Tuesday, February 23, 2010

When the pie was opened...

All right, here are the answers to the song game in the previous post. I expect each one of you to be singing one or more of the songs all day long (not on purpose, of course -- you just won’t be able to help it). It would have been nice if more of you had played, but that’s all right. I had a grand time all by myself.

1. My bonnie lies over the ocean
My bonnie lies over the sea,
My bonnie lies over the ocean,
Oh, bring back my bonnie to me.

2. Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam,
Where the deer and the antelope play,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the skies are not cloudy all day.
Home, home on the range...

3. My country, ’tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died;
Land of the pilgrims' pride;
From every mountain side,
Let freedom ring.

4. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord,
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored,
He has loosed the fateful lightning of his terrible swift sword,
His truth is marching on!
Glory, glory, Hallelujah!
Glofy, glory, Hallelujah!
Glory, glory, Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on!

5. Silent night, Holy night,
All is calm, All is bright
Round yon virgin, mother and child,
Holy infant, so tender and mild.
Sleep in heavenly peace;
Sleep in heavenly peace.

6. I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know,
Where the treetops glisten
And children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow.

7. Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.

8. Deck the halls with boughs of holly,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
’Tis the season to be jolly,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

9. Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday, dear ______,
Happy birthday to you!

10. Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
Forward into battle, see his banners go.

11. Swing low, sweet chariot,
Comin’ for to carry me home;
Swing low, sweet chariot,
Comin’ for to carry me home.

12. There’s a church in the valley by the wildwood,
No lovelier spot in the dale;
No place is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the vale.

13. Alouette, gentille Alouette,
Alouette, je te plumerai...

14. Adeste, fideles, laeti triumphantes,
Venite, venite in Bethlehem.

15. Oh, beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

16. (There is no number 16. I goofed.)

17. Ol’ man river, dat ol’ man river,
He must know sumpin’, but don’t say nuthin’,
He jus’ keeps rollin’, he keeps on rollin’ along.

18. Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb --
Mary had a little lamb; its fleece was white as snow.

19. Ding dong! merrily on high
In heav'n the bells are ringing:
Ding dong! verily the sky
Is riv'n with angel singing.
Glo-o-o-o-o-oria, Hosanna in excelsis!
Glo-o-o-o-o-oria, Hosanna in excelsis!

20. I dream of Jeannie with the light brown hair,
Borne like a vapor on the summer air...

Actually, I goofed twice. First, I left out number 16. I didn’t mean to leave it out. It just sort of happened. And I didn’t even notice the omission until I was writing this post. Secondly, I see now that I missed a perfect opportunity. If there had been 24 songs in the game, it would have fit so nicely with the post’s title, “Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye” (you know the rest: “Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie”).

Oh, well, live and learn. Hindsight is always 20/20.

Sharp-eyed readers may also note that I continued with the song in the title of today’s post, “When the pie was opened, the birds began to sing...”

Someone simply has to say it, and it might as well be moi:

Now, wasn’t that a dainty dish to set before the king?


  1. Why twenty four blackbirds? Is it because there are twenty four hours in a day? This is a very strange nursery rhyme whose origins are most unclear - trust you to highlight it!

  2. Lord Pudding, I found this very interesting piece. But you knew this already, of course, didn't you?

    Co-incidentally (or maybe not), the article was repeated practically verbatim in the Wikipedia article "Sing a song of sixpence"....

    I would like to promulgate a new theory. The twenty-four blackbirds do not represent the hours of a day at all. They represent the 24 elders in the New Testament book of Revelation who are probably the 12 Apostles (with St. Paul substituting for Judas Iscariot, I suppose) and the 12 tribes of Israel (that is, the 12 sons of Jacob, more or less). How's that for a theory?

  3. Fly in the ointment: How could the 24 elders around the throne in heaven (described in the book of Revelation) include the 12 apostles when one of the apostles, John, was still alive on earth and writing the book at the time?

  4. Woah, you only gave us a day for all that homework! 24 hours...more or less!