Mudcat Café message #94968 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #12161   Message #94968
Posted By: WyoWoman
14-Jul-99 - 12:12 AM
Thread Name: nursery rhymes-Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
CarlZen, yes, there was a very nice thread not too long ago about lullabyes -- plenty of suggestions for some lovely ones.

One of my most poignant memories of my dad was when he took us off to bed at night. He's hoist me up on his shoulders and walk me off down the hall saying, "Then go, not as the quarry slave, scourged to his dungeon, but as one who wraps his draperies about him and lies down to pleasant dreams..." or "Good night, sweet Princess. Flocks of angels sing thee to thy sleep..." (Ok, it was really supposed to be "flights," of course, and he knew that. But the image of "Flocks of angels" lingers forever in my brain.)

He was an oilfield worker, and from his crude oil stained khakis, people probably expected him to be rough and ignorant. But most of the poems I learned in my childhood, I learned from him. And I write for a living now, partly because of his rigor about the English language, and his whimsical fun with it. He worked long, hard hours, but many, many a night I remember him sitting on the edge of my sister's and my bed, reading anything that rhymed.

(And then when we were teens, writing this message in soap on our mirror when he was in his Ogden Nash period: "Some people's minds must be infinitesimally liddle, Who will squeeze the toofpaste toobs in the middle. And then there's some silly saps, Who never, ever replace the caps ...."