conuly: image of a rubber ducky - "Somewhere, somehow, a duck is watching you" (ducky predicate)
A Duct Tape Madrigal )

BTW, which do YOU say? Duct tape or duck tape? Surprisingly, the duck tape version apparently came first and duct tape is the eggcorn... or so I've heard, anyway. There's some debate, but I think the duck tape version is funny to say, and it gives me an excuse for one of my favoritest icons.
conuly: image of a rubber ducky - "Somewhere, somehow, a duck is watching you" (ducky predicate)
And I've known that song a long time, but naturally I picked up a few new verses. The funniest one has to be "Oh you can't get to heaven on the BMT cuz the BMT won't BMT". I called my mom about it, given that it's a subway reference AND a letters-as-words thing, both of which I knew she'd find enjoy.

I sang the chorus as I usually do, "I ain't gonna sing this song no more". And then I thought about it. Does singing "You can't go to Heaven..." etc. necessarily imply that you think there's any possible way of going to Heaven or that one exists to go to? (Not that I care, it's a great song, very fun, but once you start asking these questions they stick in your head.)

I also taught the nieces and their friends today to sing "I wear my pink pajamas in the summer when it's hot, and I wear my flannel nighty in the winter when it's not, and sometimes in the springtime and sometimes in the fall I jump under my covers with nothing on at all!"

Yes, I get paid to do this. My job? It rocks.


Sep. 4th, 2009 09:41 pm
conuly: Picture taken on the SI Ferry - "the soul of a journey is liberty" (boat)
What's that song in the background? I had it running in my mind for AGES a few years back, but of course one can't identify a song easily if one doesn't know the words!
conuly: (Default)
When we were in California I learned that she's pretty flexible. She liked to hop through the pool. She's not great at hopping, so she held her other leg up to keep from putting it down by accident. Held it up above her head. You know that thing ballet dancers do to show off, where they tuck their feet behind their ears? They don't hop at the same time.

So today she took Sleeping Doll (a Dora whose eyes open and close) and swaddled her up in Super Duck. A pretty good swaddle, too! She's seen babies wrapped up and decided that it's just the done thing.

When I told her to fetch her shoes she put Sleeping Doll down and wandered off, saying to herself "I left my baby over there, over there, over there. I left her over there to go and... and find my shoes. I lost my baby, I lost my baby, I lost my baby, I found my shoes and I lost my baby."

She wasn't singing it, so it took me a minute to recognize what she was doing. It's this song. My goodness it's a depressing song (and I recognize that the nonsense lyrics at the end are actually misspelled Gaelic, thanks). I can't imagine what I was thinking when I taught it to her. (Actually, I really do sing it as a lullaby. Not sure if that's better or worse than "Rock-a-bye Baby", come to think.)
conuly: (ducky)

Go ahead - start clicking on the grid :) You can drag your mouse as well.

It reminds me a lot of this game.
conuly: Quote from Heroes by Claire - "Maybe being different isn't the end of the world, it's just who I am" (being different)
I was puttering around making lunch when I realized I was humming something. But what? Halfway through I realized I was singing - but what!?!? I knew not.

So I kept singing until the end of the verse... and the second... and it hit me. I was singing Lord Randal.

Except I don't know Lord Randal, although apparently I do. I'd skimmed the words yesterday while looking something different up for somebody else, and I guess it stuck. In one skimming. Weird. (Why this talent never strikes when I need it to, I don't know.)


Apr. 4th, 2009 03:23 pm
conuly: (Default)
Now that I've already snarked some Amazon reviews I have to continue, don't I?

Here's one that just has me puzzled:

Unless your child is taking advanced music classes, it is unlikely they know these tunes: "The Blue-Tail Fly," "Red River Valley," "The Mexican Hat Dance," "Alouette" and "America the Beautiful." And, without familiarity of these songs, the "silly dilly" gimmick falls flat. As a parent, I found the lyrics better described as gross instead of silly. (Judging from an earlier paragraph, "Michael, Row the Boat Ashore" is probably in his list too.)

