Monday, September 26, 2005

The More I Type Deportee, The Less It Looks Like A Word

I used a Woody Guthrie song in class last week. I did it with a warning that we don't mock art and that Woody Guthrie is not only art, but the music of my people (blue collar Okies). So we carefully waded in, reading Geraldo No Last Name (a chapter of The House On Mango Street that our Lit book uses as a short story). I love both the book and this chapter.

So after we read the story, we talked a bit about it. Not many of the kids are yet able to get Geraldo's anonymity until I tell them the story of the wreck over Los Gatos Canyon that inspired the Woody Guthrie song Deportee. I am always careful to speak of how we should avoid (as the kids would say) sipping the haterade or eating of the hater tots because, like I said, art and Okies.

I played them my Nancy Griffith version this year. I think it goes over better than my Judy Collins version. I like her, but I am aware that Judy gets a bit warbly. It worked! You wouldn't believe how it worked!! Kids listened silently, some got misty, and some wanted to sing along at the end.

But I didn't know how well it truly went until just now. Suitcase Boy came in today with a CD for me. He told me he found me some other versions of Deportee, and then just burned some Duran Duran for me to fill up the rest of the disc (did I mention Duran Duran to him? This reminds me of The Crib Chick's comment that my ideal concert must be Waylon Jennings and Squeeze). I just popped it in and I now have Deportee as performed by Springsteen, Hoyt Axton, The Highwaymen, and Arlo Guthrie along with about half a CD of the best truly bad techno that my youth had to offer.

12 comments:

Greek Shadow said...

It's magic when students become engaged isn't it?

Streak said...

very cool. what a great song.

Scott Jones said...

Lovely! So, why is he Suitcase Boy instead of Duran, Duran?

Susan said...

I didn't think it could get any funnier than 'haterade' and 'hater tots' (can you get those at Sonic?)--and then it did!

And now I have 'Rio' on the brain . . .

Jim said...

Duran Duran. Wow. I never liked them at all. But Rio is awesome, I love that song! And now I too have it stuck in my head.

educat said...

...and so, Susan and Jim, I can now quote to you the words of Simon LeBon in Rio...

"I tell you something, I know what you're thinking."

I have expressed to Karina how baffling it is to me that I never really memorized my times tables, but know every nonsensical word to every Duran Duran song.

Scott, this kid wheels a large suitcase around. All. The. Time. Allthetime. The stranger trait takes the name, and the luggage wins.

Now, off to word verify.
bfzrnc
Boy fault zone---Rico not Chihuahua.

Jim said...

You just get funnier and funnier.

Just like a winding river through a dusty land!

Tim Sean said...

I so love your blog, educate.

And this comilation from Suitcase Boy is no small thing. It made this Oklahoma folk singer misty. --Tim

Wasp Jerky said...

I had an English teacher who once player our class Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant. so beautiful.

Wasp Jerky said...

She also played it for us.

"Ms. Cornelius" said...

Fellow Okie! I play them Alice's Restaurant, explain the story about how the missing 18 minutes on Nixon's Watergate tapes was the same length as Alice's Restaurant (I heard Arlo tell that one at Riverparks in Tulsa with Joan Baez), and then we all go sing the chorus to Mr. Republican down the hall.

They also liked Little Boxes by Malvina Reynolds.

Spot this one: "Don't say a prayer for me now, save it till the morning after...."

Just found your blog. Love it.

educat said...

Welcome, Ms. C, but you're going to have to work a bit harder to stump the band. Save A Prayer is on the same album and had a video.

I'll toss it back to you (or the rest of the internet) and step it up a bit--

Only came outside to watch the nigh fall with the rain. I heard you making patterns rhyme like some new romantic looking for the TV sound, I'll see you're right some other time.

I'm not proud of this gift, but it's what I have.