.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Three score and ten or more

Friday, October 01, 2010

Sing ! Sing a Song.

Does everybody walk around with a tune stuck in the mind, so that no matter what's going on, it's going on to your private mental music, or am I the only one with that problem?   It is weird.  When I was teenager working at the radio station I walked around to Sinatra, or Tony Bennet, or sometimes "The Little White Cloud that Cried". Now I got through life with the songs our family sang as we traveled in the car, or with those that the football team sang on the bus on overnighters.

The one that has been running (or maybe sauntering) through my mind lately is :

Mister Mister Johnny Gobeck,

How could you be so mean?

I told you'd be sorry for inventing that machine.

Now all the neighbor's cats and dogs  will never more be seen.

They'll all be ground to sausages in Johnny Gobeck's machine.


When that is finished, I struggle to remember (in tune) the verses to the song..  In my mind the first verse talks about a Dutchman (obviously Johnny Gobeck) who invented a machine that would make sausages out of the plentiful supply of dogs and cats.  I remember about half of the next verse which tells of a little boy who, buying a pound or so of sausage at the store and after sitting the sausage package on the floor began to whistle "And all the little sausages began to dance around." and the final verse , something like "One day the machine was broken, the dang thing wouldn't go, and Johnny climbed inside it to see what made it so.  His good wife had a nightmare, and walking in her sleep, she gave the crank a hell of a yank and Johnny Gobeck was meat.  the final chorus explains why "I told you you'd be sorry for inventing that machine.

That's the tune that is plaguing me now, but I shift from tune to tune.  My dad worked for the railroad, and sang bass in a chorus called, no less, the Railroad Chorus, that toured around  and did a lot of singing.  Of course one of the tunes that we sang in the car  was

"I been workin on the railroad,

All the live long day

I been workin' on the railraod

Just to pass the time away. 

I suspect most folks have at least heard the song, but have you ever thought about the verses?

Can't you hear the whistle blowing

Rise up so early in the morn

Can't you hear the whistle blowing

Dinah blow your horn.

There is a certain logic in this, though you don't know much about Dinah, and the third verse

Dinah won't you blow, Dinah won't you blow? Dinah won't you blow your ho  o  orn .   

That is a logical follow up but  finally

Someone's in the kitchen with Dinah, Someone' s in the kitchen I kno-o-oow, Someone's in the kitchen with Dinah, Strummin in the ol banjo

(What does that have to do with working on the railroad?)   Someone's in the kitchen with Dinah , Strummin on the ol banjo,

An singin' Fee Fi Fiddly eye o., Fee Fi fiddly eye o,   Fee fi fiddly eye o. Strummin on the ol banjo.

Makes ya wonder about the relationship between Dinah, the Fiddler, and the Railroad, Doesn't it."?

There are so many, that take turns running around my brain.

The deacon went down in the cellar to pray. And he got drunk and he stayed all day,

I ainta gonna grieve my Lord no More,

Then the song has verses on why you can't get to heaven on roller skate, and in a variety of other means (presumingly including praying all night while drunk)

On bus trips the obvious song was always Ninety Nine bottles of beer on the wall, If one of these bottle should happen to fall, Ninety eight bottles of beer on the wall.

In our personal car, we sang almost constantly while traveling and sange everything from The Spanish Cavalier  ( Oh say darling say, while I'm far away, the sometimes you may think of me dear)  to Spirituals, to The Old Apple Tree in the Orchard (which I wrote about two or three years ago.

Shucks, anyway,

I got sixpence, jolly jolly sixpence, I got sixpence to last me all my life.  I got tuppence to spend and tuppence to lend and tuppense to send home to my wife, poor wife.


At 5:42 AM, Blogger Ed said...

Reminds me of a time when I began to realize that our hired hand would come to work on my parent's farm singing the same song that was running in my head more often than not. After a few weeks, we finally solved the mystery. We both had alarm clocks set to wake us up at the same time to the same radio station.

At 7:13 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

Dick is one of those people that has a song, or a whole plethora of songs stored in his brain. Whenever a comment is made, he can come up with a song relating to it. It's absolutely amazing! I actually have music running around in my brain from time to time. Usually though, it is classical. When our kids were young and we were on a trip we also sang a lot of songs.......it did make the time go faster, or at least more pleasantly.

At 11:54 AM, Blogger Sheryl Parsons said...

I had to laugh when I read this post as I was just talking to a friend whose neighbor had 27 cats before the health department was called about all the cats taking over the neighborhood. Now there's a little feud going on due to dogs and cats. I was thinking my friend's hubby might want to borrow that machine....lol.
As for music playing in our heads, there are some things that trigger that for me, such as waking up to a Shania Twain song the other morning after doing a little skit to it with some teachers the night before at a cheerleader fund raiser. So all day long I was hearing, "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!" Do you find though that music has memories attached to it that come back each time you hear a certain song? If you hear a song you will automatically think of an event or time in your life with such vividness you almost feel like you are there? Whenever I hear or see the music to Brahms Lullaby I think of Mom and us sitting by a fence one early El Paso evening while she sang to us. Or "Layla" will take me to Berkeley. Earth, Wind & Fire anything will transport me to Arizona. Music is so intertwined in our lives I feel.

At 12:11 PM, Blogger Sheryl Parsons said...

Question, I see in your profile that you make Santa figures but I don't find anywhere to see what you do. Is there such a place? As a Santa maker myself, I would love to see your work.



Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home