Monday, April 25, 2011

The Sound of Music

When I was growing up, my parents listened to very different kinds of music.  Because of this, my sisters and I received a diverse musical education.  Had there been a syllabus, my mother's portion would have included artists like Billy Joel, Patsy Cline, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and the Carpenters.  My father's portion would have listed bands such as Blue Oyster Cult, AC/DC, Queen, and strangely enough, quite a bit of classical music. 

One of my Mom's contributions was a wide selection of musicals.  I grew up watching and listening to music from Cinderella, Oliver!, and the Sound of Music, to name a few.  I learned many valuable life lessons from these musicals, such as:

  • No matter how hungry you are, never ask for more gruel.
  • Beware of men named Rolf.  They are likely Nazi jerks and are not to be trusted.
  • If you meet a strapping farmer named Adam, don't agree to marry him the same day you meet him.  He may have six brothers living in his cabin, and they'll all expect to you to cook and clean for them.    (Note:  If you have never seen Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, you must rectify this flaw in your musical upbringing immediately.)
In addition to life lessons, I have found that the music from these movies can be used in everyday life.  This is especially true if you spend all day with three children under the age of five and don't often find yourself with another coherent adult to converse with.  Let me give you some examples of how to incorporate musical numbers into your daily routine.

  • When your daughter is misbehaving, sing "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?" only instead of the name Maria, fill in your daughter's name:  "How do you solve a problem like Adelaide? How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?  How do you find a word that means Adelaide?  A flibbertigibbit, a will-o'-the-wisp, a clown."  Do this in your best nun-in-her-habit voice.  (Read:  Loud soprano with a strong vibrato.)
  • When you're looking through photos in your wedding album with your children, and they ask where you got married, tell them, "Oooooooo-klahoma where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain, and the wavin' wheat can sure smell sweet, when the wind comes right behind the rain!"
  • When your kids ask you to make them a sandwich, get them some milk, button their shirt, etc, sing, "I'd do anything, for you dear, anything, for you mean everything to me!"
  • When your daughter turns sixteen, plan on singing "You are sixteen going on seventeen..." for that entire year. 
  • When your children are squabbling, won't stop hitting each other and destroying the house and you've had it up to here, park your chair in the corner, sit down, and sing around your thumb in your mouth, "In my own little corner, in my own little chair, I can be whatever I want to beeeee!"
Just kidding on that last one.

Why not start today?  We could all use a little more musical drama in our lives. Your family and co-workers will thank you.  Especially when you poke your head in their office and start crooning,
"Bless your beautiful hide, wherever you may be..."


  1. Reading your entry makes me want to watch a marathon of musicals, starting with the Sound of Music, then Oliver, and so on.

  2. haha! how funny! I love your posts. I'm lucky enough to be married to someone who loves musicals too, Silas already loves music!

  3. That's what I should've done today with all the noise and chaos around here! Next time.....


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