Wednesday, November 30, 2016

 

Torture!



For reasons I can't fathom, the song stuck in my head has been "Go Tell Aunt Rhody," an old folk song that someone decided would be fun for kids to learn back when I was a kid. Really, America? Here is one version of the lyrics (different than the one I learned, which revolved around "the old grey mare is dead."):

Go tell Aunt Rhody,
Go tell Aunt Rhody,
Go tell Aunt Rhody
The old gray goose is dead.

The one she's been saving,
The one she's been saving,
The one she's been saving
To make a feather bed.

The goslings are mourning,
The goslings are mourning,
The goslings are mourning,
Because their mother's dead.

The old gander's weeping,
The old gander's weeping,
The old gander's weeping,
Because his wife is dead.

I suppose life on the farm was pretty hard, but that is one depressing song. To really ratchet up the pathos, it even creates the fiction of geese being married! It only uses two notes, though (A and D), so perhaps simplicity trumped theme...

Comments:
"Ring around the Rosie" was supposedly all about Plague; the rose ring around the blisters indicating you were going to die. Although Snopes.com says this is false. Fact is we were not taught the other versions (lyrics) to the rhyme.

How about "Rock-a-bye Baby"? What really happens to the baby when the bough breaks? A concusion? Will the parents be reported to DCFS for negligence?

Rock-a-bye baby, in the treetop
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall
And down will come baby, cradle and all
 
This is why I sang classics like "The Bird is the Word" to my kids
 
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I count 5 notes. Not that there's anything wrong with 2.

I learned that song as a child, too.

So I sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame", "Abide With Me", and "59th Street Bridge Song" to my kids, the last of which my daughter chose for the father/daughter dance at her wedding last year. Now, I'm really glad we weren't dancing to "Aunt Rhody"
 
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