Seriously? I remember very clearly singing America the Beautiful in every assembly ever in elementary school, and the rest of them certainly made their rounds in music class or kindergarten music/dance/free time somewhere. Are they really that unusual nowadays? This guy is in the US, so let's have a US only poll!

[Poll #1378059]
conuly: (Default)
Video inside )

The song they're singing comes from Super Simple Songs, home of such beauties as the "Rock Scissors Paper" song, which isn't like our normal games of Rock, Paper, Scissors, but is much more nifty (if less competitive).
conuly: (Default)
Today I came out with "You Take The High Road" and "Bonnie George Campbell" and... oh, some other songs which, in retrospect, were all Scottish.

She's been paying attention recently, and now she asks me questions about them. Like "So, the low road is shorter, that's why you'll get there before me, right?" and "But WHY did he never return? Did he get lost? He DIED? WHY DID HE DIE? How do you know he died?" and... oh, the other day she asked a very interesting one about "Who is it that is happy?" and I said it was me, and she wanted to know who it was in the song. She'd caught on to the idea that the person singing the song isn't necessarily the speaker in the song, which is a sophisticated idea, isn't it? It's disconcerting. Ana certainly never asked, and it took her until she was five to suddenly realize that Barbara Allen isn't exactly a laugh-a-minute. (Well, it is, but only once you realize how impossibly maudlin and absurd the whole scenario is.)

Here's a question for you. A lot of songs I sing aren't in exactly in the language I speak, either because they're old, or because they're from another part of the more-or-less-English-speaking world. Like Scotland. This leads to two problems:

1. Words that don't have meaning to me, or that have the *wrong* meaning to me, such as "resigned we may be to our greetin'", to me "greeting" doesn't in any way mean "weeping", even though I know that's what the song means.

2. Rhymes that don't. This is worse than the first category!

How does one deal with that? As I see it, I have a few options.

A. I can ignore it and sing it the way I'd say those words. This option hurts my ears.

B. I can fake the appropriate accent. This is not possible, and is patently absurd.

C. I can sing it the way I'd sing it, but say those words the way the rhyme and meter demand. This just sounds silly.

D. I can try for an appropriate (and poetic!) translation into my own dialect and sing that. This is what I generally do (folk process and all), but I get this vague feeling like it's wrong and if people heard me who knew the original they'd be shocked and horrified. And then my mind throws up phrases like "cultural appropriation" and, honestly, I feel ashamed to even say this, but I was happier when I didn't know what that meant (although I *still* had those guilty feelings about changing the words).

So mostly I go with E. which is "Do option D, but don't sing the songs where anybody can really hear you other than your family", which is unsatisfying.

What do you think?
conuly: (Default)
Good places for bagpipes:

A distant moor
A parade
A military funeral

Bad place for bagpipes:

Any NYC subway station!

I'm not one of those people who hates bagpipes on general principles - I like them, in fact - but there are limits and that? That's mine. What was he thinking?

Though, on the other hand, the guy who played a medley from The Nutcracker on the sax? Rock. I never would have thought that the Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy would sound so nice on a saxophone before...!
conuly: (Default)
(Shucks, I don't like it much any time of year, catchy tune notwithstanding!)

Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer

I don't know what message you're *supposed* to get from that song (well, I have a pretty good idea...), but it's probably not any of the logical ones. Like...

1. There's no use going to the authorities when you're being picked on because they won't protect you until and unless they need you for something.


2. Your friends (if you can call them that) are only your friends because you're useful, not because they like you.


3. It's okay to bully people who are different because you'll make them be so desperate for a little common civility that they'll fall all over themselves to help you at the drop of a hat.


4. You should probably not bully people with useful skills. It'd be okay to pick on Rudolph if he smelled bad or something, though, because that's not helpful at all.


