Not Quite

My four-year-old daughter is all about the singing.  On a normal day she’s known to burst into song at any given moment; during Christmas, when there seems to be extra music in the air, life is one big musical extravaganza.

And, of course, it does not matter that she’s still fairly unfamiliar with the words of these Christmas carols.  She just forges right ahead.  She’s an improviser, that girl.

For example, here is her version of Jingle Bells:

Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way.
All night long, there is too high,
A-laughin’ on the hay.  Hey!

Away In a Manger is also a good one:

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed.
The little Lord Jesus…

[long, thoughtful pause, at which point she breaks from the tune altogether but continues singing with gusto]
The little Lord Jesus is asleep and go to sleep little baby and where is your mommy and I am a princess of the world and belie-e-e-eve in your dre-e-e-eams and where is my snack.

My personal favorite has been Gloria, In Excelcis Deo:

In a shrinkin’ spaniel.

It’s okay.  There’s clearly a learning curve.  This is the same little girl who was telling her baby doll the Christmas story the other day; as I eavesdropped, I heard her explain that "Mary took the baby Moses and laid him in a nest."

We have a little work to do.

65 thoughts on “Not Quite

  1. Emily says:

    I love this about children. Mine are always singing, too, and it delights me.
    It may be learned–when my husband’s best friend asked why he chose to marry me, he said, “There will always be music in my home.”
    I don’t think he could knew that meant a four-year-old singing about every snowflake and branch and snow shovel she saw as she peered out the window. . . as loud as possible.
    Thanks for the laugh.

  2. Jana says:

    The best I have heard is from “We bring the sacrifice of praise”. Interpreted: “We bring the sacks of rice on trays”. Isn’t it funny what they come up with?!

  3. Alison says:

    It’s not a Christmas song, but a couple of years ago my daughter used to sing “Row row row your boat/Gently down the stream/Merrily merrily merrily merrily/Like a spider dream.”
    She would argue with us, so we stopped trying to correct her.

  4. Katy says:

    LOL That is adorable!
    My 3-year-old DS is trying to learn “Joy to the World” for his Preschool Christmas program. He says the second line is “Let her recede her king!” 🙂

  5. Tanya says:

    I’m a lurker of sorts…sahm of 4…my youngest two are b-g twins..I stumbled upon your blog a little while ago and it’s become one of my favs. I just had to comment because your 4 year old daughter sounds JUST like my four year old little girl. She’s been singing non stop since she could talk and makes up her own words to just about everything. The thing that I thought was really cute is that my daughter also refers to baby Jesus as baby Moses ALL the time. I try to correct her, but she still says Mary had baby Moses in the stable. I love this age!

  6. Eileen says:

    It’s hard to beat “In a shrinking spaniel..” Interesting image!
    My daughter sang “I am a Child of God” and instead of “…with parents kind and dear.” she sang, “…with parents kind of weird.” Probably appropriate.

  7. Jenna says:

    so cute! that sounds like my daughter:
    -“halle-zunya” (hallelujah)
    -“THIS will be the name of the Lord.” (blessed be the name of the Lord.”
    -“i give you my heart, i give you my sword.”
    (give you my soul)
    i love 4 year olds!

  8. Bonnie says:

    We took our boys to the Philharmonic Christmas concert where the singing was more of an “operatic” style than your everyday normal singing. Now all of the songs in our house have the operatic style attached to them. Or more of a quavering, warbling style. It is HI.LAR.I.OUS.
    Thanks for the laugh!

  9. Jeana says:

    Shannon, that’s too funny! My son used to sing:
    “Somebody once told me the world was gonna rule me
    I hate the shappa do mana she-eh.”
    Sounded like doo-wop to me.

  10. Blessed says:

    My little one is only 15 months old and she’s already singing along with the Christmas carols…
    Noel is – no, no, no, nana, nana, nana
    Silent night is – night, night, night, night 🙂
    So much fun!

  11. pam @ without fear says:

    I think those are some of the things I miss most about my youngest being almost nine. We don’t get nearly the cute comments and sweet moments that come as a result of that “learning curve.” Cherish them, for they are fleeting. : )

  12. Carey says:

    Thank you SO MUCH for the Monday morning giggle! I woke up this morning with a very strong desire to pull the covers back up over my head in denial. I really needed that laugh!
    My daughter, now 12, used to do the very same thing, and oh, how I wish I had written these things down!
    Those moments are not quite over yet, though. The other day we came home to find that our greyhound had dismembered a stuffed animal while we were out. There was “fur” and stuffing all over the living room. My daughter said, “It looks like there was a masquerade in here!” I said, “Um. Honey. I think you mean massacre.”

