Friday, April 27, 2007


Thrice a year, I mount the children's stage at Celebrate Fairfax! events and play 45 minutes of "Songs for Children and Their Parents" on guitar and vocals.

I'm doing it again on June 9th and 10th. I'm the opening act on the children's stage when the fair is just starting. So I get a pretty small actual audience in front of me. (I usually know most by name.)

On the other hand, I'm next to the petting zoo, so I'm a virtual cult icon among certain cliques of llamas and yaks.

I'm putting together my play list.

Non-negotiable are Monkeyboy's three duets. Mid-show he comes up and joins me in Puff, the Magic Dragon. At the end he helps me lead Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land" and Peter, Paul and Mary's version of Pete Seeger's "If I Had a Hammer".

Here are additional options. They'll give you an idea of my repertoire. I've already got more than 45 minutes listed here. Any favorites? Any ideas in the same genre?

Man Gave Names to All the Animals - Bob Dylan
The Marvelous Toy - Tom Paxton
Paradise - John Prine
Country Roads, Take Me Home - John Denver
Grandma's Feather Bed - John Denver
The House at Pooh Corner - Kenny Loggins
Puff the Magic Dragon - Peter Yarrow
You Don't Mess Around With Jim - Jim Croce
Roller Derby Queen - Jim Croce
Speedball Tucker - Jim Croce (cryptic reference to amphetamines makes this one questionable)
The Circle Game - Joni Mitchell
Cat's in the Cradle - Harry Chapin
Teach Your Children - Graham Nash ("hell" makes this one questionable.)
Your Momma Don't Dance - Kenny Loggins
I Will - Lennon & McCartney (but in an arrangement from a Ben Taylor album.)
Hammer Song - Peter Seeger (but in the Peter, Paul and Mary arrangement that even Pete Seeger has adopted).
This Land is Your Land - Woody Guthrie (first two verses only).


dmarks said...

Hmmm. Maybe it is too young, and I'm not sure how it would sound on guitar, but there is always "The Teddy Bear's Picnic"

There's also "Big Will the Pirate". Probably too obscure.

Moonbeam said...

How bout "The Hokky Pokky". Ya put your right foot in, you put your right foot out, etc, etc. Besides human critters shaking it about, nearby llamas and yaks in the petting zoo could shake a tail feather too.

Speaking of Llamas, in Oregon, in the rural areas they have guard llamas. You dont need a fence if you have a guard llama guarding your herd of sheep, they are mean. I am told, they are trained to even keep count of the sheep and know when one has strayed. Last time I was in Corvallis I pulled over to the side of the road by a lush green field full of sheep, no fence just Mr.Llama staring me down a few feet away. I might be one enchilada short of a combo sometimes but I knew to take my photo from inside the car instead of getting out. He had that look in his eye as he chewed away on the grass giving me a go away offer I could not refuse. I named him Tony Soprano Llama.

A lil bit of llama wisdom for ya :)

"Break a leg" when mounting the stage in june. :)

David in DC said...

dmarks: I don't know either song; can you hum a few bars?

moonbeam: reminds me about the tragic story about the death of the composer of "The Hokey-Pokey."

It was really quite sad and traumatic for his whole family.

When it came time to put him in his casket, they put his left leg in ....

Anonymous said...

A cult figure amongst the llamas and yaks, that's funny. I don't know about you, but I love when a line like that jumps out of my head. I might have to lift that line for when I am trying to impress the ladies.

Go with Croce.....
"Don't mess" and "Roller Derby Queen" are OK in my book. ( I was a child in the 70s and mom and dad just so happened to listen to the entire list at some point, so I am familiar )

David in DC said...

I do a story about Roller Berby Queen, too.

My mom remarried when I was 17 and I played guitar as she walked down the aisle before jumping up under the chupah to act as best man for my soon-to-be stepfather.

For months I threatened to play Roller Derby Queen as she walked down the aisle and for months she threatened to stop feeding me.

She was a good sport about it when I played it at the reception.

mielikki said...

What about "There was an old lady, who swallowed a fly. . " that song. At 37, I still know all the words, and loved that song as a child. It could be a good "crowd" sing along. I am going to be in DC in May, and now I wish my trip was planned in June so I could come watch!

Mrs. Hairy Woman said...

I love Puff The Magic Dragon song.. it's my favorite..

laughing said...

Speaking of llamas

There is also a Sawyer song (LOST) and a Dalek song (Dr. Who)

But you probably already know that since I'm usually the last one to know everything.

I don't know how this is done. David, you are tagged. Tell us about you're favorite restaurants.

Again, since I'm usually the last one to know everything, he probably already did this before I started reading and this is where it all started.

David in DC said...

Mielikki: that's a great suggestion. I'm gonna do it.

Babybull: one of my favorites too. And now it's gone from one of Monkeyboy's lullabyes to one of our duets.

laughing: albinoblacksheep is a wonderfully subversive website. I've loved it ever since a teenager showed it to Monkeyboy, who showed it to me.