Friday, September 2, 2016

Poetry Friday: Changing Lyrics and Sharing Books!

Head over to a penny and her jots for this
week's round-up of poetic goodness!
Don't miss her poem about poets and cowboys.
Thanks, Penny, for hosting this week.

Most of my blogging friends know that I'm a new, first-time grandma.  Last week I took a flying weekend trip to spend some time with Teddy (and his mama and daddy too)!  When I'm with this darling boy, I find myself singing all the time.   Our regular repertoire includes The Grand Old Duke of York, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, You Are My Sunshine, Skinamarink, The Bear Went Over the Mountain, and Rock-a-bye Baby.  And I loved listening in as his dad hummed Puff the Magic Dragon to him one morning.

When I became a mom in the 80's, I amended the lyrics to Rock-a-bye Baby so that when the cradle fell, my words became "And I will catch baby, cradle and all."  This past week while visiting Teddy, I found myself crooning a ditty my mom used to sing that went like this:
"Sunday, Monday dressed so fine
Little brass buttons how they shine
Hee Ha Ha, you and me
Little brown jug, don't I love thee."  
It doesn't make sense, and somehow I don't like singing about a "little brown jug" to a baby.  But I do love the tune, and the way I can just hear my mom's voice when I sing it.  So here's my new scrubbed up version of that last line:  "Little sweet boy, don't I love thee."  
I searched my bookshelves and found two favorite books to awaken my musical memories.  Tom Glazer's Eye Winker Tom Tinker Chin Chopper was a Christmas gift to our family from "Aunt Jan," my forever friend, who has the most beautiful voice ever.  When I sing with her, I kid myself that I can sing too!  Her inscription in the book:  "Since I won't be around to teach these finger plays to the kids, here's the next best thing!"  We moved right after Christmas that year from Tulsa to Houston, and while Aunt Jan was no longer just across town, she managed to visit almost every year for birthdays.  She did indeed teach my kids some of these songs in person.  The second book I found, I'll Tell You a Story, I'll Sing You a Song by Christine Allison, was a Christmas gift from my husband in 1987.  I haven't looked at it in more than two decades, but it's filled with songs and rhymes to remember.  In its pages I found the words to "Brahm's Lullaby" which I usually hum because I can't remember the words.  I promise to learn the words before my next visit to see Teddy.   And I love that the final section in the book is Hymns and Prayers.  There's one in this section that I need to sing more often for its powerful reminder, "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands."

So there you have it, two amended tunes and two favorite books for this Poetry Friday.  I'm sure that there are some books published more recently that are similar to Tom Glazer's musical fingerplays and Christine Allison's collection of fairy tales, fables, songs, and rhymes of childhood. Leave your favorites in the comments.  It's time for this Grandma to reawaken the songs and poems of childhood for sharing with Teddy and our second grandchild who will be arriving in February.  And just in case you haven't yet seen any pics of my sweet bundle of boy, check out my slice of life post from Tuesday.  


  1. You know that Ingrid & Imi still love haring those sing-songy rhymes, still pull out the new & recent "Lullaby & Kisses Sweet", & now Ingrid can read them too! I have "Eye Winker. . ." & we've enjoyed it too. I love that you're re-connecting to all these favorites because of Teddy, just great! Have a good weekend, Ramona.

  2. Such a dazzling time, entranced by baby's twinkle.

  3. I have a two-year-old granddaughter, who loves to sing. Like you, I wracked my memory for songs to teach her, when I visited this summer and then her 4-yr.-old sister taught us some she learned in pre-school.

    I love how you say, "When I'm with this darling boy, I find myself singing all the time."

  4. What a special Grandma you are! Keep up the good work.

  5. I love the way my mom has shared books and poetry with my children, and I hope some day to get to do the same with grandchildren. What a gift!

  6. Congratulations! It's fun to sing new lyrics to well-known songs.

    I sang to my son a lot. I loved Me and My Teddy Bear, among others.

  7. I love how Teddy is reconnecting you with these songs! How precious. xo

  8. Sing on, Grandma! Your tunes will be written in his heart!

  9. Teddy is one luck boy! So much goodness in the songs and poems we share with our wee ones. *swoon* =)

  10. Teddy is a very lucky little grandboy, Ramona. Hit the high notes!