It’s Not All Mary Poppins

All you need is…

A story from Friday. You might recall Friday? This happened late Friday afternoon. I was tired. I was perhaps even a bit giddy. I can get that way when I’m tired. We are singing, as we do in the late afternoons.

“Old MacDonald had a farm!
E-I-E-I-O!
And on this farm he had a…”

“Grace, it’s your turn. What did he have?” Grace flips over the card in her lap, looks at the picture.

“Pig!”
“He had a pig! And what sound does a pig make?”

Grace snorts most realistically. No anemic ‘oink, oinks’ around here. No, we go for full-on, full-nose, open-mouthed snorts, snorts with added value grunting. Because we have been to the farm! We know what pigs sound like!

The song continues. Each child has a card in their lap; I have a pile beside me, ready to hand out for the next round of verses. Rory had a goat. Jazz had a bunny. (No, bunnies don’t make noises — unless you count the “I’m-going-to-die!!!” shriek of terror, which I am not about to teach a bunch of babies — so what we do is twitch our noses. Cutest damned thing you ever want to see, five toddlers attempting to twitch their noses. Assuming you can get them all to twitch at the same time. Generally Grace and Rory manage it while the others give them WTF stares…)

So. Grace had a pig, Rory a goat, Jazz a bunny. And Poppy?

“What did he have, Poppy? What animal is that?”

Poppy looks at her card, considering.

Arse.” Her voice is firm. She knows what she knows. “Arse.”

I quell a giggle. “No, lovie. That’s a cow.”

“Cow.”

“Cow, that’s right! And what does a cow say?”

She knows the “moo”, attempts a creditably drawn-out lowing. “Mmmmmoooo.” We’re back on track. Away we go, taking turns through sheep, duck, rooster, dog … and then… this picture hits the top of the pile.

So of course I give it to Poppy. Because I am mature like that. Poppy is pleased to see this picture, because this one? This one she knows!

“Arse!”

(HA! Did I call that right, or what?!)

You will recall that I am a wild and weary woman by now, twenty or so minutes from closing on a Friday afternoon. Teachable moment, pshaw! Improve her vocabulary? Correct her pronunciation?

I.
Think.
NOT!

“That’s right! Arse!” I start to giggle. The kids smile tentatively, as they often do when an adult is being inexplicable. “Old MacDonald had an arse!” Now I’m laughing. “In fact,” I say, because I am totally on a SUPER-CLEVER, totally HIGH-CLASS roll now, “Old MacDonald had a whole herd of arses!”

I’m not quite rolling on the floor laughing, but it’s close. Rory, Grace and Poppy laugh with me, though a bit uncertainly. What are we laughing about? God knows, but it must be funny!!! Right? Yeah! Daniel doesn’t often pay much attention to circle time, but my hysteria giggles have drawn him in, and he stands at the edges, grinning broadly.

“Arse! Arse!” Poppy has gathered in some vague way this word is the source of the hilarity. “Arse!”

I attempt to sing, “Old MacDonald had an arse”, but I shudder into giggles partway through. The others are laughing without reserve now. Full-on belly laughs all round. We are a jiggling heap of lunatics right now, even though only one of us knows what’s so damned funny. Laughter being contagious and all.

Jazz, however, appears immune. She surveys the bedlam around her disapprovingly.

“NoooOOO!” her voice is thick with indignation. “HORSE. Is a HORSE, Mary!”

Does this calm us down? Not even close. In fact, and I know this might surprise you — it certainly surprised her — her protests just made me laugh harder. She huffs at us. Poor indignant, over-ridden Jazz. And the laughter rolls on.

Friday afternoon turned out to be pretty good, after all, all things considered.

Arse.

November 21, 2011 Posted by | Jazz, music, Poppy, the things they say! | , , , | 3 Comments

Hark!

christmas47angelHark the hair-wuld angels sing,
Glory to the new-born king!
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!
Joyful all ye nice ones eyes
Joy all triumph of the skies,
WIIIITH thangelic horse proclaim
Cry is born a beth-lay-hame.

“Isn’t that a beautiful song, Timmy? It’s a baby Jesus song.”

“It’s a very beautiful song, Anna.”

“I know.”

December 12, 2008 Posted by | Anna, Christmas, music | , , , | 6 Comments

MotherTalk reviews: That Baby stuff

Packages are always very exciting.

“What’s in there, Mary? You gots a present?”

