Thursday, March 29, 2007

Sing me a song

When my son was little we began singing him songs at night before bedtime. My wife would handle the bulk of the singing, but I would get my turn on occasion as well and it soon became apparent that my song repertoire was pathetically shallow. For someone who loves music as much as I do and has such an extensive record/CD collection, I seem to have committed to memory the full lyrics of very few songs. I know about a dozen Christmas carols, but you obviously can’t sing those year round. I also know the standard patriotic anthems (Star Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful), college fight songs (Aggie War Hymn) and an assortment of Mother Goose tunes. But after that it gets to be slim pickings. I know the full lyrics to Hank Williams’ “Lovesick Blues” and The Beatles’ “Rocky Raccoon,” but after that I have just bits and pieces of song fragments in my head. At first you can get away with singing just what you know and then faking the rest, but after awhile the kid starts to catch on and corrects you when you don’t sing it the same way from one night to the next.
So I was thrilled when my inlaws bought me a book a while back with the lyrics to more than 100 classic American folk tunes. I was able to bone up on a number of songs from that collection adding “Big Rock Candy Mountain,” “Camptown Races,” “Home On the Range,” “Blue Tail Fly (Jimmy Crack Corn)” and “Yankee Doodle Dandy” and a number of others to my staple. But I’m still looking for more and recently I began trying to learn some of the Disney classics. When I was little I had the soundtrack to Walt Disney’s “Dumbo” and I recently took that record and transferred it to CD. “Pink Elephants on Parade” and “When I See an Elephant Fly” are both favorites now after my son listened to the record a number of times, but he also began requesting the stork song - “Look Our For Mr. Stork.” So I set out to find the full lyrics recently on the Internet and to my surprise found that they were not available — at least not in English. I did find the lyrics in Japanese. Fortunately, the new Dumbo DVD which I recently purchased has the lyrics transcribed in a special music extra feature, so I copied it down and now for the first time presumably I will make them available on the Internet:

Look Out For Mr. Stork from Disney’s Dumbo (1941)

Look out for Mr. Stork
That persevering chap
To come along and drop
A bundle in your lap
You may be poor or rich
It doesn’t matter which
Millionaires, they get theirs
Like the butcher and the baker
So look out for Mr. Stork
And let me tell you friend
Don’t try to get away
He’ll find you in the end
He’ll spot you out in China
Or he’ll fly to County Cork
So You’d better look out for Mr. Stork.

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