Playing a new game

February 13, 2007

As previously noted, Little Phil is often calmed by live singing. Moreover, he doesn’t seem to have strong musical preferences; any old tune will do, even if it’s one that he heard two hours ago. Song choice thus becomes a question of what the singer wants to sing.

In general, what I want to sing are songs for which I know all the words. This criterion is much more limiting than I would have guessed initially; I’ll start something like “Brown Eyed Girl” full of confidence, but by the second verse I’ll be scatting my way to the chorus: “What ever happened/ Tuesdays were so slow/ Goin’ down to the old mine/ With a transistor radio/ Laughin’ and a-runnin’, hey hey/ … Ah, rats, that’s the first verse/ Da da da da da da da da/ Somethin’ ’bout a waterfall….”

Then I’ll retreat to a song that I know really well, like “You’ve Got A Friend” or “Eye Of The Tiger.” But one can only sing those golden oldies so many times before boredom sets in.

My new strategy is to turn a boring song into an improv comedy sketch. Specifically, I’ll start singing the song that begins, “Hush, little baby, don’t say a word/ Mama’s gonna buy you a mockingbird….” and then, after Mama purchases the diamond ring, invent my own spontaneously generated list of items for Mama to procure (and possible defects thereof). So, for example:

And if that diamond ring won’t shine
Mama’s gonna buy you a copper mine.
And if that mine contains no metal,
Mama’s gonna buy you Hansel and Gretel.
And if those German kids get lost,
Mama’s gonna buy you tabasco sauce.
And if that sauce does burn your tongue,
Mama’s gonna buy you Aqualung.
And if you don’t like Jethro Tull,
Mama’s gonna buy you a hominid skull.
And if those bones are much too dry,
Mama’s gonna buy you a firefly.
And if that firefly won’t glow….

It’s not the stuff of Grammy nominations but does make the time pass more quickly.

Phil at 3 months


  1. Getting him to smile no longer seems to be a problem, and no wonder. Next up: a guffaw.

  2. smiling… and one of those cute "dad have i got news for you" type expressions 🙂

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