Now and Then
This past St. Patrick’s Day our family decided to have an all-out Paddy Day. There was the wearing of the green, shamrock tattoos, green sodas, St. Patrick’s Day decorations, and of course, Irish food.
What would a St. Patrick’s Day party be without Irish music? My wife called on Alexa to play some Irish tunes to set the party mood. Song after song had that Irish sound but one popped out for the kids. It was called The Unicorn Song by the Irish Rovers.
If you haven’t heard of The Unicorn Song, it is worth a listen. Primarily it’s about the unicorn missing Noah’s ark. The kids found it to be a whimsical song of silliness which led to what happened next.
I have been out of mainstream children’s music for a while but I was about to be brought up to speed. The music turned from the Irish folklore and ballads to nonsensical melodies.
The fact that my grandkids are preschoolers through 3rd grade and Mimi works with kindergarteners only added to the selections.
Here are just a sample:
It’s Raining Tacos
The Hampsterdance Song
Pop See Ko
The Dinosaur Stomp
All I Eat Is Pizza
Some of these are not just songs by themselves but dance tunes as well. Five grandkids gyrating around the kitchen, not playing each song once, but a constant medley and throwing the Irish Rovers under the proverbial bus.
I thought back to when my girls were young and they sang and danced to Raffi’s Baby Beluga and Down by the Bay or Sharon, Lois and Bram’s Skinnamarink.
I started to think about my exposure to rhymes in my childhood. As I recall, there were many nursery rhymes that involved hand gestures and movement. Their lyrics were simple and rhyming but had an odd theme. However, at that time is wasn’t about the theme but to just memorize and perform the activity.
Many of the rhymes may have had political meaning or flavors of satire. I am certainly not a scholar of nursery rhymes, but a little search into some of the potential underlying messages can be disturbing. I’ll leave that for you to explore. For me, I am not any worse off by not questioning the message. It was what is was.
It seems that what my girls, and now my grandchildren, listen to have a place in what motivates them to participate with one another or peers at school. Today’s songs don’t carry an underlying meaning per se, unless you like tacos, pizza, and movements to Baby Shark and Pop See Ko. So much for the unicorn.
I love children's songs! The Unicorn Song goes back to my childhood. For an update on those unicorns, according to the Irish Rovers, (spoiler alert), they turned into Narwhals! I would have linked the song but there is no closed caption version. It is called "The Unicorn Song Part 2".
Thanks Sandi. I haven't heard that one, but I was aware of this version: The Continuing Story of The Unicorn, The Irish Rovers and unfortunately it is not closed captions either.
You are right, there is a reason why every verse of baby shark and skinnamarink popped into my head while I read this (thanks for that!) but I can also remember mitosis and miosis stages: good teachers know engagement and how to get brains learning!
Now I need to learn the taco song.