Last night I went to a fireside* where Janis Kapp Perry, prolific Mormon songwriter, was speaking. It was long. Oh, sweet land of liberty, it was long. It was wonderful, I was in the choir and we sang a bunch of her songs and she was lovely and humble and her husband told us the pick up line he used to woo her ("Those lips look too good to just play the clarinet.") But it was 2 hours. TWO HOURS! Once I hit the hour and a half mark of any fireside I start staring down the clock and contemplate faking a stroke to get out of there.
Anyway, she was talking about how music has strengthened her family and once she heard from a leader in the church that having a family song would build unity so she wrote one. And then she played it for us. And it was cute. But more importantly it reminded me of the time my Grandma Crenshaw wrote a family song for us.
Remember the watermelon blanket? How it was inadvertently the funniest thing my grandma ever did? The family song is the second funniest thing.
It was Thanksgiving and we were mostly all together for the first time in years and after dinner we were gathered around looking at old pictures when Grandma announced that she had written a family song and we were all going to sing it. So she handed out the words and Gina got on the piano and we all started singing. It was basically the history of the family starting with she and Grandpa meeting and then moving on to verses about the kids and grandkids. We were going along swimmingly until we got to the first bit of bad news. There have been a few divorces and deaths in the family but instead of writing about them in rhymes Grandma just put "..."
As in, "So-and-so got married and had a few kids and well ..."
So we're singing the lines and we get to the "..." and we all sing, "dot dot dot" and then promptly lose it. This continues each time there is any unpleasant news. There were probably three or four "dot dot dot" moments and each one makes us laugh harder and harder. By this time the song has gotten really long and Gina decided to speed it up so now were laughing and racing through the song and my sweet grandma is just sitting there singing her heart out. And now occasionally when there is bad news in my family we'll refer to it as "dot dot dot." It may be my favorite Crenshaw family moment.
*For those who don't speak Mormon: Special church meetings held periodically involving guest speakers and followed by snacks. Some are great. Some are just good. Some you want to shoot yourself in the foot. It's a shame I didn't have a blog back in the day when I was in the young single adult program of the church and had to go to two or three firesides a month. You would die over some of the stories.