About Me

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Lake Mathews (Perris), CA, United States
I am a native of Illinois and grew up in Wilmette, a northern suburb of Chicago. I have one sibling, an older brother. After dropping out of college, I moved to California in 1973 with my first husband. I married my present husband, Butch, in 1977 and got 4 children in the deal. They have gone on to make me a grandmother 25 times over and a great-grandmother of 19. Three years after I married Butch I returned to school. I got my bachelors and masters degrees in speech communication and was a professor in that field for 13 years. I retired in 2001 to return to school and get my doctorate in folklore. Now I meld my two interests - folklore and genealogy - and add my teaching background, resulting in my current profession: speaker/entertainer of genealogically-related topics. I play a number of folk instruments, but my preference is guitar, which I have been playing since 1963. I work in partnership with Gena Philibert-Ortega with Genealogy Journeys where we focus on educating folks about Social History. More about that can be found at http://genaandjean.blogspot.com and more about my own business projects is on my Circlemending website.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday Singalong with Circlemending - Animals

We tend to think of children when we think of songs about animals (my post last week was a song about a dog that was more for adults than kids, but I sure enjoyed the song when I was young). We just spent part of the weekend with a bunch of Alaskan Klee Kais, singing (well, the dogs weren't exactly singing) and enjoying the company of people and their pets, which partly inspires this week's Singalong.

Last weekend my daughter and her family came to visit and we played "Encore," a game that pits two teams against each other to try to out-sing the opponents, using a set of subject and category cards to keep the competition moving. In our game, it ended up a draw (we were all too tired to keep going!) but we sang and laughed for almost 3 hours before we agreed to end in a tie. The ages of the participants ranged from 11 to almost 60 . . . the types of songs ran the gamut (one player was from Germany, but she knew all the American songs). Listening to my granddaughters sing in harmony was a special experience. Many songs dealt with animals (among other things) and I thought that would be an interesting topic for this week.

Do you have a song about animals? (Remember, you can give the entire set of lyrics, post just a verse or two, provide a link to an MP3 files or YouTube video, or just post the title.) Here's my offering for the week:

Tom Paxton's "My Dog's Bigger than Your Dog." Do you remember when that was used as a Ken-L-Ration commercial? Did you know that it was originally a legitimate kid's song? (Click on the links for, respectively, the lyrics and the commercial on YouTube.)

What's your favorite animal song?


  1. Definitely Louis Armstrong singing "Talk To The Animals" [the original 1967 theme from Dr. Doolittle]. You can hear Armstrong doing this lovely song here:

  2. You can't forget my favorite animal song. I love the version sung by Anne Murrey, but they are all nice and I used to sing this to the kids when they were little.

    The Teddy Bears Picnic

    If you go out in the woods today
    You're sure of a big surprise.
    If you go out in the woods today
    You'd better go in disguise.

    For every bear that ever there was
    Will gather there for certain, because
    Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic.

    Picnic time for teddy bears,
    The little teddy bears are having a lovely time today.
    Watch them, catch them unawares,
    And see them picnic on their holiday.
    See them gaily dance about.
    They love to play and shout.
    And never have any cares.
    At six o'clock their mommies and daddies
    Will take them home to bed
    Because they're tired little teddy bears.

    If you go out in the woods today,
    You'd better not go alone.
    It's lovely out in the woods today,
    But safer to stay at home.

    For every bear that ever there was
    Will gather there for certain, because
    Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic


    Every teddy bear, that's been good
    Is sure of a treat today
    There's lots of wonderful things to eat
    And wonderful games to play

    Beneath the trees, where nobody sees
    They'll hide and seek as long as they please
    Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic


  3. "Puff the Magic Dragon" is my favorite. What? Dragons are animals, right?

  4. Sheri, Dragons are definitely animals! Patty, I LOVE Teddy Bears picnic ... had an old 78 rpm of it when I was a kid (I'm sure I wore it out!). And Talk to the Animals cracks me up! Good choices!!

  5. My favorite song about animals has got to be "Herman the Worm". I mean, how can you not love a song that includes sound effects,yo-yos, and bubble gum, right?

  6. Teddy Bears' Picnic was big in our house - only it was called "Picky Bears."