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.


Blogger Em said...

Dapper is an adjective, not a noun (betcha knew that though) definition: 1. neat; trim; smart 2. lively and brisk 3. small and active.

8/23/2006 10:29:00 PM  
Blogger The Wiz said...

I just learned what "Beau Brummell-y" means. ("Your clothes may be, Beau Brummelly, they stand out a mile) Apparently it's after this 1800 English dude who is basically responsible for men's fashions today. (So blame him!)

Is there anything Wikipedia doesn't know?

Also, I am a Child of God, with parents "kind of dear" is my favorite kid's version of the Primary songs. Hat tip to my friend jamisue for that one.

8/23/2006 10:38:00 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

Do you remember the old army commercial w/the jingle of "be all that you can be"? a friend of mine thought it said "be, all the children be; in the army reserve!" so he was WAY into army for a while thinking that there was a kids army and how cool that would be!

8/23/2006 10:58:00 PM  
Blogger Starfoxy said...

I've always understood Dapper to have connotations similar to metrosexual.

My mom would also agree with your research. She has a habit of narrating movies to small children. It's annoying to whatever adults are there, but the kids quite obviously enjoy the movie so much more because they understand it better.

8/23/2006 11:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Sue said...

OH my gosh, I've so been there. My girls are 3 and 4 and they adore musicals and love to sing. They are SO enthusiastic but usually only can decipher about half of the words.

We were listening to Barbie Princess and The Pauper (does that even really qualify as a soundtrack?) yesterday, their current obsession, and instead of singing "When your spirit rides on the winds of hope, you'll find your wings" they were singing very enthusiastically "When your stirrup flies on the wings of hope, you'll find your things."

And when I tried to explain that the words, my 3 year old looked at me very pityingly as though I was just nuts and went back to singing it her way.

8/24/2006 12:44:00 AM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Oh, no! I loved my blessed innocence. I remember watching "Grease" with my friends ALL THE TIME when I was 12 and 13 and it wasn't until about 6 years later that I realized the whole darn thing was about s-e-x.. :)

Sometimes, ignorance is bliss.

However, knowing I was watching that, even in ignorance, I have decided I would much rather my children NOT watch things --especially if they are ignorant of the content.

Okay, sorry, I think I'm on a roll for going off the subject and vearing off it the wrong direction.

DH's favorite was "I belong to the Church of Cheese and Rice and Rattely Snakes" :)

8/24/2006 12:45:00 AM  
Blogger Erin Marie said...

My mom's friend had a son who would sing "With parents kind of weird" when he sang "I Am A Child of God". I sing it that way every once in awhile. And I will teach my kids that way, too. :-)

8/24/2006 01:00:00 AM  
Blogger Chrissie said...

Mmmm...I actually use the word dapper every now and again in my vocabulary. And I knew who Beau Brummel was. And I've been to Saville Row. I guess it's just cos I'm European?

I love "with parents kind of dear"...too funny!

I know as a teacher I'm always saying to the kids, "Do you know what that word means"...common words that we hear every day and take for granted, and 9 times out of 10 they actually don't really know.

8/24/2006 04:20:00 AM  
Blogger Cat said...

My husband always thought that "Give said the little stream" was "Give said the little string" and he always wondered how a string could give.....

8/24/2006 12:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Susan said...

I have tears streaming down my face, you all are so funny! Thanks for lighting up my day!

8/24/2006 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger Ender said...

In the movie, O Brother Where Art Thou, George Clooney (I forget who he played) always was saying "I'm a Dapper Dan man" He was using a hair product called Dapper Dad.

(So now em's comment makes the movie quote mean something more to me)

8/24/2006 01:43:00 PM  
Anonymous ola senor said...

When I was a kid - We used to sing "As I have loved you", and there was this line i never understood.

"By this Shalmano" I never knew what a shalmano was, i thought it might be like a sign or talisman or something. That is until I realized the line was "By this shall man know"

8/24/2006 02:08:00 PM  
Anonymous mimi said...

As young girl I remember singing, "and so my knees are gray". Being the thinker that I was, I came to the conclusion that if you pray a lot, your knees would be gray from being on them so much. This made perfect sense to me.

My husband grew up thinking the words to a hymn were, "Because I have been given much, I chew my skin." This song still grosses him out.

8/24/2006 02:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Eliza Rocxy said...

When I sang "Book of Mormon Stories" I wondered about the "lonesome welcome doll who wanted to be free." I pictured a Lamanite princess doll with long braids standing alone on the ramparts of a city looking out across the horizon toward the sea, waiting for the Nephites to come and rescue her.

8/24/2006 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger Inexperienced Dad said...

How funny! For me it was "and the handsome welcome dolls who wanted to be free."

I was much older than primary before I really paid attention to the words and realized what I was singing.

"Hey.... That can't be right...."

8/24/2006 03:09:00 PM  
Anonymous jamisue said...

actually Wiz, it was " . . . with parents kind of weird . . ." along with Book of Mormon Stories ending with, "given this land, if they live, right to sleep."

8/24/2006 03:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My little niece insists that the 13th article of faith includes the lines "chased by an elephant." She was so cute giving her testimony one week in primary, feeling so smart that she could quote that big long scripture, and clueless to why the adults starting smiling all at once.

8/24/2006 04:53:00 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

I second ola senor's comment with the "By this Shalmano" line. It took me a long time to figure that one out.

8/25/2006 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger Lindsey said...

Along with always singing "with parents kind of wierd," a must in my family, my sister thought that the end of the song said "teach me all that I'm a stew." My problem (that I remember) wasn't so much wrong words, but that the string of words didn't makes sense to me. In Home, Home on the Range, I couldn't figure out why seldom was a discouraging word. Then I figured it out (much later in life) that discouraging words were seldom heard, not that 'seldom' itself was considered discouraging.

8/29/2006 02:36:00 PM  
Blogger sarahbclark! said...

you guys are cracking me up! i'm a brand new reader and can't even remember how i got here. but the "cheese and rice and rattely snakes" line almost made me choke on my apple. (i can really only justify reading random blogs if i'm eating. maybe because i can consider it "me time"!)

i also grew up wondering what a "shalmeno" was!

12/15/2007 02:37:00 PM  

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