Wednesday, June 22, 2005

A Song For Your Delight

Riding in the car is Song Time. For a few blissful months I got to choose the songs, exclusively. This was an eclectic mix of Beatles, Gillian Welch, Diana Krall, Jars of Clay, Third Day, Beethoven sonatas, and Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. (Everybody now! "I am the very model of a modern Major-General, I've information vegetable, animal and mineral; I know the Kings of England and quote the fights historical, from Marathon to Waterloo, in order catagorical...)

A few months ago the Verbalist suddenly realized that manners dicated everyone getting a choice if asked nicely. The Muralist immediately demanded "Princess Songs", ie. Disney Princess songs- "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes", "A Whole New World", "Once upon a Dream, "Colors of the Wind" the list goes on. They both request Raffi, who can resist such classics as "Down By the Bay"? (...I'm very well aquainted to with matters mathematical, I understand equations both the simple and quadratical. About binomial theorum I'm teeming with alot o'news-- with many cheerful facts about the square of the hypontenuse...)

The Verbalist occasionally will demand we sing his song, which is an original verse or two in a meandering tune, that trails off into under the breath muttering. His latest was unveiled today:

Bears lots of bears
A million bears
too many for a boy to take care of

Bears need toys
Spiderman toys
for thier boys to play with

So then we went back to something we all liked, "When She Loved Me" from Toy Story 2. A song, I am not ashamed to admit, brings tears to my eyes as sung by Sarah McLachlan in her most ache filled voice. (Ok I'll finish it---
I'm very good at integral and differential calculus,
I know the scientific names of beings animalculous;
In short, in matters vegetable, animal and mineral,
I am the very model of a modern Major-General.

I know our mythic history, King Arthur's and Sir Caradoc's,
I answer hard acrostics, I've a pretty taste for paradox.
I quote in elegiacs all the crimes of Heliogabalus,
In conics I can floor peculiarities parabolus.
I can tell undoubted Raphaels from Gerard Dows and Zoffanies,
I know the croaking chorus from the "Frogs" of Aristophanes.
Then I can hum a fugue of which I've heard the music's din afore,
And whistle all the airs from that infernal nonsense "Pinafore."
Then I can write a washing bill in Babylonic cuneiform,
And tell you every detail of Caractacus's uniform;
In short, in matters vegetable, animal and mineral,
I am the very model of a modern Major-General.

In fact, when I know what is meant by "mamelon" and "ravelin,"
When I can tell at sight a mauser rifle from a javelin,
When such affairs as sorties and surprises I'm more wary at,
And when I know precisely what is meant by commissariat,
When I have learnt what progress has been made in modern gunnery,
When I know more of tactics than a novice in a nunnery;
In short, when I've a smattering of elemental strategy,
You'll say a better Major-General has never sat-a-gee.

For my military knowledge, though I'm plucky and adventury,
Has only been brought down to the beginning of the century;
But still in matters vegetable, animal and mineral,
I am the very model of a modern Major-General!)

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