Several weeks ago, I burned a CD for my Aussie family, full of country songs that I like. It was mostly a self-defense move, as they love country, but I recognize very few of the artists. I have now listened to Taylor Swift, even. But the only voice I knew right away was Toby Keith’s… and do they have any of his CDs that I recognize? Unfortunately, I’m only familiar with his Greatest Hits 2 disc… you know, the one with “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue (The Angry American)” on it. I still remember the first time I heard that song. It was a while after 9/11, and the moment I heard it, I knew I needed to listen to that CD.
Of course, it was my mom that introduced me to it. I promptly got hooked on the aforementioned song, as well as “Beer for My Horses”. And then I fell in love with the duet “Mockingbird”. That song and I have a strange and wonderful relationship, as I listened to it for years, and then my parents had a dance (they took ballroom dance lessons) choreographed to it. After listening to it for 10,000 times in the next month (while they practiced), the boys and I got sick of it. It took me a couple ‘nother years before I could start to listen to it again. But their dance number at the Showcase was awesome!
And for those of you who know what I’m talking about, I’m the one who introduced Ethan to “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue”, back when he was on summer staff. Those who remember, you know who you are. Can anyone ever forget, “We’ll put a boot in your UH!”? Ahh, the memories.
Ok, back on track, now.
Since I sometimes pick the girls up from school, I thought it would be a good idea to introduce them to country music that I like. So, their new CD is full of Billy Gilman, Carrie Underwood, Lonestar, and Tim Rushlow. It seems that when I transferred music over to my laptop, a few artists got missed. Toby Keith included. Le sigh. But the girls took to Billy Gilman, immediately, and I’ve always liked his One Voice CD, no matter if anybody else does or not. Can you believe he recorded that disc when he was twelve, and now he’s in his twenties? I can’t. Anyway, the only problem with the girls listening to these songs is that they have trouble telling Gilman and Underwood’s voices apart. However, we’re working on that.
Well, I still enjoy the songs, but now we grownups have been listening to these songs a LOT, because the girls like to listen to the same ones, over and over. So, when they were about to set out on a long trip, I thought they could use another disc as an alternative. And what would I fill it with? Disney music, of course.
Think about it… what kid, of any age, from 3 on up, hasn’t watched a Disney movie? I mean, in families that have televisions? They all have, so if I picked the right songs, they’d be familiar with those, and probably would be willing to listen to some of the ones they didn’t know. My hope, ever since I arrived her, has been to introduce to new things, things that I’m interested in. So, I want them to read more, and enjoy reading. And I also want to introduce them to new songs, if I can. For me, I get most of them from musicals, but failing that, I’ll see that they learn a lot of Disney songs.
And so, I burned them a CD, full of Disney songs. In addition to the ones they knew, I had to throw in some interesting ones, that I was sure they’d like, if given a chance. For example, “On the Front Porch With You”, which I sing Bubby to sleep with, all the time. And another awesome Burl Ives number, “The Ugly Bug Ball”. Every little kid should be able to sing “Once a lonely caterpillar sat and cried, to a sympathetic beetle by his side. ‘I’ve got nobody to hug, I’m such an ugly bug’. Then the spider and the dragonfly replied, ‘If you’re serious and want to win a bride, come along with us to the glorious, annual Ugly Bug Ball’.”
I did include plenty of well-known numbers, like “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” (the little girls LOVE singing along with this one), “Chim-Chim-Cheree”, “A Whole New World”, and “Kiss the Girl”. But I had a sneaky feeling that the kids have probably never seen Bedknobs and Broomsticks, so I put “Portobello Road” on the disc. An Angela Lansbury classic, I’ve always loved that movie. And wished I could get MY bed to fly wherever I wanted to visit. The final battle scene, with the suits of armor is great, too.
But there was another song that I put on there, almost as an afterthought. That, and I thought it would be a good example of an American classic song, that my Aussie kids should be introduced to. I did NOT expect them to come home singing it constantly.
When the family arrived home from their trip, Mrs. B commented, immediately, about my putting the Davy Crockett song (officially called “The Ballad of Davy Crockett”) on the CD. A coincidence? Yes. But how was I to know that Mrs. B was raised on that song, as her dad likes all sorts of “old-school” ballads, and though the kids had never learned the words, they’d heard about it, or heard it sung once or twice. So, while in the car, they fastened onto that song, and listened to it over and over and over, until all four (Bubby can’t talk yet, remember?) knew ALL the words.
And they’ve been singing it ever since. Now, none of us grownups mind it, but it still seems so odd to hear it sung all over the house, for the last two days straight. Yesterday, I went out for an hour or two, and they were singing it, while their dad accompanied them on the guitar. When I returned, they were still singing it, they’d just changed to a different room. Turns out, they’d been making up a dance, so they could dance it and sing it for their dear Gramps. And they did that, today, and he happily joined in singing with them.
The other night, we were also looking for a movie to watch, on BigPond.com, and Bea found Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier listed there. Only her mom’s insistence that they wait to watch it with their grandparents prevented her from renting it immediately. No, they’ve never seen it.
Another thing… they keep singing the words “killed him a BEAR, when he was only three”, though the pronunciation on the movie version is “BAHRR”. You know, good old Western backwoods speak. I mentioned this to them, today, and Mrs. B explained why they sing it as “bear” instead of “bahrr”. While on the trip home, there was confusion from the kids over what the singer was actually saying. They thought it might be a “boar” that Davy Crockett killed, so their parents had to explain what it really was. So, they ditched that pronunciation, to prevent further confusion.
Yesterday morning, I woke up with the Davy Crockett song stuck in my head. I think it’s here to stay. : )