Music and lyrics — all lost in translation for kids

When my friend Philly (he’s from Philadelphia) was a little kid, he ran around the house singing his favorite song, “Big Old Jag, Get a Line On.” Not familiar with the tune? Maybe you know it by its more familiar title, “Big Old Jet Airliner.” Little Philly had an elaborate back story about “Jags” and “Line Ons,” and I guess it all made sense to him.

Meanwhile in another part of the country, I was tooling around my neighborhood on my first two-wheeler bicycle, humming a tune as I rode. The song that always stuck in my head was about a man with a very demanding dog. The dog loved biscuits, and so the man spent his days chained to his oven trying to make enough biscuits to satisfy his hound. For obvious reasons, the man decided to name his dog “Biscuits.” The song was called “Takin’ Care of Biscuits.” Or was that BUSINESS? Hmmm.

I also felt sorry for John Lennon when he crooned woefully, “Everywhere, people stare, and I hear them say, ‘Hey, you’ve got to hide your underwear!'” As a little kid, I could relate.

I got an e-mail earlier this week from a friend of mine. He was listening to a Rivers Cuomo song at home when his 3-year-old asked him, “Papa, why does that guy keep saying, ‘I can’t stop pottying’? Does he have dy-ah-wee-ah?”

Apparently, the problems of uncontrollable pottying and keeping your undies under wraps are more relevant than uncontrollable partying and forbidden love to the life of a 3-year-old.