Unitarian Hymnal Sing-along

In which Kathryn attempts to sing a different song everyday from the Unitarian Universalist hymnal, 'Singing the Living Tradition'. Earlier posts are based on songs from the Reader's Digest songbooks she found at yard sales as a child, including: 'Reader's Digest Treasury of Best Loved Songs', 'Reader's Digest Family Songbook', and 'Reader's Digest Family Songbook of Faith and Joy'. Bonus Folk song material from: 'Folk Song USA', by John and Alan Lomax.

29 November 2005

"Bei Mir Bist Du Schon"

Made popular by the Andrews Sister, which is certainly how I know it. After playing this one on the piano today I got out the CD and played it for my daughter. We talked about when the Andrews Sisters were popular, looked at their pictures.

I'm always trying to give her context in history. 'The Andrews Sisters were singing in the forties, which is about ten years after your American Girl dolls stories take place [about a young child during the Depression]', or, 'This happened ten/twenty/two years before/after I was born.' When we read about other places we pull out a map to give context to where this place is in relation to where she knows: how far from the United States, from England where Great-Granddad lives, from Namibia where Grandpa visited? She wants to hear stories from my childhood, my husband's time growing up in Manchester, and this is all to put her own life into context: this is different, this is the same, this is where I come from. Her mental map is forming, and I want her to feel solidly placed in her world, while at the same time permitting the possibility of change and expansion of the map's boundaries.

Boundaries themselves are another form of context. If we help her to be very clear about her acceptable edges, and help her to be able to articulate these places, she then will know where you and I stand in her world. She will know when her boundaries are crossed, even if it takes a lot more experience to know what to do then. Yet another of life's lessons that I watch her struggling with, and have so little that is helpful to say. I'm grateful that my husband is often more articulate about some of these things, but I hope that I teach her by example as well, as she watches me struggle with pieces of my life.

And watching her parents deal with their own battles is yet another contextual lesson: her place and boundaries will be redefined again and again, by her own will, by the wind of the world interacting with the landscape of her life. I hope that our mindful presense gives her the belief that she will not be alone, or no more alone than anyone else at the center of their world.


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