I have been thinking about singing a lot. I think that I originally started thinking about it, for this post, from The Common Room, but I don’t know what made me think of it. Some post on art and music, I believe. But I found this post through some other agency, what I don’t recall. It is all about how singing used to be common and it’s not any more.
I grew up poor. We sang a lot. We didn’t have a record player till my 11th birthday. We didn’t have a TV till Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s record when I was 12 or 13. We sang. I know most of the old songs in the hymnal that the churches I grew up in used because we sang them all the time in the car. Sometimes we would sing answers to questions or comments.
I certainly sang to my children. I made up songs for both my boys when they were little. But M would wake up when I sang, so I didn’t sing his song much. I sang to put them to sleep, you see. J’s was “Momma’s little boy is E-, E-, Momma’s little boy is E-J.” (to the tune of “shortening bread”) And one time I was babysitting three little ones and I wrote songs for all of them. I put those songs in my computer diary, so I have seen them since, and I remembered them. It’s one of the reason we used to do so much more memory work; we sang the stuff. In fact, I remember even as a grown up, singing a song to get all the list I was trying to recall out.
But I don’t sing for hours on trips with my family. My husband didn’t grow up in that tradition and he doesn’t enjoy it.
My father, who watches my nieces and nephew daily, has instilled this love of music in them. My five year old nephew knows all the words to “Sink the Bismarck” and when I gave him a book about the Bismarck for his fourth birthday, he was thrilled and went through it with me immediately. My dad tells me a funny story about this, though. It must have been when the nephew was three. The actual song says “for somewhere on that ocean I know she’s got to be” and my nephie was sure that it said “for somewhere on that ocean I know she’s got to pee.” He insisted to his Pa that it was that line, and not the other, that was correct.
My boys are not big on singing, though they both enjoy music. My eldest likes the parodies and my youngest likes praise music. I think I would like to put together a CD of songs I love and play it in the car when I am once again driving.
It would count as homeschooling, then of course. And I’d feel better to have put music back in the curriculum.