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Archive for the ‘Children’s Literacy’ Category

Integrating 4 and 5

In Children's Literacy, K-12 Education, Popular Music, Songs On Saturday, Thats' Life, Tv Show Theme Songs, Writers and Writing on May 14, 2011 at 8:00 AM

Hello Everybully! Welcome! To Songs On Saturday!

Last week was so nice we’re doin’ it twice, including another song from my heretofore unreleased compilation called Stupid Pet Sounds.

This week, Songs On Saturday integrates four of my favorite things:

  • People
  • Randy Newman
  • music and

The Five Aspects of Literacy: Reading, Writing, Listening, Thinking and Speaking (in That order)!

Huh? What’s literacy got to do with Songs On Saturday or music at all? In general even?

I’m glad you asked That. BOL! Music involves listening, yes, but it also involves reading. I enjoy reading music lyrics. Reading about the musicians. Reading about the music, reading the notes. Reading about the instruments. There’s a lot of reading involved with listening to music! Lyrics, the words to music, are written by songwriters.

Songwriters are not always musicians or recording artists. They don’t all sing, play an instrument or even read music! Some songwriters “hear” the music in their heads or the lyrics may come to them at 2 o’clock in the morning forcing them from sleep, compelling them to write them down. Lionel Ritchie and Smokey Robinson have produced Grammy Award winning tunes that began with little more than the hook or a simple phrase. Then they labored to construct the song, often collaborating with others on the project.

Some songwriters are accomplished musicians but not performers. People like David Foster, Paul Williams, Burt Bacharach or Bernie Taupin. They write the songs that make the whole world sing. Their talents are sought and highly prized by big name entertainers such as Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand and Elton John.

A handful of songwriters are not only celebrated musicians and composers who accompany themselves with instruments, they also write their own songs. These musicians belong in an exalted class of musicians, Singer/Songwriters that include Paul Simon, Dolly Parton, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, Carole King, Adele— and

Randy Newman?

O-Tay sure, many of you were first introduced to Randy Newman because of unarguably one of the funniest TV theme songs in sitcom history. The show wasn’t too bad, either. Very funny.

free music

Listen to Randy Newman's Short People | 1977

But Randy Newman is more than just a writer of hilarious sitcom theme songs. He’s a Singer/Songwriter whose satirical lyrics make you think and at least in one famous instance, made a lot of People speak as well.

In 1977, Randy Newman released a tune called Short People. “Short People” was widely misinterpreted by a public just beginning to experiment with the latest phenomenon in social sensitivity– political correctness. This new attitude had the unintended consequence of generating a great deal of publicity for the song and unwelcomed controversy for Randy Newman.

Randy

At first blush, the song appears to be ridiculing of Little People, with phrases such as “nasty little feet,” “stubby little fingers” and “dirty little minds.”

Mr. Newman was compelled to publicly defend his use of a literary device, the figurative intent of the word “short” and to appear on many late night talk shows to explain the song’s intent which was to call attention to how silly and small bigotry looks, sounds and actually, in fact, is.

When asked whether he anticipated the irony of the lyrics would spark such a firestorm of criticism, Mr. Newman responded: “I didn’t. I thought, all you gotta do is listen. It’s not like it’s James Joyce. [Then] I realized the medium wasn’t great for that. People don’t listen to music like that…”

Newman went on to record other songs that examine and mock bigotry: “Rednecks” and “Half A Man.”

In a 2003 interview fur The Sunday Times Mr. Newman went on to respond further about people missing the point of his songs: “To write indirect songs with characters that aren’t yourself as the narrator is not the best way to achieve commercial success. I mean, irony, who’s got the time? But it’s what I do, and it’s what I can’t help but do. I couldn’t write like Elton John if I tried.”

People under the age of 30 will, doubtless, recognize the distinctive voice and banging, saloon-like piano playing of Randy Newman from all the Disney Pixar films he’s done the music fur, namely the Toy Story films.

Now that you’ve clicked on all the links to learn more about Randy Newman and all his impressive achievements in a long and remarkable career, I won’t keep you in suspense any longer. And so now… without any further ado, Songs On Saturday proudly presents ThatOne performing his soon-to-be hit (in his own mind) “Small Bulldogs!

