Sounding Childhood

The Chipmunk


“The Chipmunk” is found in Songs of Happy Life: For Schools, Homes, and Bands of Mercy as compiled by Sarah J. Eddy, in the songbook’s “Animals” section where many of the songs for the youngest of children are found.  This is a quaint story anthropomorphizing a “couple” of chipmunks living “up in a tree” (v. 1) with a “parlor” and “kitchen” (v. 2), helping children to appreciate “darlings so pretty and shy” (v. 2) and including the “four little babies” that come (v. 2).  The “chipperee, chipperee, chip!” scattered throughout puts the “language” of the chipmunk into the mouths of the children as they sing for the voiceless chipmunks.  Simply honoring the lives of the chipmunk allows children to connect with them, hopefully not killing them with insensitivity.  The words are “anonymous” but the music is by William L. Glover who writes that the children should sing it “with animation.”
 

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