10.04.2007

Forbidden Songs!

Every camp has something that is forbidden.

My old camp had a ghost story about an ax-wielding psychotic named Stumpy. Back in the "old days," this was common fare for camp fires of any shape or size. When I took the reigns, though, it became forbidden - for several reasons. The story was incredibly inappropriate - especially for younger campers. I didn't want kids refusing to come back to camp because of fear... The main reason, though, was to keep Stumpy alive.

Wow. Crazy, huh? By forbidding something - EVEN with staff - it is immortalized. There never was as huge a collective curiosity in Stumpy than when everyone knew he was not allowed. Add in the fact that no one really knows the story (like I do) and you have a very powerful tool at your disposal...

I digress.

There are some forbidden songs... At many camps, "Titanic" is not allowed. I receive many a comment about "The Princess Pat" and it's basis (backtrack on the blog and you'll get a history lesson) and of course there are the gross objectors > namely "Great Green Gobs," "Baby Bumblebee" and classically the "Pick your nose" verse of "Wishy Washy Washer Woman."

These are simply objections, though (oh yeah... "Baby Shark"... that always raises some controversy). Unbelievably, we (as in camp-song aficionados) know of many more songs that have been simply forbidden!

Here's one:

"The Prettiest Girl" [same as "Littlest Worm" with line repeats]

The prettiest girl
I ever saw
Was sippin' ciii-
Der through a straw

The prettiest girl I ever saw
Was sippin' cider through a straw

I told that gal
I didn't see how
She sipped that ciii-
Der through a straw

I told that gal I didn't see how
She sipped that cider through a straw

Then cheek to cheek
And jaw to jaw
We sipped that ciii-
Der through a straw

Then cheek to cheek and jaw to jaw
We sipped that cider through a straw

And now and then
That straw would slip
And I'd sip some ciii-
Der from her lip

And now and then that straw would slip
And I'd sip some cider from her lip

And now I've got
A mother-in-law
From sippin' ciii-
Der through a straw

And now I've got a mother-in-law
From sippin' cider through a straw

The moral of
This little tale
Is to sip your ciii-
Der through a pail

The moral of this little tale
Is to sip your cider through a pail!


^^^ Someone at work sang that for me today!

...and I have a faint recollection of this next song which was just requested via email... Needless to say, both of these songs would have some parents yelling ;-)

The Boy and his Canoe

Just a boy and a girl in a little canoe
With the moon shining all around
As he glides his paddle
You couldn't even hear a sound

And they talked and they talked
Till the moon grew dim
He said you better kiss me
Or get out and swim

So what you gonna do in a little canoe
With the moon shinin' all a-
Boats floatin all a-
Girls swimmin' all a rou-oun-ound!

3 comments:

Lisa said...

Okay, first of all, I was recommended to your blog and I LOVE IT. My husband and I met at camp 10 years ago. Now 3 kids later we are teaching those songs and skits to our kids.

Anyway, I digress.

There's one song that was forbidden at our camp. It's actually an old boy scout camp song (my hubby was also a boy scout) that was "Waded in the Water". Went against the christian values of our camp :)

She waded in the water and she got her feet wet,
she waded in the water and she got her feet wet,
she waded in the water and she got her feet wet,
but she didn't get her *clap, clap* wet.

Go on up the body.

Last verse.


She waded in the water and she got finally got it wet,
She waded in the water and she got finally got it wet,
She waded in the water and she got finally got it wet,
She finally got her *bathing suit* wet!

Sorry for the long reply. I'm so blog-rolling you. Love the blog. Keep it up. You may also want to check out www.heroworkshop.wordpress.com Great site about teaching kids how to find the heroes within themselves. Started by another camp director :)

Elizabeth said...

I'm a Girl Scout trainer and love training songs workshops. And I miss working camp (day and resident) like crazy. There are always songs that are of iffy character, but I personally STILL feel that the parents need to suck it up and deal. "Fun" doesn't always equal "clean and wholesome". Example:

Brown squirrel, brown squirrel/Shake your bushy tail (x2)
Wrinkle up your little nose/Put a nut between your toes
Brown squirrel, brown squirrel/Shake your bushy tail

Dead squirrel, dead squirrel/Touched the power line (x2)
Why he did it no one knows/Barbecued his little toes
Dead squirrel, dead squirrel/Touched the power line

There's also Pink Pajamas, God Bless My Underwear, I Wish I Were (which has several PG13 verses), Tom the Toad...and inevitably the ones with questionable lyrics are the ones that the kids LOVE and the staff has the most fun singing.

(I'm happy to send lyrics on to any of these you'd like if you're not familiar with them. Do you know the Hawaiian Punch song?)

And completely unrelated to this post, I trained the Hippopotamus Song at my last training event, and it was a hit.

Hypothetically, how would you feel about hiring a staffer with a child attending your camp? My son's currently 3, and when he's a little older, I'd thought about going back. However, I'm already "too old" to be a counselor, since I've not been traditional college aged in a decade. I guess two issues fall in there--the age and the child. I wouldn't want to work with my son at camp, but I can see working as a girls' counselor or an activity counselor while he did his thing with the boys. Thoughts?

I, too, apologize for the long reply. Camp is something that just snags your heart and your passion, and for me, the songs are such a huge part of that, that I can't possibly be quiet or shortwinded about it. :)

InvisibleSilence said...

Can you please send me the lyrics to Pink Pajamas, God Bless My Underwear, I Wish I Were, and Tom the Toad? I wanna know haha

And how do you sing those other songs?