Small bulldogs got no reason
Small bulldogs got no reason
Small bulldogs got no reason
To live

They got little legs
Corpulent behinds
They march around
With determined strides
They got little noses
Protruding bottom teeth
They got big fat cushions
On their plodding little feet Well we Don’t want no small Bulldogs
Don’t want no small Bulldogs
Don’t want no small bulldogs
‘Round here..!
Bulldogs are not the same
As you and I
(They’re cool and don’t lie)
Bulldogs are brothers
Hear this long, heavy sigh
It’s a wonderbull world! Small bulldogs got no buddies
Small bulldogs got no buddies
Small bulldogs got no buddies
To love
They got little stubby legs
Make ’em walk so slow
You got to pick ‘em up
And motivate their “Go!”
They got wagons & strollers
That go squeak, squeak, squeak
Make those purring noises
When they sleep, sleep, sleep
They got grubby little toe nails
Funny little minds
They grab you by the heart every time

Well we… don’t want no small Bulldogs
Don’t want no small Bulldogs
Don’t want no small bulldogs
‘Round here..!

Goodwill Energies I direct
Toward each and every one of you
Each and every day

“And there came to be evening and there came to be morning…”
That’s life today!

Mother’s Day Is Sunday May 8th

In Animals and Pets, Bugs Bunny, Cartoons, Children's Literacy, Music, Television, Thats' Life on May 5, 2011 at 8:00 AM

Mother's Day 2011 - May 8

Doubtless, most of you are gonna wait until the eleventh hour to run around tryin’ to find a gift fur that significant woman in your life on Mother’s Day. Me? I don’t do that. I know what She likes, see, so I start collectin’ weeks in advance. I got Her:

  1. A Bugs Bunny cartoon
  2. Music Bonnie Raitt Opus by Starbucks Entertainment ()
  3. Stephen Colbert
  4. Alec Baldwin
  5. Al Roker
  6. Martin Landau
  7. Vanilla ice cream (Trader Joe’s ’cause that’s Her favorite) and
  8. Chocolate and Merlot (’cause She enjoys these both together)

She is soooo not the bouquet-of-flower’s-from-Whole Foods sort.

It’s fun to stumble upon stuff you just know someone you lub is gonna lub. Way better than planning to shop and then going out and looking fur something. That’s when you’re certain to find nothing you like or things in the stores just don’t hit you right. That’s what makes shopping frustrating fur a lot of People.

Happy Mother's Day 2011

She hates it, actually.

So when She’s out and about and She sees something and She’s feelin’ it, when She can, She’ll just get it. Often there’s not an occasion immediately on the horizon but She doesn’t let that stifle the spirit of giving. In fact, it enhances the experience. Makes anticipating the elevated feeling of joy all the more intense.

I got my spirit of giving from Her, I suspect.

Mother’s Day falls on the 8th this year. That’s how I decided on eight gifts. Things I just know She is really gonna like.

“Listen… and do not despise your mother when she is old. Let your mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice.”–King Solomon

You’re welcomed to imitate my example. BOL!
Goodwill Energies I project
upon each and every one of you
Each and every day!

“And there came to be evening and there came to be morning…”

That’s life today!

Related Articles

Bucket List

In Animals and Pets, Bugs Bunny, Cartoons, Children's Literacy, K-12 Education, Television, Thats' Life on May 3, 2011 at 8:14 AM

People are bunny– uhp– I mean funny.

(I lub this cartoon!)

Film poster for The Bucket List - Copyright 20...

Image via Wikipedia

People. They’re always making lists they call “bucket” lists. A bucket list is a list of things they want to do before they “kick the bucket” which is an idiomatic expression that means “before they die.”

The phrase probably originates from the notion that when People hanged themselves (you can see the fun startin’ already), they did do by standing on a bucket with a noose around their necks, then kicking the bucket away. You see this depicted a lot in cartoons and old westerns.

People are funny.

I mean, why make a list? It’s not like on the last day or in the final hour you’re really gonna be mentally rehearsing all those things you did that proved you appreciated life or that you were indeed “experiencing” life to the fullest. Still, it got me to thinkin’–

So I came up with the “bully bowl” list. There’s only one item on my list though because you see, I’ve decided…

I am going to LIVE


Until I die.

Who’s with me?

Goodwill Energies I direct
Toward each and every one of you
Each and every day

“And there came to be evening and there came to be morning…”

That’s life today!

♪♫A Crowd of People Stood And Stared

In Children's Literacy, Film, John Lennon, K-12 Education, Music, Popular Culture, Rosemary's Baby, The Beatles on March 12, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Hello Everybully!

And to this week’s edition of Songs on Saturday!

