I Write the Songs That Make the Whole World Sing

I have this habit, while in the confines of my own home, of spontaneously bursting into song.  Well, bursting may be overstating it, because I generally don’t sing loudly.  I mean, audibly?  Sure.  But belting as if on a Broadway stage?  No.  Nobody deserves being subjected to me doing that.

Anyway, so I spontaneously bust into song.  Having never been the type to keep particularly close tabs on popular music, I usually don’t know all the words to any given song, so I only sing bits and pieces.  Generally?  I change the words anyway.

See, that is the whole point of breaking into song:  something happens, or is said, or whatever, that will inspire me to sing, but since the words of any given song are never exactly what I need, I change them to suit the situation.

For instance:


Who can hear this song and then change three girls worth of stinky diapers without accompanying that chore with the little ditty, “She’s poopy, she’s poopy, she’s poopy, ya da da da da da da”?  Of course, now the words are changed even more, since he’s poopy, but it still works, see?

No, I don’t generally dance whilst singing.  Though it has been known to happen.

Another example would be just a few minutes ago.  I was giving L~ a spelling pretest, and the last word on the list was “Alabama.”  Of course I had to accost everybody’s ears with two seconds of Sweet Home Alabama. Am I making my life sound like a musical?  It’s not quite that bad.  It is bad enough, however, that my kids routinely ask me, “Mom, is that a real song?”

To which I reply, “It has a tune and words, so it must be, right?  Define real.”

Just for the sake of clarity:  I have done this since before having children.  While it could be argued that motherhood has brought on a touch of some sort of insanity, this particular sort has been with me longer than my children.

One song that I have found to be somewhat of an all purpose tune is Barry Manilow’s Copa Cabana.  Granted, the words usually need to be changed drastically, but it is a very catchy tune that can be easily adapted to many situation.  I most clearly remember using it when my younger brother was in the sixth-grade and there was a seventh-grade girl with a huge crush on him:

His name was Andrew
He was in sixth grade . . .

then I’ve forgotten everything until the chorus

Her hair was long and blond,
And she was awfully fond
Of her studly sixth-grade man
Who just couldn’t get a tan . . .

Then there is the Christmas carol Andrew and I “co-wrote” to the tune of Jingle Bells:

Dashing through the snow
On a reindeer with three legs,
O’er the hills we go
Screaming all the way.

Bells on Bob’s tail ring
So people clear the way
Then they all stand back to watch,
That’s when we hear them say:

Oh, Bob the gimp
Bob the gimp
Look at how he runs!
We’ll stand outside and watch him go
Just to have some fun!

Yes, tacky, I know.  Don’t pretend you’re never tacky at times.

Anyway, one Christmas, the first after we were married actually, McH and I were sitting on the floor in our living room untangling Christmas lights and sorting through our little stash of decorations when Barry Manilow came on the radio singing Copa Cabana.

I know!  Why weren’t we listening to Christmas music?  I don’t know.  All I know is that Mr. Manilow started crooning about the Copa, and my dear, younger, what-rock-has-he-been-living-under husband dropped what he was doing and looked at me in complete bewilderment.

“I thought YOU wrote that song!” he said.

Yes, my husband thought I made it up, words, music and all.

I then dropped what I was doing so that I could roll on the floor laughing for what was probably an inappropriate amount of time. 

I suppose I should have been more appreciative of the fact that he thought I was that talented (umm . . . that talented in a 1970s music kind of way).

And George, if you’re out there Tewt the Newt says disco isn’t dead.

12 thoughts on “I Write the Songs That Make the Whole World Sing

  1. McH

    I am more of a Linkin Park or Drowning Pool type of music person. Heck growing up the music playing at our home rarely had words as we almost exclusively listened to classical music, with the exception of a little Neal Diamond.


  2. Nancy

    I knew the story and I’m still laughing so hard the tears are rolling down my cheeks.

    Where was I for Bob the Gimp though? I don’t remember that one, and it is hilarious.


  3. metaphase

    Ha ha, snort. Ah, well it’s nice to know I’m not alone in my insanity. I thought I did this sort of stuff because I was always in concert choir, madrigal singers, etc. in high school and I don’t have an outlet now. I am fond of making up lyrics to “Lollipop” (as in oh, lolli, lolli, lollipop- ba boom boom boom..)


  4. Christina

    What, you didn’t write Copa Cabana? Ha, so funny. I totally do that too, burst into song throughout the day any time a word or phrase hits me funny. That and Princess Bride quotes. We do have to entertain ourselves somehow, don’t we?


  5. Good, now I can tell my kids I’m not the only one who does this! They’re always saying, ” Mom, you have a song for everything”. I can’t help it. I sing Sweet Home Alabama EVERY TIME I hear the word 🙂


  6. shut up! NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is a hilarious story!

    I totally do BURST into song, Broadway obnoxiously over the top style (with changed words too). My kids LOVE it!!! (not) So tell your fam that they have no idea how lucky they have it! At least you keep yours to a reasonable volume! I make sure every single child in any room in our home (and the neighbors homes) can hear! ha.


  7. That is so funny! Your kids will love hearing that story over and over, I’m sure.

    MY kids always say, “Don’t sing, mom, don’t sing,” whenever I burst into song. Sigh.


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