“Not a present, exactly. Some people sent me this” … I hold up a DVD… “and this…” a CD… “so that we can listen to them, and tell them what we think of it.”


“It’s music??

Music is good around here. We listen to music a lot, and we do not keep it to kidstuff. The kids are as likely to be groovin’ to Etta James as to Raffi, and though they’ve heard a fair amount of Haydn and Mozart here, the air in Mary’s house has never been polluted by the Wiggles. Blues, jazz, classical, folk, classic rock, alternative, even the occasional country and what my husband calls “head-banger” music. Depends on Mary’s mood, depends on the children.

Music is a tremendous mood-setter. If you want them calming down for a nap, you’ll choose chamber music over rowdy blues. You have a little energy to burn on a rainy day? Crank those blues and let the babies bop to Stevie Ray!

So, TWO music disks in ONE package? Someone DID send us a present!

Now, we have a slight problem. Mary does not own a television. Well, okay, technically I do. One. It has a 14-inch screen, and it’s in the attic. I watch it perhaps twice a year; the daycare tots never do.

Mary, however, does own a laptop!

And this is what happened when the DVD was on: children clustered around a screen, pointing and talking. Now, had I placed it so there was a larger open space in front of the screen, perhaps we’d have seen more movin’ and groovin’, I’m not sure. Whatever the reason, the DVD was the scene of much pointing and talking rather than bouncing and bopping.

Which is just fine, because the talk was some entertaining.

“Hey! There is George!” Nigel identifies his tow-headed older brother in one of the six-year-olds on the screen.
“And that is my MOMMY!” Malli offers, as an 8-year-old girl dances to “Brass in Pocket”.
“Lookit! Lookit, is ME!” Blond-haired, grey-eyed Anna is thrilled to see herself on the screen — in the form of a very cute little black boy just about her age.

Though this is very cute, I confess I prefer the effect of the CD on them. Deprived of the visuals, they don’t cluster and point, they dance. They whirl, they jump, they shriek with laughter. Much better.

There isn’t a song on the disks they don’t like. Me, I’m not fond of “Anything is Possible”. Far too preachy-earnest for my tastes, but the tots, they don’t care.

My favourite is probably the first: the “Happiness Runs/Circle Game” medley, in part because I like Joni Mitchell, and in part because I did enjoy the visuals on the DVD.

I found “Brass in Pocket” a little disconcerting at first, particularly the DVD version. I remember when this song was Top-40, and to my mind, it’s about sex. “Gonna use my arms, gonna use my legs…” And to see little children of 6 or 7 years olds mouthing those words was a bit unsettling. I didn’t like the way the first little girl danced, either.

After I watched it a couple of times, though, I changed my mind. The words, when sung through the minds and mouths of small children, are in fact perfectly all right for small children. They won’t be hearing any innuendo there: after all, kids do use their arms and legs … and smiles and laughter and play and teasing and mischief and whatever it takes … to get “some attention, attention, attention, give it to me!” What kid doesn’t want attention? Seen from that perspective, it’s a cute track.

I’m not raving about the disks. They’re nice. They have an interesting, eclectic mix of songs by a disparate range of writers. Would I have bought them myself, had they not been provided for the purposes of review?

Likely not. But then, I am cheap poor cheap. However, if you’re interested, enter the coupon code “MotherTalk” when purchasing and save 20% on your entire order! From now until May 18th, all orders using the coupon code “MotherTalk” will be entered in a drawing to win a new iPod nano. So there’s that.

May 7, 2008 Posted by | music | 5 Comments

Crazy Eights — er, fours

Red Pen Mama has tagged me with a meme. Because I think I’ve done this one before, I’m going to be lazy and do four instead of the required eight from each category.

1. Four things I am passionate about:

My husband: His honesty, his kindness, his brilliant mind, his generosity of spirit, his unceasing devotion to me. I am a very lucky woman.

My children: Seeing them grow into considerate, productive, giving adults with a strong sense of self brings more richness to my life than I can express.

Communication/conversation: Clear, honest, respectful, meaningful, deep. Love it, need it, demand it of my closest relationships. Obviously, my husband feels the same way!

Writing: Love it, need it, am working to include more of it in my life.

2. Four things I want to do before I die:

Make a living from writing

Travel a lot more than I have these last ten years.

Have grandchildren. Which is not precisely something I do, I know. (And HA! It’s a new one. See? I’m still growing up. Corollary: when my kids are ready for it — which is NOT now. But when they are? I will be a Most Excellent Grandma.)

