Wednesday, March 17, 2010

In Honor of St. Patrick's Day...

 ... let me share with you two of my favorite Irish songs from my elementary days. I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but my elementary school was a two-room rural school house that was built in the 1860s. It's tiny (but still up and running, and probably one of the best schools you could send your kids, in my not-biased-at-all opinion!). There were 6 kids in my grade, and about 40ish kids in the entire school in any given year. The grades were divided so that K-2 was in one room and 3-5 was in another. But, on Tuesdays, both rooms would come together, the little kids would pull a folding chair up to a big kid's desk, and we would have Music with Mrs. Ranger. Mrs. Ranger had songs for every season, holiday, and event you could think of. No, really. Wanna know when William Henry Harrison's birthday is? February 9th. How do I know? Because of a President's Day/Birthday song. Seriously. Sadly, Mrs. Ranger passed away last year, but her songs will never die. And that sounds corny, but really, my sister and I still remember way too many of her songs. So, I thought I would share some of them with you, enhanced with a little 'research' I've done on the 'net. (Amanda, feel free to interject anything I've forgotten!)

One of my favorites was Molly Malone. Wikipedia a statue of her that sits in Dublin. Apparently she was quite the buxom fishmonger! You can find the 2nd and 3rd verses of her song on Wikipedia, too.

In Dublin's fair city,

where the girls are so pretty,
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone,
As she wheeled her wheel-barrow,
Through streets broad and narrow,
Crying, "Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh!"

"Alive, alive, oh,
Alive, alive, oh",
Crying "Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh".

Then there was the Irish conductor McNamara and his band. I just learned via Wikipedia (I KNOW it's not that legit of a place to learn things, but this is pretty stupid basic stuff, so cut me some slack, ok?) that this song was actually written by the one and only Bing Crosby. Huh. Who knew.
This was like, the BEST, song because we got to use musical instruments. Not like flutes and clarinets (we were not that talented) but more like triangles, rhythm sticks, tambourines, and the occasional drum (that only the 5th graders got because it was such a big deal. But then when I was in 5th grade I didn't get a drum, I got a stupid triangle. But I'm not bitter about it at all, really.)
The lyrics on Wikipedia are a little different than I remember, but I've copied the ones that sound the most right (how's that for some good grammar?). The best part was the Tra La La's that came after each verse because everyone got to go crazy with their instrument.
My name is McNamara, I'm the Leader of the Band,
And tho' we're small in number we're the best in all the land.
Oh! I am the Conductor, and we often have to play
With all the best musicianers you hear about to-day.
Tra La La free for all...
Oh! the drums go bang, and the cymbals clang, and the horns they blaze away,
McCarthy pumps the old bazoon while I the pipes do play;
And, Hennessey Tennessey tootles the flute, and the music 'tis somethin' grand,
A credit to old Ireland is McNamara's Band!

Another Tra La La free for all

So... does anyone else out there in the blog world have fun, crazy songs for holidays? No? I'm the only one? Hmmm...


Anonymous said...

Aww, Mrs. Ranger was so sweet. Personally, I was not a big fan of Molly Malone because it was too slow. I think we discussed this before, but I liked Senor Don Gato (sp??). I forgot all about those instruments stored in the scary storage room in those 100-year-old cardboard boxes! Good times.

lindsey said...

HAHA I LOVE IT!!! Mrs. Ranger is the reason i know most of my states, cuz when i was young i used to study us geography!
Its almost time to bust out the easter songs! Here comes peter cotton tail hoppin down the bunny trail! :)

And the blue books with Don Gato and the banana know give your baby a banana or whatever it was

lindsey said...

okay so i had to do some research but the banana song is this one:
Mama Paquita

Mama Paquita, Mama Paquita,
Mama Paquita, buy your baby a papaya
A ripe papaya and a banana,
A ripe papaya that your baby will enjoy, ma-ma-ma-ma,
Mama Paquita, Mama Paquita,
Mama Paquita says, “I haven’t any money
To buy papayas and ripe bananas,
Let’s go to Carnival and dance the night away!”

Mama Paquita, Mama Paquita,
Mama Paquita, buy your baby some pajamas,
A new pajamas, and a sombrero,
A new sombrero that your baby will enjoy, ma-ma-ma-ma,
Mama Paquita, Mama Paquita,
Mama Paquita says, “I haven’t any money
To buy pajamas, and a sombrero,
Let’s go to Carnival and dance the night away!”

i hope it rings a bell now!!