Wednesday, March 17, 2010

There in the Highlands

Sometimes I wonder if I subconsciously live my life in such a way so that my experiences make for perfect blog posts. Especially during Midwinter Musical Madness.

So, Sunday morning, I was going about my business, doing my usual thing, leading the singing with the primary kids. They weren't as in to the whole thing as I wanted them to be, and I told them that I wanted them to sing better on the next song. Specifically, I said something along the lines of:

"Now, you all sang that last song at about a four. I want you to sing this next song at an eight. I mean, I'd love it if you'd sing it at a ten, I'd be so happy if you did that, that I'd do a little jig right here. But, I'll settle for an eight."

(That might have been a mistake.)

After a little bit of discussion, we went ahead and sang the song. They gave me an effort of about seven and a half. Definitely better than four. I cut my losses and we moved on. One of the kids asked why I wasn't doing a jig. I told him that I would only do a jig if they gave me an effort of ten. He asked if they could try again. I said no. All the kids started groaning and pleading and cajoling me. I said maybe they could try again a little later.

(Again, probably a mistake.)

I told them a riveting story of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and the twelve tribes of Israel, and we learned the fourth verse of the song, Follow the Prophet. They did okay. We were running out of time, and so I told them that we were going to sing through the song, all the verses we knew, and that would be it for singing time for the day. The same little boy asked if they could try for the jig again. I cursed inwardly (not really) as I had been hoping that they had forgotten about the jig.

I said okay, but I told them that to get the jig, they were going to have to do a really good job, that I wasn't about to make a complete fool of myself for some half-hearted effort on their part. Specifically, I said that every single child had to sing the whole song, and that every single child had had to sing it like they meant it. There could be no arm-folding, or chin-in-the-cupped-handing, or eye-rolling, or yawning, or anything like that. They needed to sing it with all their hearts--the whole (really long) song--all five verses that we had learned.

I told them that I wasn't planning to have to dance, and truthfully, I wasn't. There are a few boys in that group that are waaaay too cool to sing, and there are a few girls who aren't all that excited about singing either. Generally if I can get 75% of the kids following me, I feel pretty good about myself.

We appointed our Primary President (who is even more hard-nosed than I am) to be the judge, and we sang the song.

They were amaaaa-zing.

And that my friends, is how I happened to be doing the Highland Fling earlier this week for the first time in at least twenty-five years.

quirky 3-10

(Those hundreds of dollars in dance class tuition finally paid off, mom. )

* * *

And now-for a bit of Midwinter Musical Madness Business:

As Harmony so eloquently put it, all good things must come to an end, and Midwinter Musical Madness too, must draw to a close. It's okay though, because let's be honest, we'd all rather have spring anyway, right?

So, anyway, we're going to end MMM this year the same way we did last year, with a lightening round. If you're new to MMM this year, or just want a refresher, you can click here and read the rules, etc.,

There will be a few more regular musical posts here over the next week or so, and then on Thursday, March 25, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. we will have our lightening round. Shortly after that, I will declare a winner!

Good luck champions!

7 points for the name of the song

5 points for the name of the musical

5 points for giving the name of the song (from the same musical) that I occasionally sing to our daughter at bedtime, primarily because it features her name so prominently

4 points for knowing what age it is (according to this musical) that many girls will try to get married before (I missed it by several years).

Other points awarded by whim

[Highland Dance image courtesy
wikimedia commons]


Melissa said...

So I have never heard this musical before but I know Brigadoon takes place in the highlands because I had a friend that was in the play in college. So that is my guess on the musical.

Melissa said...

age 12

Kami Willis said...

I think it is hilarious that you dance a jig in primary and I am incredibly impressed that you know how to dance a jig, because I wouldn't have had a clue.

I have no idea what song this is but, I think you told me once that you sing "The Heather on the Hill" from Brigadoon to Heather sometimes and the lyric mentions the highlands so I'm going to guess that the song is from that musical.

Can I guess 2 ages because although I saw this musical once long ago I can't remember if it is 24 or 25 they want to be married by. I missed hitting that mark as well.

Jake said...

lightening - to become brighter, to enlighten, to make light.

If the definition was to make light of I would certainly be lightening you by lightening you that I believe last years final round was a lightning round. Maybe you think that the final round is actually correct as the goal is to lighten the burden of midwinter.

Dad was in Brigadoon.

William Wallace is from the highlands. So are Duncan and Connor McCloud. Garth Brooks sings a wonderful ditty about Ireland that to most American men is one in the same with the highlands. Also it is St Patricks Day so any reference to Ireland should be noted. Speaking of St Patrick's day and Ireland we live just up the street from the home of the Fighting Irish, and this is a big day in South Bend. They dyed the river green on Saturday. I hope I have lightened your day.

