Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Singing together

There is nothing I love more than to sing songs with Will and Owen. We’ve already dipped into our Christmas carol repertoire, which we’ll really let loose next week. But I realized, as we watched the Peanuts Thanksgiving special with Will Tuesday night, that I hadn’t been singing “Over the River and through the Woods” with him in anticipation of Thanksgiving. It’s a song I remember singing growing up – at least that opening verse.

I went here to find the full lyrics, and hit upon some accompaniment music too. Today we sang the song several times over in the living room as we galloped around acting it out too. Owen ran back and forth and then did his speak-and-sign combo for “more” every time we finished the tune.

There’s an even fuller, more original (it seems) version of the song, which was originally published as poem by Lydia Maria Child in 1844, here. But the first link seems a little more simple and singable.

And if you didn’t hear it already, take time to listen to British composer and artist Brian Eno’s “This I Believe” essay, which aired on NPR on Sunday. It’s entitled “Singing: The Key To A Long Life,” and in it Eno argues that we should all spend time singing together – whether or not we have kids. He recommends a capella. He also puts in a plug for making group singing a central ritual in each school day for children of all ages. And he provides a Group-Sing song list (aimed a bit more at adults than young kids).

I definitely feel the most joy and harmony in my preschool class when we are all singing a song together, especially one that we’ve repeated so many times that the lyrics roll off the children’s tongues with supreme confidence. We swing and sway and smile at each other, enjoying our togetherness.

I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving! Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

shannon said...

I go to church to sing. It's the singing that opens my heart.
And I've never found more peace than swinging on a porch swing, singing to a baby.