Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I guess it can get pretty annoying, my habit of either humming or singing most of the time. I just can't help myself, but I have started to realize that not everyone wants to hear my various arrangements of songs, complete with the substituted forgotten words. When my kids were little, I thought they enjoyed it, although they will probably point to that little idiosyncrasy as an explanation for some future psychoanalysis needs. I liked to take actual songs and mess up the words, or just take a chore and try to make a rhyming instruction with it. Ask the kids about Roses Make me Fart. Anyway, we had an actual record player in the living room, and lots of old vinyl records. I liked to play classical music and tell the kids to close their eyes and pretend we were ice skating. We did a lot of crazy pantomine dances to the records that I would play. Another fun one was Our House by the Clancy Brothers, telling the story of people that came to visit and never left, but not in a good way. One of my favorites was to blast Day O in the morning to wake my little darlings up for school. You know the song, it's playing right now while you are reading this. I would tiptoe into the living room, gingerly, pump up the volume (hey, I was cool even then!) and gently lift the arm of the record player. As soon as the needle touched the vinyl, I could imagine their eyes popping open in terror as Belafonte shouted out the famous words! Of course, I had to accompany it with various exagerated dances and lipsyncing for just the proper effect. And some mothers used the warm washcloth technique! SISSIES! As the kids moved on, or as they like to call it, "escaped from the asylum," I mastered humming. There really wasn't any specific song or tune, just kind of an idiotic repetitive low gutteral buzzing sound, that seemed to just always be there. I didn't even realize it, it was like a vibrator had been attached to my vocal cords. While I was helping a client on the phone when I worked at a law office in Howell, the client suddenly said, "are you humming". I felt like saying, "yea, you got a problem with that?" I had another job where my boss and I shared the same office. One day he jumped up and screamed, "WILL YOU STOP THAT HUMMING?" I think I did for a few weeks, his outburst was very traumatic for me. Now when I go into work, my humming precedes me. As I am hanging up my coat, I invariably will hear, "the hummer is here." I don't think that is something that I should necessarily be proud of. This morning, at about 5:30 a.m., I felt that I was in great voice. I went though a few hymns, "Yahweh I know you are here", "Lord when I come to the water", then an Irish song about some boyfriend that sailed across the sea. As I was going into the shower on the second verse of Day O, my husband shouted, ALL RIGHT, THAT'S ENOUGH. Hey, I thought he was sleeping. What nerve! Anyway, I turned on the shower full blast, and knocked it down a few octaves, but I finished the song. Geez! But as soon as I shut the front door, it escaped " I hear a bird . . . a Londonderry bird . . . " (By the way, the picture above is of my own creation, the Rasta Hat, in honor of Harry Belafonte, custom made, just pick your color and size, $25)

1 comment:

Merry's Musings said...

Ellen you are so FUNNY. 2 things, how do I get a hold of your kids,” Ask the kids about Roses Make me Fart.”

And you thought your husband was sleeping, HE WAS. I am cracking up. I am going to take this post again and post it in the group if you don’t get your singing rear over to the new Ruebee!


Maybe you are there and you won't say hi to me.