Friday, April 26, 2013

Pity the Bus Driver

Curiously, as I was just a few moments ago, trimming my toenails, (shall we pause while you relish that picture?) the first few notes of a tune went thru my head. While that in and of itself is not too monumental, the tuned turned out to be Battle Hymn of the Republic. And perhaps that is not too difficult to imagine either, but my words to the tune were "Our bus driver has a belly full of beer."

We sang that once or twice when we went on school trips when I was a kid: not that we went on many in that era, but we did go on a few excursions. Strangely enough I never heard that sung on any school buses that I have been on since then. I  rode a school bus to school (where else?) for 4 years after moving from Montreal to the outskirts of Toronto, but I never heard the song. Mind you, when you take a school bus everyday, you are not giddy with excitement. And the song would get old really really quickly, doncha think?

As a teacher, I have also taken kids of fields trips of various durations, but I can't recall them bursting out into song — any sort of song. Mind you, they were mostly high school trips, and high schoolers have other possible mayhem to keep them occupied.

Why I began to hum and think of this after more than fifty years whilst trimming my toenails, I know not. My mind is a strange and frightful place. I don't drink much beer, and I haven't been on a school bus for almost 15 years — and then just for a one-day field trip.

5 comments:

Mara said...

Yes, the singing was mostly done by school children right up to about 12 years old. After that they probably think they are "too old" for those childish things. Although they would sing along to a tune on the radio though. Out of key of course and never the right words!

Lorna said...

I know why you did it---you wanted to plant that earwig of a song in our brains. For shame!

Donna said...

It's Common knowledge that if you trim your toenails it stimulates your brain stem hence the visions and memories....

WHAT? Well, MAYBE it does!Hahahaaa
hughugs

KGMom said...

Not words that I ever heard for that tune. I think it is a folk tune--and was also the tune to which "John Brown's Body" was sung.

Herewith what Wikipedia says: "The tune was written around 1856 by William Steffe. The first known lyrics were called "Canaan's Happy Shore" or "Brothers, Will You Meet Me?" and the song was sung as a campfire spiritual. The tune spread across the United States."

I can't find anything on Wikipedia about your toe-nail cutting association. ;-)

Mary Gilmour said...

Here's what my brain adds as words to that tune.


Queen's College colours we are wearing once again,
Soiled as they are by the battle and the rain,
Yet another victory to wipe away the stain!
So, Gaels, go in and win!

Chorus

Oilthigh na Banrighinn a' Bhanrighinn gu bràth!
Oilthigh na Banrighinn a' Bhanrighinn gu bràth!
Oilthigh na Banrighinn a' Bhanrighinn gu bràth!
Cha ghèill! Cha ghèill! Cha ghèill!