Sunday, June 22, 2014

Things in the Sky

I doubt that Mozart, composing his variations on an old French melody, had any inkling that the little tune would go down in history as "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." Or, that lyricist Jane Taylor, penning her six-stanza poem beginning with the aforementioned line, imagined in 1806 that her first stanza would be a childhood staple for generations of children to come.

Lately I have been contemplating the appeal of this charmingly simple nursery rhyme/ lullaby. Why do children like it so much? Possibly, I am speculating, because they seem fascinated by the things they see in the sky.

On several occasions lately I have found myself lying flat on my back on the floor with Beenie staring up at a bedroom ceiling where there is nothing but a fan. Yet, he loves to tell me what he "sees" in the "sky" there, including airplanes (and, more recently, helicopters), clouds, and the usual host of celestial bodies.

This may be why, at nap time yesterday, he wasn't content to stop with "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star"; he wanted me to sing about the moon and sun as well. Should you ever find yourself in need of additional verses to pacify your little astro-babes, we offer several of yesterday's variations for your consideration.  The one I like best is about the moon:

Shining, shining, silver moon,
Mellow as the month of June,
Blue as sapphire, cast your light;
Beam serenely through the night,
Shining, shining silver moon,
Mellow as the month of June.

Or, perhaps your child of summer prefers to sing about the sun, in which case we offer this one:

Blazing, blazing, golden sun,
Lie down when your day is done,
Bathing with a ruby glow
Every creature here below;
Blazing, blazing, golden sun,
Lie down when your day is done.

Over the years the kids and I have gotten a lot of mileage out of made-up, off-the-wall verses for existing songs. I would encourage you to share the same kind of creative wordplay with your kiddos.

Of course, if not all the things your sky-gazer wants to sing about are as pleasant and peaceful as those above, you will have to improvise accordingly.  Say, for instance, your child spots a buzzard:

Buzzard, Buzzard, circle down.
Tell your buddies, "Gather 'round"--

OK.  I'll stop right there. This "darker" subject matter would appeal less to Beenie and more to Pooh, with his quirky sense of humor and his affinity for the "bad guy." For now, we will stick to the romantic notion of sun, moon, and stars.

Whatever the case, you and your kids can have a great time with your own song lyrics. When you get your imaginations going, the limit is--well--the sky.

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