Monday, November 19, 2007

A cheese a bean a meat

Over the weekend, while hanging out with a friend, I was feeling a little silly and started singing a song I recall from childhood. My quasi-melodic utterances were met with a blank stare from the aforementioned friend, who perhaps might have been thinking that right then was a good time to say 'buh-bye' and head toward home.

So, of course, I felt compelled to explain what the song was about. Me being me, I explained it badly.

For what it's worth, the song I was singing is sung to the tune of 'Turkey in the Straw' and goes something like this:

On the farm we grow the food
that's everything we need to eat
It's a fruit a veg a bread a milk
a cheese a bean a meat!

And was part of some Saturday morning school house rock-ish thing in which a farmer (Farmer Brown, maybe?) was explaining to all us overprivileged children from whence cometh their food.

In my memory, the spot was done in a kind of wobbly watercolor wash of earth tones. That part might be wrong, as colors do fade over time, and this particular memory is a good 35 years old.

Upon further investigation, I find that Farmer Brown never made an appearance on Schoolhouse Rock, and the only site I can find that cites these particular lyrics is one that loads terrifically slowly and wants me to become a member in order to peruse the forums, in which the specific citation is hiding. I'm not so much a joiner as all that, but was certainly gratified to know that there's at least ONE site out there that repeats there lyrics, because there is a little place in my psyche that could cause me to believe that I might have made the whole thing up.

It's not too far out of the realm of possibility, y'all. The making up of things and all.

This moment in time has lead me to ponder a bit on the 'forgotten songs of youth' thing. The Farmer Brown song is just one example of how a song that HAD to have been seen by tons of kids back in the day has now been almost completely wiped from the retrievable common experience...

The 'Digger the Dog' song is similar.

What, you don't know that one either?

Digger the Dog
Digger he goes with you
When you explore
Just pull his leash
and go for a walk
He's your dog
For sure!

"Where ya going Timmy?" "Walkin' Digger, Mom!"

It was the jingle for a doggie pull toy that make its appearance when I was a kid, and over time I've found that the ONLY people who remember this song are almost exactly my age. That would mean that you'd need to be 45 or so to have any recollection of it. Am I wrong in this? Are there younger/older folk out there who remember this insanely catchy jingle and the dog that went along with it?

(For what it's worth, I found this site while looking for the Digger song lyrics, and I have the strong notion that there will be many MANY hours spent looking through the archives. Y'all - they talk about Spudsie, which I'd completely forgotten about, but now remember having, and through that single wee mental prompt can see the basement in the house I grew up in, cool orange "not a fireplace" and hooked rug wall hangings and all. Whee!!)

Anywho, all this mis-remembering and internet sleuthing has got me thinking: what are some of the vaguely remembered songs of YOUR youth? Camp songs, jingles, sing-in-the-car-on-long-trips songs, etc, they're all fair game. I'd love to know, for I, apparently, am in a nostalgic mood.


And ANYONE who remembers Farmer Brown, please PLEASE tell me. I feel so alone in that one....


(P.S. - New Wordsmiths challenge is going up today.)

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