The After Dinner Magnet
We got home late from the kids' music lessons, 3 hours of back-to-back Suzuki lessons. Everyone's hungry. Huck wants to set up his new Hot Wheels Track; Gus wants to play a Lego game. Daddy was listening to Bruce Springsteen and the Seeger Sessions on the way home and is fooling around with Oklahoma Home. He asks if anyone else wants to play. I'm doing the dishes; the kids say no.
He plays it again. I'm done with the dishes and grab my mandolin. Gus gets his fiddle. Huck picks up his washboard and thimbles. They can't resist. They're drawn together like magnets. We meet up in the living room and attempt Oklahoma Home from the book. Bruce Springsteen plays it in E, we think. Gus grumbles about crazy keys and capos, so we try it in D. It works pretty well. We've got a new song and its a lot of fun. The kids are singing the backup harmonies. It may be a new favorite. We play a couple more and its time to put the kids to bed. That's it. Three songs after dinner.
Was it like this last year? No. Gus could hold down the melody, but generally played it too fast. Eric and I could only play a couple of chords, couldn't get the changes in the right place, and didn't sing. No way. Huck was 5. I insisted that we try it to play music together, and inevitably someone stomped away mad, or everyone did. But it was something that we believed in, so we kept trying, and we kept practicing. We practiced individually and together. We started singing together and playing two chord songs. Our first was Reuben's Train. It's a great tune. Its got a train. What more do you need? Our second was Crawdad Song. Its also a great tune. Its about fishing and its easy to write your own silly verses about Moses the cat (see below). We kept at it. It became easier, it became fun, and it became irresistible.
You get a line and I'll get a pole, babe
You get a line and I'll get a pole
And we'll go down to the crawdad hole
Honey, baby mine