A Trip Down Memory Lane

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Memory Lane

A couple of weeks ago Thing 2 was in the middle of one of her meltdowns (what else is new?) over something her sister had allegedly done.  I’ve learned to always include the word “allegedly” because things have a way of getting confused.  Anyway, she wanted nothing more than to sit on my lap and cuddle.  She loves to cuddle, especially when she’s upset.  On this particular day I was in desperate need of calming her down so that I could get some work done,  but she was unmovable.  Tears, whining, more tears, accusations, followed by more tears.  It was never-ending.  So, I started singing…

I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day.
When it’s cold outside I’ve got the month of May.I guess you’d say
What can make me feel this way?
My girl (my girl, my girl)
Talkin’ ’bout my girl (my girl).I’ve got so much honey the bees envy me.
I’ve got a sweeter song than the birds in the trees.Well, I guess you’d say
What can make me feel this way?
My girl (my girl, my girl)
Talkin’ ’bout my girl (my girl).Hey hey hey
Hey hey hey
Ooooh.I don’t need no money, fortune or fame.
I’ve got all the riches, baby, one man can claim.

Well, I guess you’d say
What can make me feel this way?
My girl (my girl, my girl)
Talkin’ ’bout my girl (my girl).

I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day
With my girl.
I’ve even got the month of May
With my girl
Talkin’ ’bout
Talkin’ ’bout
Talkin’ ’bout
My girl
Ooooh
My girl
As long as I can talk about my girl…

 For those of you that may not recognize the song, I was singing “My Girl,” by the Temptations.  When I was done, my daughter – who was no longer crying – looked up at me and said, “Is that a real song?”  Amused, I said “Absolutely, baby! That was a song by the mighty, mighty Temptations!”  She paused, then responded, “I like the song, but I have no idea who they are.”

The next day, while I futzed around the house, cooking and cleaning, I took my girls on musical trip down Memory Lane.  Of course we listened to the real version of “My Girl” but, there was also Smokey Robinson and the Miracles (“Tears of a Clown” and “Tracks of My Tears”) and Martha and the Vandellas (“Dancing in the Streets”).  Of course you know that there had to be the Supremes (“STOP! In the Name of Love”) and the Queen of Soul, Miss Aretha Franklin! They were familiar with her since I play her hit “Respect” at least once a month around here.  You know, sort of as a reminder. Not to mention that when Thing 2 was about two – years – old she used to sing “Chain of Fools”.  Nothing funnier than hearing a toddler who can barely talk sing “Chain, Chain, Chain…Chain of Fools.”  Those were the only words that she knew.

The funny thing is that most of these songs predated even me, but everyone in my family knew them. They were a part of our culture.  So, I brought the play list forward a bit by throwing in Sly and the Family Stone, The Commodores (before Lionel Ritchie went solo and started making the same song over and over again) and, of course, The Jackson 5 – “ABC”, “I Want You Back” and “I’ll Be There”.  There were others, too many to mention here.  We literally took a trip through classic R & B and we had so much fun singing and dancing together.  Well, I sang, they didn’t know the words. It was nice to revisit a time when music was real and sweet.  When talent was appreciated. When love songs were pure and not really about assault disguised as something else.  You didn’t have to turn off the radio because the lyrics were too racy for your children to hear.  It wasn’t like this over synthesized, overtly sexual, misogynistic crap that they play on the radio today.  I know, I sound like some old woman, but that’s okay.  I got a kick out of watching the girls discover something new.  Not to mention that it was as much about introducing them to the African – American landscape as it relates to music, specifically R&B.   Good stuff and good times!  Best trip that I’ve taken in a while.

 *This post was written in response to the blog link up on Champagne to Crayons, Day 19: A Trip That I Have Taken, Celebrating 28 days of Thanks. If you would like to read more posts from my fellow bloggers, click here.

2 responses »

  1. Days like you describe are among my favorites with my kids–sharing music that I love and educating them about the important songs and artists they need to know.

    A few years ago, my son came home from a school assembly and said that the middle school band had played a great song, but that I probably didn’t know it–it went “something something hey Jude.” I laughed, ran over to my computer, and launched into Hey Jude and a veritable Beatles anthology. Important education there. My kids were shocked I knew, well, anything about anything.

    I wholeheartedly endorse the excellent selection you shared with your girls. We might have to do a little Motown education here next.

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