Sunday, October 5, 2008

"Home on the Range" and other songs I butcher.

When you have a blind child the audio portion of your life really becomes dominant. So when I saw that Parent Bloggers Network was having a Sing Out Loud, Sing Out Proud Blog Blast, I was giddy with excitement. OK... so I wasn't giddy. I don't think I've ever actually been giddy in my life. But I did think to my self, "Hey. I just might have something to contribute to this one." That's almost giddy.

The assignment is all about how we, as parents and families, use music and songs to make our day to day lives a bit happier, smoother and educational. Of course, I am immediately reminded of School House Rock from my own childhood. Would any of us today really understand the purpose of a conjunction or (Look. See. Right there I used one! Ha!) know the process of a bill becoming a law if it weren't for Saturday morning television? I certainly didn't pick those tidbits of knowledge up in high school!!! But I digress.

More to the point, how do I get my kids to do what I want them to do without them realising I am winning? By making it fun, of course. And around our house that involves a lot of singing.

I think I began using this technique when Ben was about 8 months old. He had decided he didn't like to wear shoes and socks. Well, really, who does? However, to still those chubby little legs that could move faster than a set of tractor pistons when I was trying to put his shoes on, I'd sing him a little vaudvillesqe ditty. I always picture the WB frog with top hat & cane singing this number:

Give me your footsies.
I need your tootsies.
Give me your footsies, n-o-w!

He would giggle and wiggle and I'd bite his toes. Soon he'd have socks and shoes on with no fighting at all. Mission accomplished.

And one day not so very long ago, when I'd been home with two sick boys for far too long, I rewrote Home On The Range just to save my sanity. Danny and I were rocking in the recliner because he would. not. let. me. put. him. down. And still he was fussing and crying. So I started singing Home On The Range. Soon those well-known lyrics morphed into what has become an old standard around our house. I think you might like it too.

Oh, give me a home where the Davis kids roam
Where the boys, Ben and Daniel, play;
Where seldom is heard an argumentative word
And the boys are not grumpy all day.

Oh, give me a land sans this big pile of sand
That spilled from your shoes to the floor;
Where the boards are not scarred from each little shard
And the yard just outside has still more.

Home, home on the range,
Where the boys, Ben and Daniel, play;
Where seldom is heard an argumentative word
And the boys are not grumpy all day.

I don't really know if it makes them feel better but it works wonders for me.

This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network as an entry for a contest sponsored by Bush's Beans. They are looking for new lyrics for the "Beans, beans, the musical fruit..." song. If you think you can come up with a better version that properly names beans as a vegetable, you could win $5000 and a trip to New York City.

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