  And even then, I get more pumpkins than carriages.  So we write our own songs.  Many of them feature what is happening: "Look, we're in the car! And going for a ride.  I wonder what we'll see/ as we look outside."

Others are related to his mobile that hangs over the change table.  It has two cows, two sheep, two chickens, two horses, two ducks and two pigs.  Oh, what masterpieces have been written about this farm.  It truly is a hobby farm (ha ha!). Some of the best and worst spontaneous songs have been written about these critters.  "The cow says moo, the sheep says baa! The goose says oink and the duck says honk.  The chicken says buck-buck-buck-buck-buck-buck-buck-ca!  Listen to the animals at the farm."  There's not even a distinguishable rhyming scheme. Terrible.  "The cow is black and white.  It is a Holstein.  And it's good for ice cream!"  Or the standard, "Look at the animals spinning around.  Look at the animals touching the ground! Look at the animals doing their thing!  Look at the animals as we sing!"  We learn about the animals: "Cow is spelt c-o-w! Duck is d-u-c-k!  Horse is n-e-i-g-h!" To which Adrian bellows from the bathroom where he's getting the bath ready, "Um, no it's not."  This merely shows that the songs have similar tunes and my brain was on vacation.  In Malta, probably.  And sometimes (vegetarians look away!) we sing about eating animals.  There's a pretty good verse about not eating horses as we don't live in France...

It's not that I don't like children's music.  I do! I love it, really.  At crunch time, though, all children's music leaves me and I'm left with karaoke crap.  What child doesn't like to be sung to sleep with a rendition of Cher's Jesse James?  Or have a bum change accompanied by Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard?  Actually, he didn't like that one.  Aunt Tracey should be proud.  A sunny July day might be cheered with a few verses of Have a Holly Jolly Christmas, we might dance around to 8 Days a Week or Walk Like an Egyptian.  And then again we also sing hymns and liturgy.  Many oldies radio songs are perfect.  Simple tunes, easy to fake lyric, liberally laden with the word "baby".  Talk about handy!

Whatever.  I'm not after a Tony.  The boy is happy with it (and is probably achieving a pretty good appreciation for all styles of music).  The books should be happy too.  And if not, the should put the Wiggles in the appendix.


  1. LOL... Well, I just learned something... a goose says oink. Who knew?! (quote: Rebecca Kramer - see para 5!)

    I'm grateful that Amy has appreciation for music now. She loves singing in her own way and often asks for a CD to be playing in her play area... and if we're watching certain recorded TV shows, we're not allowed to fast forward the opening or closing credits, 'cause she wants to bop along!

  2. Hmm. Usually the song says pig with oink, but I'm sure it has been sung the wrong way as well. Thanks for pointing that out. Whoops!

  3. I was curious about the oinking goose as well :)

    - Terra

  4. She does live in Australia...things are different there!

    Very cute! Hopefully some visiting red Aunts will be able to help install some songs that we've been singing to kiddies over the years!

    Love! what you're singing to him, and that you're being creative. What more could you want really?

  5. The infamous "Bum Change" to the tune of the Can-Can was a minor hit amongst the kiddies in this household.

  6. do you want my Linda Ronstadt lullaby cd--on which is "We will rock you" sung in a hushed lullaby tone? Lovely music..kind of disturbing...

    really--you can have it--I'll send it with Tracey and Nao...


  7. Aunt Tracey is pleased with the little man as I've never been a huge fan of "Me and Julio down by the schoolyard" either. Just keep singing... and the boy may get more songs than he expected when the red aunts come to visit!