Write a book. Which I sort of am working on right now, but at the pace I’m going, I’d better hope I live to be 110 …

3. Four things I say often:
“I love you.”
“WALK in the house. WALK.”
“Do you have your cell phone with you?”
“Hands are for hugging.”

4. Four books I’ve read recently:
Away, by Jane Urquhart (this one is Literature, and very good)
I’m a Stranger Here Myself, Bill Bryson (Short essays; some VERY funny, all entertaining)
Piece of Work, Laura Zigman (not Literature, but I enjoyed it)
Accidental Florist, Jill Churchill (this is a ghastly book — but entertaining in its awfulness)

5. Four songs I could listen to over and over:
Charmed Life, Diana Krall (Check out the link! It’s YouTube — see her do the song.)
I won’t back down, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Everybody be yorself, Chick Street Man (It’s off the soundtrack to Northern Exposure disk.)
Only then will your house be blessed, Harry Manx

6. Four things that attract me to my best friends:
Good conversation (cf. #1)
Irreverence. Not in its sacred sense, but in general: a certain willingness to bawdiness, a tendency to irony, a quirked-eyebrow (but NOT cynical) take on the world.
Sense of humour.
Intelligence.

November 15, 2007 Posted by | books, memes and quizzes, music, my kids, quirks and quirkiness, random and odd | 4 Comments

Old MacDonald had a mbrglcock

We are off to the 7-Eleven for stamps.

We amuse ourselves by singing as we travel. We worked through Three Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree, and Three Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed (busy little monkeys, aren’t they?), and we’re well into Old MacDonald, and only halfway there. (It’s not really all that far, probably no more than a km, tops, but Malli and Nigel are walking, which puts us at about, oh, 2 km an hour. Maybe less.)

Good thing Old MacDonald can go on FOR-EEEEEEE-VER.

“Old MacDonald had a farm,” I start. “E-I-E-I-O. And on that farm he had a… What did he have?”

“SHEEP!” Malli is quick on the draw. We baa-baa our way down another block. With the next verse, Nigel picks “COW”; then Anna picks “CHICKEN”, and Timmy wants “HORSIE!!”

“How about you, Emily? What animal do you want?”

Pause.

“…and on this farm he had a… ” I attempt to prime the pump.

“COCK!”

Uh. Well, then. “Do you mean rooster, sweetie? Cock-a-doodle-doo?”

“No. mbrlmCOCK.”

“I didn’t hear that, love. Try again.” Call me demented for getting the child to repeat this three times in succession, but I get the feeling she’s really trying to communicate something. Something non-PG rated, even.

“Peeflgcock.”

Ah. See? (You don’t? You weren’t listening carefully enough.)

“PEAcock. Can you say that? PEAcock.” Because good enunciation makes for good communication.

“MrfhCOCK.”

“PEAcock.”

“MDVGcock.”

Once more, with feeling.

“PEEEEcock.”

“Pee-pee-cock!”

It will do for now.

“So, PEAcock? Do you know what kind of a noise a PEAcock makes?”

Silence from the assembly. They haven’t a clue.

It just so happens that I do. I once visited this amazing place routinely, and I’ve been serenaded auditorally assaulted by their song hideous shrieks.

“Peacocks go like this.” And, after a quick glance up and down the street, I throw self-consciousness to the wind and open my throat in as close an approximation as I can manage.

The children are delighted. Open season on shrieking! We squawk our way up the final block.

I’m thinking that Mr. Peacock is going to be a permanent addition to Old MacDonald’s farm. I just hope they remember MY version of his name…

September 18, 2007 Posted by | Emily, music, outings, the cuteness!, The Tots | 12 Comments

Music Hath Charms…

“Hey, guys! Circle time! Come sit with me!” I pat the floor in front of me, and the tots come pounding from every direction. We love circle time! They arrange themselves in a circle a blob around me mostly in front of me. At any rate, they are all looking right at me – it’ll do!

Anna’s not quite ready, though. She stands up. “I sit in lap!” she declares, and plops herself down on Timmy. Timmy responds to this with an ear-to-ear grin (and if you remember Timmy’s ears, you’ll know just how big this grin is…).

We commence to sing.

We start our circles with “Hello, Everybody”, or “The More We Get Together”. Then we move through our repertoire. So far it’s only about half-a-dozen songs and chants. It will gradually grow over the next year, till they’re overflowing with songs, chants, and nursery rhymes.

Our current favourite is “Three Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree”.