  13. Erin says:

    The little boy I baby sit likes to give ‘Sunday school lessons’ to his toys. They usually go like this;
    “Jesus die and rose ‘gain. There were Shepards and then Jonah got et by a biiiiig fish. And ‘bey your parents. And God made the animals too – then he told Noah to build a biiiiiiig boat and all the animals came. And Jesus told the storm, STOP. And Jesus said don’t be sad and grumpy.”
    He makes me laugh.

  14. Molly Piper says:

    Awesome! Orison and Corrie would get along famously. He never stops singing either. He sings “God and sinners wreck inside” for “God and sinners reconciled.”
    And then there’s “We three kings of all we say…”

  15. Nett says:

    This is precious. Much more endearing than what my children have arranged, who must be slightly older. Try as I may, bathroom humor has made it’s way into nearly every song they sing these days. Hopefully it’s just a phase!

  16. St Paul Slim says:

    Actually, I think “In a shrinkin’ spaniel” is the English translation of “In excelsis deo.” Of course, it’s been a long time since my high school Latin. I could look it up and get back to you, but I’m pretty sure I’m right.

  17. esscie says:

    This is too funny! I don’t recall stories like this from my kids, but I vividly remember one of my teachers telling the class that for years she thought a “round yonvirgin” was a kind of rock.

  18. Angie says:

    LOVE this! I love the innocence and beauty of our children.
    My son used to sing “Come Thou Fount” and when he got to the line, “Teach me some melodious sonnet”, he’d sing, “Give me some more lasagna.” My hubby would grin, “That’s my boy!”

  19. Linda Sue says:

    Do y’all wash your dogs in hot water? I’m just wondering about the shrinking spaniels. Delightful post – it is cute when kiddos make these word substitutions – my SIL (raised high church Episcopal) used to think we were ignorant and singing bringing in the sheeps instead of sheaves.

  20. Dani says:

    Too Funny! I was just about to post on my blog the songs my kids sing!
    Mine seem to think that “Bells on Cop cars ring” and he is 8! I laughed so hard at him!

  21. C D says:

    Thanks so much for sharing!!
    My niece (who is now 8), when she was around 3 or 4 had been learning all the people and animals of the nativity scene that my sister had. So, when she was asked, “who is that?” her answers were:
    “That’s Mary, that’s baby Jesus, and that’s Jethro” (for Joseph).
    Imagine that said in a little Okie accent and I start to cry with laughter every time.
    Thanks for sharing — you should post on “misheard lyrics” 😉

  22. Christine says:

    Aggghhh!! Little girlies and their song lyrics just tickle me so much! My favorite yesterday was when my 2 y.o. cupped her little hand over her ear when she heard the Christmas carols on the “hi-fi” at Nana’s yesterday (where it’s apparently still 1968!) She was so excited when she heard Rudolph! She doesn’t even know what she’s in for!

  23. Kristin says:

    That’s okay. I asked my nephew about the Christmas story, but he told us about Santa and left out Jesus. So I asked, “Well, what about Jesus?” “Oh, he gives the presents to santa to give to us.”

  24. Alisa Young says:

    My 3 year old is really trying to understand it all. Why wouldn’t Jesus be here if we are celebrating his birthday? He explained to us the other night that “Jesus was born on a star in a nest”. Well, the manger does look “nest” like and the star was in the sky. lol

  25. Cindy says:

    How fun. We had ‘Tinker Bell, Tinker Bell, Tinker all the way…’ last year. It drove her big sister nuts trying to fix it.

  26. Breezy says:

    All the comments are soo enjoyable to read. Brings back memories of when my daughter used to sing Rudolph and would sing Then one FROGGY Christmas day instead of Foggy. To this day when we hear the song we all say FROGGY.

  27. Wendy M says:

    My daughter used to sing “oh bring me some friggin’ pudding.” Usually in the store, at the top of her lungs. So difficult to correct her when we were laughing so hard. Can’t wait to see what my son comes up with.

  28. Poppyseed says:

    My girls love to sing, too, so we are always making up songs and singing together. One day when I was singing the Barney song and got to the line that says, ‘we’re best friends as friends should be’ my 4 yr old corrected me. ‘Mommy! It’s frenchily.’ I responded, ‘Frenchily?’ ‘Yes, use your tongue’ she says. Humor on all kinds of levels there!

  29. Katy (aka funny girl) says:

    Okay, apparently all your readers have much cleaner minds than me, ’cause I read through the comments and no one has said anything about “All night long, there is too high,
    A-laughin’ on the hay. Hey!”
    Sounds like a REALLY good December night to me! 🙂

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