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Making Room for Music week


Here's a little known fact about me- I sing. My family knows that (we all sing), and a tiny few of my closest friends know that. Here's another fact- I know lots of odd songs and can come up with the lyrics on cue for just about anything... onions and petunias, pansies, whistling, sipping cider, popcorn, barges, little green frogs, even a goat... trust me, the list goes on.

My parents were influenced by the music of their parents and they by their parents before them (my great grandfather played the fiddle at campfires with his wagon train, and his son, my grandpa, sang in minstrel shows- I know, cringe a little) so music runs deep in my veins. I heard and learned all kinds of music growing up from barbershop to slave songs, hymns to folk songs, country to camp tunes. Here's the song about that goat:

One of my most treasured memories from childhood was being put to bed at night and hearing my parents sing together; my mom on the piano and dad with the guitar. They sang Leaving on a Jet Plane, In the Ghetto, Scarborough Fair. This one, The Letter, always made my older sister cry...

Sometimes Dad sat on a stool in the hallway and sang to us (with his own version of the lyrics, mind you)... How Much is that Doggie in the Window, Jimmy Crack Corn, Old Shep... Rusty Old Halo was a big hit with us kids...

Mom sang to us occasionally too- usually Spider's Web, Somewhere Over the Rainbow or camp songs like Barges or Flicker.

We grew singing Holiday songs ( 4-part harmony, of course!) and often launched into instant jam sessions with some pretty raucous versions of Delta Dawn, Bad Bad Leroy Brown, Joy to the World- that is, Three Dog Night's Joy to the World...

Point is, I grew up with music all around me. But life takes unexpected turns and the songs from my family and even those of my teens and 20's somehow lost their audience- they lost me. Little by little music became more of a guilty pleasure. I dance in the bathroom when no one's around (I know, not the safest place!) and I sing harmony parts to the radio when I'm by myself. And only in my mind do I launch into the silly family tunes when random moments bring them to the surface.

But when I started my Making Room for More journey I reached out for any little thing that would make me feel like myself again. I took a few ukulele lessons just for fun, and the other day I found myself sitting with some of my dearest friends around a single citronella candle on my patio singing, laughing, and making up songs... we even sang Bill Grogan's Goat. They were amazed- not by my talent, but by this side of me that's been so deeply hidden from everyone.

So, this week, with my first full campfire (well, citronella fire, anyway) under my belt, it's time to share the music I love again. Because Making Room for More is about recreating everything in a way that allows you to embrace who you are right now so you can start exploring where you truly want to go.

It's time to grab your hairbrushes and spatulas and line up in the living room because this week, we're going to sing at the top of our lungs to the music that makes us feel good. Oh, and of course... You can dance if you want to...


5 comments


  • carole

    Joy to the World is still the very best song to sing and dance to at the same time. You can do the pony, can’t you?


  • David

    you singing, I definitely see. but ah, the real question is, do you beatbox? i’ve been on a matisyahu kick lately.


  • Shannnon Kaye

    Clearly I don’t beatbox ‘cuz I don’t even know what matisyaho is… sounds like an appetizer!


  • Shelley Hunter

    Ah, the LETTER!!!! That song still makes me cry. Too young to realize “My baby” was an endearing term, I thought HIS BABY wrote him a letter and the father in the song needed to get back to his baby girl. I had no idea. But, “Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast” was LEGIT. Hardcore sadness. The funny thing about me and the music is that I always want to listen to the songs that are stories. My kids roll their eyes. Great if it’s a fast song, but groan if it’s another one of mom’s slow, story songs. Ah the Letter! Ah the memories. Thanks for posting this one!!!


  • Shannnon Kaye

    It’s okay, remember, I thought Ol’ Shep was a cow even though the first line says that he was a dog. And yes, story songs… how many times did you hear me playing Don McLean’s Same Auld Lang Syne on the piano- like a thousand? Makes me want to play it right now!


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