Do you know that one? It’s a chant, and a great favourite. Goes like this:

Three little monkeys swinging in a tree
(hold three fingers at head-level, pointing to the floor, and swing back and forth)

Along came a crocodile
(make biting motions with one hand, fingers straight, tapping on thumb)

As quiet as can be. (continue biting motions, and whisper this line)

The first monkey said, “You can’t catch ME!” (shake finger side to side; shake head, too. Then pull your arms wide apart, and…)

SNAP!!! (CLAP your hands together)

Next verse is “TWO little monkeys”
Then “ONE little monkey”, (yes, macabre, I know), but in the last verse, after the “SNAP!!”, the monkey calls out “MISSED ME!!” in a nyah, nyah voice, while you wiggle your one finger in the air.

Okay, so great fun. Off we go. Timmy twiddles his fingers, bobs and nods and flings his arms about with the rest of us, peering out from behind Anna, who really is perched right in his lap.

Then we come to The Very BEST Part of the ENTIRE Song… The children spreads their arms as far as they can fling them…

“…you can’t catch MEEEE…….

SNAP!!!”

And Timmy brings his hands together – WHAP!! – one on either side of Anna’s wee head. Because of course, she’s IN HIS LAP. Which means she’s smack dab in the middle of the CLAP trajectory. What’s the boy supposed to do??

And Anna, bless her laughter-prone, social little self, ROARS with laughter. Whether it’s because she likes having her ears boxed, or whether she just loves to SNAP her own hands together, and hasn’t noticed that Timmy’s just smacked her upside the head, I don’t know, but she LAUGHS… Oh, how she laughs.

She laughs through ALL THREE VERSES. And with every verse, she gets her head whacked.

And then, she laughs for ALL THREE VERSES for the SECOND rendition, because Mary HAD to get her camera and record this! Had to! ALL THREE VERSES!

At the end of the day, I show the video to the parents.

Anna’s dad’s eyes widen as we watch the first frame. “Did he just hit her in the head?”

“YES! He did!”

Dad snorts. “Can you play that again?”

“I don’t have to! Here’s the second verse.”

“He did it AGAIN! And look at her laugh!” he chortles.

“Want to see the third verse?”

“There’s MORE? Hell, yeah!”

And we fall about the front hall laughing. Because we’re loving and nurturing people. The children are magically drawn to our howls of laughter, and shriek their delight at our feet. What’s so funny? Who knows? Who cares? There’s some kind of PARTY going on, and they are SO THERE!!

And when Timmy’s mom arrives, we get to do it all over again.

SNAP!

September 12, 2007 Posted by | Anna, daycare, Emily, music, the cuteness!, Timmy | 8 Comments

Teenagers

I smile as I pass my daughter’s room. A steady thump-thump of bass and a rowdy, raunchy straight-ahead rock melody pounds at the door. She doesn’t have the volume way too high, but she’s obviously having a good time in there. It’s her voice that makes me smile. I can’t catch the words, but I love to hear her sing.

When she emerges to have her shower, I ask what song that was. I hum the catchiest bit. She stares at me for a moment. “You liked that?” The girl’s obviously uncertain, and I hasten to reassure her. “Yes, really. It was fun. What song was it?”

She grins. “It’s called Teenagers.”

“And that line I was humming?”

Bigger grin. “The words for that are ‘teenagers scare the living shit out of me.’ ”

I had to listen, of course. With lyrics like that? How could I not?

It’s a jaunty, boppy, happy melody with nicely grinding guitars, good edgy/raw vocals. It’s fun, fun, fun melodically.

That chorus is SO MUCH fun, in fact, they repeat it, oh, 87 times, only pausing once or twice (okay, three times) for an actual verse. Which is just as well, because the verses don’t really hang together. You can’t trust adults, say the first two, but the third says other teenagers aren’t about to fill your world with love, either. Guess it sucks to be you, then.

(Emma read that paragraph over and said, “That’s about right, mum. They’re an Emo band, and that’s how they see the world.” ‘Emo’ being short for ’emotion’. Sadly, it seems that the only emotions these groups explore are the negative ones: cynicism, angst, world-weariness, anger, rage, loneliness.

“Doesn’t that bother you, Emma?”

“Well, I don’t listen to only Emo. That would be too depressing.”

Sensible enough. But she is 14, after all. All that Emo stuff is going to feel PERFECT some days.)

But this tune? This particular melody, despite the words? Is so FUN. It really is.

