Monday, September 28, 2009

An Old Song And Two New Ones

Our classroom song list doesn't change much. At most, I’ll add two new songs to the repetoire each year and at the same time, without any intention on my part, some songs will fade into disuse.

On Friday, Charlotte came into the classroom requesting a song I’d completely forgotten about. She must have learned it from her big sister who is now in kindergarten. Of course, since she is one of those kids who were coming to class before she was born, so I suppose it’s possible she remembers it from then!

Skida-ma-rink a dink a dink
Skida-ma-rink a do.
I love you.

Skida-ma-rink a dink a dink
Skida-ma-rink a do.
I love you.

I love you in the morning
And in the afternoon
I love you in the evening
And underneath the moon.

Oh, skida-ma-rink a dink a dink
Skida-ma-rink a do.
I love you.

I’m glad she reminded me. I would have hated for that one to fade away.

When I add new songs, I like them to be ones to which I have a personal connection because I know once we start singing them we’ll probably be singing them for a long time. Last year, we began singing “A Dark Night” by former punk rocker Bill Fox, who has aged into an enigmatic poet with a guitar. This song runs through the 5-senses in a beautiful way. Unlike many of our songs which involve jumping up and down and making big body motions, for this one I ask them to lie on their backs, close their eyes, and imagine experiencing the sensations described. I take liberties with the order of the verses and the exact wording:

This morning we are born again
Born again
Born again
This morning we are born again
From the womb of the dark, dark night
From the womb of the dark, dark night
From the womb of the dark, dark night
This morning we are born again
From the womb of the dark, dark night.

This morning we can feel again
Feel again
Feel again
This morning we can feel again
Sand beneath our feet
Sand beneath our feet
Sand beneath our feet
This morning we can feel again
Sand beneath our feet.

This morning we can hear again . . . etc.
Laughter in the woods . . . etc.

This morning we can see again . . . etc.
Light on the crystal waves . . . etc.

This morning we can smell again . . . etc.
Honey in the air . . . etc.


(This is the verse I’ve added to round out the senses.)
This morning we can taste again . . . etc.
Candy on our tongues . . . etc.

This morning we are gathered for . . . etc.
To greet the ship come in . . . etc.

It’s a pretty long song for preschool, but I’m always impressed with how many of them keep their eyes closed, wiggle their toes in the imaginary sand, and sniff the imaginary honey in the air. Afterwards, I have them raise their hands and tell me what they imagined. Naturally, most of them tell me what kind of candy they tasted.

The second song I introduced last year is an excerpt from Jim White’s anthem to non-conformity, “Turquoise House.” We mainly only sing the chorus and the verse that goes:

I want turquoise carpets
And turquoise shoes
Turquoise papers
With all the turquoise news
Turquoise only
Not teal or aquamarine
I’ve seen my future
It’s a shade of bluish green.

I have some paint color cards from the hardware store and we use them to talk about shades of color. I’m seriously considering teaching the older kids the full song this year, but there’s one line (my favorite, incidentally) to which I’m concerned some parents will object. See if you can pick it out:



(Okay, in case you don't have time for the full video, the lines I'm worried about are: Fate is a riddle and love is a dream/Things are seldom what they seem/If you say your prayers at night/And comb your hair just right/You might not feel like you're in hell/But then again, you might. My daughter Josephine has suggested I exchange the word "hell" for "heaven." It would probably solve the problem, but I really like it the way it is.)


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2 comments:

sproutsinthekitchen said...

I love "Skida-ma-rink" and sing it all the time to my boys. The Wiggleworms (fun folk music for kids from the Chicago Folk Music Project, or something like that) do a great version of it. It's also a great CD for car rides (and I should know, having just been on a road trip!).

As for the lyrics conundrum. "You might not feel you stick out" is the best I can come up with. I'm thinking some of the parents might have more problems with the "prayers" bit than the "hell" bit, though.

Life with Kaishon said...

skim a ma rink is one of our favorites : ) even though Kaish is SO old now : ) we still sing it sometimes at bedtime.

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