Song Lyric Sunday/Song of the Day: “Massachusetts”

Jim asked us to find a song that starts with the letter "M" or the letter "A", and I found one that starts with "MA."

The Bee Gees had a beautiful song called "Massachusetts." This ain’t it…

When I was growing up (hell, when most of us were growing up), there was a children’s show called Captain Kangaroo that ran every weekday morning (and for a while, a Saturday version). It was a typical kids’ show, with cartoons, songs, dances, stories, and puppets doing goofy things, but it was a little different: Bob Keeshan, who played the title character, was a gentle soul who talked to the audience in a quiet, calm manner. He had a friend named Mr. Green Jeans (played by Hugh "Lumpy" Brannum) who would play the guitar and sing and show the audience things about his farm. The Captain’s two puppet friends (and occasional nemeses) were Mr. Moose, who spoke in a falsetto voice and on certain days would drop ping-pong balls on the Captain, and Bunny Rabbit, who was always digging through the Captain’s spacious pockets (from whence his moniker comes) looking for carrots. Ironically, all the carrots (supposedly good for the eyes) didn’t keep Bunny Rabbit from needing glasses.

Other featured characters were Dancing Bear (puppeteer Cosmo Alligretti, in a bear suit), Grandfather Clock (who the kids had to wake up and who told stories in Mr. Green Jeans’s voice), the Banana Man (hard to explain), and The Magic Drawing Board, which would draw a picture or two while a song was playing (it was also Alligretti, standing behind a sheet of thin paper and drawing backwards so it appeared that it was drawing itself). One of those songs was "Massachusetts," and The MDB would draw a map of the state. The version of the song they played on the show sounds like it was recorded by Mitch Miller & The Gang, and of course I couldn’t find that one. However, I did find a video by a teacher named Patricia who lives in Portland, Oregon, who sings the song and accompanies herself. Take it away, Patricia…

Patricia was nice enough to transcribe the song (and provide guitar/ukulele chords) in the comments:

M A double S A C H U S E double T S
Now that’s the way you spell
A state that’s really swell
M A double S A C H U S E double T S
It’s friendly as can be
What hospitality!

Masssachusetts, Massachusetts
Visit it once and then
I’ll bet you all the beans in Boston
You’ll be back again!
To M A double S A C H U S E double T S
I know you’re gonna say it’s great!
Massachusetts my home state!

The scenery, the greenery
A pretty picture it will be
Mother Nature smiles for miles around
The hills and dales, the mountain trails
The lakes and rivers never fail
To make you want to settle down!

M A double S A C H U S E double T S
Now that’s the way you spell
A state that’s really swell
M A double S A C H U S E double T S
It’s friendly as can be
What hospitality!

Masssachusetts, Massachusetts
Visit it once and then
I’ll bet you all the beans in Boston
You’ll be back again!
To M A double S A C H U S E double T S
I know you’re gonna say it’s great!
Massachusetts my home
Massachusetts my home
Massachusetts my home state!
M- A- S- S- A- C- H- U- S- E- T- T- S!

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday and Song of the Day for January 10, 2021.

33 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday/Song of the Day: “Massachusetts”

  1. Wow, you really took me back on this one. I watched Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Green Jeans was my favorite character. Probably because he was “country”. I was a fan! Thanks for the trip down memory lane. 🙂

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    1. It was a great show. There was just enough anarchy and silliness to entertain kids, it had an educational aspect. While they did sell some products, they were either healthy snacks or toys that let a kid be creative (crayons or Colorforms) or give them exercise (Schwinn bicycles).

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        1. That’s become quite a hobby. Quite a few people are into coloring. The designs in the adult coloring books can be quite pretty when you color them in.

          Amazon has quite a few Colorforms sets, including the classic set from 1970. But I remember playing with them all the way back in the late ’50’s. That was a lot of fun…

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          1. For years, my parents couldn’t buy them because we were poor. In place of that when it wasn’t Christmastime, I couldn’t wait for the new Sears & Roebuck catalog to come so I could have last years book to cut out the models and play paper dolls. Life was so much simpler back then. I’d cut out those pages for hours each day for weeks. 🙂

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    1. That’s a beautiful song… I had originally thought to do it, then thought of this and was going to do both, and ultimately went with this because I remember the song from almost 60 years ago and hadn’t heard it in a while.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My grandfather taught me to spell Mississippi – ‘M I crooked letter crooked letter I crooked letter crooked letter I hump back hump back I’. I still think of him every time I see the word Mississippi. I do not remember the song you selected today, but I remember the show and Mr. Green Jeans very well.

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