6/7/09

From Folk Songs to Pop....She Spanned the Spectrum of Music

Well, I guess it is about time for me to write our 100th sibling assignment I gave a few weeks ago, which is:

"Think back to your music education from the Kellogg School District, and talk about the influence one of your instructors had on your life and how they influenced you musically."

RP wrote about Glenn Exum here, and IEG wrote a wonderful tribute to our father, here.

What inspired me was a post RP did about a month ago, found here, where he posted a video of Jim Croce singing "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown".

This reminded me of my elementary music teacher, Gen Williams.

Because that is one of the songs we sang in music during my elementary school years at Sunnyside School.

I don't think I realized it at the time, but Mrs. Williams was ahead of her time. Yes, we still sang some songs out of the traditional elementary school music book, such as "Camptown Races", and "This Old Man" and "All Through the Night".

But we also sang pop music.

We would go into the music room, whatever room happened to be the music room that year. It seems like it was moved around from year to year. But there would be a chalk board in the room, and Mrs. Williams would have the lyrics to whatever song we were learning written up on the chalk board. And, if the lyrics were inappropriate, she changed them.

One of these lyric changes was in the song "Bad, Bad LeRoy Brown". He wasn't the baddest man in the whole damn town, he was the baddest man in that big old town, or something like that.

Another song was "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree". The whole damn bus didn't cheer, it was the whole blame bus.

I remember getting to sing the after part when we learned "I'd Like To Teach the World To Sing".

And Mrs. Williams was flashy. She wore sparkly clothes with rings on her fingers. She also lived down the street from us.

I think music class was one of the highlights of my week when I was a student at Sunnyside School.

So, in honor of Mrs. Williams, here is a blast from the past from my singing days at Sunnyside.

4 comments:

inlandempiregirl said...

Perfect post... the other songs I remember on the board were Easter Parade, Climb Every Mountain, and Di Re Mi. I even loved some of the traditional songs we sang out of the book.... Cockles and Mussels,Streets of Laredo, and Come Along Home Cindy, Cindy!

Justin Guarini said...

Great post.. Good idea I really enjoy reading it and the video..

Bay Views said...

Teach the world was one of my all time favorites, too. If I remember correctly, it started out as a Coka Cola commercial and hit the charts so hard, it was then written as an entire song. Three different groups recorded it. The New Seekers, Hilltop singers and I can't remember the third. I think it was 1979. That era produced some of the best ever.

Bay Views said...

Make that 1969.