Friday Fact: Gordy House Clothes

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.


Actually, the lyric is Gordie Howe's clothes. As in, the fashion choices of the famous Hockey player. Mr. Hockey himself.

And yes - he played for Canada.


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.


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.


Ali Marie said...

humm maybe the "pluto isn't a planet anymore so we'll do fine" line?

MikkSolo said...

The Vampire Line.

Love the Barenaked Ladies! Rischelle and I went to their concert a few back and loved them!

Nae said...

I'd go for the line about cats only having eight lives, but I don't know if you're a cat person or not. One less life for cats would be okay in my book. :)

Nae said...

Rich and I listen to Snacktime seriously ALL the time. :) It's one of our very favorites.

Tara said...

Found your blog by searching on "Gordy House Clothes" as Snacktime was playing in my daughter's room. Hooray! Another kids' album favorite in our house is Here Come the ABCs by They Might Be Giants.

Anonymous said...

Gordie Howe "Mr. Hockey" was jersey #9 for the Red Wings!!

juju said...

For awhile, until I saw a video for 7 8 9, I thought that the line "and the cat'll have to make do with 8 lives now" referred to cattle and not cats! I was like, "why are they talking about cattle and not cats?" Then I saw the video and the lyrics were crystal clear!

Tania said...

Thanks for the clarification! LOL. We love Snacktime! My teens even sing along.