Friday, October 28, 2005

Mama Don't Allow (Much of Anything)

"Mama don't allow no music playin' 'round here.
Mama don't allow no music playin' 'round here.
Now we don't care what Mama don't allow,
Gonna play our music anyhow,
Mama don't allow no music playin' round here."

This song is the centerpoint for the illustrated book, Mama Don't Allow, by Thacher Hurd. It's got something for everyone in the audience: teenage rebellion, wisdom acquired through harrowing situations, and finally, the respect and admiration of one's elders. I used to worry that someone in the audience would say, "You're vilifying the mother!" but anyone with an iota of a sense of humor should recognize the irony in the situation: in real life, parents often have to beg, cajole, bribe and threaten their children into practicing their instruments. The book and song is one of Lucia's favorites. (I know I write that a lot. Every time, it's true.) We've checked it out of the library four times, and I finally bought a paperback copy yesterday. I'm working on the accompanying guitar chords. Nancy says that since I don't know how to play a D minor 7 chord, I can play a D minor chord, and it'll be no problem at all. Such is the nature of folk guitar. Purists would shudder, but I'm not playing for purists.

You can listen to a sample of the song as arranged by Fox and Branch. If you interest is piqued, here an article about how the music was recorded for the Reading Rainbow presentation of the book with the saxaphone playing of Tom Scott.

In our household, we don't stop with "Mama," for why should I have all the blame fun? After the first verse, we then go on to sing about the other people in our lives who allegedly are trying to oppress an aspiring musician: her Daddy, her uncle Ulric, the cats, the dolls, anybody with a name, really. (One of the cats makes a point of scratching the toy chest whenever I practice my guitar. Everyone's a critic!) One of Lucia's variations is "Mama don't allow no ocarina playin' here." Nothing could be further from the truth, but it's a funny joke that hasn't yet gotten old for Lucia.

By the way, if you're not ready for two or three-chord songs, here's a good one-chord song to play in storytime: All Around the Kitchen (Cock-a-doodle-doodle-doo.) You'll need some sort of guitar-strap so you can dance around the room. I am thinking of ABCGirl in particular. This song has your name written all over it.

P.S. I wrote my first song on the guitar tonight. There's a song in Mama Don't Allow called "Swampland Lullaby," (written by Thacher Hurd) but unlike the title song, there's no music for it. It would be silly to play one song on the guitar but not the other. So, I made one up. I am not sure about the whole copyright deal, so I shall refrain from posting the song. Please email me if you're interested in my chord arrangement, and I'll send it to you.


abcgirl said...

a yes, "all around the kitchen"--that was on one of my childhood music recordings, so i am well familiar with it. if we could make up some kind of hand or body motions to go along with it, it would be a stronger storytime candidate for me.

i myself am fond of the "mama don't allow no nose-flute playin' round here" recorded by kent dutchersmith (do you remember matt or kent smith from gc?) on his album of the same title. (if typing their names steps over the invisible privacy law lines of blog land, feel free to edit my comment.)


Alkelda the Gleeful said...

I'll send you the version of "All Around the Kitchen" that Nancy taught me. It's got hand and foot motions! I'm sure something fun could be done with tambourines, egg-shakers, or whatever else you like. I do remember Mr. Matt, but I don't know if I've met Kent.

galetea said...

"Mama Don't Allow" was one of my favorite songs from the Sesame Street Bathtime Singalong. The plot of the record was that Bert, who's only just stepped into the bath, is suddenly piled in on by like, ALL of Sesame Street and forced to have a singalong in the tub. That was one seriously funky community.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

I used to have that record too. I loved it. I really did. I wish that particular record would be rereleased on cd. I saw the record on marketplace once, where the record was 50 dollars, and the seller would burn a copy onto cd "gratis." Harumph! I think my father paid a dollar for the original record. Please let me know if you ever come across the recording as a cd.

Nonny said...

Alkelda, I would totally run with the "Baby Star Wars" show. I'd watch. Of course your gonna be hard pressed to top those damn Legos, they are SUPER CUTE!

Lone Star Ma said...

Baby Star Wars? I want to know about Baby Star Wars...

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Lone Star Ma,
Here is Nonny's post with the comments referring to "Baby Star Wars." My idea was to do something akin to "Muppet Babies," with the main (and some minor) Star Wars characters interacting with toddler-like interchanges and such.