Well, he’s actually Henry the First, but we’ve become a huge fan of Herman’s Hermits in our house. It’s a daily ritual to sing “Henry the 8th” to our own little Henry. Davey’s even learned all the verses, once even breaking into song at the grocery store when a lady asked Henry’s name. It melted my heart and we all got a good laugh out of it.
We used to sing a version of Davy Crockett to Davey when he was a baby, substituting different words in to fit our circumstances. We still sing it to him occasionally. I love doing that…taking old songs and turning them into songs to fit our daily life. For example, when trying to get Davey to potty train, I took the Four Seasons “Big Girls” and turned it into a little dity that made him laugh and even encouraged him to use the potty. I even went so far as to sing Frankie Valli’s high alto voice! I know!
These days music plays a huge role in our house. I try to encourage everything from classic rock and roll, to gospel and blue grass. I’ll even throw in the occasional Top 40 and Alternative (my favorite). What I’ve come to discover is that my second little man has an even bigger love for music than my first.
Henry can drop everything and bounce up and down on his knees, clapping rambunctiously when he hears a song. At times, he even pulls himself up into a standing position, arms stretched out in front of him as if he’s conducting his own orchestra, and starts bee-bopping away. I mean that literally, as today I heard him say, “bee bop”.
He’s become wonderful at keeping pace with a song even using his hands to tap out the beat on the table. What does this mean? Nothing more than my child has an amazing way with enjoying music. I don’t recall Davey getting as into it as Henry does. Davey is quick to memorize verses and entire songs, though. Of course, I couldn’t expect that from Henry right now.
I suppose what’s really tickled my fancy the most is how the other day I found Herman’s Hermits singing “Henry the 8th” on YouTube. Once I pushed play, Peter Noone’s (yes, I know you are all so surprised that a mere 39 year old knows this music…another post for another day) voice began bellowing out the infectious lyrics, “I’m Henry the 8th I am, Henry the 8th I am I am. I got married to the widow next door. She’s been married seven times before…” Henry’s face lit up, he laughed and pulled himself up into a standing position before clapping his hands and bouncing along to the song. Davey even managed to join in!
I take a somewhat non-traditional approach with my children. We don’t know a lot of nursery rhymes, but we do know a lot of Bible songs. We do listen to a lot of music every day. I like to incorporate modern takes with old classics especially with hymns I grew up on. For example, “It Is Well with My Soul” is a favorite. It’s one we can listen to sung as a hymn or a modern day Christian rock. We love Bob Seger, Lionel Richie, Darius Rucker, and George Strait. And not to be outdone by all the moms out there with little girls who seem love Taylor Swift, we do know all the words to “Shake it Off” and love to hit the replay button.
What about the rest of you? I’d love to know what gets your little ones moving and maybe you moving along with them. I’ve always said that I’d gladly give up a television for music. There’s so much more to the imagination, after all “Henry the 8th” could really be imagined in so many ways.