Saturday, September 27, 2008

Camp Songs

The Internet sometimes takes me on crazy trips. Today was one of those times.

I started out, very innocently, working on tomorrow's Bible lesson for my two- and three-year-olds. The topic for tomorrow is "God made my ears." So, of course, I was preparing lots of sound-makers and looking for pictures of ears - both human and animal ears. Then I thought it might be fun to teach them some new song about "ears." The lesson plan I was using had some, but, as always, they were just words set to the tune of "Are You Sleeping," or "The Farmer in the Dell." I don't know if my little ones get tired of those re-hashed songs, but I do.

So, I started by putting the words "children's songs ears," in the search window. Up came "Do Your Ears Hang Low?"

Do your ears hang low?
Do they wobble to and fro?
Can you tie them in a knot?
Can you tie them in a bow?
Can you throw them o'er your shoulder
like a Continental Soldier?
Do your ears hang low?

I looked over the words, and wondered what the lines "Can you throw them o'er your shoulder like a Continental Soldier?" could possibly mean, and then wondered if I could make up some better words for those two lines.

That's what started it all. From there my mind, forgetting for the time being tomorrow's lesson, skipped down the memory lane of camp songs. I was a Brownie Scout and, later, a Girl Scout through the fifth or sixth grade. The best part was camp! As a Brownie, we just had a day camp one week out of every summer, and it was at the Evergreen Bowl, in Juneau (now known as Cope Park, I believe). Later, as a Girl Scout, I went to camp a couple summers at the Eagle River Scout Camp, where we slept in some crude cabin/tent structures. I remember that we were FORBIDDEN (yes, that would be in capital letters!) to have food in our cabins, because food would attract bears. So, stupid as it sounds, we would take our toothpaste tubes out, at night, pass them around from bunk to bunk, and share little tastes of all of the different brands. A girl's GOT to have a bedtime snack, after all!

What I remember most fondly about camp were the songs we sang. As a Brownie, I remember singing this one a lot:

Found a peanut
Found a peanut
Found a peanut just now
Just now I found a peanut
Found a peanut just now.

And, of course, the rest of the verses, the first lines of which were:

* It was rotten
* Ate it any way
* 'pendicitis
* Saw the doctor
* Died anyway

Yes, some of them had a pretty gruesome ending.

Then there were the ones with nonsense words in them. I think they were my favorites, for some reason:

Sarasponda, sarasponda, sarasponda ret set set.

Sarasponda, sarasponda sarasponda ret set set.

A doray-oh, A doray boomday-oh. 

A doray boomday ret set set
Ah say pa say oh. 

Another nonsense one I only partly remember was something about a Dicky Bird. I don't so much remember the song, as the nonsense phrase, which became the "secret password" to my troop's meeting spot, among the trees, in Evergreen Bowl. I NEVER forget a password! It was: Bim-sa-la-bimbam-ba-sa-la-doo-sa-la-dim.

When I was old enough to go to the week-long Eagle River camp, we used to sing a song about the Titanic. We sang it with gusto, especially the chorus, which went:

It was sad, it was sad
It was sad, it was sad
It was sad when the great ship went down
To the bottom
There were husbands and wives,
Little children lost their lives.
It was sad when the great ship went down.

The second year that I went to camp, toward the end of the week, the counselors gathered us all together and told us that we were singing the song with way too much enthusiasm and joy, and that it was supposed to be a sad song. So we were forbidden to sing it any more.

I don't remember if I drove my mom and dad crazy with these camp songs, but if I did, I was well recompensed, once my own kids were old enough to go to church camp at Camp Yamhill, in Oregon. There they learned more silly songs than Carter has little pills (Oh, I AM dating myself! You don't remember Carter's Little Liver Pills?)

As I was doing my Internet browsing this afternoon, I actually found three goofy people (probably camp counselors - bless their souls!) performing one of our boys' favorite camp songs, Fish and Chips and Vinegar. Listen to this if you dare, because once it gets into your head, you'll be singing it, yourself, all day long. Imagine, if you will, listening to Fish and Chips and Vinegar; Little Bunny Foo Foo; and The Upper Story Window all the way from Oregon to Montana. I don't have to imagine. I REMEMBER!

I'd better get back to my Bible lesson, while you watch and listen to this delightful vido clip. Don't say I didn't warn you about it getting stuck in your brain.


Anonymous said...

NOT good enough!

We want to SEE a video clip of YOU singing these songs...and more!!

How about...."Swimming, swimming, in the swimming hole
When days are hot when days are cold
in the swimming hole
Breast stroke, side stroke, fancy diving too!

Ok..that's enough! That was the one Nick always lead in his many years at Camp Yamhill. Now I sing it to Kayla when she is in our big bathtub.

Thanks for the memories. I won't thank you in the middle of the night tonight when I cannot get some lyrics out of my head!



Anonymous said...

I think your songs should have mentioned something about mosquitos
since you came home looking like a pokadot-kid with all those huge red lumps all over your face. Juneau grew the most hungry mosquitos anyone ever saw.

It's fun to remember, isn't it?