5. You can pick on people all you want, and nobody is ever gonna call you on it.

Real nice message there. And c'mon. All that talk of "Rudolph going down in history", you don't any of you think that meant they actually wanted to play with him, right? Nah, they teased him a little less for a while, then they went back to their old ways until next November when it occurred to them that they might want to be on his good side next month.

This is the same message found in many classic children's books as well. I'm thinking of Hooway for Wodney Wat, which includes the message "It's definitely okay to bully somebody so much that she cries and runs away, just so long as she "deserves it" because, well, she started it!!!!" (And where do you think Wodney learned to be such an effective tormentor? Not from his books, that's for sure. Did he think that when he learned to say his R's properly the other children would magically become friends with him?)

I had that book for a while, then donated it away because I just didn't like reading it.

So I'm very pleased to have found the Tacky the Penguin series of books. On the surface, they have the same message - everybody's similar except Tacky, and he saves the day and is hugged all around because he's just So Different. Except... the other penguins don't bully him. They clearly don't understand him, but they let him do what he wants without harassment. And in the one I just picked up for the nieces, where Tacky ends up in Africa for a while? It's shown that when he was gone the other penguins genuinely missed him for no other reason than that they liked having him around. So you get the intended message of "it's okay to be different" and "we all need a little diversity" without all the crap in the other books.

I really recommend these. I mean, I really do. They're good books, and a lot of fun, too.
conuly: (Default)
Picked up a used copy of this book, cheap, for the other kids I'm watching. They speak Spanish, as I've said, so I figured spending $2 of my own money on it was not out of line. Their mother is trying to read to them on the bus instead of just pulling out snacks every time (their food budget was through the route, and really, I haven't seen that her kids eat nearly as much as she said they did, but I haven't told her that yet), and as we were *at* a bookstore, why not? Got books for the niecelings too, anyway. No books for Connie :(

Anyway, anyway, anyway, at the end of the book they give the text and melody for a lullaby, and it runs pretty much like this: "Go to sleep, because I have shit I gotta get done, so go to sleep pumpkinhead, and if you don't go to sleep the coyote will eat you". Really.

I laughed, I did.
conuly: (Default)
Well, I was browsing Wikipedia, and you know how it is, you start off trying to find some information on hats and such, but before you know it, you're reading about popular songs of Communist youth organizations.

Which is how I got here, and I wasn't exactly surprised to read that it has retained its popularity after the fall of Communism in its countries, nor that it used to be sung by preschoolers. I mean, if the translation is at all accurate, it's a song about a little kid drawing a picture and being all saccharine about it! What's not to love and be nostalgic about? And once communism fell, those preschool teachers still had to sing songs and teach, right? Why not keep the ones the kids already knew, at least the ones that didn't explicitly go out and go "Yeah! Communism totally rocks!"?

Well, you know, kids songs are an abiding interest (not a passion, just an interest) of mine, so I wanted to know the melody. Surprisingly, it's not that hard to find recordings of the chorus in English, but I really can't settle for that. So I've spent the past half an hour diligently searching, until (finally) coming across the Youtube recording of some schoolkids singing this song. Apparently, schools everywhere* are the same as the ones in the US in some very important ways.

Anyway, now that I've found it, I can hopefully put this entire incident out of my mind.

This has been your daily update into What Connie Does When Bored.

*I've been singing Finlandia a lot lately, and yes, that echos the lyrics. Don't ask me why. Once I went through six months accidentally finding myself humming Dixie at the worst possible times. It wasn't stuck in my head (thank goodness), it'd just come out my mouth once in a while. Drove me batty.
conuly: (Default)
Jenn thinks it's weird, but - and would that I could post the melody! - I think it's kinda catchy....

Cut for TMI? )

I mean, I don't right now, but when I do!

*Or whatever the pattern happens to be
**Or panties
conuly: (Default)
First, watch the video.

Then, read the explanation.

What struck me, oddly, is not how the man on the left (as I'm looking at it) is making two sounds at once, nor how he sounds like a flute - but rather, how familiar those chords sound on the stringed instrument, whatever it is.
conuly: (Default)
Well, I was singing, Ana was making helpful hints, and periodically the baby would clap.