The disjointed themes of the verses don’t really matter when you’re fourteen, anyway. You’ll like verses one and two when you’re pissed at your parents, and you’ll rock with verse three when you’re fed up with your friends. And you’ll always get to dance your rage away. So, no matter who your adolescent angst is hating that particular day, this song works!

Yes, I am kind of mocking it, but I also truly enjoy the song. I will be copying it onto my iPod. As soon as I get one.

“I’m glad you like their music, mom, because I want a MCR poster, and they are just the kind of group that you would look at and say ‘WHY do you want THAT on your wall??’ ”

She’s right. I do. I certainly wouldn’t want anything so studiously bleak on my wall. I don’t like the black and the sneering. I find the aggressive posturing distasteful. But I’m also fully aware that my revulsion is a goodly part of their appeal – and so I deliver the goods, because really? This is a pretty safe and controlled way for a good, reliable, responsible kid to express some needed rebellion. She’d have nothing to rebel against if I didn’t curl my lip just a little.

So curl it I do, because, well, ICK. “I didn’t say I’d like the poster. I don’t even know I’d like the rest of their music. Just that this one song is fun. But it’s your room. You want to have bleak depressing skinny guys in black on your wall, go right ahead. But put them on this wall, okay, so I don’t have to see them from the hall.”

Emma giggles, triumphant in her wildness, pleased to have received permission. “Prissy’s mom? She would NEVER let her have that poster in her room! And she would completely HATE that song.”

“You don’t know that for sure. After all, you’re surprised I like it.”

“No, really, mom! Prissy’s mom won’t let her say ‘butt’. She has to say ‘bottom’.”

“I guess ‘living shit’ wouldn’t pass the vulgarity filter, then.”

“I guess not.”

Seems I’m just conservative enough to give her something to kick against, make her feel a little wild and defiant of conventions, but I’m also cool enough to not be a total embarrassment. This is no easy tightrope to walk.

Another parenting hurdle successfuly breached.

Heh. Teenagers. 🙂

They said all teenagers scare the living shit out of me –
they could care less as long as someone’ll bleed.
So darken your clothes
or strike a violent pose;
maybe they’ll leave you alone –
but not me!

September 10, 2007 Posted by | aggression, music, my kids | 12 Comments

Hump Day

(Am I the only one who finds that term kinda borderline? First time I heard it, I had mental flashes that had nothing to do with Wednesday’s place in the week…)

Wednesday? Why is it only WEDNESDAY? I woke up this morning convinced that it was Thursday. Thursday! One more day! And then it’s the weekend – and, more importantly, the BEGINNING OF MY HOLIDAY.

But it’s not Thursday.

It’s Wednesday.

Dammit.

And I have a cold. For three days I thought it was hayfever producing the endless stream from my nose. I had a harder time explaining the cough. And this morning? I woke with what can only be a sinus headache. My eye teeth ache. Ugh.

“I’ll take them to the library,” I said to myself. “That’s easy, calm, the entertainment is built in. No creative effort on my part. Just what I’m up to today: calm and undemanding.”

Yeah, I know. I want calm and undemanding when surrounded by two-year-olds. All the gunk in my head must be backing up into my brain.

George and Nigel arrive first. They have a CD with them. Dad says, “Thought you might like a break from that pink disk. This one’s a favourite at home.”

It’s a home-burned disk, labelled “Toddler Nigel. Mi yoil.” ‘Mi yoil’?

“Midnight Oil.”

?? The explanation tells me nothing. Clearly my cultural awareness has its holes. So we put it in the player, and… Lead singer has all the auditory grace of that guy from The Clash (NOT Mr. Mellifluous); and the beat – a driving, relentless bambambambambambambam – kinda reminds me of Rock Lobster. So, a combination of The Clash and the B-52’s. JUST what I’m craving to start this “calm and undemanding” day.

The kids, of course, love it.

After the first adrenalie-revving bar, they are wild. Bouncing off the walls. Off each other. Shrieking. Screaming. Racing in circles. Bopping in the groove. A mini mosh-pit in my living room.

Woo-bloody-hoo.

Mi yoil lasts about 12 bars. “Okay, guys! We’re going to the library!!” Libraries are peaceful places. Let’s burn off some of that energy making them walk the kilometre there, then sedate them with some books.

That’s the Plan.

We arrive. We are the first to arrive. The children’s section is calm and undemanding. Lots of pretty books in neat rows. Creative displays of books organized around various themes. A bright and welcoming rug for snuggling and reading. Perfect.

