Circles, Rounds, and Rounders #socs

Here’s a song about circles, which are round, courtesy of Ernie and Bert from Sesame Street.

Toward the end, they’re both singing different words to the same tune, which my father once told me is a fugue. I don’t know if that’s the correct word, but it sounds reasonable. A fugue isn’t a round, which everyone starting a song from the beginning at different times. The most frequently-used song to teach kids how to sing a round is “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”…

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream,
Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily
Life is but a dream!

The teacher usually breaks the class into three groups, which I’ll call A, B, and C. Group A starts the song, then when they reach the second line Group B starts the song, and when they in turn reach the second line Group C starts the song. This continues ad nauseum or until the bell rings.

We had slightly different lyrics:

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream,
Throw your teacher overboard
And listen to her scream!

There’s an expression in baseball that “it’s a round ball, and a round bat, and you have to hit it square.” I thought it was another Yogi-ism, but there doesn’t seem to be a consensus who started it. Ted Williams, who had no trouble hitting a round ball with a round bat squarely, is who I always heard, but other sources say Pete Rose or Willie Stargell did. Whoever said it, it’s true. Cricket players have a slightly easier time, because their bats are flat, but even then, it’s hard to hit it squarely. By the way, baseball’s roots are in the English game rounders…


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now this word from Eastern Airlines and your local travel agent.

23 thoughts on “Circles, Rounds, and Rounders #socs

  1. I always liked Bert and Ernie and found out later they were inspired by the cop and cabbie from the film It’s A Wonderful Life.” As for your version…that cracked me up and I wished I would have known that when I was in school. By the way, this weekend still gives me the shakes all due to school. How I hated that I knew I had to go back:)

    Like

    1. The way things are here, the kids have been back to school for a month already. They finish the Friday before Memorial Day (the last Monday in May), but still…

      This was the weekend where my mother would be busy looking at what school clothes we already had and deciding what had to be tossed, given away, or handed down. We went to Catholic school, so we all wore the same thing (light blue shirt, navy blue pants and tie, and a suit jacket), so that way Mom could go out and buy just what we needed. Suit jackets were usually handed down from a couple of older relatives who seemed to have quite a collection of them…

      Like

    2. Great stream, John. The kids (and by extension I) watched Sesame Street all the time. I do believe it taught them some things. Like your version of the row your boat song. Sounds like you were a real pistol in your youth! Happy Saturday.

      Like

  2. Aw, Sesame Street πŸ™‚
    I think of fugue in a more complicated way, musically, but I agree with your father, the best way to describe the end of that is with fugue. Nice SoCSing, John!

    Like

  3. I love singing rounds. It does cool things to the brain when you get the hang of it, like harmonizing. I never heard that screaming teacher version. Made me laugh.

    Like

You can use Markdown in your comments. Thanks for your comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s