I Must Have A Sign On My Head

I thought I’d share something that happened today. I had to drop in to Staines earlier to pick up a pair of Doc Marten shoes that I had resoled, so decided to take the bus. This was mostly so I wouldn’t have to fight for a parking space for what would essentially be a five minute stay.

On the way, a young mum brought a push chair onboard. She got the approximately three year old toddler in it out, and ushered him to the seat beside me. The child looked at me, looked back at mum, and then at me again until I nodded. That seemed to be his cue to scramble up.

He then began to chatter away about the journey, asking questions, and generally being a fearless observer of life around him, which included who I was and what I was doing.

Well, he was so inoffensive that I couldn’t be rude and ignore him. In addition there was a thought of reassuring his mother that I wasn’t some random menace, so I mentioned the library. This led to more questions, and an impromptu selection of Rhymetime songs. Singing The Wheels On The Bus, while actually on a bus definitely counts as one of the more surreal moments of the week…

Song and Dance Routine

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If I ever had any doubt about my abilities as a mimic, or at least of being able to carry a tune, they were laid to rest today during Rhymetime – the regular sing along we hold in the Children’s Library on Fridays.

Each of us working there has assembled a folder of nursery rhymes and traditional songs to sing at and with pre-nursery age children and their parents. We’ll often mix and match elements from each other’s files as we go, and that’s mostly to keep things fresh. Today I found a new song in one of the folders, which was the “Grumpy Pirate” song.

This is a cleaned up and child-friendly version of “Drunken Pirate”, and as none of the assembled parents were familiar with it, I told them they would know the tune and chorus and could join in where they could. Then I launched into it:

What Shall We Do With the Grumpy Pirate?

What shall we do with the grumpy pirate? What shall we do with the grumpy pirate? What shall we do with the grumpy pirate? Early in the morning.

Hooray and up she rises, Hooray and up she rises, Hooray and up she rises, Early in the morning.

Do a little jig and make him smile, Do a little jig and make him smile, Do a little jig and make him smile, Early in the morning.

Hooray and up she rises, Hooray and up she rises, Hooray and up she rises, Early in the morning.

Make him walk the plank till he starts to wobble, Make him walk the plank till he starts to wobble, Make him walk the plank till he starts to wobble, Early in the morning.

Hooray and up she rises, Hooray and up she rises, Hooray and up she rises, Early in the morning.

Tickle him till he starts to giggle, Tickle him till he starts to giggle, Tickle him till he starts to giggle, Early in the morning.

Hooray and up she rises, Hooray and up she rises, Hooray and up she rises, Early in the morning.

Now, quite without any conscious thought, my mind drifted to the last time I’d heard this tune, and my voice started to waver and morph into a broad West Country accent, similar to the singer of the Drunken Pirate shanty in Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag.

Well, that seemed to liven things up. The chorus could heard through the whole library and big grins appeared on everyone’s faces. I’m choosing to believe that was from enjoyment rather than ridicule. There was a flash of recognition from at least one dad there, though there’s no way to tell if that was from being a gamer or hearing the original version when growing up. Either way, we had fun, and that’s what counts.

For reference, here’s the Black Flag rendition