Tag Archives: dancing

The Lollipop that got away

Yesterday saw the passing of one of the most pioneering of child performers, Shirley Temple.

As Internet and television news outlets review her more than 80 years of accomplishments in entertainment and political life, everyone is playing and replaying the most famous clip – the cherubic actress belting out “On the Good Ship Lollipop.”

Cripes, another childhood memory:

Saint Dominic’s Catholic School, Shaker Heights, Ohio, 1968. For the school’s annual musical performance, second graders were divided into two groups. One performed “On the Good Ship Lollipop,” made famous by Shirley Temple. The other performed “Dearie.” If you remember it, then you’re much older than I. For the benefit of those who don’t, it was made famous by Ethel Merman.

Can you guess to which group I was assigned? This eight-year-old had to sing a song made famous by Ethel-freakin’-Merman.

Sorry for the outburst. The months I spent at Saint Dominic’s packed a chest of gloomy memories in the old emotional attic; that movie clip cracked the lid for a second.

The kids assigned to the Lollipop group got to wear cute, short sailor dresses and sing about bon-bons while dancing a perky little shuffle. I still remember a few of the steps. I made a point to learn them in the hopes that Sister Somebodyorother might spot my raw perkiness and switch me into the good group.

The other group did their number seated in rocking chairs, donning gray wigs and dressed in ankle-length frocks, because “Dearie” is about getting old. Not to mention the references to things no second grader would relate to. One group, lemonade stands; the other, running boards.

My father still teases me about how grumpy I was when we rehearsed, my lips pursed and eyes rolling. “Do you remember?” Yes, I remember.

On the Good Ship Lollipop

On the good ship lollipop
It’s a sweet trip to a candy shop
Where bon-bons play
On the sunny beach of Peppermint Bay

Lemonade stands everywhere
Crackerjack bands fill the air
And there you are
Happy landing on a chocolate bar

See the sugar bowl do the tootsie roll
With the big bad devil’s food cake
If you eat too much ooh ooh
You’ll awake with a tummy ache

On the good ship lollipop
It’s a night trip into bed you hop
And dream away
On the good ship lollipop

By Richard A. Whiting and Sidney Clare


Dearie, do you remember when we
Waltzed to the Sousa band
My wasn’t the music grand

Chowder parties down by the seashore
Every Fourth of July.

My Dearie, Do you recall
when Henry Ford couldn’t even fix
the running board under a Chandler six

Dearie, life was cheery
In the good old days gone by.

Dearie, do you remember when we
Stayed up all night to get
Pittsburgh on a crystal set

Keystone movies, Coogan and Chaplin
Made you laugh and then cry

My Dearie, do you recall
When Orville Wright flew at Kitty Hawk
Take it from me, I would rather walk

Dearie, life was cheery
In the good old days gone by.

Dearie, do you remember how they
Loved Harry Lauder’s act?
My wasn’t the Palace packed

Jenny Lind presented by Barnum
Sang her sweet lullaby

Test your memory my Dearie,
Chicago all in flames sure caused a terrific row
They blamed it on Mrs. O’Leary’s cow

Dearie, life was cheery
In the good old days gone by.

Do you remember?
Yes, I remember.

Well if you remember, Dearie
You’re much older than I.

By David Mann and Bob Hilliard


Filed under Family and Friends, Movies, Television and Radio, Music

Dancing for marbles

About 10 years ago, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine completed research, funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, finding that frequent dancing improves mental acuity and protects against dementia better than any other type of physical activity.

Stanford University published an article about the study, not because they are one of the top medical institutions in the country but, and this was news to me, they have a vibrant dance department. They tout the 2001 study and other research to promote the University’s many dance programs.

I’m not sure how this bodes for my personal sharpness or how I will fare into my golden years. Except for a few ballet lessons as a child, and as a pretend go-go dancer in our garage when I was six, I didn’t dance much as a child. Not as a teenager, nor as a young adult, except at weddings. Now, I dance several days a week.

When I was 45, I started doing Jazzercise and, when I’m not sick or travelling, I go most weekdays.

Despite popular belief, Jazzercise is a vigorous total-body workout. It comprises about 35 to 40 minutes of aerobic dance, followed by 20 minutes or so of strength training to music. Still, it’s like going to a party every day. If I weren’t burning some 500 calories an hour, I’d almost feel guilty going. Now, I learn it’s a total-body-and-mind workout.

People thought I was crazy when I wanted to have a Jazzercise party for my 50th birthday, but that’s exactly what I did. I had my 51st at IHOP.

I wonder how many more years before the intelligence kicks in.

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Filed under Health, News, Sports and Recreation