Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Words To Grow On

Flipping through the LPs at Donnell I came across a 1968 Folkways reissue of Woody Guthrie's Songs to Grow On. Guthrie's liner notes were (and still are) so relevant to Children's Services in the library and to raisin' up a young'un in general, I just had to share them with you. Dig:

Now, I don’t want to see you use my songs to divide nor split your family all apart. I mean, don’t just buy these records and take them home so your kids can play around with them while you go off and do something else. I want to see you join right in, do what your kids do. Let your kids teach you how to play and how to act these songs out. (These and a thousand other songs.) Get your whole family into the fun. Get papa. Get mama. Get brother. Get sister. Get aunty. Get uncle. Get grandma. Grampa. The friends. The neighbors. Everybody. But mostly get your own self into it.

Please, please, please, don’t read nor sing my songs like no lesson book, like no text for today. But, let them be a little key to sort of unlock and let down all of your old bars.

Watch the kids. Do like they do. Act like they act. Yell like they yell. Dance the way you see them dance. Sing like they sing. Work and rest the way the kids do.

You’ll be healthier. You’ll feel wealthier. You’ll talk wiser. You’ll go higher, do better and live longer here amongst us, if you’ll just only jump in here and swim around in these songs and do like the kids do.

I don’t want the kids to be grownup. I want to see the grown folks be kids.


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