Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Little Thursday Silliness, Uh-huh-huh

Sometimes ideas come from a couple of pretty strange bedfellows getting busy on the Posturepedic of your mind.  Today’s post is an example. 

Yesterday, I was playing with my daughter Maria on the floor in her room with her Disney collection of characters.  Well, actually, she was playing.  I was in limbo, awaiting orders to let me know what my next playtime move would be.  I was lucky that day; she was letting me have Jasmine from Aladdin, who she knows I’m partial to. Usually I get stuck with the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, or the Pocahontas figure that won’t stand up on its own.  Anyway, her characters (always the blue-dress version of Sleeping Beauty and usually someone like Belle from Beauty and the Beast or Snow White; today it was the pink-dress Sleeping Beauty) were engaged in an extended conversation about something Rapunzel apparently did or said, and so my mind was left to wander on its own for a few minutes.  My thoughts turned to Whitney Houston, who had just passed away last weekend, and how great a voice she had.  While I was doing that, Maria accidentally pressed a button on the Fisher Price Little People barn with her foot, causing it to spring to life with a lively rendition of “The Farmer in the Dell.” 

Well, these two totally unrelated things somehow tangled themselves together in my mind, and by the time I was able to restore some order in there, I was left with the thought, “What would some of the great singers of the past sound like singing nursery rhymes?  I immediately began to pine for such a collection of songs, but of course, no such thing exists.  So I made one up.
Here’s my list of children’s songs, along with the legendary crooners who would sing them.  In each case, I tried to match the singers to the songs I could actually imagine them performing in their own inimitable vocal styles. 

You can try this yourself.  For example, I had Elvis sing “This Old Man,” because in my head, I can just hear him go, “Uh-this old-uh a-man-uh, He uh-played a-one-uh, Uh-he uh-played a-knick-a-knack on my uh-thumb-uh…” 


Anyway, hope you enjoy the following few moments of Thursday silliness.  Weekend’s almost here; let’s go out singing. 

All together now: “Uh-this uh-old man-uh came a-rollin’ home-uh.  Uh-huh-huh.”

K-Thor Records presents:  Swinging Tunes Featuring the Mama Goose Crooners 

Side 1
Louis Armstrong – “Itsy Bitsy Spider”
Tony Bennett – “Pop Goes the Weasel”
Frank Sinatra – “A-Tisket, A-Tasket”
Ella Fitzgerald – “The Wheels on the Bus”
Barbra Streisand – “The Alphabet Song”
Nat King Cole/Natalie Cole/Gary Coleman sing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”*
Dean Martin – “I’m a Little Teapot”
Jimmy Durante – “Hey Diddle Diddle”

Side 2
Bing Crosby – “Rock-a-bye Baby”
Tom Jones – “Pussy Cat Pussy Cat”**
Harry Belafonte – “Mary Had a Little Lamb”***
Mel Torme – “Bingo”
Elvis Presley – “This Old Man”
Judy Garland – “Old McDonald Had a Farm”
Sammy Davis Jr. – “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”
Julie Andrews – “Wee Willie Winkie”****

A few notes regarding certain song selections:
* I’m sorry, but you need three people if you want to sing it round-style
** If you can imagine it as a calypso number, it actually works surprisingly well
*** It was either that, or “I Love Little Pussy.”  Obviously, I couldn’t do that.  They are both legitimate nursery rhymes, by the way.
**** Originally, I had her down for “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” but, of course, that’s been done.  Actually, Julie Andrews can sing anything she wants.


  1. Was Tom Jones pick related to the fact he sings "What's New Pussycat?" Although, I'm sure that song definitely does not fit in the nursery rhyme category.

  2. Yes, that was the connection. That, plus his history of inspiring women to throw their undies at him when he performs.

  3. Wait! I thought this was a family website!
    Also, I think Ella Fitzgerald scatting to "The Wheels on the Bus" would be both interesting and confusing to children. "The Wheels on the bus go boobop adoobop eegop adeebop hah!

  4. Hutton - I understand she recorded it back when phonics was all the rage in early education.