13 November 2004

Songs in the key of me

Jennifer over at Random Ramblings mentioned in an entry a few days ago that her kindergarten-aged grandson called her to sing the "peanut" song to her.  She was a bit perplexed by the lyrics.

Last year, when my three year old niece started pre-school, she sang me a song about a peanut with slightly different lyrics than the one Jennifer's grandson sang:

"Peanut sittin' on the railroad track/His heart was all aflutter/Along came a train and smushed him flat/Oh oh, peanut butter"

Very, very cute.

But now, a year later, I have a billion questions:

How do we know he's a he?  Why is he sitting on the tracks?  Why's his heart "aflutter?"  Is he in love?  Thinking about Ms. Peanut?  Mr. Peanut?  Is this the tale of a peanut who experiences unrequited love? Decides to end it all by waiting on the tracks for the big sleep?  Or is he "aflutter" because someone loves him?  Is he aware of the approaching train?  Is this even about love?  Indeed, are peanuts even capable of love?  Is "aflutter" a substitue for "despondent" because it fits into the rhyme scheme?  Can peanuts feel emotion?  Are they alive when we break open their shell?  Do they prefer to be salted?  Are there cannibal peanuts?

I need to know, is this a tragedy of passion or the tale of a peanut not fully aware of his surroundings?

Sigh...we teach three year old kids songs like these with no idea of what it will do to the inquisitive (and deranged) minds of those they will sing it to.



xzasporated1 said...


The little peanuts were "sitting in the gutter" (I don't want to go there...) "fell off and turned to peanut butter."  Now what I want to know is why the other five didn't get out of the dang gutter after the first one fell.  

Guess we'll never know the answer to these nutty riddles.

~~ jennifer

ginskia said...

Hi Jim,

Since I teach Pre-School this year, we sometimes sing songs like ten little monkeys jumping on the bed.  But at least it has a lyric where the doctor tells the mother not to let the monkeys jump on the bed.  Then there is another song about five little ducklings getting lost, but the next day after the last one gets lost at least they all go back home to momma duck.  I try to emphasize other songs like people of my generation used to sing like This Old Man and Skip To My Lou.  Then my assistant and I have a song to teach them about simple phonics.  They not only learn the phonics but they love to sing the songs.  Now Christmas is coming and we will teach them carols.