I am still waiting for the post about a certain musical about a bunch of paperboys, or people with aquired immuno deficiency syndrome as I know those two.

Tasha said...

I have never seen the movie or known it was a musical if what was mentioned previously was in fact correct. What I do know is that I too have been known to make an absolute fool of myself with primary kids and am known as the dictator of the presidency. I made all the sr primary kids go back out in the hall and walk back in reverently last Sunday because I was less than happy with the way they entered. I think I shocked all the teachers and other presidency, maybe more than doing your jig did.

I also know that the picture you showed has made me incredibly homesick in reverse for Washington (which I usually experience this time of year), missing the tulip festival and the highland games that we always went to.

As a side note, I was listening to the broadway station on my XM radio today and actually heard a song from the musical Chess. Granted, it was about two weeks too late, but hey, progress and all that.

Yea, long comment!

Robert said...

As I have only known one or two answers to the musical questions you have asked I don't hold much hope for the lightening round so my only hope is to get whim points. Hopefully, enough to pass Doug in the standings.

So here is my attempt for this post. I don't recall ever seeing you dance a Jig but I do remember countless times sitting on the hard floor in the dance studio at the SUU auditorium waiting for Mom to take me home and watching you and Denise and Lori and Brigetta among others practice your tap and ballet skils. I am trying to think of the name of your teacher which I'm sure would seal the deal but for the life of me I can't remember. It seams like it started with a B or an S and was a man's sounding name.

Anyway as someone who witnessed a portion of those hundreds of dollars in dance class tuition being put to use I would request some whim points (preferably 5 or more so that I can be tied with or ahead of Doug)

Carol said...

I think the name of the song is "Once in the Highlands" from the musical Brigadoon (great guess Melissa)!

I have known this musical since I was little because one of the stars - Van Johnson was/is my Mom's celebrity boyfriend. I think she was attracted to him because she always wanted to have 10 blonde haired, blue eyed boys. She got 4 girls (only 2 are blonde) and 1 boy (blonde but with brown eyes).

As for the song you sing to Heather, I think my guess is "The Heather on the Hill". A lovely choice if I may so and what a wonderful way to end a day with your daughter.

What age do girls try to marry before - according to the song "Waitin' for my Dearie" it is 25.

I love this musical. Thanks for bringing to my mind. I think I'll watch it with my Mom this weekend!

Jeri said...

Well - I didn't have a clue as to song or musical.... and my chance to guess the marrying age is now gone... (i would have been wrong anyway)

Any whim points for the following???

* My dear hubby went to Ireland on a business trip when Aaron was a baby...

* Although I forgot to have Aaron wear Green today, I DID put green hairbands in Katrina's hair and found something green AND CLEAN for her to wear...

* I don't know if I've ever even seen Brigadoon, but if I have... it was while we were roomies at SUU and we went together. I have a VAGUE memory of going to CHS to see a play/musical and I think it might have been this one??? is that a valid memory? or an imagined one??? I honestly don't know...

It is truly pathetic that my only points in this game are WHIM points!!! I appreciate any further generosity you feel toward my desperate efforts!

Jeri said...

OH OH - an one more possible whim point - I also make a regular fool out of myself doing primary music!!! Never danced a jig... but for a point I'll do it! and that will be a serious trick, since I never took any dance lessons...

Carol said...

I have to say that I initially thought we might be seeing some of this today because it is St. Patrick's day. However, I just knew that couldn't be true because a 'jig' is usually a Scottish thing as the musical and as are highlands.

I realize this might sound a little picky - but my Irish friends get upset at how Americans confuse these 2 countries.

By the way, I forgot to mention (the real reason for returning to post again) that it was the song from this musical that set me to thinking in my younger years that getting married at 25 was a great idea. Especially since Fiona was closer to that age and she got to marry Gene Kelly! Well, so much for that idea!

Melissa said...

So the lightning round had been scheduled on my playgroup day and as it was the lightning round that put me ahead last year I have to admit I am concerned for my championship status. I am playing sheerly for the title (just like Russell from Survivor) and an attempt to begin a dynasty as great as Doug Corry's Horseshoe Dynasty. (without the shoegate incident, of course.)

So in an attempt to pad my lead in preparation here goes my attempt to win some Whim points.

1 - I had a friend in High School that competed in highland dancing. I used to love to go to her house and try on all of her costumes. They are actually quite comfy :)

2 - I have never taken a dance lesson but have spent many hours trying to copy Riverdance in my parent's basement with my sisters. (of course, this was quite a few years ago)

3 - I was called as the music leader in our Primary in January. I am loving it and although it takes a lot more time than my previous calling, I find it highly rewarding and really enjoyable.

