So. We sang a lot in middle school and high school. A lot. Even before middle school, honestly. There was much singing.
Don't get me wrong. I love music. I love to sing. But, sometimes you are forced to do things that you look back on and wonder what in the world some people were thinking.
For example, we used to get paraded around at Christmas time in these Old English Caroler costumes that were absolutely ridiculous looking. The girls had red bonnets that velcroed under the chin with big plaid bows on the side. The boys had black top hats. Everyone wore black pants or a black skirt and these red capes that wrapped around our necks and practically choked us. We would walk around the mall or outside downtown Lenoir and occasionally in a nursing home dressed in these outfits and singing songs with words that i still have no clue as to what some of them mean. Like this one: On December twenty-five sing Fum, Fum, Fum. Fum? Why are we singing fum? Is that even a word? How do i know that it's not Old English for something i shouldn't be saying; especially not to a group of sweet, ederly people? I don't want to sing fum. I feel like a weirdo singing fum. Not to mention the velcro on my felt hat is itching my ching like crazy.
How about this one: Lo, how a rose e'er blooming. E'er. E'er? That can't be correct grammar. Exactly what two words make up that contraction anyway? Please enlighten me. I have no clue. And what's with this Lo business?? Was Shakespeare writing Christmas carols? Oh yes, in case the fabulous Caroler costumes didn't tip you off, these were both songs we sang at Christmas time. Whatever happened to Joy to the World? Or Away in a Manger? Those are normal songs with simple English that we all understand and recognize. Sigh.
Then there was this whole idea that EVERYWHERE we went we had to sing for the people. Our Principal just knew that complete strangers could not die a happy death unless we had sung Mary Did You Know for them in four part harmony, loom-ing our little hearts out. Every historic church we set foot in during field trips, "wait to you hear them sing," she would say. Our tour guides would stand politely by and listen as the lame leaped, the deaf heard, the blind saw, and the dumb spoke for the 5 millionth time that day, "Ohhhhhh, Mary did you know?" Of course, it helped that we had (insert sarcasm here) the most awesome soloist this side of the Mason Dixon line.....
.....anyway, if it wasn't Mary Did You Know, it was this African song we had learned about marching in the light of God:
(note: i have no clue how to spell in tribal)
Siyah Hamba Kukanaynee Kween Kos
Siyah Hamba Kukanaynee Kween Kos
Nee Kween Kos
Siyah Hamba Kukanaynee Kween Kos!
Tell me you wouldn't be thrilled to be reading all about how Benjamin Franklin sat in the same pew his whole life only to be interrupted by a bunch of awkard looking, braces wearing, Christian Tours bag toting highschoolers in skirts with hemlines below the knees or sideburns no lower than the ear lobe, singing an African worship song at the top of their lungs...in four part harmony. It would have been your lucky day! Especially if we gave you an encore with the For Him classic: Future Generations. "Whoa-Oh-Whoa! Whoa-Oh-Whoa!"
We had skills.
Ever heard of a cumberbun? I still have nightmares about those things. Ughh! Just a word of advice here to anyone who'd like to take it: Never force your child, or students, to wear cumberbuns. They are not attractive, they do not look good, and they ARE a fashion no-no. A cumberbun is pretty much a thick, satin belt with pleats in it. They used to be really popular for MEN to wear with tuxedos. Lucky for the girls at my school, we got to wear bright red ones with white pilgrim blouses and long black skirts. And panty hose. Let me tell you, this redheaded, freckled faced, paleskin looked amazing in a bright white shirt and obnoxiously red belt that reached halfway up her stomach. None of this waiting around stuff, we were a fashion disaster that happened.
Now where is that VHS....i have a sudden urge to see the musical phenomenon that was Mary Did You Know (yes, i have copies...want one? :))
Loom, loom, loom, loom, looooooom