My nieces and nephew are halfway through their month-long terms of summer camp, the same camp I attended for ten years of my childhood. (Remember when I went back to visit last year and it provided some much-needed healing?) I sing my kids songs from this camp all the time, many of them making no sense out of the context of bunks and zip lines, but we sing them anyway. One in particular gives me pause.
Just a boy and a girl in a little canoe with the moon shining all around.
And as he plied his paddle, you couldn’t even hear a sound (no sound!).
So they talked and they talked ‘til the moon grew dim,
He said “You better kiss me or get out and swim!”
So whatcha gonna do in a little canoe with the moon shining all around?
At that point, factions of little girls start screaming their answer to the “Whatcha gonna do?” question.
There is the “Staaaaaaaaaay in the boat! Pucker up, pucker up!” refrain.
I mean, really. Who are these girls' mothers?
There is the classic “Swim, baby, swim, dontcha give in!”
I like the idea behind this, but doesn’t it seem a little unnecessarily exhausting? How far is the shore do you think? No need to martyr oneself.
Lastly, there is the “Staaaaaaaaay in the boat! Push him out! Push him out!”
This is a little more my speed. I don’t want to get all angry woman on you or anything, but what sort of man requires kissing before he’ll paddle? I think it’s illegal in most states. So while I don’t normally condone violence, in this case it might be justified.
Before I send my daughter off to a sleepaway where they teach totally suspect songs about kissing in canoes, these are the foundational issues we must get straight.
FYI: I hear they still sing this song, which is good. It's very camp-y. They do not, however, still sing a wretched one about the Titanic and sharks eating the captain's head. (My kids know every word.)
photo by Linda Tanner via flickr