Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

Daughter of Ishmael

by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Play On

Husby and I both love music.
When we married, one of our biggest problems was how to mesh two gi-normous (my word) record collections.
We did it (and still have it . . . somewhere . . .).
We both love to sing, but only Husby plays an instrument. (You should hear him on the bass guitar!)
With the acquisition of our new piano, we discovered a whole new world of music in the one hundred seventy+ rolls (dating from the early 1900s) that accompanied it.
The words are usually written on the rolls, so, as they play, one can sing along. If one is so inclined.
We were.
At the top of our voices because, hey, that sucker is loud!
When there weren’t any words, we had a plethora of non-musical - musical instruments to accompany. Kazoos. Noisy, rhythm gadgets. A Stumpf (yes, I spelled it right) fiddle.

Our family spent hours around that piano. Making music.
Or, more probably, noise. But we absolutely loved it.
And our kids know all the words to such timeless classics as: Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour on the Bedpost Overnight?; Pip, Pip, Toot, Toot Good-bye-ee; The Hawaiian War Chant; Little Bo-Peep Has Lost Her Jeep; Over the Waves; Shuffle Off to Buffalo; I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream; Hungarian Goulash and dozens (I do mean dozens) more.
A little aside here: Those words pop up at the best times. When our daughter met her future husband (a man from England with accompanying beautiful accent) she hit him with the words to Pip, Pip. And received what we have discovered is an appropriate response, “I’ve never used that word in my life!”
Can I say it? That piano changed our lives – or more correctly, molded our lives.
One last story tomorrow . . .
Mr. Stumpf. You though I was kidding, right?

10 comments:

  1. Noise or music, family time is family time and this is a priceless memory. And see, you never would have thought it but "Pip,Pip" ended up coming in handy. Even if her English future husband had never actually used it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Funny how we've seen such different benefits . . . :)

      Delete
  2. Music escaped me. And most of my family. None of us can sing, few of us try.
    And I cannot bear 'background' music. I want to listen to it, or I want it off.
    Love your shared family times though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Music aside, we were together and we had fun! :)

      Delete
  3. The only place I can sing well is in my car with the radio turned to "high". Sounds real good. hah

    Love the names of those songs. I even know a few of them, but now I wish I knew more! Did that title really read "Little Bo-Peep Has Lost Her JEEP"?

    ReplyDelete
  4. So that's a Stumf fiddle. I've seen them being used but never knew what they were called.
    The only song I now from that list is "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour", that was really popular here for a while.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had never heard of them when Grant gave me that for Christmas. It has seen a LOT of use!

      Delete
  5. Singing is a talent I envy and of which I am sadly lacking. My house is not without music however, thanks to my husband and son. I had nver heard of a Stumpf before! Glad that you shared a picture!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You could sing with us (loud piano). I'M not even afraid to sing with us . . .

      Delete

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Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

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