A couple months ago, I was listening to Atticus run through his nightly musical repertoire. First the ABC's, followed by Jesus Loves Me, concluded by the Itsby Bitsy Spider. As I listened to his little two-year-old-boy voice, I thought to myself, I should record this. It's just so sweet, and one of those things I'll probably have forgotten about in a year.
Well, I didn't record it. Now I'm kicking myself, because he sings those preschool songs in a much different way, just two months later.
He's transformed the ABC's into a stylized, syncopated version of itself. I'm sure if he could snap, he'd be busy keeping time with his fingers.
"A-B/ C-D/E-F-G/pause/ H-I/ J-K/ L-M-N-O-P..."
You get the idea.
If it weren't for the lyrics, I wouldn't recognize Jesus Loves Me. It resembles nothing else so much as Alien Ant Farm's cover of Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson. Where before there was sweet melody, a slick white suit, and awesome choreography, (or maybe just the melody part) there is now only aggressive chanting. It sounds like Atticus is just waiting for someone to try and suggest that No, Jesus does not love him.
The Itsby Bitsy Spider is the song that is the most unchanged. He's so busy trying to get all the hand movements down and laughing hysterically when he knocks himself over with the force of his movement at "wash the spider out," that he doesn't concentrate too much on altering the tune. He contents himself with singing it in his best and deepest love-child-of-James-Earl-Jones-and-Lauren-Bacall voice. He can get pretty low. If you've ever heard Derek speak, you know why. And I haven't been a soprano since the 6th grade, when Mrs. Martin instructed me to go to the opposite end of the room in Walnut Valley Youth Choir.
Adelaide usually joins in when Atticus veers off the musical beaten path. Unless he tries to mess with Switchfoot or a Disney song- some things are just sacred.