Calling all DTRs and an Ear Worm Alert

This is my newsletter. I get to use it however I want. Traditionally a newsletter alert from me is sent out as a service to let my readers know that a new book is due out.  And that’s what this is. Sins of the Fathers, the latest Beaumont book, goes on sale in mass-market paperback on April 28. I’m not sure you’ll be able to go out and buy a copy. In some areas where buying tomato seeds isn’t allowed, maybe buying books for fun isn’t considered to be an essential purchase, either. I would argue with that, but what do I know?  In the meantime, please consider your local independent bookstores. They may not be open for walk-in business, but it’s a good bet that they’ll be able to ship a copy to you. So give them a call or check on their website for an e-mail address.

I loved writing Sins of the Fathers. It’s a tribute to all those grandparents out there who, for one reason or another, are spending their golden years lovingly raising their children’s children. Those people may be on the “endangered” list in this time of Covid 19, but they’re also my heroes, just like the people staffing hospitals and the clerks stocking shelves and running the cash registers at grocery stores. I hope my paperback fans enjoy reading the book as much as I enjoyed creating it. Within the first several pages, I was back in Beau’s world and in his
mindset—the more curmudgeonly the better.

But as I said, this is MY newsletter. And if I feel like having fun with it, there’s no law that says I can’t, so here goes.

I believe I’ve mentioned that there was a lot of singing in our family when I was growing up. Our father who couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket wasn’t involved, but the rest of us were. We sang on long road trips. We sang while we were doing the dishes. We sang while we were doing house work. In musicals, like Sound of Music, for instance, it didn’t seem the least bit odd that every once in a while people would break into song for no discernible reason.

Occasionally one or the other my siblings or cousins or nieces and nephews will awaken with a song in their head, and they often hit their keyboards and send out a group-grope email intended to infect the rest of us with the ear worm of the day which we’re automatically stuck singing and humming for the rest of the day … or the week, depending on how infectious the song happens to be.

Oh, mairzy doats and dozy doats and little lambsy divey
A kiddle  divey, too. Wouldn’t you?
Oh, mairzy doats and dozy doats and little lambsy divey
A kiddle divey, too. Wouldn’t you?
If the words sound queer and funny to your ear,
A little bit jumbled and jivey.
Say, “Mares eat oats and does eat oats
and little lambs eat ivy.”
Oh,mairz doats and dozy doats and little lambsy divey
A kiddle divey, too. Wouldn’t you?

There you go. Consider yourself infected! You’ll be stuck with this one for at least the next twenty-four hours. There is no cure.

This last weekend, out of desperation we ended up watching one of the many Mission Impossible movies on TV. For the record, we were pretty much desperate. That’s our excuse. And the whole time, I kept wondering whatever happened to Cinnamon. In the old Mission Impossible TV show, she was always my favorite character, but I digress.

I didn’t bother paying all that much attention to the story because the stories are pretty much all the same. What I did enjoy was the scenery. A lot of the non-stop action took place in Paris, and I enjoyed revisiting it. The movie took both Bill and me back to our several trips to Paris—the scenes along the Seine, the narrow shop-studded streets, the tunnels, I especially enjoyed the car chase where a guy on a speeding motorcycle escaped by going the wrong way in that astonishing Parisian round-about, Le’toile. On one of our trips, Bill and I sat in a sidewalk café watching that amazing traffic nightmare for hours on end.

But what I mostly paid attention to was the music.  All you have to hear is the first few notes of the theme song, and you know you’re signing on for a Mission Impossible adventure. And that made me think of some of the other readily recognizable music from those old television series. Just a couple of notes and you know you’re hearing the theme to Bonanza or Johnny Yuma or Have Gun Will Travel or Star Trek or Voyager. They don’t make theme music the way they used to anymore. A vocal with someone murmuring unintelligible lyrics to a forgettable tune just doesn’t do it for me.

So yes, take me back to the old days—to Perry Como and Rosemary Clooney and Patsy Cline and Gentleman Jim Reeves. Does that mean, I’m officially old? I guess I am.

And lucky to be so.

50 thoughts on “Calling all DTRs and an Ear Worm Alert

  1. Good morning and thanks for this post. Music and memories. I remember my grandmother greeting our family with a wide smile when we drove up singing. Our singing meant that her son was having a good day. He and my mom didn’t have many happy day’s when they were living through the 1950’s. I hadn’t ordered Sins of the Fathers but it is ordered now. My husband and I were blessed to be very involved in our granddaughter’s lives. Memories of our dropping her baby in her dad’s lap make me smile. She told him often that he would be as close with her daughters as he was with her. She won, we all won. Hoping you and Bill find something that you can enjoy today.

