Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Talk About Being Taken Down A Peg

Among the hats I wear is that of membership chair for Passionate Ink, an online chapter of RWA. With almost four hundred members, we're one of the larger chapters.

Among my housekeeping tasks is to run herd on those persons who apply for membership, but then don't follow through (don't pay the dues, aren't members of RWA, don't send their identifying info, etc.) This usually takes me about half an hour a day.

I was sitting at my desk, doing what is essentially a mechanical task and singing at the same time.

My mother's family--being Irish--loved to sing. They sang silly songs ("Mares Eat Oats"), old songs ("Mary, A Grand Old Name"), and sentimental songs ("Oh, Danny, Boy"). As the result, I have a headful of songs that no one knows, but that make me feel good when I sing them because I can picture my grandfather or great aunt singing away.

So, here I was, happily deleting non-members and singing something called "Sixteen Tons." I just googled it, and Google says it was written by Tennessee Ernie Ford. GE used it recently in a commercial with a bunch of folk mining coal, which reminded me of it. It goes like this:

I was born one mornin' when the sun didn't shine
I picked up my shovel, and I walked to the mine.
I loaded sixteen tons of number nine coal
And the straw boss said "Well, a-bless my soul."

You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt.
Saint Peter, don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store.


Bobbin (my two-year-old cat) was asleep on the left side of my desk. He got up and jumped off the desk. I watched him walk down the hall toward the bedroom.

Not deterred in the slightest by this negative review, I continued to sing:

If you see me comin', better step aside.
A lotta men didn't, and a lotta men died.
One fist of iron, the other of steel,
If the right one don't get you, then the left one will.

You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt.
Saint Peter, don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store.


Tribble (twenty-year-old cat), who had been asleep and wrapped around the warm part of the laptop, lifted her head and yowled at me. I, of course, ignored her as I wrapped up for my grand finale.

She stood, leaned across the keyboard and slapped my face with one paw--no claws.

I was so shocked, I stopped singing. We stared at each other for a second, and then I launched into:

Some people say a man is made outta mud.
A poor man's made outta muscle and blood.
Muscle and blood, and skin and bones,
A mind that's weak and a back that's strong.

You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt.
Saint Peter, don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store.


She jumped down and headed for the same bedroom as Bob.

American Idol, don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I loaned my voice to the Cow Town Rodeo.

5 comments:

Susan said...

Geez. Who'd a thunk?

Keep singing, girlfriend. We need more song in this world (even bad singing!)

lainey bancroft said...

Mares eat oats and doe's eat oats and little lambs eat i...vey...
And you're so lucky you can't hear me :P

Maybe I should try out for Canadian Idol? I think the competition isn't quite as stiff. I know I could win...I know it.
"Oh Dan...ny boy, the lights the lights...
Gotta run, here comes the cat and I see claws!

Sherrill Quinn said...

Maya, that's just hilarious. Your kitties are obviously very discriminating in their choice of music... LOL

Maya said...

Thanks, ladies, for the support.

Glad to hear at least one person knows the lyrics to "Mares Eat Oats."

Regards,

Maya

Emjay said...

I liked to sing in the car.

When my daughter was about two, she said to me, "I love you, Mommy, but, don't sing."

I thought that was an excellent example of tact, a good quality for both adults and children to acquire.

And she didn't slap me.