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 15, 2023

Sunday Singalong - Oops!

 Who hasn't gone along in life, figuring all is well, only to discover (what was I thinking?) that the time for a promised post (or task, or - fill in the blank) slipped past almost unnoticed until, well, too late!? Oops.

Or maybe it's more like an expected outcome comes out . . . not as expected. It's easy to plan but those plans not written down, as some believe, are only dreams (and can disappear just as fast). OK, I wrote it down. On the calendar. At the right time & place. But you know those dreams . . . I think I slipped off for a quick nap and the plans were swallowed in a dream. Yeah, yeah . . . excuses, excuses. But I have a sneaking suspicion that very few folks were sitting around waiting for Singalong Sunday last week. (Obviously I wasn't!) I am repentant . . . and I am hoping to do better, but I am putting this into the right perspective . . . you see, I have a puppy. (Yes, that has been my excuse for almost everything since last April, but it's far more my reality than I ever expected it to be . . . is it possible that a puppy - and one almost 30# - can be harder to handle than the last time I had a puppy . . . that would be 15 years ago and I had a husband handling half the responsibility, and chewing and brushing and training and mopping up. Lots of "oops" with puppies!)

In fact, it seems as if "oops" has become more a mantra of late . . . but it's more what the dogs are saying to me! Besides the puppy, I have a senior dog who is dealing with arthritis, incontinence, and an insatiable appetite for naps. Oh, yes, and a puppy (who does not comprehend how exhausted are the old ones in his environment).

So, there's today's theme for the Sunday Singalong . . .  songs that express some sort of "oops" (a regrettable decision, a mistake, an unplanned ______ - fill in the blank, etc.). Songs are full of them. And they need not represent personal experience . . . it's much more fun to look at the mistakes of others (and, as our ancestors meant when they sang such songs to their children, take the advice or example as evidence of what NOT to do . . . thankfully, I don't know of any songs telling me why I shouldn't get a puppy . . . I have a book on that subject, though).

So, here's my offering. I enjoyed this song when I first heard it, probably around 1962 when this recording of the Chad Mitchell Trio's Bitter End concert album came out. I thought it was funny. And certainly nothing like reality. Then I got older and looked at people around me. Yup, people could choose to marry for money instead of love. Then I got older still and took a look around me at some of the adults in my world (yes, I was one, too, but resisting that with everything I had in me): Goodness, people sometimes had to replace failed body parts with artificial ones. That scared me, in some ways (still does). So while the song "The Unfortunate Man" was funny when I was a pre-teen; became a reality check in my early 20s; a cause for reflection as a middle-aged, working woman (and college re-entry student); and sad commentary as a senior, I still smile when I hear or sing it, and say a little prayer of thanks that the woman in the song in no way resembles me. Yay, me!

So, for a laugh, a reality check, a reflection, or a bit of sadness, check out the lyrics:


and the performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XP7gyyi-FV4

Hope the "oops" is good for some levity. We can all use that.

Share your Oops songs in the comments.  

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