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Hey Diddle Diddle and The Bagels on the Table | creativity during lockdown

I’d been reading articles about children’s folk songs while compiling a beginners’ piano book of popular folk tunes. While looking at the rest of the assorted bagels lying on my kitchen table, still wanting for more, I was struck by the idea that if I were a kid I would probably have imagined the bagles started to move and roll out of the table, running away to some where. I let myself daydream.

In the spring this year, on a bright sunny Sunday morning, out of my desperation to have some comfort food, I lined up to buy a bag of Montreal style bagels from a new store that had just opened in downtown. I believed a bag of great bagels could definitely save me from feeling even more anxious about the on-and-off lockdown.

Before noon I had eaten three bagels: sesame, cinnamon and blueberry. Yummy.

I’d been reading articles about children’s folk songs while compiling a beginners’ piano book of popular folk tunes. While looking at the rest of the assorted bagels lying on my kitchen table, still wanting for more, I was struck by the idea that if I were a kid I would probably have imagined the bagles started to move and roll out of the table, running away to some where. I let myself daydream.

I thought of the song Hey Diddle Diddle, which was about a cat playing a fiddle and the cow jumping over the moon, and the dish running away with the spoon. I imagined when the bagels on my table started to roll and run away what would happen.

The next day in the early morning when I was slowly waking up, still in bed, a tune came to my head. I’d used the interval of perfect fourth in the opening. The lyrics came to my mind as well:

The bagels on the table ran away to Toronto

Riding on the cloud, hanging on the moon

The cat woke up and laughing so hard

The mice hid behind the wall

Thrilled to have found the word “Toronto” to rhyme with the word “bagels”, I jumped off the bed, srambled around my room to find a piece of paper and quickly wrote the whole song down. For the melody I wrote down in a short-handed form. I loved that I could substitute the word “Toronto” with any word that could rhyme with “bagels.” For instance, “Mexico”, or “Orlando” would work. I named the song The Bagels on the Table.

Hey, “bagels” and “table” rhyme with each other!

My storyline had obviously been inspired by the traditional folk song Hey Diddle Diddle, which tells a very vivid story:

Hey diddle diddle the cat with a fiddle

The cow jumped over the moon

The dog woke to see the fun

And the dish ran away with the spoon

I had loved how “diddle” rhymed with “fiddle” and “moon” rhymed with “spoon.”

Our of excitement, in two days, I wrote another bagel song: Two Littel Bagels, thinking that it would be a good idea to incorporate some educational elements in the new songs. In the song Two Little Bagels, I’d introduced the ideas of colors and shapes:

Two little bagels round and round

One is yellow one is brown

Yellow and brown

Yellow and brown

Two little bagels round and round

This time I made every sentence rhyme with the next!

These songs have used very simple harmonies we can all relate to: tonic, dominant and subdominant. With the lyrics telling imaginary stories, magic happens for the melodies. When I visualize the pictures in my mind that go with these songs I always grin with happiness.

As we are finally walking out of the darkness of the pandemic, I am glad that I have made good use of my time of isolation to create something new and meaningful for the young generation.

To listen to the songs please click here to visit WowoSpot Kids Podcast.

By Wowospot

Produce and publish quality kids content for fun, creative learning and education.

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