As I Live and Learn
I've been collecting my writings from years gone by as I find them. Each time I move - now 5 times in the last 3 years - I find more scraps, loose sheets, etc. with my thoughts from various times in my life. I've decided to copy as many of them as I can here to try and keep from losing them again, and to share with the world.
Please feel free to comment as thoughts occur to you. Either send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or use the comment links here.
Thanks, and Enjoy!
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Songs We Sing Up North
So I've put together a list of songs my family remembers (and still does) singing up north, with exceptions as requested and one I couldn't find the lyrics for. The list is for a book I then put together of all the lyrics of the songs for the family, which I'm going to end up giving as a Christmas gifts. I intend to put the lyrics to all these songs up on my website eventually. We'll see if I get around to it!
America the Beautiful (Oh Beautiful, For...)
Ants Go Marching, The
Are You Sleeping/Freizaca
Baa Baa Black Sheep
Battle Hymn of the Republic
Bear Went Over the Mountain, The
Bicycle Built for Two (Daisy, Daisy)
Do Your Ears Hang Low?
Doe a Deer
Down By the Old Mill Stream
Down By the Station
Five Foot Two
Five Little Monkeys (Jumping On the Bed)
Goodnight Song, The
Happy Wanderer, The
He's Got the Whole World In His Hands
Home On the Range
How Much Is That Doggy In the Window?
I'm Henry the Eighth I Am
I'm a Little Teapot
I'm a Nut
I've Been Working On the Railroad
If I had a Hammer
Igga Flygga Fleega Flogga
It Ain't Gonna Rain No Mo'
It's Raining, It's Pouring
Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho
Kum Ba Yah, My Lord
Lift Every Voice and Sing
Little Bunny Foo-Foo
Make New Friends (But Keep the Old)
Mares Eat Oats
Mary Had a Little Lamb
Michael Rowed the Boat Ashore
More We Get Together, The
My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean
My Country Tis' Of Thee
My Gal's a Corker
Oh, You Can't Get to Heaven
On Top of Old Smoky/Spaghetti
Puff, the Magic Dragon
Rock-a My Soul
Roll Out the Barrel
Row, Row, Row Your Boat
She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain
Sing a Song of Six Pence
Sitting on the Dock of the Bay
Swing Low Sweet Chariot
Take Me Out To the Ball Game
There's a Hole in the Bucket
This Land is My Land
This Old Man
Three Blind Mice
Three Little Fishes
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
When Irish Eyes Are Smiling
When the Saints Go Marching In
White Coral Bells
Yankee Doodle Dandy
Yankee Doodle (Went to Town)
You're a Grand Old Flag
Monday, December 19, 2005
A Christmas Poem
by B. J. Wrights
It happened in the kindergarten class,
Right at the table where they were having snack.
Joanie asked the question and they all sat back:
"Mr. Slater? Can Santa Claus be black?"
Poor Mr. Slater didn't know what to say,
Christmas vacation was twenty days away.
There were snowflakes to cut and
Window wreaths to be hung,
Christmas cards to be painted,
And Christmas songs to be sung.
He hadn't time to think
What Christmas was about,
In twenty more days,
School would be out!
Why couldn't they wait
And ask their questions then,
When mommies and daddies
Were home to answer them?
"Mr. Slater? Can Santa be thin?"
"Is Santa Clause always a him?"
Mr. Slater looked at twenty pairs of eyes,
Twenty children of every shape and size.
He ate a bit of cracker and finished his drink.
"Children," he said,
"I'll need some time to think."
As soon as class was over,
He ran down the hall,
Skidded 'round a corner,
Crashed into a wall.
Ran up the steps to the second floor,
Rapped on the window of the principal's door.
"Ms. Frazer, Ms. Frazer, what can I do?
The children asked these questions
That now I ask of you:
'Can Santa Claus be black?'
'Can Santa Claus be thin?'
'Does Santa always have to be a him?'"
"Mr. Slater, it's a difficult task
To find answers to the questions you ask.
I think with these I'll need some assistance,
But I'll get you the answers with a little persistence."
Ms. Frazer turned in her swivel chair,
Picked up the phone and dialed Mr. Dare.
Mr. Dare was the head of the P.T.A.,
He called for a meeting the very next day.
"Thank you for coming,"
He began with a greeting.
"I'd like to get right to the point of this meeting.
Mr. Slater, in charge of the kindergarten class,
Needs the answers to some questions
And he needs them fast."
"'Can Santa be black?'
"'Can Santa be thin?'
"'Does Santa always have to be a him?'"
The parents didn't know what to say,
Christmas vacation was nineteen days away.
There were cookies to bake and lights to string,
Gifts to wrap and carols to sing.
They hadn't time to think
What Christmas was about,
In nineteen more days
School would be out!
Why did children have to ask questions when
Parents had no time to sit and answer them?
Are there any suggestions?
Do we have any answers
To these difficult questions?"
"Who knows best
What Christmas is about?
Let's ask Santa!"
Someone called out in a shout.
The secretary of the P.T.A.
Sent a letter to Santa the very next day.
The reply came back very, very fast,
Addressed to Mr. Slater
And the kindergarten class.
Dear Mr. Slater, Dear Girls, Dear Boys,
Once a storywriter caught me bringing you toys.
The year he spied me opening my sack,
My skin was white, my boots were black.
You probably know how that story goes . . .
I laid a finger aside my nose?
All these years, needlessly,
That story worries children who don't have a chimney.
All year long I listen to the news,
Read people's thoughts, see people's views.
At the end of the year, when I see what's needed most,
I take that shape, like a Christmas ghost.
I can pass through keyholes, windows and locks,
Apartment buildings, hospitals, tents, and trailer lots.
One year I used a wheelchair in place of my sleigh,
Once I was blind and had to feel my way.
It's hard to understand when I don't leave a toy:
You can't unwrap a gift like hope or health or joy.
My skin has been black, white, yellow, red, brown;
My eyes have been slanted, crossed, and round.
Sometimes I have been a she:
All these things are a part of me.
You may not believe all this is true,
But that's okay, boys and girls, because . . .
I believe in you.