We commence to snuggle-and-reading. Aaaahhhh…

The door swings open. A father and his 4-year-old daughter come in. A mother and two little boys arrive. It’s a little less calm now, but reasonable. But it doesn’t stop. Seems I’m unreasonable to want reasonable… The door opens and closes a dozen more times in ten minutes, and the place is filled to the rafters with kindergarten-aged kids. No so calm anymore. At all.

Miss Sandy, the librarian, stands in the hub-bub. Claps her hands. “All right, everyone! Story-time is starting!” (Story-time? I thought that was on Tuesday. Oh, it is? And they’ve added a second, because it was so popular? Oh, how… nice.) And she commences to sing as the children stampede from every corner of the room to the story nook. One of the goldfish in the aquarium floats to the surface, victim of the depth-charge shock of all those pounding feet. Twenty-six four- and five-year-olds jockey for position, and commence to shriek along with her. Their enthusiasm is touching. And gratifying for Miss Sandy, I’m sure. It’s also very, very LOUD. Mary gathers her books and hustles her charges past the mayhem.

Several Earnest Mommy types give the deadbeat caregiver a scornful look. Clearly I don’t care like they do. Clearly I don’t love my little ones enough to want to take Every Opportunity to Enrich their little lives.

I don’t flip the Earnest Mommies the bird. I am a Professional. I smile kindly upon their Earnestnesses, and quietly meditate on the crash landing that awaits them. Sooner or later. Mwah-ha.

The air outside is cool, the breeze refreshing. We have ten pounds of books to peruse at our leisure.

And there are those lovely rocks in the lawn outside the library.

The children clamber, and Mary sits on the grass, perusing some of the books we chose. It’s calm, it’s undemanding. It’s soothing, even.

And then the mommy-baby exercise group converges, all the Bugaboos and the MacLarens and the lean and wannabe lean mommies, ready to do their warm-up and stretch before their run along the canal.

I don’t swear as we leave. I don’t even snarl.

I am doing more visualization, though. A three-hour naptime (please, please, please), a soothing cup of peppermint tea, and a book. Not “Are You My Mother?” or “Dog Breath” or “Trucks” or “The Bellybutton Book”, but a grownup book. Just.For.Me.

Either that, or a nap just for me…

Keep your fingers crossed.

August 15, 2007 Posted by | books, George, music, Nigel, outings, quirks and quirkiness | 9 Comments

What gets you Humming?

In the last post, some of you shared your favourite children’s albums. What fun! I’m always interested in new music. It doesn’t have to be new music, of course, just new-to-me. So now I want more!

Sooo….

Tell me, dear readers: which is your favourite children’s album? And (if it’s not the same), what is your child’s favourite? (And if you’re a family of audiophiles, you can give me up to three. But only three!!)

(Oh, and your child’s favourite album? It doesn’t have to be specifically children’s music. If your tot rocks on to The Who, let us know! The adult choices, now, THEY have to be children’s music.)

Let’s have a musical moment!

June 6, 2007 Posted by | memes and quizzes, music | 27 Comments

Because I’M the boss around here…

We’ve been listening to Raffi these days. You there, sneering in the back row? You may leave. I quite like Raffi, particularly his earlier stuff. He hasn’t got the best voice in the world, I grant you, but he provides little ones with appropriately simple – but not patronizing or simplistic – music. Much of what he does is folk music, a solid beginning for small children with its clear melodies and lyrics. Folk music is also musical heritage, auditory history.

His childrens’ songs (particularly his earlier ones) are generally educational without being preachy, fun without being cutesy, and lively without being manic – something too few children’s entertainers seem to be able to manage.

All this without a single anthropomorphic animal or multi-coloured human in sight! Imagine!

But no one’s perfect, right? I recently dug out our old Baby Beluga disc. All was going hummingly until track 12.

Joshua Giraffe.

Have you ever listened to Joshua Giraffe? This is one seriously weird song. It was not written by someone in their right mind. In fact, it seems pretty clear to me hallucinogens were involved. It’s an auditory Dali, a musical Breton (though with a much better beat).

It is, in short, bizarre.

And looong. Over six minutes of weird.

And not so musical. Over six minutes of disjointed, jerky weird.

And it is, predictably, Nigel’s favourite.

Too bad for him…

June 5, 2007 Posted by | individuality, music, Nigel, quirks and quirkiness, random and odd | 13 Comments