Cat in the cream jar

We'd only been married a few months when my spouse went into a Doc Watson/John Fahey acoustic guitar/bluegrass phase. I was totally unprepared for this jog in the newlywedded-bliss road. Suddenly, the Charlie Daniels Band held the stage in my harvest gold apartment kitchen right next to the avocado green crockpot and the free toaster we got when we opened our account at the Savings & Loan downtown.

As if being married wasn't surreal enough, my spouse was sprawling there in the black vinyl beanbag* chair actually studying the Slim Whitman "Yodeling Cowboy" K-Tel commercials on our tiny black & white tv between the "MASH" and "Barney Miller" reruns. It was as jarring as the spilled popcorn on the Husker red shag carpet.

My spouse rushed the stage at a Charlie Daniels Band concert in the then-new Bob Devaney Center at the Nebraska State Fairgrounds. Dang, but if mosh pits had been invented back then he would have been squeezed into apple cider! ***

These days my little students are singing "Fire On the Mountain" for their spring music festival. This traditional folk fiddle song was known to me only from those Charlie Daniels** years. The devil went down to Georgia and engaged in a fiddle competition to gain a country boy's soul.

The kids sing, "Fire on the mountain, run, boys, run. Hey, get along, get along Josey. Hey, get along, get along Jim. Cat in the cream jar, run, girls, run. Hey get along, get along Josey. Hey get along, get along Jim." Two boys made this poster of the cat in the cream jar:

They sing a new-fangled verse, "Chicken in the crockpot, mulligan stew," to Skip-To-My-Lou. Thank heaven they didn't have to put the chicken in the George Foreman Grill!

*The littlest kids like to sit in the "bing-bang chair" while I tie their shoes after naptime.

**When the devil finished
Johnny said well you're pretty good old son
But just sit down in that chair right there
And let me show you how it's done
Fire on the Mountain Run boys, run
The devil's in the House of the Rising Sun
Chicken in a bread pan picken' at dough
Granny does your dog bite No child, no

***Just FYI, our sons turned out pretty normal. Only one listens to Pat Green.

Thinking now of the Marshall Tucker Band--more of a marinaded and grilled chicken tender song:

Fire on the mountain
Lightnin' in the air
gold in them hills
and it's waiting for me there

© 2008 Nancy L. Ruder

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