Tuesday, March 16, 2010

If you go down in the woods today...

Tuesday Mar 16, 2010

If you go down in the woods today...

You're sure of a big surprise.
If you go down in the woods today
You'd better go in disguise.
For ev'ry bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic.
-Jimmy Kennedy (1932) Teddy Bears Picnic

Usually, I use lyrics to talk about my life, but this entry is all about the music. On Sunday night, Derek and I were listening to Back Porch Music on WUNC as we fell asleep. When this song came on, I nearly jumped out of bed I was so excited! He thought I'd lost my ever-lovin' mind (which is actually not far from the truth) and had no idea what I was talking about and why I knew the lyrics to Teddy Bears Picnic. I remembered the song from my childhood, but I had no idea why or how I'd heard it back then. A similar thing happened when Jay was a baby - I got "Animal Crackers in my Soup" stuck in my head and absolutely HAD to find the lyrics. That one was sung by Shirley Temple in "Curly Top." (Google knows everything.)

Well, after talking with my mom, she thought that Teddy Bear Picnic was off an Anne Murray album we had when I was a kid. After a little research (seriously, Google knows EVERYTHING), it turns out that Anne Murray released a Canadian album in 1977 called "Hippo in my Bathtub." That album was re-released in the US in 1979 (minus a few songs) as "Anne Murray Sings for the Sesame Street Generation." BINGO! That's what we had as a kid, and I must have listened to that thing a million and one times on my Fisher Price record player. You remember, the brown and orange one? (Can't tell y'all what kind of restraint it's taking not to buy that thing!) It's a fantastic album, and it was re-re-released in 2001 on CD as Hippo in My Bathtub. And no, I don't have enough willpower to avoid buying the album on Amazon. Free shipping! How could I pass that up?! It's also where I first heard "Animal Crackers" and has a ton of other adorable songs. Finding it makes me happy.

Lots of the toys we have are musical, too. One of our favorites is one we borrowed from my friend Bethany, and it played a variety of Depression-era folk songs including "I've Been Working on the Railroad" and "On a Big Rock Candy Mountain." Of course, lots of toys sing the Lullaby song (Brahams' Lullaby) ... and I really ought to learn the words to that other than "Lullaby and goodnight ... la da da da da da da." :-) I have a feeling that's probably not exactly right.

One of the most fun things about having kids is remembering my favorite things from my childhood. When we were kids, we would spend long car trips singing in our off-key, total-lack-of-musical-talent McLean way. And it was great fun. On Jay's first car trip to Asheville when he was a few months old, we sang all the verses we could remember of "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain" and made up a few of our own. And it was great fun too. Of course, all the singing in the world didn't stop his hysterical crying, but we tried! As a baby, Jay's favorite was "You are My Sunshine" (also done beautifully by Anne Murray on the Hippo album!) and so far Luke seems to be a fan of "Jesus Loves Me." Currently, Jay is a big fan of songs with hand motions including the Itsy Bitsy Spider and Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee. I know their favorites are determined in part by what we sing to them, but it is interesting to see that different songs settle each of them down. And once I have the Anne Murray album, my repertoire of songs will expand again to include some of my old faves. Everything comes back around.

Posted at 11:17AM Mar 16, 2010 by Jen Foster in General | Comments[5]

I don't have the album, but I have the song...along with several Raffi tunes, and Sammy, by Hap Palmer. I have made several cd's for my grandkids and will now make a new one for Jay's and Luke's and of course your's and Derek's listening pleasure!

Oh and I don't know if you had anything to do with this but I got a nice, easy math question this time! Loves,

Posted by Susie Hoffman on March 16, 2010 at 11:34 AM EDT #

I had one of those orange and brown Fisher Price record players too!

Posted by Stacy Arrington on March 17, 2010 at 09:13 AM EDT #

This made me smile! I had the record player and the "tape recorder." The tape recorder is still at my parent's house waiting to be played with again!! Don't forget about the special pens and pencils from childhood! ;)

Posted by Lisa on March 17, 2010 at 03:54 PM EDT #

Isn't it wonderful to be able to share your favorites with little ones? Grace also loves "You are my sunshine"-- she aught to, I sang it to her almost every night when she was inside, and often when she was upset on the outside. She also loves things with dance moves, and I'm really impressed with her ability to mimic and repeat. Thanks for sharing your trip down memory lane!

Posted by Erin on March 22, 2010 at 09:01 AM EDT #

How funny is this? Evelyn's favorite song is "You Are My Sunshine" and Jessica's is "Jesus Loves Me!"

Posted by Cynthia Spruill on March 27, 2010 at 06:52 PM EDT #

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