We'd gone through the litany, and I asked Ana anyway "Is there anything else on the bus?"

Read more... )

And there you have it. How does one even represent that in this song, anyway?
conuly: (Default)
And he slept with a mermaid one fine night, and out of this union there came three: A porpoise, a porgy, and the other was me....

How does this work, exactly? I can see how I came into this (assuming I'm human), but the porpoise and the porgy? Which one represents the tail on the mermaid? And how did the sleeping together happen? I mean, uh...? It doesn't seem to me to be a union that's all that destined for success. And is three a lot of children for one mermaid, or only a few? And why did the dad raise me (and sell off my siblings)?

Yo ho ho, the winds blow free, oh for the life on the rolling sea!

But I'm not on the rolling sea. I'm in a lighthouse. On solid ground.

I just don't get it.


Jul. 25th, 2006 12:09 am
conuly: (Default)
I like traditional songs. And, I like a lot of hymns. I really do. They're often quite lovely.

Of course, I don't, y'know, believe them - and somehow, I find it more uncomfortable to be singing words I don't believe than to be singing songs about murder and whatnot.

Is it ethically dubious for me to alter the words of hymns (those which aren't beautiful outside of the music, because I generally can't do as well as they do in making up words if I like them already) to be something... less wrong for me to sing? I don't mind singing general songs-about-God, so long as they're vague and don't really, uh, talk about God in anything other than an abstract sense. Or anything Biblical - stories are okay, commandments not so much. I don't know why some things pass my internal filters and others don't.

I'd just go ahead and change them, but some people (my mom) got on my case for singing Amazing Grace to the tune of Clementine, so....

(Her exact words were "You're gonna burn. Can you go sit over there? I don't want to get struck by lightning." She was being facetious. I think.)

In other news, I need to find me some sheet music for the piano. Some nice, affordable sheet music. I need to start practicing again - I forget how to read music if I don't do it often.

In other OTHER news, I need to find more people queueing up to make me icons. I have a lot of quotes, mostly LeGuin, but some not, that I want iconified, and I'm still to lazy to figure out how to do it myself.
conuly: (Default)
I amuse myself altogether too much, I must say.

Jenn and 'dul and all were on the train with me today. To entertain myself (and, ostensibly, the children), I started singing "I had a cat, and the cat pleased me", prompting the sarcastic comment from Jenn that this song didn't have nearly enough death and dismemberment. Y'know, like most of the songs I prefer. (Hey! I like ballads! They have killing in them! Can't be helped!)

So, to appease her, I sang "I had a zombie and the zombie pleased me, I fed my zombie by yonder tree! Zombie goes braaaains! Braaaaains! Duck goes quack, quack, hen goes chimney-chuck, chimney-chuck, cat goes fiddley-I-fee."

Vampires go "Blood! Blood!", Werewolves go "Grr! Grr!", Mummies go "I would have gotten away with it if it weren't for those meddling kids!", Ghosts go "Boo! Boo!" and at this point I gave up.

But I was amused, at least. So were the tourists. I ought to charge them for their amusement - they got bona fide New York City entertainment for free! It's unfair!

Ah well.
conuly: (Default)
After playing around a bit, I decided to discard the ASL for "sleep" on the grounds that I apparently lack the coordination to consistently sign that word correctly. So instead I cheated and used the "head on hand" thing that little kids are taught to do in various children's songs.

And, and, and - I'm 60% convinced that the baby has picked up on that and is deliberately choosing to sign "sleep" when tired, that she's not just messing up when aiming to rub her eyes or pull her ears. She's saying "sleepy".

While crying and shoving against me to prove that she's still quite awake, thank you very much....


This theory may need some work. (Though, in fairness, sometimes she does the maybe-its-a-sign and doesn't fuss as she falls asleep, so... yeah. I still think it's cool.)

