Monday, February 8, 2010

My Corner of the World

This is where I Polly wolly doodle all the day.

Speaking of Polly Wolly you remember the song or are you so young that you have no idea what I'm talking about? As my children were growing up and now my grandchildren, I've noticed that they no longer learn the old elementary music class staples.

Songs like:

Mary Had a Little Lamb
You Are My Sunshine
The Farmer in the Dell
Oh, Susanna
Bingo (was his name O)
Ring Around the Rosies
Hickory Dickory Dock
If You're Happy and You Know It
Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush

I remember singing Home On the Range, I've Been Working on the Railroad, Shenandoah, The Streets of Laredo, Billy Boy, Dixie, When Johnny Comes Marching Home, The Marine's Hymn, America The Beautiful and The Battle Hymn of the Republic as well as the National Anthem twice a week in music class all through my elementary years.

My mother taught all my children a nonsense song her older brother made up when he was a teenager. The story goes that the family was driving to Florida for the annual family vacation. The kids were bored as all kids get on long road trips. There was one apple and five children. It was offered to the one who made up the best song. My uncle won. His song is meant to be sung to the tune of Turkey in the Straw. It goes something like this....Hummm da duh ve vada moon da duh a da duh hip pat tata da duh moon ..... well you get the point you sing it fast. It has always been a tongue twister for me. My kids and now my grandkids can sing it better than I've ever been able too.

The point of this rambling rant about folk songs is that I hope they don't die out with our generation. They are a wonderful reminder of the musical history of this country as well as just being fun to sing. So sing one of these tunes to a little one in your life this week. Pass them on.

(I feel like a granny saying "I hope this music doesn't die out with our generation." It is scary to realize that I am old enough to start thinking thoughts like this. Yikes!)


  1. Yep, remember most of those even here in New Zealand Steviwren. Hope they aren't forgotten. - Dave

  2. It was interesting to get a look at your work desk; I assume it is at work?
    I am only familiar with the first song, not being a child in the US, my songs were a bit different.;)
    I hope you will have a lovely day doodling.;)

  3. I didn't realize kids weren't singing these songs anymore. I'm with you, stevie..the songs are too great to be lost to children. I had a great tape, once, with stars singing all kinds of children's songs...Little Richard sang "Itsy Bitsy Spider" - it was hysterical.

  4. Kids aren't taught anything about music any more. No music. No gym class. No wonder children are fat and cranky. Nothing to generate their imagination or feed the soul. It really is a sad state of affairs.

    I like seeing Doodle Central.

  5. Fair thee well, fair thee well...

  6. It's really interesting to research the origin of the old nursery rhymes. Many were actually political satire or historical naratives. Start with "Mary, Mary, quite contrary". Fun to learn!

  7. I pollywallydoodlealltheday!!!!!!!

  8. Fare thee well, my fairy fay! I am the queen of these old ditties. I sang them to my kids, but I don't think they took. Hmm. Did I do something wrong?

  9. We can't let the old ditties die out. We better get singing then! I love the photo of where you polly wolly doodle all the day.

  10. Ah, such a cute story/memory! I don't have songs to pass to my children but I do have "sayings".... my most famous is "Oh my stars!" I have special memories of when I first heard my children exclaim it! Sigh...

  11. You're quite right. I don't think I ever taught my kids most of those songs, and I am familiar with all of them (except for you uncle's) ;) Then again, I would have had to sing to them.. and that's just to scary for a child. ;)

  12. yes, about the only song i recognize these days is twinkle, twinkle

  13. It was interesting to get a look at your work desk;

    Work from home India

  14. Love your desk - you should publish a cubicle book along the lines of a coffee table book, of all your doodles complete with calendar page backgrounds.

    As for the songs! My mother sang little songs to us all the time, we sang them at school and all kinds of places. At home we also learned "The Cannibal King" and "Mares Eat Oats" (oops, Maresy Dotes" or however you write it), and remember Kooka Burra? Oh, and the Crocodile song. Wow, you've got me going now.

  15. I love this post Stevie! I was humming along to all the song titles :-)

    When I was a child I had a little record player and small 45 records of so many children's songs. I bought the same for my daughter ...she still has it! It was a Cabbage Patch record player soon made absolete by cassette deck She loved her records and we still keeps them as collectibles.

    I want to make them digital and play them for my grandson one day..pass on the music like you are doing.

    When ever I'm with him and on SKYPE I sing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and do all the hand motions which he loves.

  16. Maybe you can teach Elijah some of those songs.


I'm glad you stopped by and I look forward to your comments. As Dr. Fraser Crane would say, "Hello, I'm listening."