4 - I taught all 9 verses of follow the prophet over the last two weeks, we'll see how the retention goes this week. To teach it I made little costumes for each prophet and a child would get to wear it around the room as others followed them. Pretty cute.

5 - I think you are amazing!! I can't wait to see you in Chicago!!

Charlotte said...

Wow--you guys have been busy!

I have to split this up into two comments, because blogger won't let me say all I want to say. So, here is Part One of Point awarding:

As always, feel free to check my math!

For Melissa:
5 points for the correct name of the musical

1 point for the mention of shoegate.

1 point for trying on highland dancing costumes

1 point for trying to Riverdance with your sisters

1 point for joining Jeri and I as music leaders in Primary. (I didn't know that!! How cool!)

1 point for teaching ALL the verses to the kids, and one point EACH for the eight costumes that you made (I assume you didn't make one for the ninth verse, correct?) Man oh man, how I wish we were living in the same city. I'd be borrowing those costumes in a heartbeat!

1 point for an overage of flattery.

Total Points: 19

For Kami:
5 points for the correct name of the song that I sing to Heather. (Unfortunately, I don't know most of the words, so there ends up being a lot of humming when we sing this song.)

4 points for the correct age. The actual lyric is, "Many a lass as most anyone knows will try to be married before twenty-five. So she'll agree to most any proposal, all he must be is a man and alive."

1 point for being in the "I didn't get married by the time I was 25 either" club.

Total Points = 10

For Jacob:
3 points for helping me to understand why "lightening round" looked all wrong to me, but didn't ever show up as wrong on the spell checker.

2 points for remembering that dad was in Brigadoon

Who are William Wallace, and Duncan and Connor McCloud?

1 point for the Garth Brooks Song mention

2 points for tying Scotland and Ireland together, even though they aren't the same country and at times resent the comparison.

1 more point for living in the land of the fighting Irish, and having a green-dyed river. (I've always wanted to see that. I hear they do it in Chicago too. Too bad I'll be there a month too late.)

You may be waiting awhile for your paperboy post--just 'cause I don't know it so well. As to the other one, well, patience my friend, patience.

Total points = 9

For the oldies:
1 point for dad being in Brigadoon

Total points = 1

For Tasha:
1 point for making of fool of yourself in primary

2 points for being the dictator of the primary

2 points to ease the homesickness for Washington

and heck, we'll give you a pity point for hearing a Chess song just a little bit too late.

Total points = 6

For Robert:
1 point for commenting before Doug

3 points for enduring so many dance lessons.

1 point for remembering that Lori was there (the other one was Becky, Brigitte didn't take dance with us, and Denise took from the Websters in Enoch)

1 point for remembering the names of two other childhood friends of mine. (Brigitte and Denise)

1 point for remembering that San Christopher's name started with an "S" and sounded like a man's name. (Her mother, who also taught us sometimes, was named Burch Mann. I suppose you could say the same for her, huh?)

Total points = 7

For Carol:
SEVEN points for the correct name of the song!

1 point for Van Johnson

1 point for the use of the term "celebrity boyfriend"

2 points for pointing out the fact that we shouldn't be confusing Scotland and Ireland today. (We're still going to do it of course, but now at least we know that we're probably ticking a bunch of Irish people off.)

1 point for being in the "I didn't get married before I was 25 either club."

Total Points = 12

Charlotte said...

Part Two:

For Jeri:
1 point for Tim going to Ireland. (I'm jealous)

1 point for keeping Katrina pinch-free today

Huh. I don't remember us going to CHS for a play, but perhaps we did to see Becca in Oklahoma? Anyway, I'll give you a point for trying.

1 point for self-awareness. You may not know the musicals as well, but you can pander for whim points with the best of them.

1 point for silliness in primary, and if you'll do a jig for them, describe the experience on your blog by next Tuesday at 10:00 p.m. on Monday, and I'll award you five more points, more if the description is really excellent.

Total points = 5

What would I do without you all?

Tasha said...

Is it a statement about the quality of education in this country that when I saw that the lightning (incidentally one of the most commonly misspelled words) round was on Thursday, my thought process went to what can I do in class to ensure that I'm sitting at my computer at the beginning of each hour to keep up my hope of being in the top five at the end of this bad boy?

And maybe I can get some points for explaining two characters before Jake gets to it...

William Wallace - some people think it's Mel Gibson, but he was a famous Scotsman who lead the unification the tribesmen against the oppressive jerk of a government, the British and ended up being killed.

