Barenaked Ladies' album Snacktime has been on a loop at our house.
It's basically the holy grail of kidsong albums. The songs are clever, catchy, not obnoxious (no, really!), and best of all - those Canadian blokes didn't scant on the execution. Their sounds are just as rich and delightfully complex when they're singing to the kids as when they are singing to...well...much taller, much older kids (I may have a mortgage, but I still refuse to grow up)!
Bill was in the kitchen helping me wash several Pyrex casserole dishes that I had used to make cinnamon rolls in for a work breakfast this morning. I wanted to return the dishes to my co-workers before the weekend (plus, caked on anything is my mortal dish-doing enemy). While we worked, we sang selections from our favorite current soundtrack of our lives.
Bill and I, to our elbows in suds, began simultaneously to sing the 7 8 9 song.
"Nine was minding his business, talking to Ten about Gordy House clothes" we sang.
"What are Gordy House clothes?" we asked each other.
"Durn!" I said. "I thought you'd know."
There were actually a few phrases in that song that had me perplexed.
Okay, sure. The cat will have to live with 8 lives now. Obviously. And without 9, counting our fingers and toes becomes problematic. This makes sense.
But...who was Ronaldo and why would he have to make do?
And why were the Chinese out of luck?
It had to have something to do with the fact that seven ate nine, and the Chinese and Ronaldo depended on 9 for some reason. Maybe it was a Canadian thing?
So...I looked it up.
GORDY HOUSE CLOTHES
Actually, the lyric is Gordie Howe's clothes. As in, the fashion choices of the famous Hockey player. Mr. Hockey himself.
RONALDO WILL HAVE TO MAKE DO
Again with the sports! (no wonder I'm not catching any of these references!)
Ronaldo, the famous Brazilian footballer, sports a game shirt with the number - you guessed it! - NINE.
THE CHINESE WILL BE OUT OF LUCK
In some Chinese culture, numbers are considered to have auspicious (or inauspicious) meaning becuase of the words in that language that the numbers sound similar to. Nine is considered to be the greatest of the single-digit numbers. Chinese emperors wore robes with nine dragons. The mythological dragon was said to have nine children. Nine is very popular at weddings.
Thanks, Barenaked Ladies. Even though later I'm sure to have trouble explaining your name to my kids - I sure do love that you've created songs that are fun and educational.
And the 7 8 9 song almost makes me like the number 9. I've taken issue with it all my life. I think it's because I can't multiply by nine. My brain just won't wrap around it. I use the cheat-y method. The one where you hold out all 10 fingers and then lower the finger you're multiplying by - and the remaining fingers give you the answer? You know that method?.
So...if I still need all 10 of my fingers to multiply by 9, I guess if 7 ate 9, I'm still out of (Chinese) luck!
Give the song a listen HERE.
Guess which is my favorite line.
I will give you a cookie.