Ana can now climb all the ladders at Jenn's office playground, up and down - without any encouragment or help. She used to get frozen and I'd have to tell her how to finish. And she went in the sprinklers today - yay!

Today's concert at Madison Square Park was the Dirty Sock Funtime Band. Not exactly my taste - fun, just not what I'd choose - but Ana and Deniz enjoyed it considerably. Only thing was that an hour-long concert was really too much for them. By the end, they just wanted to go. We went back later and talked to the band, though, that's always fun. So I may take them to the Central Park concert, or the one in St. George later this summer. The songs were really *weird* (one about how we have to think like the donut brain aliens to defeat the donut brain aliens comes to mind....), but for little kids, that's not a problem.

I'd like to get Ana set up with a penpal. I know she can't write yet, but I remember how when I was a kid, I loved to write letters, cover them with stickers, and mail them to my grandparents. Even when I was four (which is just one year older than she is now!), I'd harass my dad to get him to help me send letters to his mom. I was going to write to Seth and all, but I'm not sure if Lizziey is still interested, and anyway, the more the merrier, so if anybody has a three or four or five year old kid whom they'd like to "help" send letters back and forth for (you know how that goes....), that'd be great.
conuly: (Default)
That place has the best public bathrooms in Lower Manhattan. And it's all free :) (Take that, stupid "I'll grumble over a $2 museum pen" guy! Don't like it? Don't buy it.)

Apparently, I can play the panpipes. I swear, I had no clue.

Mind, I don't play well, but given that I've never touched one before today, that's hardly surprising.

I wonder what other instruments I'm capable of playing sans training. The harp? The violin? Bagpipes, accordian, flugelhorn? An inquiring mind wants to know!

(Be warned, I hate sharing, even with Ana, who's getting quite competent at guessing what a song is without hearing the words.)
conuly: (Default)
We've all seen the Lazytown entry, of course.

Naturally, I in my sad, sad state of curiosity watched the video.

God, does that song get stuck in ones head. I even looked up the lyrics (though I'm sure that's "I'll pile on" not "Hot pile on"....) to it.

*le sigh*

There's one thing for sure - other than this video, I'm staying far, far away from this show. Anything this memorable can *not* be good for my long-term health.

(Totally agree that at least the girl looks like she's having fun, unlike certain other child actors I could name if I knew their names.)
conuly: (Default)
And I've discovered something. Two sometimes.

1. In the world of lullabies-concerning-future-jobs, they all talk about what their son is going to do when he grows up. So... what did these people sing to their daughters? Isn't there even *one* about growing up, getting married, and having your own kids (the presumed occupation of all these daughters, just like they knew in advance what their sons would likely do)?

2. And why are they all featuring moonlight and such? Okay, yes, children do (hopefully) sleep at night, but... didn't these children take naps during the day? Were our ancestors so different from us, only a few generations ago? Didn't their parents feel silly singing about how late it was and the moon was shining, when it *wasn't*? I know I sure do.
conuly: (Default)
Is rounds. You know, those songs where everybody sings the same song, but they start at different times, and if they do it right it sounds pretty, and if they do it wrong everybody cracks up laughing, so it's a win either way?

Yeah, rounds!

Unfortunately, I'm having a hard time finding good collections of them. Help? I know *somebody* has to know what I'm talking about!
conuly: (Default)
In American-language prose, though I may've mistranslated parts, it not being my dialect

Should we forget our old friends, and never think about them? Should we forget our friends, and the past? The two of us have run in the hills at home and picked daisies, but it's been years since those days. We used to swim all day together in the river, but now oceans have come between us. It was so good then, we thought all our lives would be as sunny as they were in those summers, but then dark clouds came between us. But you're still my friend, and I am yours, and we can share a drink in honor of the past, because while I hope that whatever good can come from the present comes to us, our best thoughts and memories are always of the past.

So it's not really exact. I'm guessing.
conuly: (Default)
Life's easier when you have a few poems, songs, and movies stored in your head in case you get stuck in line, 'k?

