Thursday, September 08, 2011

The Numbers Song

Category: Poetry/Lyrics

(Here’s a song that used to be popular back in early 80s when we were first-graders. I am translating it from Pashtu literally as the sequence plays in my mind.)

1 and 2 were fighting
3 was standing, watching
4 rushed to tell 5
6 was fixed
7 started shivering
8 started dancing
9 was made the watchman
10 was made the sweeper

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Old Comments

  • First grade?  Sheesh - it’s pretty dark, but then again so are many of the fairy tales and mother goose poems that captured my fascination when I was a small child.  I think it’s great - present dangerous ideas to small children in safe environments so that they can learn that bad things happen, and if/when the do, survival is still possible.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/09  at  07:38 AM
  • Stretch, you are right, except that you are just underestimating kids. You know first-graders alreday have had their “star wars” with siblings and next door kids before they enter school. So these dark poems and tales are not that novel an enterprise for them. smile

    Oh I forsgot to mention that an older version of this song (still sung by some in their 80s now) has Pashtu/Arabic alphabets as characters instead of numbers.

    Posted by Prometheus  on  09/09  at  10:09 AM
  • Thanks Prometheus, but I’m not sure how I can be judged as wrong, since I did not estimate children at all, neither under nor over.  I simply stated that exposure to dark matter is good for them when they are in a safe environment. Now too much star wars - yikes - anything that limits imagination gives me troubles.  Let them hear about it, in whatever forms they need or is as wanted, but a constant barrage of movies for little kids (I think) puts stopples on a child’s imagination. 

    Did you hae a certain trail you wanted your readers to go down? You might consider giving a clue to it.  It was only after I read your reply to my comment that I learned you have something specific in mind and I might not have heard it.  Clearly, if you translate from Pashtu to English for presenting this piece, you may consider different cultural norms present.  You may have a flavor associated with this piece that those not aculturated to it cannot possible appreciate.
    But give a clue, I’m ready to run down almost any rabbit hole.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/09  at  11:26 AM
  • Actually, in Pashtu, it was a light/humorous item to spark a child’s imagination about numbers. smile

    Posted by Prometheus  on  09/09  at  01:09 PM
  • Ha!  Then it is my own dark thoguhts that have colored that!  Oh how telling. :/

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/09  at  01:11 PM
  • we never stop discovering our thoughts. Yours is no exception! smile

    Posted by Prometheus  on  09/09  at  01:18 PM
  • I really like this song “The numbers song”. Yap this song is pretty popular back in 80s time. Anyway thanks for allocating your thoughts with us smile
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    Posted by minapolard  on  09/11  at  09:13 AM
  • Your song reminded me of this story by Jorge Luis Borges: http://evans-experientialism.freewebspace.com/borges.htm

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/17  at  12:42 AM
  • Funny. It reminds me of Congress on C-Span.

    Posted by deminizer  on  09/23  at  10:07 AM
  • I think the poem is great.  Not sure what to make of the ensuing dialogue.

    When I think back to Mother Goose, it was pretty gory I think; but as I recall I was not impressed by the gore as I was being told these stories in a cuddly atmosphere.  In retrospect it is a bit weird but maybe they were life lessons of some kind.  You go to the cupboard and there’s nothing there.  Don’t panic!  It’s happened before.  Wolves at the door?  Build a brick house!  If you think about some of them, though, it’s just depressing.  Jack and Jill just fell down and that’s about it.  But somehow none of us is dead so I suppose these little parables can’t be lethal.

    Posted by julianyway  on  10/30  at  08:26 AM
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