    • I will have a song pop up by conversation, or the radio thing they play at the big grocery/drug stores. The sad part of those songs, is that I worked with ‘kids’ I was old enough to be their Mother or even Grandmother. They knew none of the songs, just mumbled something about Micki’s old. Then I worked in some stores with a lady who knew the words!!! It was fun!!!
      It must have been a blast with all your family doing that!!
      Take care you two…Covid19 is the pits.. stuck in the house for a full week…. even the dog was getting bored…

  2. First of all, that tune will never get stuck in my head. Second of all, after reading this newsletter I now picture you standing on your front porch, shaking your fist, and yelling “You kids get off my lawn!”. I am just waiting for you to regal us with tales of walking to school 5 miles in the snow uphill both way.

  3. If you are looking for a good movie, I recommend The Farewell! Very good movie and follows your theme of the importance of grandparents in a child’s life. Be sure to watch through the credits to see how the story turns out! We watched it on Amazon but there our probably other streaming services that carry it as well. My husband and I who became great grandparents this year, enjoyed it.

    • Who whizzed in your cereal this morning?? You have obviously never met the lady.She likes dogs. Ergo, she can’t be all bad.

    • For the record. It was actually .75 miles from our house to Greenway School with three up and down hills. No snow. No rattlesnakes! And no front lawn, either.

    • My son who is in his 30’s is feeling like everything he grew up on is irrelevant. He’s learning he’s not part of that 18-20 demographic that marketers seem to love. I usually tell him how do you think feel when most of the artists I grew up with are getting really old or have died.
      But he is starting to appreciate 60’s and 70s music, especially the Beatles. We also go to a lot of heavy metal shows together.

  4. I love all the songs and singers from the past, too. Before the lockdown I belonged to a group called Social Singers. We met at an “active adult” center and sang songs from the early 1900’s through early 1970’s. No need for special talent, just fun and singing along with the words on a screen with the music provided by two former music teachers.

  5. Thank goodness most of the good stuff was recorded. The current genre is not memorable and no one takes movies or prints out pictures to share. With but few exceptions, that is.

  6. Love your newsletter. Yes,I AM singing
    Mares eat oats,as I learned it!! I am in your era of life and love the same entertainers as you,still.
    Thank you for visiting me today.
    A loyal fan,

  7. I too sign along with songs. I don’t have a great singing voice; but I love to sing. I think I’m the best car singer ever LOL.
    Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
    Prayers you , Bill and your family are all healthy and safe!

  8. Yes, I am old, too, and honored to have the privilege of being so. As for singing, I love recalling how my mom always sang around the house. 5 kids and my dad, none of us ever sang at home. Now, when I can visit one sister who lives far away, I am intrigued that she hums or sings to herself most of the time. She suffers from depression and rarely is happy. My loving husband, Frank, awakes every morning either singing or whistling. Thanks, Judy, for bringing back memories and reminding me to enjoy every day of these “golden” years.

  9. I learned this song when I was about 8 years old and I still catch myself singing it to myself once in a while. What a great memory. Thank you!

  10. My fatber used to sing tbat to.rile my mother up. Her name was Iva and she hated the nickname Ivy!m

  11. Thank you for the ear worm for today. Hadn’t heard it in years!!! And for the reminder of the great theme songs. I still love the original Hawaii Five O song.

  12. Old is a state of mind. You live in the state of Washington. No connection. I can tell by your writing that you think young. BTW … I’m in the process of rereading all my Joanna Brady books. Working on Field of Bones right now.

  13. My favorite from long ago…Mairsy doats and dozy doats…..
    Used to roller skate on our sidewalk, striding in rhythm to the beat as I sang loudly, and not very tunefully to the playful words. How fun you chose to share the words with us today!!!

  14. Yes. I heard and sang ‘Oh, mairzy doats and dozy doats and little lambsy diveyA kiddle divey, too. Wouldn’t you?’
    We listened to the radio until I was around 8 years old and it was often sung. I also listen to inappropriate mystery programs for a kid my age but it was on because my mom was always working on a project late at night and Inner Sanctum was along with others. Now I have to search for older shows I liked on TV and sometimes have to buy ‘seasons’ so I can watch intelligent drama mysteries.
    I just watched a couple of episodes of The Legend of Wyatt Earp with Hugh O’Brien. Good theme song there, too. It was just as good as I remember it.

  15. Thank you for the trip back in time. I can just hear my mom and aunt singing Mairzy Doats. It was nearly always followed by Ragtime Cowboy Joe, which was my personal favorite. Precious memories.

  16. Oh, wow! I LOVED Mairsy doats when I was a kid!!! There’s another one you may (or may not remember–I am, after, about six years older than you!) It was Three Liddle Fiddies – Three little fiddies in an itty bitty pool; three little fiddies and the mama fiddy too. “Fim,” said the Mama Fiddy, “Fim, if you can!” And they fam and they fam right over da dam.