As you all know, I’m parked in New York fur a while. She loves Central Park especially in winter because New York can be very unpleasant in summer. Wicked hot! And humid. Sooo not bulldog weather. But in winter and fall, New York is where I’d rather stay!

The first thing I did was go to Central Park. If you park on Central Park West and 66-89 streets, it’s a pleasant walk from the West side to the East side with lots of interesting stops to contemplate and admire.

The Dakota Building 1968

The Dakota Building... 2011

We parked on W74th and CPW, then walked down to W 72 to The Dakota, the landmark building famous fur being the location of Roman Polanski’s horror classic Rosemary’s Baby.

Until December 8, 1980 when the Dakota, at 1 West 72nd street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and considered one of the city’s finest apartment buildings, became the location of John Lennon’s tragic murder.

John Lennon was gunned down in front of the building he called home since 1973.

The platform behind me on the right in this picture is where he fell.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono, like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, were beloved symbols of New York City. His tragic and senseless murder shocked and saddened the entire world.

JohnLennonArtwork.comAcross the street is Strawberry Fields’. This tear-shaped section of Central Park named after the popular Beatles’ song Strawberry Fields Forever stretches from 71st to 74th streets along Central Park West.

Intended as an ‘International Garden of Peace’, the idea was conceived by Yoko Ono in 1981. She donated $1 million of her own money to the project. In preparation for the area, Yoko ran an ad in the New York Times requesting rocks, plants and stones to be donated from nations around the world. As a result, 161 varieties of plants are included in the area representing the 121 countries who endorse this Garden of Peace.Imagine mosaic

Imagine there’s no Heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

free music

Goodwill Energies I project
On Each and Every one of you
Each and Every day!

“And there came to be evening and there came to be morning…”


That’s life today!

ThatOne’s AMERICA: Bulldog On Beale St.

In Children's Literacy, English bulldogs, K-12 Education, Music, Road Trip, Thats' Life on February 23, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Bulldog on Beale St.

Three blocks. Thirty nightclubs. For a music filled night out in Memphis, Beale St. is a must land destination. The Beale Street Brass Note Walk of Fame is the Hollywood Walk of Fame of the South, only it’s all about rhythm and blues and rock and roll.

110 brass notes are embedded along three short blocks. Here are a couple of  notes I placed my four paws down on:

#57 STAX is an acronym formed from the last names of the record company’s founders Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton. #19 The Memphis Horns were house musicians!

Notable Stars that emerged from Stax were #34 Otis Redding, #50 Sam & Dave and #36 Isaac Hayes.

Hayes began his career as a songwriter and session musician at Stax Records. Hayes and lyricist David Porter soon became a notable singer-songwriting team at Stax, the Black equivalent of Elton John and Bernie Taupin!

Hayes released his first album “Introducing Isaac Hayes” in 1967, but “Hot Buttered Soul” launched him into super stardom 1969. From 1969 to 1975, Hayes released a string of Top Twenty albums, including the Oscar-winning “Theme from ‘Shaft’” 1971.

Isaac Hayes embraced Scientology and enjoyed crossover mainstream success as the voice of “Chef” in Comedy Central’s South Park. Isaac Hayes died August 10, 2008.

In 1972, the Stax label presented a major concert in Los Angeles called Wattstax, which drew an audience of over 100,000 people. Stax, like Motown, was overtaken by changing popular tastes and trends in music and the once venerable music maker went bankrupt 1975. In 2003 Stax reinvented itself as the Stax Museum of American Soul Music and the Stax Music Academy.

“I Stand Accused” remains to this day, Her all time favorite Isaac Hayes tune.

I never knew there was so much to see and do in Memphis and  was awed by all the rich history. The Lorraine Motel is part of the National Civil Rights Museum At The Lorraine Motel

celebrating 20 years educating the public and preserving the history of the Civil Rights Movement in America.

Memphis, Tennessee is the home of Sun Studios, (now a museum), where Elvis Presley recorded his first song “That’s Alright Mama,” Gibson guitars, Elvis Presley and Graceland, three Fortune 500 companies: FedEx Corporation, AutoZone Incorporated and International Paper. Leading pediatric treatment and research facility focused on children’s catastrophic diseases, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, is also in Memphis. The more I learn, the more I like Memphis. I can’t wait to visit this city again! Four paws! BOL!

Goodwill Energies I direct
Toward each and every one of you
Each and every day!

“And there came to be evening and there came to be morning…”

That’s life today!