Hey, Hoboman, Hey Dapper Dan
Did you know those were the words in the song, "You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile?" I just learned them this week as J has gotten into the whole "Annie" phenomenon. Yea for me. I now can sing along to the repetitive record in my head instead of just humming, "Hey, hmm hmm hmm, hey dodeedo, you both got your dumdedumdedum...." Now, not knowing the lyrics to a show tune is not usually something to blog about, but, you see, I have actually performed that song. Several times. As a kid, I was in a production of Annie, and played a ragamuffin orphan and various other ragamuffin extra parts. I was pretty young, and seriously had no clue what those words meant, regardless of the fact that I sang them, over and over. I remember my sisters and I talking about what those words could possibly mean. "Maybe they are just names of people." "Maybe a Hoboman is somebody who frowns a lot, and needs to smile." "What's a dapper?" I also didn't know what "Hey, Senator, hey, janitor" meant, either, but I probably couldn't even really pronounce those words, because I don't remember even bothering to ask their definitions. So much for clear diction on stage. But now I know! Woo-hoo! The mysteries of Annie have been unfolded to me. And this whole re-acquantiance with Annie has sparked all kinds of childhood memories. In examining the experience as an adult, I've come to this conclusion: Most of the time, kids are basically clueless. I mean that in the best sense, of course, but I think sometimes we as adults think kids get what is going on, and really, things are just way over their heads. Not a single director, choreographer, whatever bothered to wonder if the small kids singing about Main Street and Saville Row knew what the heck they were singing about (that one I did ask about, by the way), probably because a) they didn't have time to explain every little detail to all the 8 year olds on stage, and b) they probably didn't realize that those 8 year olds were, as I said before, clueless. There is, of course, the smallest, tiniest, itsy-bitsiest possibility that it was only I who was clueless, but my extensive research on the subject, which includes vital information gathering by watching the movie on repeat with my 4 year old, and then pondering my childhood memories in my pick up on my way to Home Depot, would suggest otherwise. These kinds of discoveries can be kind of fun, though. I've heard all kinds of stories about how people don't realize until adulthood that, say, the words to "I am a Child of God" do not include "And so my knees are gray." So let's remember to explain things a little better to our kids, and remember that even though they may pipe up with evidence of big ears, they are, for the most part, clueless. And 10,000 dollars goes to the first person who can tell me what a dapper really is.