Sunday, December 17, 2006
Who co-opted whom?
Lately, OmegaDotter has been serenading me in the car as we whiz around from place to place. On the way down the hill to see the Nutcracker with OmegaGranny, she favored me with an array of Christmas carols (Jingle Bells, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Joy to the World, Rudolph the Rez-Nosed Reindeer--yes, he's "rez-nosed", not "red-nosed"), then the old standbys (Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, I'm Looking at a Little Bumblebee, the Alphabet Song), and then segued into her latest: I may never MARCH with the infantry RIDE with the cavalry SHOOT with the artillery I may never FLY over the enemy But I'm in the Lord's ar-MEEE! Ahem. When I was growing up, I learned this song as: Great green gobs of Greasy, grimy gopher guts! Mutilated monkey meat! Little dirty birdie's feet! Great green gobs of Greasy, grimy gopher guts! Gee, ma, I want some more! Setting aside the insidious earworm-ishness of the song being applied to religious propaganda, my question is: Who co-opted whom? Was the "Lord's Army" first? Or "Greasy, grimy gopher guts"? These are the questions that occupy my mind while driving down the highway. The Nutcracker was splendid. We were surrounded by fifty kazillion little girls in gorgeous holiday dresses. Most of them red in one way or another. The dancing was beautiful, the music fun. OmegaDotter lasted through the entire performance, though her commentary at the end was, "It was too long!" There were scary parts. Bangs and booms as Herr Drosselmeyer played his magic tricks. A phalanx of creepy red rats' eyes beamed onto the walls via magical theatre lighting. The sword fight with the rat king (though this choreography had Clara doing in the rat king with a giant mousetrap, hurrah for feminism!). OmegaDotter hid her head in my shoulder during these events, and continues to comment on the scary rats' eyes today. Today is Great Grandma's 103rd birthday party. She's still going strong, though her short-term memory is now dribbling away, and we find ourselves responding to the same questions and comments many times during a visit. But she's still sharp as a tack otherwise, plays Scrabble with OmegaGranny, dresses up for Halloween (and wins prizes for creativity!), and looks like we might actually be able to celebrate her 104th next year, after all.