About Me

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Lake Mathews (Perris), CA, United States
Born in Illinois, I grew up in Wilmette, a northern suburb of Chicago. I have one sibling, an older brother. I am married, for the 2nd time now, to Butch & got 4 children in the deal. They have gone on to make me grandmother 25 times over & great-grandmother to over 20!. After many years working in industry, I got my bachelors and masters degrees in speech communication, & was a professor in that field for 13 years. I retired in 2001 & returned to school & got my doctorate in folklore. Now I meld my two interests - folklore & genealogy - & add my teaching background, resulting in my current profession: speaker/author/entertainer of genealogically-related topics. I play many folk instruments, but my preference is guitar, which I have been playing since 1963. I write the "Aunty Jeff" column for the Informer, newsletter of the Jefferson County NY Gen. Soc. I work in partnership with Gena Philibert-Ortega & Sara Cochran as Genealogy Journeys® where we focus on educating folks about Social History. More about that: genaandjean.blogspot.com. More on our podcasts: genjourneys.podbean.com. More about my own projects: Circlemending.org.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Singalong with Circlemending - Songs to Celebrate Special People

Every year, sometime before the end of January and the beginning of February, I open my home to fans of Pernell Roberts. We visit, learn about each other, watch videos of our favorite actor, and eat way too much. It is a merry time. This year we have felt the loss of this talented thespian: he passed away just over one year ago. While tears have been shed, we have spent more time celebrating his life, enjoying the fact that he left such a wealth of television and movie appearances from the mid-1950s till the end of the 1990s, many of which are now on DVD.

Missing a loved one is not something unique - most of us can identify with the feelings of loss, often mixed with the feelings of being blessed for having that person (or those persons) in our lives. It is important to celebrate those special people who have touched us. These people might be ancestors, close relatives, friends, or even people in celebrity status.

So here's the Singalong Challenge: A song that reminds you of someone no longer living, but that reminds you of that person in a positive way. And share why it is a special song in that way.

Since I am currently sitting here with fellow Pernell Roberts admirers, I would have to select a song that reminds me of him. An old English ballad called "Early One Morning" was one he sang on Bonanza as well as in a brief scene on Diagnosis Murder and recorded on a Bonanza cast album. In one of our last visits, we sang it together, giving me a lasting memory of a special time. To hear this song, check the YouTube recording of our local high school chorus - the Corona High School Madrigals - as they performed it in 2008.

Your turn - a song that reminds you of a special person, no longer living. It can be a listing of the lyrics, a link to the lyrics, an MP3, or a YouTube recording.


  1. I used to go to Grandma Gunders house and listen to her records. She had one that had a song that I memorized and loved for years. I even sang it to my own children. It always reminds me of summers at her house in California. I don't know quite why I loved it so much, but I always have.

    (Livingston & Evans)

    There once was a tiger, tiny little tiger
    Playing with his tiger toys
    But his nursemaid made him so afraid
    He didn't dare make a noise.
    What happened to the tiger, tiny little tiger
    Who never learned to roar
    He's just a mat, stretched out flat
    On somebody's bedroom floor.
    What we're saying is:
    Hey Jimmy Joe John Jim Jack
    Even little tigers lose their knack
    When somebody twice their size
    Can't see the world through children's eyes

    There once was a beagle, happy little beagle
    Following his tail around
    But his mother said ""Go straight to bed,
    And don't make a single sound""
    What happened to the beagle, happy little beagle
    Who never learned to bay -
    Some burglars came, and to his shame
    He turned tail and ran away
    What we're saying is:
    Hey Jimmy Joe John Jim Jack
    Even little beagles lose their knack
    When somebody twice their size
    Can't see the world through children's eyes

    There once was a bunny, fluffy little bunny
    Through the piney woods he'd roam
    But his father cried ""Come back inside
    A bunny belongs at home.""
    What happened to the bunny, fluffy little bunny
    Who never learned to hop
    Because the bunny couldn't hop
    He hangs in the butcher shop
    What we're saying is:
    Hey Jimmy Joe John Jim Jack
    Even little bunnies lose their knack
    When somebody twice their size
    Can't see the world through children's eyes

    Don't do this, don't do that,
    You might as well be a statue
    That's how children lose their spark
    But if grownups would take part in
    Things that children have their heart in,
    We'd never end up hiding in the dark.
    What we're saying is:
    Hey Jimmy Joe John Jim Jack
    When you have your own kids let them know
    Even though you're twice their size
    You see the world through children's eyes

    Copyright Livingston and Evans

  2. I remember that song on my favorite radio show in Chicago's. My whole family knew it. My mother enjoyed it a lot. Thanks for a great memory! I hadn't realized it was a Livingston & Evans (they wrote the Bonanza theme and Silver Bells).

  3. Jean, this song reminds me precisely Pernell, speaking of eyes, the look, was the first thing that impressed him, and that showed a sincere, good and transparent.
    Early in the morning is a very beautiful song, when you hear one of the chapters of Bonanza, and now I love my dad's learned on the piano, and my mom and I sing ...


    The first time ever I saw your face
    I thought the sun rose in your eyes
    And the moon and stars were the gifts you gave
    To the dark and the empty skies.

    and the first time ever I kissed your mouth
    I felt the earth move in my hands
    Like the trembling heart of a captive bird
    That was there at my command, my love.

    And the first time ever I lay with you
    I felt your heart so close to mine
    And I knew our joy would fill the earth
    And last and last and last till the end of time

    The first time ever I saw your face, your face,
    your face, your face

  4. I know it's not Christmas for another 11 months, but every time I hear or think of "Oh Holy Night" I remember my dad singing his heart out with verve.

    Ohhhhh Hohhhhh-ly Ni-et. The Stars are Brrrri-eeetly shi-eening
    It is the Ni-eeet of the dear Savior's birth.

    It was the stretching out of the vowels into two sounds (there's a word for this I can't recall) that just made all of us kids crack up. He laughed too, knowing he was being dramatic. I can see his face and laughter thought he's been gone for 21 years.


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