Saturday, February 28, 2009

it's all about song choice

I just had a new baby start a couple weeks ago. She is 3 months old and smiley and wide eyed and just the right amount of sweetness. There is nothing she likes more, when she is here, than to be rocked in my arms and sung to. Now, my voice is so far from melodic, they're not even in the same hemisphere but you know, that never seems to matter to kids. Just one of the things I love about them. They always tell me I sing good. Anyways, I've spent a lot of time the past couple weeks sitting and singing to this little monkey. Some are songs I make up, for example:

You need to sleep now
I have work to do
The big kids are going bonkers
did you just go doo-doo?

But most are songs from my own childhood. I sit and I sing these songs I hold near and dear to my heart and I lovingly remember my Mom singing them to me and my brothers and sisters. My Mom always sang through her day, with a much better voice than my own. And just as I was about to get all teary eyed with nostalgia I started noticing something a little, ummmm....interesting, about the songs she sang to us. Here, let me give you a sampling of her repertoire

Little Brown Jug
Yah, ha ha! You and Me
Little Brown Jug don't I love thee
If I had a cow that gave such milk
I'd dress her in the finist silk
I'd feed her on the choicest hay
and milk her twenty times a day
Yah! ha! ha! you and me
Little Brown Jug don't I love thee!

Alrighty...in case you weren't sure, that little brown jug did NOT contain apple juice. It's not inappropriate for small children to belt out songs concerning brewing and imbibing moonshine, is it?

Goodnight Irene
Irene Goodnight, Good night Irene
goodnight Irene, goodnight Irene
I'll see you in my dreams.
Sometimes, she wears her pajamas
sometimes she wears her gown
But when they're both in the laundry
Irene's the talk of the town
Irene goodnight, Goodnight Irene
goodnight Irene, Goodnight Irene
I'll see you in my dreams

Yikes! I never really gave this one much thought...but ummmm, creepy!

I Love you
I love you, I love you, I love you so well
If I had a peanut, I'd give you the shell.

My Mom sang this to me all the time. There was another verse but it's slipped my mind. And no...my Mom didn't have any favorites...why do you ask?

Hey Good looking
Hey, good looking!
Watcha got cooking?
How's about a cooking
something up with me?
Hey, sweet baby!
Don't you think maybe
we got ourselves a wee bit of company?

Lovely, a proposition. Every child should be lulled to sleep with such sentiment.

Conga
a, one, two, three, four conga!
I wish my legs were longer.
And if they were I'd holler
a quarter of a dollar

She'd grab us up and make us participate in an crazy conga line through the kitchen as she sang this. I have no idea what this song is about. It's catchy though.

Drunken Sailor (do I really need to go on?)
What do you do with a drunken sailor?
what do you do with a drunken sailor?
What do you do with a drunken sailor
early in the morning?
Heave ho! and up she rises!
Heave ho! and up she rises!
Heave ho! and up she rises
early in the morning.

This one here is a family favorite. There have been times when gathered with my Mom's siblings and their children that the entire extended clan sang this song substituting in family members professions for sailor. Oh, but we are a clever bunch. And just for the record, we did this completely sober.

So there you have it...not much Brahms and Rockabyes in my childhood home. And I wouldn't have had it any other way. I used to pretend I hated when she'd grab me and swing me around as she regaled the rest of the family with "Little Brown Jug", but secretly I loved it when she did. My Mom's sense of fun and humor shine brilliantly through in the songs she chose to sing with and to us. They may not be the most appropriate songs and maybe I'll chose others to sing to my new little baby (can't have the daycare kids going home singing about being drunk now...can I?) but I really need to start singing them to my own kids and dancing around the kitchen with them while I'm at it.

4 comments:

Debra (dippy) said...

Cute! Sometimes you don't think about the lyrics - too funny that you realize now what it means.

Jen @ Mommay's Mayhem said...

Can we have some audio to go with these please? ha ha

Marie said...

Oh Jen...you know not what you ask. ;)

Anne said...

You have captured that so well!! I used to love when Mom did that...but HATED when she did it when I had friends over!!!