In which Fiddle and I emulate our friend the Grand Old Duke of York

I have an endless repetoire of annoying songs. 

With no provocation whatsoever, I will burst into "If You're Happy and You Know It", the "Hokey Pokey", and "Bunny Foo-Foo." 

My co-workers at the library are always a bit cautious around closing time, because my most effective technique to clear the building by 9pm is to announce that the library is closing in 8 minutes and I will begin singing in 7 minutes.  It's amazing how quickly this threat gets the most sedentary of library patrons out of those comfy chairs and into the parking lot.  The accoustics of the library lobby are outstanding--if I sing out loud in the lobby, they will hear me back in the paperback shelving.

If I'm grumpy, I will sing "All Gods Critters Got a Place in the Choir", which will stick in your head for hours, and you'll find yourself trying to do the hand motions while you brush your teeth before bedtime.

If I'm really, really grouchy, I'll sing "The Beanbag Song", which is absolutely the worst earworm in the universe and will stick in your head for months.  God help anybody in range if I sing that one.

On good nights, I sing "Hit the Road Jack" and "Good Night Ladies".  The staff sings backup as they close out computers and turn off the lights.  It's a good way to end a good day at work. 

On long rides, my vast song library is useful to keep Fiddle and me moving down the trail.  Today, as we climbed and then descended Mt Washington (aka "the hill of death") the song I sang for Fee was:

The Grand Old Duke of York
He had ten thousand men
He marched them up the hill--
and he marched them down again!
and....when they're up they're up
and when they're down they're down
and when they're only halfway up they're neither up nor down!

(we jog a few strides together for the last line, and then I start over again)

Here's a little video footage from our ride today.  There's no singing, I promise.

Tell the truth:  what songs do you sing?  Do you let anybody else listen?


  1. i sing silly songs like this too and i have the greatest excuse if anyone hears me - they are sure to have never heard it before.

    i like switching the words of church songs to make them funny.

    "good that we have each other"

    i've changed that to "good that we have a car."

    i'll have to think about your question and see which ones i'm singing around here but bunny foo foo is one, and yesterday i sang blame it on the bossanova the dance of love.

    interrupt: my man is getting in his cd case as i explained your post...he LOVES childrens' songs and shows and fairytales and has a huge collection of folksy stuff filling our shelves and drawers.

    i think if you work with kids (you and my man) you have a great excuse to know all the words to these songs and sing them outloud at random.

    OK: blame it on the bossanova was translated into german in 1964 - he's playing it for me now. craziness!

  2. I have a habit of getting stuck on whatever song I last heard on the car radio before I got out to go into school. (Right now, Phil Collins is singing It's always the same, it's just a shame, that's a-all" from yesterday afternoon.)
    Or I'll break into a song that relates to something someone has said: someone: "summertime is such an easy period." me: "Summertime....and the living is easy..." Or when I teach one of my lessons on feelings , a story called "The Benson Blues": "Am I blue? Am I blue? Ain't these tears in these eyes telling you?"
    The one I've never been able to figure out or explain, is that, lacking any other conscious choice of tune, I find myself mindlessly humming "Alouetta, jaunty Alouetta"(or is it "The Itsy-Bitsy Spider?")
    Right now, glancing at my word verification ("Cheart") I'm inclined to start "Your Cheatin' Heart"!

  3. "Home On The Range" has been my long time favorite :-)

  4. The bit about singing in the library is HILARIOUS.

  5. connie reminded me, i break into OKLAHOMA all the time because it really reminds me of it living here, with the lack of mountains and rolling hills.

  6. Silly songs I learned at summer camp, if I'm lucky. Earworms of really bad 70's pop music if I'm not.

  7. I to must admit to singing silly songs with little provocation. My closest friends have gotten used to it but most other just look at me like I've lost it when I start. I blame it on my family, its just what we did to cheer each other up or annoy others into waking up. Rose likes my songs though, particularly if I find some horrible half-remembered country song to sing to her... that's something, right?

  8. It really never matters what I sing, but i really do sing. Whether it's in the IHSA show ring on a horse i've never met before, or bored together with a long-time buddy horse at mile 35, or trying not to leap out of our skin because of THAT rock, I really do sing!! I will sing whatever is in my brain, and usually the same ten words over and over... but I couldn't do the riding I do without singing....

  9. I burst into 'This Old Man' yesterday. In Maine, when the car crash took out the bridge and forced us to finish two miles early, we all rode back in single file singing 'You Are My Sunshine' at the top of our lungs. It's one of my favorite endurance memories.

  10. I used to sing the piggies to sleep with "You are my sunshine" or "There's a bluebird on my windowsill".
    But I'm also a sucker for children's songs like "Wheels on the bus", and don't even mention The Song That Never Ends because I'll be singing it for the rest of the day!


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