Saturday, April 21, 2012

S is for songs  

old favorite songs, that is
the earliest songs of memory

what are the first songs you remember?

I remember my mother doing dishes and singing
"the old gray mare she ain't what she used to be, ain't what she used to be"

and we'd sing
"it's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring, went to bed
and he bumped his head and he couldn't get up in the morning"

In first grade, the teacher would sit at the piano and play and we would sing
"old grumbler is dead way under the hill, under the hill, under the hill, old 
grumbler is dead way under the hill, way high up!"

There were several verses to that one and I never did quite
figure out if Old Grumbler was a man or a horse

I remember singing Oh Susanna! My version was 
"I come from Alabama with a bandaid on my knee"

I still have my wind up Teddy Bear that plays
"Rock-a-bye baby, on the tree top, when the wind blows, the 
cradle will rock, when the bough breaks, the cradle will fall,
and down will come baby, cradle and all"

Such a comforting song to fall asleep to

I did learn to play on the piano (okay, one handed!) 
Home on the Range, Happy Birthday, The First Noel, and
Swanee River

My father's favorite song was 
"you are my sunshine, my only sunshine"

One of my favorites has always been
"I'll take the high road and ye'll take the low road, and
I'll be in Scotland a fore ye..."

And then there were the songs we sang as school children
"I stuck my head in a little skunks tail and the little skunk said
gol  darn your soul, take it out, take it out, remove it!
Well, I didn't take it out and the little skunk said,
If you don't take it out you'll wish you had.


I removed it

And our horrifying rendition of The Battle Hymn of the Republic
sang often with much glee

"Mine eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school, we have
 tortured all the teachers, we have broken every rule
One day the teacher hit me with a ruler, so I bopped her on the head
with a rotten tangerine, haven't seen the old goat since
Glory Glory Hallelujah, Glory Glory Hallelujah"

Ah, what would they have done with us nowadays?
Sent us to the principal? Sent us to the counselor?
Suspended us? Done a strip search for matches and rotten tangerines?

None of us brought weapons to school, although I am sure virtually all 
of our families owned firearms

Oh, the songs of our youth


  1. I recall songs we used to sing in school. Of course, there were the songs we sang in school, and songs we sang in the schoolyard. The former were hymns, or songs about peace and unity. The latter... well, let's just say they were not as clean. :)

    Good article, soggy! :)

    1. Thanks! I don't remember if we sang it anywhere the teachers could hear us