Posts Tagged With: Songs

Songs and Rain

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It’s a strange combination of spring and winter in California right now.  The Roger’s Red, which I measure the seasons by, has begun sprouting silvery leaves again.  The lavender is blooming in my front bed, and the giant Maple in the front yard is all dappled with fresh green leaves as well.  But it has been raining a dreary drizzle for days now.

It reminds me of the winters when I was a child.  Our house was mostly windows back then, and the loudness of the rain falling made you feel like you were out in it while simultaneously being able to cuddle up under a fluffy comforter with a book.  Sadly, I can no longer cuddle up under anything and expect to read.  I have a small boy who needs constant holding and attention.  He already grabs my phone when I’ve been reading on my kindle app too much.

He’s surprisingly coordinated now.  Meaning that when he tries to put things in his mouth he gets them within an inch of his target, hitting his cheeks or his nose most times.  That isn’t what I would call coordinated at all a few months ago, but the fact that he could reach for something and grab it was a revelation, let alone put it mostly where he wants it.  He’s like a little birdy with his mouth, too, opening it wide for a pacifier, a plush toy, a fist, or a nipple.  He’s putting the whole world in his mouth.

I have discovered that if you put me alone in a room with a small child long enough, what results is silly songs.  I’ve been singing “He’s got the whole world in his mouth” to the tune of “whole world in his hands.” You can substitute the verse for whatever he’s currently eating.  “He’s got his mother’s knuckle in his mouth,” is a popular one.  So is “the sleeve of his onesie,” and “his green knit blanket.” But really you can substitute almost anything.  We’ve been trying to avoid “the sudsy washcloth” with more success than not.

I also have been singing him this song, to the tune of “I Hate to Get Up In The Morning.”  It’s based on true events.

Oh how I hate to get up in the morning/ oh how I’d love to remain in bed/ But when your son pees on all your fancy clothes/ you’ve got to launder all of those/ Or spend the rest of your life na-ked. 

Add that to the bevvy of things we’ve all pulled out of nowhere to sing him, and he’s going to have the strangest musical vocabulary ever.  Brian sings him “I Feel Pretty,” (he likes the “la, la, las,”) and my mother has been singing him the theme song to Daniel Boone.  I’ve been singing him Alan Sherman tunes amid musicals, hits from the 40’s and 50’s, girl scout camp stuff, and my own silliness.  He babbles back with smiles.

It’s harder being home with a kid than it logically should be.  I mean, feeding, changing, and playing aren’t theoretically difficult things, it’s just that they never end.  But being home with him is also more rewarding than I expected.  All I need is to launch into a version of “Look to the Rainbow” and feel this kid snuggle into my chest to feel like it’s all worth it.  Maybe days of bedding down in the rain with a book just got more social…

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4th of July, with Song

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I usually get a little sappy around the 4th of July, but this year I haven’t had the time.  I cannot believe that the holiday is coming up so quickly.  Where has all the time gone?  I am not nearly prepared enough to don my tricorn hat and revel in the streets while fireworks boom.  I haven’t pondered large thoughts about America and patriotism.  I haven’t made an all-Sousa playlist on Spotify that I can cook to.

Speaking of songs on the 4th of July… I’m gonna post some song lyrics for you to enjoy instead of doing a sappy post.  Collecting strange songs and lyrics to things we’ve forgotten have any is a hobby of mine.  I can sing you the words to Pomp and Circumstance, to Stars and Stripes Forever.  I know songs about lemon trees and following rainbows.  And I also know a cadre of inappropriate lyrics to traditional songs.  I will give this gift to you on the birthday of our nation:

When everyone else is singing God Bless America, you, my friend, can be singing God Bless My Underwear.

God bless my underwear

My only pair

Stand beside it, and guide it

Through the holes, and the rips, and the tears.

*

Through the washer,

Through the dryer,

On the clothesine,

Everywhere.

*

God bless my underwear

My only pair

God bless my underwear

My only pair.

Only quality things at the Hamilton residence.  Bonus points if someone knows the harmony and/or can do a good Kate Smith impression.  Have fun, be safe, and consume way too much sugar for me.  I’ll see you next Tuesday.

Categories: Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Ukulele Banish Evil

The yen for a uke started with Amanda F. Palmer. I watched a video of her ukulele anthem and fell in love with it. She was standing in a color blocked leather coat in a wintry square, singing and strumming to a crowd on a background of black steel and windows. They cheered, laughed, clapped in all the right places. “Stop pretending art is hard,” she sang, confident and beautiful, and the words hit my heart. Because art isn’t really all that hard when you think about it, it’s silencing the voices in your head that tell you your art is no good and you really shouldn’t bother that is difficult. I want to be able to sing that anthem and feel free.

In high school, there was a girl in the theater department who had a ukulele. She and I were good acquaintances – not friends exactly, but in that awkward place where you hang out in the same social groups but never quite make a connection. She would sit in the green room of the theater and play us a song she wrote entitled “I Want to Be a Bad Gangster.” With the bright ukulele for accompaniment, she would toss her blonde hair and declare her love of things like tricked out station wagons that jump up and down. We couldn’t get enough. I wish I remembered her name.

A ukulele can be packed into just about anywhere. It is not a tragedy if a twenty dollar uke gets dirty, or left behind, or accidentally damaged. I could decorate it with stickers and words like “stop pretending art is hard.” We could fall in love, my ukulele and me, and we could make music together everywhere.

That is my real vision: Brian and I clustered around the campfire at night, our gray dome tent pitched in the background, green plastic tablecloth on the decrepit picnic bench. A bag of marshmallows is open at my feet, and I have achieved the perfect marshmallow sugar coma. My heart is racing and I feel content. The orange light of the fire glistens off the face of my ukulele as I strum the strings with my sticky fingers. I sing something bright and funny, and then I sing a love song. The stars shine above us through the branches of the trees, and we are happy.

The Folk Music Store has a light blue one with a dolphin shaped bridge. I think I’ll bring it home this weekend.

If you’re interested, AFP’s Uke video is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CBDqQ3UxmM

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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