And I come across this song.

A few years ago now, in Latin, we studied grammar, grammar, and still more stinking grammar. One of the things we studied, of course, was the future subjunctive. We've got the future more vivid, and the future less vivid, or the should-would.

When we studied this, I thought the translation was a bit archaic. Nobody really says "if I should, then I would", do they? Indeed, the only quote I could think of was "If I should die before I wake", which is pretty much par for the course when studying Latin.

But here I am, staring at the following verse/half-verse (most versions I'm seeing cut these verses in half):

My Father always had told me
That money would set me free
If I would murder that pretty little Miss
Whose name was Rose Connelly

And no matter how much I know what it means is "If Rose gets murdered by you, you'll get off for it", I keep reading it as "When you murder her, you'll get off for it, but not if you do anything else."

I didn't even know I *did* that in my speech!

Or that I thought this much about stupid little things. No wonder I can't sleep at night!


Though that might actually be more related to my custom of sleeping in the afternoon whenever possible, now that I think of it....


Dec. 27th, 2005 05:59 pm
conuly: (Default)
I've now successfully warped Jenn's mind. More.

As you know, I have rather... questionable views on Music for Children. Namely, I love ballads and I love having a captive audience I can sing them to, so naptime = my time.

Recently, my favorite of my repetoire (other than the carols) has been Pretty Polly. So I've been singing it a lot.

And now Jenn can sing parts of it with me, and will.

W00t. I win!

Gotta go - looking up more songs to learn, sing, put kids to sleep with. Pleasant dreams, all!
conuly: (Default)
That problem with Amazon? Seems to be a problem with my browser, because it's not happening when I run Opera or IE. Worse yet, it's happening on other sites. I'll do a quick virus scan, but I can't see how anything could be wrong, seeing as how I haven't used this computer in ages (my replacement adapter, predictably, showed up after I stopped expecting it. I have this vague feeling I'll see a second replacement adapter sometime before Christmas....)

Drat. Drat it all to heck.

That said, I've decided I'll probably focus on music for Ana/Evie this Christmas. Why has nobody told me about this? Okay, one or two of the downloadable songs are really cheesy, but others... nice! And toddlers don't tend to have much taste in music anyway.
conuly: (Default)
Y'know, if you don't like the dirge-y quality of the normal melody. Of course, it's only dirge-y because people use it at funerals, but that's not the point.

1. Auld Lang Syne, both the original and the common versions
2. House of the Rising Sun
3. Skibbereen
4. Tramps and Hawkers
5. Star of the County Down
6. Clementine
7. The Parting Glass, but not really
8. Oh, Suzanna if you skip the chorus
9. The Eyes of Texas
10. O, Christmas Tree

This has been a public service announcement. You shall be updated with any new developments in this area. Thank you.
conuly: (Default)
When we were at Historic Richmondtown? And we stopped at the giftshop? I, like, got this pennywhistle? And you know what? Once I figured out how to play it? I realized? I CAN PLAY BY EAR ON THIS THING TOO!


And once I forget how you're supposed to make things go up an octive (by "blowing harder", which doesn't seem to work), I can do that as well. Their advice is just sucky advice. Or I can't understand what they mean when they say that, which amounts to just about the same thing.

*goes off to practice*
conuly: (Default)
I've been looking at patriotic songs. Lots of them. And the more I look, the more I have to wonder...

What idiot messed up to give us the Star Spangled Drinking Song as our anthem? I mean, is that even singable? Of course not!

Consider the possible alternatives:

This would've been longer if I hadn't gotten bored )

Sometimes, I weep for this country. No wonder we're all going to hell, we've got a sucky anthem that nobody can sing.
conuly: (Default)
Scroll down to July 8. I want to be there. I just need to borrow some money. Or earn it... somehow.... Hm.
conuly: (Default)
I've found out something today, after frantic google searching for the lyrics to one song I've discovered I particularily like.

Cutted because I'm crazy )


conuly: (Default)

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