The American Caliban (substitute) wrote,
The American Caliban

The singing assembly

I attended Woodland Elementary School in Costa Mesa, California from 1970 to 1976. I'm sure I learned a lot of math, vocabulary, and other important skills, but my memories are mostly about food, other kids, and special events. The Sloppy Joes were terrible, the little wooden spoon often broke on the hard ice cream, and one time there was a really big fight and a kid had a seizure. That kind of thing.

On some kind of schedule, probably monthly, we were all marched to the auditorium to sing together. Each of us received a damp ditto'd set of song lyrics. The music teacher sat at her piano and played intros to each song, which we then belted out. Songs I remember are:
  • It's a Grand Old Flag
  • San Francisco
  • Aura Lee
  • This Land is Your Land
  • America the Beautiful
  • Marching to Pretoria
  • The Battle Hymn of the Republic
  • Bingo
  • Oh Susanna
  • Swanee River
  • Michael Row the Boat Ashore
Of course we didn't sing the communist parts of This Land is Your Land. Pretoria has now been renamed Tshname because the current government in South Africa would prefer not to use all those old colonial names, thanks. I always wondered what the song meant, because they didn't teach us about the Boer War in elementary school. However, one thing remains true:
There was a man who had a dog
And Bingo was his name-o
And Bingo was his name-o!
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