BoyWonder loves music, or maybe he just loves to torment me? Seventeen years later I have still not been able to figure it out. If there is a good song playing BoyWonder can not restrain himself from drumming at the dinner table, on the stearing wheel, on the door, on a book, to the point where he can drive me into a tailspin with the tapping of Keith Moon, John Bonham and Ringo Starr. But the tapping is nothing compared to his singing. I try for peace when I am with him and I deal with one symptom at a time..
We from the very beginning of our relationship have had a 'no tapping' clause'. A quiet understanding between a couple. The tapping torment has evolved into a 'No tapping face', an expression of bugged out eyes and pierced lips and furrowed brows held by me, and over the years it has become more pronounced, with a sigh and a chin jutting out for good measure. And normally when the no tapping face is shown, the tapping subsides and I am given a few minutes to collect my thoughts.
But tapping seems to be part of my husband's life. I try not to play 'tapping music' over dinner, sometimes the tapping just starts because there is a song in his head, which leads his fingers to start and then full fledged tapping commences, along with fake cymbals and bass drum. My no tapping 'expression' will cause him to stop in 'midtap' or mid cymbal smash. But the energy that has not been expelled through his fingertips, needs to be unleashed elsewhere, so the creative juices then flow to his lips where he will whistle. But some of the notes he can reach can cause a dog to stand at attention and moan for mercy. The whistling will be halted with me sighing and barking a command of 'Pleeeaaaase!?'
This causes him to bounce his leg under the table which causes the ground all around to shake, the crystal the cabinet to vibrate and , the pictures on the mantle come dangerously close to the edge . I have to grab his knee from under the table to restrain it from escalating any further. And sometimes it stops the 'creative flow', and sometimes I have my much wanted and desired peace.
But then, there are other times...
There are times when he will try to refrain, but he will let out a sigh, and begin to eat. But as he eats, if the song is still raging in his head, he may begin to hum, he will hum a tune in which we all know. And then the humming turns into singing... And well, the singing... Ahh, the singing... This is a special wee nuttshell, which I have not cracked open for you.
The thing about BoyWonder's singing is... That he....., Well he, how do I put this?
He 'interprets' music and re writes lyrics to songs...
No song is sacred.
They can be innocent songs which can make Mr. Rogers, Sharon, Lois and Bram and even Raffi smile, but most songs, can go strangely a rye with his twisted, wicked, sense of humour. He can change a song through an accent, or by insinuation, or he can change it by lyrics.
With the accent and intonation of Mike Ditka, (the former coach of the Chicago Bears) he has changed the classic 'Winnie the Pooh' song into a song about 'Winnie da bear, all stuffed with fluff and caaahhhcahh.' He changed the song 'I love you a bushel and a peck' into a song about' Pee and Poo and how 'bout you???' sung in a stiff uppercrust British accent that bares an aweful resemblence to Prince Charles, Prince of Wales. His repetoire is endless.
My daughter loves musicals. Or maybe the love was forced onto her by me. She has seen them all. She at the tender age of three had seen Singing in the Rain about half a dozen times, she has watched every Danny Kaye film, Damn Yankees, Oliver, Gigi, My Fair Lady, Guys and Dolls, American in Paris, West Side Story, Seussical the Musical, she has seen them all.
She can be seen immitating Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain. She will do the footsteps, the hops, the twirls. She can do Danny Kaye's the Vessel in the Pestle, with the exagerated eyebrows and kookie facial expressions.
In Grade Two, her movie of choice, was Fiddler on the Roof. She would walk around my neighbourhood, hunched over like an eighty year old woman with extreme rhuematism walking with a cane/umbrella and using hand gestures she would sing 'Annetevka,'using a thick Yiddish accent.
My daughter when she 'performmes', she does it for herself; not for show; not for an audience, just as her father with his musical prowess is the same... They do it for themselves.They do it for their own amusement. They can not help themselves...
And I am destined to go insane...
But Fiddler on the Roof was my daughter's absolute favourite musical at the time and not beyond Boy Wonder's scope of 'interpretation'. And there were many songs reworked by BoyWonder. But none as much as the 'classic' that is now a legend.
We have a wonderful dog. He is a constant in our lives. He refuses to be away from our family dynamic. Whatever room we are in, our dog is in, a faithful companion to the end.
Our dog is not bashful. Our dog knows no restraint. Our dog has a 'hobby' or so my husband has pointed out; our dog's 'hobby 'is licking his privates at any given time.
So on one particulary, enchanting, evening, full of taps and cymbals Boy Wonder has rewrote the lyrics to 'If I were a Rich Man' , he did this in honour of our dog and his 'hobby of choice'. The melody remains to 'If I Were a Rich Man' but the lyrics have been changed to 'I am Going to Lick my Privates Licky Licky Licky Lick.'
The song was....'catchy'. The song was constant. The song was sung daily; if not hourly.
Our faithful dog licking himself, gave my husband permission to sing his wee diddy. With whistles, with snaps, with tapping, this song has become a classic in our home.
'IIIIII'm going to lick my privates, licky licky licky lick. All day long, I licky licky lick, even though I am not deeeeeeeead!' would belt my husband.
Now, you can see where this is leading can't you?
One day, I am picking up Scooter from school. She is taking a long time to appear in the yard, so I am forced to rush up to her class to see what is keeping her. There are about twelve staggling kids including Scooter's teacher and a student teacher.
The children are putting their coats on and the teacher is reminding them of a last minute spelling test and it is a lucky day as they will have music class in the morning.
Scooter belts out 'Goodie,I love muuuuusic!!!! Mrs. Kirkpatrick?'
And from across the room...
'My Dad loves music too. Do ya wanna hear my DAD's favourite song?'
'Oh, I'd love to' says the poor unsuspecting Mrs. Kirkpatrick as she helps a kid with a rough zipper and the student teacher stops tidying up to listen to my daughter.
May I preface, my daughter did NOT say ' it was a song, her Dad sang ABOUT her dog.'
May I add, I was not close enough to stop her.
And really, I did not have any idea of what was going to come out of her mouth...All of these 'things', BoyWonder thought I could have changed or changed the course as they unfolded.
This was her DAD's favourite song...and all her friends, and teachers were going to hear it.
And with a voice that would make Ethel Merman proud, she belts out her DAD's favourite song. ' 'IIIII 'mmmm going to Lick my privates, licky licky licky liiiiick....'
It was like a train wreck.
These poor women with their mouths wide open.
These poor women.
Heck, poor me...Me, with a husband who licks his privates.
I can feel my faceburn ... I just stood there. I could not move. I certainly could not bolt across the room and gag my daughter A totally captive audience, you could hear a pin drop. A catchy tune, a tune sung with the confidence of someone hearing it daily, if not hourly.
And after my dear Barbra Streisand finished the song, her audience of a few girls but mostly boys were numb. They looked at each other. The teacher cleared her throat and said 'Well then, that was a nice ditty.'
But the boys; the boys realized this was a gift from the gods, or at least from Scooter's dad. And almost in unison, began to sing the tune as they left the classroom, spreading the love of music, and of Scooter's Dad, for the entire school and entire neighbourhood to hear. Music class could be brought to new levels the following day.
Two years later, the song is looked upon as a 'classic'. It has been passed on to younger siblings. It is a song which will always be remembered for my daughter's grade two year.
And a song in which it solidified the legend, the true musical genius of my husband, to the boys in my neighbourhood. And sometimes there just is no living with a genius such as Boy Wonder.
And all I can hope for, is, that Boy Wonder, is a one hit wonder.