"Let's sing a shanty," LMH said to her sisters this morning. Because that's what all kids sit around and sing, right?
And so they did. Little Miss History, Timid Daughter and the Uber-Princess belted out The Drinking Gourd as solemnly, deeply, and loudly as three little white girls can.
"Follooooow...the dri inkin' goooourddd. Follooooooww...the dri inkin' gooourddd. The old man is a waitin' gonna carry you ta freedom..."
I laughed a moment to hear them sing such an unconventional song. But then I sobered up. I remembered the other night as we walked home from an evening program at school and the Uber-Princess looked up at the stars and asked me, "where is the Drinking Gourd, Mommy?".
She knows what it is, if not the significance of the song they sang today. We listen to this kind of music and we talk about it. They like to know. They like to learn. And so their daddy has been urging them to bring home the book from the school library about The Drinking Gourd so we can read it again.
I wanted to post a video of this song so you can get a feel for it, but none of the ones on YouTube match the version we know best. I was excited, however, to see one there with images of Graue Mill in Hinsdale - a local stop on the underground railroad near my childhood home. We need to go there sometime to flesh out that part of our country's history and underscore the meaning of this shanty my kids sing.
How about in your home? What kind of songs does your family sing?