Friday, February 13, 2004


This week TinyTuna found out that her beloved Peter Pan soundtrack was chosen to be the music for her ballet recital. This was the same music she was using to dance around the living room last week. When she found out her dance teacher liked the CD she loaned him, she was beyond excited.

“He loved it! He loved it! He said it was so great that he went out and bought one for himself! I knew it! I knew he would pick it! I knew it! Yayyyy!”

All that was missing was the Dean scream.

She’s got the music in her, all right. She always has. I can say with reasonable certainty that much of it is genetic. It’s no guarantee, but when both parents plus a large percentage of relatives have some sort of musical background, something is bound to rub off.

It started before she ever made her first appearance. No, I was not one of those mothers-to-be that delighted in stretching a pair of headphones to their breaking point just so Opus 1, no. 1 would be able to come out of the womb whistling Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. I was, however, doing a symphony gig while I was pregnant, and I have vivid (and painful) recollections of an eight-month niblette doing some serious kick boxing during a performance of Carmina Burana. Talk about “having the music in me” (not to mention the internal bruises). I was glad six weeks later to have the music out of me. Ouch.

Music is an easy mood barometer for TinyTuna. When she is happy, content or at ease, she sings. It doesn’t matter where. It doesn’t matter when. Half the time she isn’t aware she is singing. But when things are good, she always includes her own soundtrack. I used to do the same thing, but with several siblings around it was critical to try to find a stealth location to perform. Otherwise, I’d be subjected to the whines of “Mom! Make her stop!” Tough crowd.

It’s interesting to watch TinyTuna digest a new song. She is able to “hardwire” an incredible amount of information after a single play. The key of the song is always and forever the only key. At the age of three she told a daycare teacher that she was singing a song wrong. The teacher was quite firm in that “no, this is the way it goes.” Without missing a beat on the swing set, TinyTuna said, “No. You're too low,” and kept swinging. The teacher? Not too appreciative of that little nugget of pre-K information. Of course, Pop music isn’t particularly complex, but to be able to pick up the melodic structure after the first eight bars is pretty darn good, no matter what age.

TinyTuna is a walking database of CD information. You could ask her about nearly any song on any CD she owns and she can tell you the track number without looking. Fairy Dance? Peter Pan soundtrack, track number twelve. I love trash (as performed by Aerosmith)? Elmopalooza, track number seven. VeggieTale remix? Track fourteen. Puff the Magic Dragon? Peter Paul and Mary double-CD set, CD number two, track number four. And on, and on, and on. You’d half-expect her to yell “Time for Wapner” at the end of the quiz.

HighwayGirl has been on a great mission to systematically listen to all her CDs all the way through – no skipping. This is such a great idea. It’s like rediscovering old friends and finding some new ones along the way. However, I’m not going to suggest that to TinyTuna, because I know what would happen: It would be another extended love affair with The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. And then you’d hear me whine, “Mom! Make her stop!”

Tough crowd. I guess that must be genetic too.

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