Blog 1985 – 03.02.2021
Baa, Baa, Black Sheep
Baa, Baa, Black Sheep
Introducing children to the joys of words put to melody is one of the most fun things about parenting and teaching. I have had the wonderful privilege of being a dad to two wonderful children and in my youth of being a teacher and entertainer of countless children through church bus and children’s ministries in four different churches. Children love to memorize words, especially words set to music and if you really want something to stick in a child, teenaged, or anyone’s mind put it together with a catchy tune and you will thereby prove the old proverb about rearing up a child in the way that he or she should go and their never being able to get away from that teaching.
The danger of course is that this is equally so of lies as it is of the truth. Words set to music have been used to inspire treacherous despicable acts as well as good and heroic ones. As the great teacher said in a warning, it would be better to have a millstone hung about one’s neck and be cast into the sea than to harm one of these little ones. Parents, teachers, poets, singers, and songwriters (even politicians) have a responsibility to write, recite, share, and sing true and uplifting songs.
This and the following nursery rhymes though not deep philosophy are nonetheless stepping stones to higher deeper truths. I happen to believe that, If You’re Happy And You Know It and Row, Row, Row Your Boat are two of the best and truest songs ever sung and I am forever glad and grateful that someone sang them to me and taught me to sing and teach them to others as well.
Do yourself and others a favor as you are traveling through time and space and teach yourself and others to sing especially the happy songs for they are a very present help in time of trouble as well as in times of celebration. One of my fondest traveling memories is a surround sound technicolor one that happened during a week long trip I took to Germany some years ago. On one evening in particular at midnight in the wine cellar of a thousand year old country inn I found myself singing songs with a group of German and American friends happily enjoying the moment and one another’s company. We could not see the sky for the inn floor above us but there were so many singing shining eyes twinkling together and it was indeed a Starry, Starry Night.
Your friend and fellow traveler,
Starry, Starry Night (Vincent)