Hushabye Mountain and Lullaby Bay
These comforting images are from a song I recently heard again and again when my grandchildren visited. It is from quaint but rather crazy musical "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang". There are some songs in it that just won't leave your head. It happens to be my granddaughter's "favorite DVD" I think. She has to see the whole thing, all two hours plus, whenever she comes out for a visit to "Camp Gramma". I guess I'm the one who originally played it for her. Now, I'm wondering why. I think I have some reasons.
What originally fascinated me about the book, "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" was that it was by Ian Fleming who is famous for all the Bond genre. It is so totally different from his other writing. I suppose he too was a grandfather with kids he loved. It has his distinctive intrigue, plot and "special names" ie. "Truly Scrumptious" (a Bond heroine?) The movie gets carried away with almost "slap-stick" humor but it has its charming moments. I'm sure my grandson likes all the "inventions" and "contraptions" of "Caracatus", Dick Van Dyke. Dick is at his best, singing and dancing, just like his "Mary Poppins" character "the chimney sweep" At times it reminds me of "Babes in Toyland", another unending, convoluted musical comedy. I tried to direct a "Jr. Hi" version of it when I taught drama there. The movie has all the storybook characters, a melodramatic villain and lots of "chase scenes"...as does "Chitty". Kids must love it.
I think part of the hidden appeal, at least for my granddaughter, is the "love story". How they start out arguing and end up with the romantic kiss and flight over the storied land and windmill house. Then, of course, there's that "magic old-fashioned car" and all it's extra excessories. But how, can she keep wanting to see it over and over again...everyday if I permitted it? I think that it has to do with what is most important to kids of any age, even mine. Love and security. ie. Knowing that things will turn out all right. Knowing that dad is there always.He loves you and is going to be there to tuck you in, read to you, or tell you a story and sing you a lullaby.
My son had thoughtfully found the words to the lullaby and put a printed, internet version in a book he had been reading to them as a bookmark. We read the book(s) and noticed the "bookmark". Our heart(s) were warmed. What a good dad he has become. However, I just didn't feel comfortable singing it to my grandchildren at my house. It wasn't that it wasn't beautifully soothing, calming and so charming: "A gentle breeze from hushabye mountain, softly blows o'er lullaby bay. It fills the sails of boats that are waiting, waiting to sail your worries away. It isn't far to hushaby mountain, and your boat waits down by the key. The winds of night so softly are sighing. Soon they will fly your troubles to sea. So close your eyes on hushabye mountain, wave goodbye to the cares of the day. Watch your boat from hushabye mountain, sail far away from lullaby bay." It's not that they aren't wonderful images to fall asleep to, it's that they are my son's and his daughter's images. He is that special person, "Daddy". ..especially for a daughter. It is a relationship that is so sensitive and special (ie. "butterfly kisses"). It is one that I never got to experience, having all sons. I don't feel like I missed out, I had my moments...but these are his. I hope he truly treasures them, they happen so briefly and are gone so fast.
We have some other traditions now. They like me to read "Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book". And it usually does the job. Bob!