Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Eat Your Dessert and Have Your Songs Too...

Next Thursday, I have a toddler storytime and a preschool storytime scheduled at a library just outside of the Seattle city limits. As far as preparation goes, this gig would be just like any other except that I will play the guitar. I plan to play one song for each storytime, though I will have some backup songs prepared. I'm a little nervous, because I'm still having problems with my D chord fingering. The way I play a D chord, I use my middle, ring and pinky fingers. There's not a whole lot of strength in the ring finger, but I'm attached to this fingering because it makes transitions to other chords much, much easier for me. Some of the songs that I am considering for performance are:

Bluebird Through My Window (with changes of colors and appropriate felt props): 2 chords
Join in the Game
(a.k.a. "Let Everyone Clap Hands Like Me"): 2 chords
I Had a Rooster: 3 chords
Tingalayo: 3 chords
Fooba Wooba John: 4 chords

I'd like to play songs that are familiar but not overdone. My Triumvirate of Mediocrity of songs is comprised of (1) "Old MacDonald," (2)"Eensy Weensy Spider," and (3)"The Wheels on the Bus." To be fair, I'm a fan of the spider and bus songs. However, it's a bit daunting when that's all anyone wants to sing. When someone requests all of those songs in one sitting, it's as if I showed up to make that person tiramisu from scratch, and all s/he wants is instant pudding out of a box. I'm not knocking instant pudding. Instant pudding is better than no pudding at all. Still, there's so much more to experience with tiramisu. And songs.

Um... may I have both, please?


Nonny said...

You are hilarious. Love the pudding/tiramasu analogy-classic.

You'll do great!!

Melangell said...

Are you crazy? Entertain NO requests. Decide what YOU want to sing and play and do that and no other. They will love it. Especially stuff like "Fooba Wooba." D**m the wheels on the bus.(If I may be so bold.)

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Nonny: Thanks! Now, where's that pudding...

Melangell: Yes, after getting requests for the triumvirate of mediocrity, I stopped asking for requests. Nancy Stewart entertains requests, but then, Nancy Stewart is a non-pareil.

Just for the record, I do a bang-up job of "The Wheels on the Bus," which is why it's not banned from my repertoire. In all objectivity, I've not heard a better version than mine. :)

limpy99 said...

I suppose the Dead Kennedy's "Too Drunk To F--k" is out.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Limpy99: You had better believe that Dead Kennedys song is out! It requires an F# and a D#. I don't even like playing F natural, you cruel, cruel man.:)

Lady K said...

You are SUCH a great mom, and SUCH a great storyteller. You keep me coming back for more and more, and if I were ever able to have had children, I'd have them visit YOU, and know that you are beyond Disneyland. I mean that, Akelda.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Lady K: No one's ever called me "beyond Disneyland" before. When I get my storytelling band up and running, I want to quote you.:) Thanks bunches.:)

abcgirl said...

yes but are there hand motions to fooba wooba? i have to say that i strongly favor songs with hand motions myself. having no guitar skills whatsoever, my only method for escaping a storytime featuring solo acapella songs sung enthusiastically by me is hand motions. then, at least even if no one is singing along, they're all doing silly things with their hands and i don't feel foolish.

i guess i do sometimes agree to sing Jenny Jenkins and that's pretty much me by myself--but it's also an interactive game!

on a different note (hee hee) the other day i was talking about the library's technical support guy and realized his name was John Schmidt. i had to wonder if his middle names were Jacob Jingleheimer and i giggled to myself and had the song stuck in my head for half an hour. the co-worker i was talking to rolled her eyes and said something about children's librarians always having a song for everything. but seriously. i haven't thought of that song in ages!

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

ABCGirl: I'm a fan of hands clapped/patted on thighs to keep the beat. But if you want hand-motions, you could make them up (I don't know any). One hand could be the flea, the other could be the tree that the flea kicks. And "Fooba wooba" would have to have some silly but fun motion. How about a mixing/rowing motion? And then, for "Hey John, ho John" you could stick one hand, then the other, up in the air. Hah!

I haven't done this with "Jenny Jenkins" yet, but I thought of having a felt board bear with differently colored dresses to offer her. At the end, when she asks, "Oh what do you care if I just go bare?" she's actually a bear in her own fur. I remember that the picture-book of Jenny Jenkins has JJ as a bear.

Of course children's librarians always have a song for everything. If we don't, we have to make them up. Poor John Schmidt has probably gotten the song for all of his life!