Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Santa Rhymlet

My brain is jelly.  This happens every year at the point when the shopping and the wrapping and the card-sending and those other seasonal trappings not only catch up with me on the Racetrack to Christmas but leave me behind in a cloud of dust just as I am reaching for that one last chocolate-covered cherry.

I offer this report on the condition of my brain as a feeble explanation of why I would compose the thing you are about to read.  Not quite a poem, it defies known genre.  As best I can tell, it is a little rhymlet, meant to be recited aloud with your grandkid and accompanied by the kind of rhythmic lap-clap-slapping sequences we all learned back in the days when the lady with the alligator purse ruled the playground.

I will give you the text first, then the actions and stage directions.  Doing this will make it look more complicated than it really is, but, unfortunately, that is the nature of such directions. 

But if I can explain it clearly enough to give you an idea of what I have in mind here, maybe it is something you and your grandkids can have fun with over the holidays.  If not, I will be locking my doors and watching out my window for the guys in the little white coats.  Here goes:

The Text:

Santa in-a sleigh-a go-a fly-fly-fly.
Reina-deera pull-a through the sky-sky-sky.
Land-a on-a roof-a up-a high-high-high.
     Santa say-a what?  He say-a "Ho, Ho, Ho!"
Go, Santa! Go, Santa!  Go-a, go-a, go!

Santa wear-a furry red-a suit-suit-suit.
Santa wear-a pair-a black-a boot-boot-boot.
Santa bring-a kids-a lot-a loot-loot-loot.
     Santa say-a what?  He say-a "Ho, Ho, Ho!"
Go, Santa!  Go, Santa!  Go-a, go-a, go!

Santa see-a cookies on-a plate-plate-plate.
Not-a crumba-a left-a 'cause he ate-ate-ate.
Santa see-a time-a get-a late-late-late.
     Santa say-a what?  He say-a "Ho, Ho, Ho!"
Go, Santa!  Go, Santa!  Go-a, go-a, go!

Now, think of each line as having seven "beats," which you might count like this:  "1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and  5, 6, 7."  Notice that counts 5, 6, and 7 always fall on three identical words at the end of each line.  Counts 1, 2, 3, and 4 (in the first three lines of each stanza anyway) fall on stressed syllables.  With that clear-as-mud explanation, you are ready to add the clapping movements detailed below.

The "Choreography":

First, sit facing your grandchild.  Introduce these basic movements:
     LAP:  Hit your lap with both open hands simultaneously.
     CLAP:  Self-explanatory.  Your grandkid has done this successfully since the patty-cake days.
     SLAP:  Both players bring their open hands up chest-high and reach forward to slap the other person's similarly open hands.

OK.  So accompanying Lines 1, 2, 3, and 5 of each stanza will be the following sequence:

On Line 4 of each stanza, there is no clapping, just shared dialogue.  You take the first half: "Santa says what?"  The kid answers: "He say-a "Ho, Ho, Ho!"

And that's it.  I can't believe you are still reading.

In my mind, Sooby and I are going to have a field day doing this when she comes for Christmas.  Even the littler kids might have fun with the silly words.  However, if this kind of thing lacks the dignity you and your grandkids aspire to this Christmas season, I hope you can find some other way to share the magic of words and music with your little ones.

As for me, I will let you know if this works, or if, instead, Googie is a candidate for "The Gong Show."  Stay tuned.



  1. Gotta say it sounds better than anything I ever saw on the Gong Show -- and I used to really get a kick out of that show. SO if they bring it back and you get a starring role, be sure to let us know! Sooby is going to love it!

  2. Kids love rhythmic games. I think you have a winner!