• “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Dr. Suess

Monday, May 17, 2010


My parents sang - to us, with us, and with each other.

Dad was forever singing a quip of a love song to mother, or a piece of advice to anyone astute enough to hear it.  Mom often sang hymns - first and foremost - but she sang all kinds of other things as well.  Their songs are printed indelibly in my brain.

"Put your shoulder to the wheel push-a-lahoonnngg, do your duty with a heart full of saw-onnnggg,  ..."

"I've got a Humpback mule, a plow and a tater patch ..."

"Home, home on the range, where the deer and the antelope play ..."

"Bill Grogan's goat was feeling fine ..."

"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine ... "

"Hey, hey good lookin', wha-whatcha got cookin' ..."

"Count your blessings, name them one by one ..."

"How would ya like t'swing on a star, carry moonbeams home in a jar ..."

"From this valley they say you are going, I will miss your bright eyes and sweet smile ... "

"The old gray mare, she ain't what she used to be ..."

Yes, we had a radio - a 'little' transistor about 12" long, 8" tall and 5 or 6" wide. It had a place of honor on the kitchen counter.  It was mostly on only when Dad got up in the morning or when someone needed the weather or the news; especially the farm news - hay and grain and cattle prices.  It usually was not on otherwise - that would cost money for the electricity it would use and who needed more noise with so many people around anyway?

No, we did not have a TV.

They sang in the house. They sang in the car. They sang at work.  They might burst into song just to be silly - and some things 'stick to the ribs' of memory like porridge for breakfast!

"O I got a gal named CrossEyed Sue, her eyes are red and her lips are blue, dimpled hair and curly cheeks, her glass eye rattles and her false teeth squeak."

They sang when they were happy, reverent, or sad.  If you put 13 people in the cab of a pickup (there was no such thing as a club cab) on a cold winter's day (otherwise some would 'get' to ride in the back)  or even inside a car (how did we have room to put in grandma or give neighbors rides?) they could travel reasonably well if someone started singing.  I don't remember joining in, as a general rule.  I do remember just listening;  hearing contentment; knowing the world could be and would be right;  feeling secure.

I suppose songs were a form of entertainment.  When a group gathered; at neighborhood or family outings, at  reunions, picnics, church activities, on holidays and ALWAYS around campfires; the singing began.

 If you wanted to you could join in but if you would rather you could just listen - listen and soak in the rapture.