Musical Memories

In the car on the way home from work this evening, ‘Ironic’ by Alanis Morrissette was playing on the radio. I’ve never really been a popular music person. Growing up I heard mostly classical music, but this song brought back memories and those memories lead to other memories.

When I went to the USA on the Au-pair programme, I ended up with a family with 3, 6 and 7yr old children. At the time I would have liked babies / toddlers, but it turns out this was the right family for me. I remember most f the year I spent with them, but some thing stand out. Like the time all 3 of them were sick and off school and instead of resting they were dancing around the house with underwear on their heads. Then there was the road trip for the family reunion. The 3-yr olds favourite song at that time was ‘Ironic’, only she called it the ‘Wedding Song’ because of the lyrics. EVERY time I hear that song I think of them πŸ™‚ It’s been over 10 years and I can remember that road trip vividly. 6yr old had this thing about Avril Levigne and I think we listened to ‘Skater Boy’ a thousand times if not more on that trip.

We sang a LOT, mostly in the car on the way to and from school and activities. A firm favourite was “John Jacob Jinglheimer Scmidt” Every verse gets quieter and quieter but the end line “There goes John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt” is loud, VERY loud! So loud, that we drove with the windows down in the middle of an Illinois winter. I’m sure the neighbours thought us insane! I still sing that song, to and with many of my charges. It’s fun, you should learn it.

I remember rocking a baby charge to sleep every day. I would put the CD on and choose the track with ‘Butterfly Kisses” and push repeat. I’m sure I could sing that song in my sleep even though it was close on 8 years ago that I rocked that little girl. I’m also pretty sure I walked a path into the bedroom carpet because I rocker her big brother exactly the same way, only no music, he listened to the jack-hammers being used to do major home renovations and slept right through them!

Kaptein van die seile” was abruptly hammered into my head in the first week I was at a position caring for 2 little girls. They love to put on a show whilst in the bath, with their imaginary guitars, only my eardrums hurt more than if I was at a live concert (and they don’t know the words lol, so funny hearing their version)

I have a decent sized collection of CD’s, they’re all kiddie songs! When I taught pre-school I knew exactly at what track number on exactly which CD I could find the songs I needed. One little boy in my class loved “Miss Polly Had a Dolly” and we sang that many many times, I can see him being a really loving, soft hearted daddy when he’s older. Another loved “I’m a Jingle Jangle Scarecrow”. Hanna Montana was a favourite with one little girl, I could get her out of a bad mood just by playing the theme song and if I pushed the tables together and put up swathes of material as curtains, the class would put on a show for me. We moved and danced a LOT. I remember the principal showing new parents the school and coming to my classroom only to see me under a pile of kids since we’d just finished dinging “I’m fishing on a boat in the middle of the sea” and somehow we’d all fallen out πŸ™‚

Music is such an important part of children’s lives. It can help them express themselves, it can help them relax, it can help them to concentrate, it can help to invigorate and ‘jump-start’, it can help to release pent up energy and it makes memories πŸ™‚ Go on, sing with your family, no-one actually cares if you sing out of tune all they care about is having fun with you.


2 thoughts on “Musical Memories

  1. The other night, my husband put up the video “gnam gnam style” (or however you spell it), and our little girl (20 months old) charged the both of us to get up and dance with her! She said “mamma kom! pappa kom! dans!” Pointing with her finger to stand on the carpet. It was so much fun!! πŸ˜€ And we all laughed and danced and laughed some more!! Lots of fun! πŸ™‚ And when the song was done, she said “nog” – meaning more!!

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