One of my fondest memories of my maternal grandmother is her singing. Now, there are some of you, I’m sure who are probably saying “Ahhh” and smiling with warm fuzzy memories of your own grandmother, right? While those of you who are family and knew Grandma well are thinking I’m off my rocker and probably should have my head examined! Grandma couldn’t sing. It’s kind of amazing that her daughters can sing so well. I love to hear my Mom sing…especially during the Holidays.
So why do I have such fond memories of Grandma singing (or “un-sing” as I’m sure some of my family are desperately wanting me to say)? Grandma was famous in our family for “singing” when contention would rear its ugly head. And with 24 (I think I counted right) grandkids, you can imagine how often that happened. Not that we’d have any kind of drag out, bloody nose type of fights. But we did have our fair share of disagreements and kid typical arguments. Grandma was good at getting us to cooperate and play nice. You’d be amazed at how fast we could shut up and clear a room when she’d start singing the first few words of a particular song. “Happy sings the little bird….” Truth be told, those are the only words I really remember. And I’m not even 100% sure of what the tune’s supposed to be. I thought I’d looked up the song before, but when I went looking to reference here, I had trouble finding it. Maybe Grandma didn’t really know the song herself, though it’s probably more likely that I’m remembering it wrong from all those years of fleeing the room. I did find one called Be Happy! from the LDS Children’s Songbook…and the tune does sound like it might be right.
Be happy like the little bird
On boughs beneath the blue;
Be happy, happy all day long,
And others will be too!
Be happy all day long!
Each day you’ll find it true
That he whose heart has joy and song
Gives joy to others too.
So, why such fond memories? It’s kind of funny how memories work. Grandma has been gone almost 11 and a half years now, and I know that for those last few years she was here she wasn’t really herself, but there are still times I miss her. I even miss that silly little song. It’s kind of amazing how something so little, like a song, can influence a childhood so greatly. And a child never really appreciates that, do they? If anyone had told me I’d someday look back and wish to hear Grandma singing “Happy sings the little bird…” , I’d probably have called them crazy (or at least thought it really hard and laughed myself silly). But there are times now that I wish I’d stayed in the room a little longer when Grandma started to sing.