Singsongs in Summer Swelter

Sunny summer days of my yesteryears lumbered and lulled. Hours hung heavy in the humid air.

To occupy those drawn-out dog days, I dangled my tiny toes in trickling streams, carved crooked creatures in cracking mud, climbed creaking limbs of ancient oaks, and imagined dragons cavorting in cotton ball clouds.

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honahlee.


Cruising on my blue banana-seat bicycle with a red and white transistor radio dangling from the handlebars, I tuned into the whatever station sounded less “staticy” and sang at the top of my lungs.

Sing, sing a song.
Sing out loud.
Sing out strong.
Sing of good things not bad.
Sing of happy not sad.

Sing, sing a song.
Make it simple to last
Your whole life long.
Don’t worry that it’s not
Good enough for anyone
Else to hear.
Just sing, sing a song.


Because reception was sporadic on that little AM radio, I often would have to entertain myself with memorable melodies. Whether dodging potholes on dusty dirt roads or swinging through trees or catching crayfish in the creek, you could hear me singing from the soul.

I see trees of green, red roses too.
I see them bloom for me and for you.
And I think to myself,
What a wonderful world!

***

Somewhere over the rainbow way up high,
There’s a land that I have heard of once in a lullaby.
Somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue,
and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.


Several of my favorite songs were silly:

Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer true.
I’m half crazy over the love of you.
It won’t be a stylish marriage.
I can’t afford a carriage.
But you’ll look sweet
Upon the seat
Of a bicycle built for two.

***

Little bunny foo foo
Hopping through the forest,
Scooping up the field mice,
And bopping ’em on the head….

***

Mahna Mahna
Do doo be-do-do
Mahna Mahna
Do do-do do
Mahna Mahna
Do doo de-do-do de-do-do de-do-do
de-do-do-doodle do do do-doo do!

***

John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt
His name is my name too.
Whenever we go out,
The people always shout,
“There goes John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt!”
La la la la la la la!

***

Down by the bay
Where the watermelons grow,
Back to my home
I dare not go.
For if I do,
My mother will say:
“Did you ever see a bear combing his hair
down by the bay?”


Some songs were sad:

In a cavern in a canyon,
Excavating for a mine,
Dwelt a miner, forty-niner
And his daughter Clementine.
Oh my darling, Oh my darling,
Oh my darling Clementine.
You are lost and gone forever,
Dreadful sorry, Clementine.

***

Well, I’d like to visit the moon
On a rocket ship high in the air.
Yes, I’d like to visit the moon
But I don’t think I’d like to live there.
Though I’d like to look down at the earth from above,
I would miss all the places and people I love.
So although I might like it for one afternoon,
I don’t want to live on the moon.

***

My Bonnie lies over the ocean.
My Bonnie lies over the sea.
My Bonnie lies over the ocean.
Oh, bring back my Bonnie to me.
Bring back, bring back
Oh, bring back my Bonnie to me, to me.
Bring back, bring back
Oh, bring back my Bonnie to me.


Others were American classics:

Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam,
Where the deer and the antelope play,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the sky is not cloudy all day.
Home, home on the range,
Where the deer and the antelope play,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the sky is not cloudy all day.

***

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored.
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword.
His truth is marching on.
Glory, Glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

***

Yankee Doodle went to town
A-riding on a pony,
Stuck a feather in his cap
And called it macaroni.
Yankee Doodle keep it up,
Yankee Doodle Dandy,
Mind the music and the step,
And with the girls be handy.

***

I wish I was in the land of cotton,
Old times there are not forgotten;
Look away! Look away! Look away, Dixie’s land!
In Dixie’s land where I was born in,
Early on one frosty morning,
Look away! Look away! Look away, Dixie’s land!
Well, I wish I was in Dixie! Hooray! Hooray!
In Dixie’s land I’ll take my stand, to live and die in Dixie!
Away! Away! Away down south in Dixie!
Away! Away! Away down south in Dixie!

***

This land is your land, this land is my land.
From California to the New York island,
From the redwood forest to the gulf stream waters,
This land was made for you and me.


While a few celebrated other lands:

Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree.
Merry, merry king of the bush is he.
Laugh kookaburra, laugh kookaburra,
Gay your life must be.

***

Frère Jacques, Frère Jacques,
Dormez-vous? Dormez-vous?
Sonnez les matines! Sonnez les matines!
Ding, ding, dong. Ding, ding, dong.

***

Mein hut der hat drei ecken,
Drei ecken hat mein hut,
Und hätt er nicht drei ecken,
So wär es nicht mein hut.

***

Edelweiss, edelweiss
Every morning you greet me
Small and white, clean and bright
You look happy to greet me
Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow
Bloom and grow forever.
Edelweiss, edelweiss,
Bless my homeland forever.

***

Alouette, gentille alouette,
Alouette, je te plumerai.
Je te plumerai la tête.
Je te plumerai la tête.
Et la tête et la tête,
Alouette, alouette,
Ahhh!…
Alouette, gentille alouette,

Alouette, je te plumerai.


And some were inspired by spiritual teachings:

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!

***

Jesus loves me.
This I know
for the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong.
They are weak, but He is strong,
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
The Bible tells me so.

***

I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy
Down in my heart,
Down in my heart,
Down in my heart.
I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy,
Down in my heart,
Down in my heart to stay.

***

Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind but now I see.


So what were your favorite childhood songs?

Categories: This Is My Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Singsongs in Summer Swelter

  1. Pingback: Singsongs in Summer Swelter – Rants, Rambles & Revelations

  2. myfamilyhistory569

    These are hilarious and very good memories for generations of us. Thanks for sharing your wonderful quirky song lyrics on old classics!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I sing Puff the Magic Dragon to my kids. Another favorite of ours is Leaving on a Jet Plane.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love your songs from the past, for they brought back some sweet memories. O be careful little eyes what you see…O be careful little eyes what you see…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh I wish I were a little Musk-i-toe
    (Musk-i-toe!)
    Oh I wish I were a little Musk-i-toe
    (Musk-i-toe!)
    I would nippy and a-bitey
    On everybody’s hidey
    Oh, I wish I were a little Musk-i-toe!

    Liked by 2 people

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