Duncan - there are several but I'm thinking both of the one in Macbeth and the one in Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves which may still be one of my favorite soundtracks of all time.

Melissa said...

Conner McCloud is from the hit (used very loosely) movie series The Highlander and Duncan McCloud is from the hit (used not as loosely) TV series The Highlander.

Oh and I didn't make a costume for the 9th verse, I got an old suit jacket from the DI for $1.00. It looks so cute drowning the sunbeams :)

Charlotte said...

Tasha, you're killing me!

one point each for the Wallace and Duncan explanations


one point each to you for the Duncan explanations

I'm lovin' thinking of those Sunbeams!

Harmony said...

So I'm not a Primary chorister, but I've got "Follow the Prophet" resources for you that are, thanks to a Primary music workshop that I went to a couple of weeks ago. Give me a little time to get them scanned and uploaded, and then I expect points--literally and figuratively. :-)

Jake said...

How is it that people are getting points for explaining characters from my comment? I think I should be able to award those points since I made the comment in the first place. I'm beginning to think this whole thing is rigged. This is just like Yu-Gi-Oh. You better watch out for my blue-eyes white dragon.

Charlotte said...

Actually Jake, that's a good point.

No, you can't award those points, but now that I know who those people were that you referred to, I'll give you three points--one for each of them.


And Harmony--I eagerly anticipate your resources. Points here (and in heaven) await!

Harmony said...

I am so excited to share this with you Primary people. I wish I had thought to share it with you earlier, but hey, this way I get points out of it. :-)

About three weeks ago I attended a multi-stake Primary music workshop taught by Sister Pat Graham (a.k.a. Grandma Music). You can find the Primary songs she's written by looking her up in the author index of your Children's Songbook. She is a former member of the Primary General Board, and was heavily involved in putting together the current Children's Songbook. She has also started a blog,, but there's not much there yet. So, I have several things to share with you that she shared with us. I may have to do this in more than one comment.

1. Three more verses to "Follow the Prophet":

Joseph Smith, a young boy, asked which church was right.
God, the Father, and His Son appeared in heav'nly light.
He received the gold plates restoring gospel truth.
Joseph organized the Church again upon the earth.

Gordon Bitner Hinckley travels o'er the earth,
Making friends with kings and leaders of the world.
Dedicating temples, waving with his cane,
Standing up for righteousness, honoring God's name.

Thomas Spencer Monson gave away his Christmas toy
To a poor and lonely little neighbor boy.
Now he is our prophet, loyal, kind and true.
If we serve as he does, we'll be happy too.

Harmony said...

2. Another verse to "Book of Mormon Stories":

Lehi was a prophet preaching in Jerusalem.
Fearing they would be destroyed his fam'ly fled with him.
Following the Liahona over land and sea,
They were led when they lived righteously.

3. A Children's Songbook Companion, a 300 page paperback book of lesson plans for EVERY song in the Children's Songbook. The best thing is, if your ward or stake is a stickler about using "church-approved materials," like mine is, these lessons plans were approved by the Church Curriculum Committee, but the Church ultimately decided not to publish them because they couldn't be easily adapted for the world-wide church, i.e., non-English speakers. They gave Sister Graham and the other authors permission to publish this book on their own. It is available through ($24 + $4 shipping), or through ($19 + $5 shipping), or from Seagull Book for $21.50. Check it out!

4. I have "mask" templates (paper cutouts) for all the prophets in the "Follow the Prophet" song, including those from the extra verses I mentioned (except Pres. Monson). They look great colored with crayons and glued to a tongue depressor (laminating would be good too). The Primary kids love holding them up to their faces while we sing the verses. Although Sister Graham shared these with all of us at the workshop, I'm hesitant to post them on my blog, as if I was taking credit for them. So I'm going to try to scan them and e-mail them to Charlotte, Jeri, and Tasha. I hope I can figure out how to do it so the files won't be too huge. Melissa, if you want them (to go with your costumes!), post your e-mail address or have Charlotte send it to me.

I think that's all. Oh, I saw Brigadoon once--on a date with the only boyfriend I ever had besides Jeff. I liked it--and the costumes, but I may have been twitterpated as that's about all I remember about it. :-)

Charlotte said...

Oh Harmony--I knew there was a reason I didn't find time to put together my Primary Lesson on Sunday afternoon!

Thank you!

The satisfaction of helping out some fellow primary workers is certainly more rewarding than any silly points you may get here, but you'll get some here all the same.

4 points--one for each new verse that you took the time to type up

1 point for the hint about the Children's Songbook Companion

12 points-one for each prophet face that you scanned and sent to me.

You're a lifesaver!

Total points = 17


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