Saturday, June 28, 2008

When skies are gray...

This morning was cloudy and I found myself humming You are my sunshine. As a warm-up for the audience, before the show begins, I've been playing "Name that tune" with the kids. I play a tune on the harmonica and they guess what it is. Often, I play You are my sunshine. Kids will say, "My mom sings me that song!"

I play mostly old favorites like Twinkle, twinkle, little star and Jingle bells, with a few lesser known songs thrown in. Lately I've been playing Red River Valley. Every now and then a child will know it. More often, an older adult will remember that one.

Sometimes I'll invite the kids to suggest songs for me to play. If I know it and it's playable on my harmonica, I'll play it. I got applause for Ode to Joy the other day. In case you wondered, We will rock you is in the wrong key for my main harmonica, though I can do it with a different harmonica. I also don't play Freebird.

Last year I had a request for Ashokan farewell, the fiddle tune written by Jay Ungar that was played on the PBS documentary on the Civil War. I couldn't quite get it in my head, but after the show, I found the girl who'd requested it and played it through for her. It's oddly poignant on the harmonica.

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