    I really love the old, “musical” stuff–not the yelling and eardrum breaking noise!

  17. Thanks for the memories. My mom taught my son mairzy doats and some of the other old ear worm songs when she came to live with us and he was about 8 years old.

  18. There’s a cure for ear worms. I kid you not. Google will find anything you want to know. And more!
    Once, for a month, I listed the “morning songs” in my head. Surprisingly many were hymns we’d sung so often in church. Now they’re doing what we’re calling the 7/11s.
    7 words sung 11 times. The hymns had great meaning for a lifetime.

  19. I also miss great music. Recently I watched DVDs from the Midnight Special, which ran in the early 70’s to the early 80’s with Wolfman Jack. The soul groups like the Spinners, the OJays, and the Ohio Players. The choreography, costumes and the music were amazing. Today it seems so called musicians try to do gross and discussing stuff to get attention.

    And comedians. I loved Red Skelton. He was genuinely funny and did not drop the f bomb every 5 seconds. Around the time of the Apollo landings there was an intro where little moon men would dance around to the tune of manamana. I have been trying to find this on you tube with no luck.

    So I guess I am in the old category. I love my records. Amazon Music give me access to it while I am away from home. I am considered essential so I have been at work this time supporting people working from home. I work at WSU and I am hearing they may open the university to in person classes thus August. Looking forward to being back to normal.

    • I found a reference to it:
      “Mah Nà Mah Nà” first gained popularity in English-speaking countries from its use in a recurring blackout sketch for the 1969-70 season of The Red Skelton Show first airing in October 1969.

  20. Yes I know of the muppet version. Apollo 11 landed in July, 1969. So I am guessing the song’s intro had to have happend that fall, maybe later.

    The intro may have used the moon buggy, which was used in 1971 and 72. Maybe I will have to do some more looking

  21. I really enjoyed this posting today – and glad to read that other families sang as we did – not necessarily good but with gusto! And yes, I’m now humming that tune. I jumped in the shower after reading your post and it started there and has continued with me today. There is something quite satisfying about old movies and TV shows as well as singers. Very comforting now to curl up and watch them.

  22. You’ve got on my superpower! I can’t remember what we had for dinner, but I can sing every word to old TV theme songs. Once, while having my teeth cleaned, I would hum party of a theme song and the hygienist would guess the show. It was hilarious!

    My sisters, our kids and grandkids, will all occasionally share an earworm with the flock, also.

    Recently, on the fifth anniversary of our mother’s trip to heaven, I sent my sisters and the flock two voicemail recordings of mom’s voice that I was able to save from an older phone, along with a sweet picture from her last few months. She’s used to sing us the song you shared. One of my old favorites is…

    I’m gonna dance with the dolly
    with the hole in her stockin’
    And her knees keep a knockin’
    And her toes keep a rockin’.
    Gonna dance with the dolly
    with the hole in her stockin’.
    Gonna dance by the light o’ the moon.
    Momma, momma, put the cat out tonight…

    When that one finished, we went right into…
    I’ve been working on the railroad…

    Followed by…
    Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah..

  23. And your Hit Parade and Dorothy Collins (the wife) and the Lone Ranger and Tonto (Saturdays on TV). Someone in grade school knew I loved him. . .sent me a card that he was going to be at the local movie theatre and wanted to meet me. . Yeah, even as young as I was. . .I didn’t fall for it. Blessings, Janet

  24. While traveling through Santa Rosa,NM, a few years ago, we saw signs advertising BOZO for mayor. We mentioned this to someone thinking it was a joke. Turns out that is the early ’50s his family had the only TV in town and all the kids would go to his house and watch BOZO the clown on Saturday mornings. He got the nickname from this and even though he was in his 60s and a very successful business man, he still went by BOZO.
    Watching TV now I think back to our first TV with the snow and fuzzy picture and losing the vertical or horizontal hold when a tube went out. Now we have a 55″ HDTV smart TV with unlimited channels streaming all with perfect color and clear crisp reception. With digital TV over the air channels don’t have just one channel (like channel 16). Now we have channel 16.1, 16.2,16.3, etc.


  25. So glad you mentioned Parry Como. He’s my all time favorite, and after meeting him and shaking his hand (which I didn’t wash for days!), I was in 7th heaven. Still look at his autograph and remember his warmth, his smile, and his goodness.

    As far as theme music is concerned, in addition to Mission:Impossible, another easily recognizable tune is Hawaii 50. Duh, duh, duh, da, da….

  26. And isn’t it wonderful that we old enough to remember great like Perry Como, Rosemary Clooney and Patsy Cline and others.

    I love the MI movies but mainly because I’m a huge Tom Cruise fan.

  27. On a recent afternoon during our stay-at-home mandate I asked Alexa to play Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Pat Boone. Remembering the familiar songs I had a great sing-along.

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