Saturday, June 2, 2012

Ben's Birthday: The World is His

Ben's 12th Birthday ~ 10 Years Ago Today

"Let him [the American Scholar] not quit his belief that a popgun is a popgun, though the ancient and honorable of the earth affirm it to be the crack of doom. In silence, in steadiness, in severe abstraction, let him hold by himself; add observation to observation, patient of neglect, patient of reproach, and bide his own time, -- happy enough if he can satisfy himself alone that this day he has seen something truly. . . . The world is his who can see through its pretension. Success treads on every right step.

"For the instinct is sure that prompts him to tell his brother what he thinks. He then learns that in going down into the secrets of his own mind he has descended into the secrets of all minds."

by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 82)
American Transcendentalist
from his essay "On the American Scholar" [See more.]

Our Birthday Song
Close your eyes, make a wish.
I hope your wish comes true.
A very happy birthday I wish for you.

When I was in primary school at Euguene Field Elementary, in Neosho, Missouri, our music teacher, Mrs. McNabb played this pretty little song on her autoharp whenever anyone had a birthday. It always made such a nice change from the usual "Happy Birthday to You."

I have never heard it sung or played anywhere else since then and have never been able to identify composer or lyricist; but, even so, the simple tune has never left my memory. When Ben & Sam came along, I sang it regularly as their bedtime song, replacing "birthday" with whatever occasion was appropriate: "a very Happy Monday," "a very Happy St. Patrick's Day," "a very happy going to the swimming pool day" -- that kind of thing. We still do it every now and then for old time's sake.

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