I was watching NBC news this week when they reported on a phenomenon taking the Internet by storm. As of this week, one of very few children’s songs in history landed on the Billboard Hot 100.
This infectious tune about a family of toothy fish made it onto the charts despite being not new. It also scored the highest debut of the January 12 edition of the Hot 100, popping up at No. 32.
The “Baby Shark Dance” video has been a global hit since it was first posted to YouTube in 2016, and it’s easy to see why. For one thing, the shark dance is appealingly simple, something even the youngest toddler can do.
“Baby Shark Dance” is a bona fide YouTube hit. The video currently stands at nearly 2.2 billion views, making it one of the top 25 most-viewed videos in YouTube history.
Baby Shark has become a wholesome internet meme, bringing together people all over the world to do the “Baby Shark Dance”. In fact, as far as wholesome memes go, this is one of the most wholesome, in that it’s harmless and fun. Also, it is directly concerned with bringing people together instead of being cynical or snarking about the world.
Hotel room. Check. Fuel for vehicle. Check. Meals along the way. Check. Two days with college friends. Priceless. There are some things money can’t buy, For everything else there’s MasterCard.
Last month two of Linda’s sorority sisters Jean and Debi, came to visit. Husbands Don and John came too. They drove one entire day to get here from Kansas City. It took them two days to get back. We shared memories, told stories and laughed a lot. We men learned that our spouses are not quite as angelic as they would like us to believe.
One week earlier my friend and fraternity brother Steve and his wife Jana came to visit. Steve and I went to a sports bar to watch March Madness games. Linda and Jana hosted a wedding shower. The bride? The soon to be daughter-in-law of another fraternity brother Marty.
Linda and I are both blessed to have sorority sisters and fraternity brothers with whom we still keep in contact. There is something very special about a friendship that has lasted decades.
You’ve Got a Friend In Me
You’ve Got a Friend in Me is a song written and first recorded by Randy Newman. Originally written as the theme song for the 1995 Disney/Pixar animated film Toy Story, it has since become the theme song for its sequels, Toy Story 2 (1999) and Toy Story 3 (2010) as well as a musical leitmotif throughout the whole Toy Story franchise. The song was nominated for both the Academy Award for Best Original Song and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, but lost both to “Colors of the Wind” from Disney’s Pocahontas
What is the deal with Fat Tuesday? I always thought it was just an excuse to eat all those things I was giving up for Lent. A few years ago, this would be the day I would finish off all the chocolates in our house and drink one final Coke before heading to the church for a pancake feast. I always wondered why we ate pancakes. Why not burgers and fries or a nice juicy steak? That seemed to make more sense to me since the tradition was to eat fish on Friday.
A good friend and fellow blogger just posted the following article about Fat Tuesday on her blog smallsimplethingsoflife.com. Beth inspires me with her insight and incredible photos. You should check it out.
Have you ever wondered what Fat Tuesday is all about? I wasn’t raised in a family or religion that observed the season of Lent; I didn’t really know what it was until I joined a denomination that does observe the season. Likewise, I was unfamiliar with Shrove Tuesday and Mardi Gras. Since we are heading into the beginning of Lent I thought it might be fun to look at these two observances and how they came to be, especially since they were originally one and the same.
Eating pancakes and going to Mardi Gras celebrations are fun activities, but their origins are thought to have started in the Middle Ages as a way to prepare for Lent. Since eating meats, fats, eggs, milk, and fish were restricted during Lent families would have three-day celebrations beginning on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday and culminating in a great feast on Tuesday. The purpose of the celebration was to consume these items that would spoil during the forty days of Lenten fasting. By the beginning of the 20th century the celebration had been shortened to the one-day observance of Shrove Tuesday. This term was derived from the word shrive which means to confess one’s sins and receive absolution from the priest.
So where do the pancakes fit in to Shrove Tuesday? The English gave us this tradition of eating as many pancakes as humanly possible as a way to use up milk, fats, and eggs on hand. It’s easy to see where the nickname Fat Tuesday came from, right? But the Fat Tuesday nickname actually came from France as a reference to eating up all the fatty foods on that day. Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday.
Today Mardi Gras is associated with parties, parades, and revelry in the streets of many cities. It is thought that this tradition came about as a result of the Spring Equinox celebrations of the Romans and ancient pagan peoples of Europe, although many think that the celebrations began as a way to “let it all hang out” before the somber Lenten season’s restrictions mandated observance. These pre-Ash Wednesday celebrations were referred to as “Carnivals” which is derived from the Latin term carnem levare, meaning “to take away the flesh”. Most likely their exuberant excesses led to the Church’s decision to shorten the celebration to one day!
Thank you Beth Hilburn for today’s history lesson.
When I think Mardi Gras, I think of New Orleans. And when I think of New Orleans, one song always comes to mind. “When the Saints Go Marching In“, often referred to as “The Saints,” is an American gospel hymn. Though it originated as a Christian hymn, it is often played by jazz bands. This song was famously recorded on May 13, 1938 by Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra.
The song is apocalyptic, taking much of its imagery from the Book of Revelation, but excluding its more horrific depictions of the Last Judgment. The verses about the Sun and Moon refer to Solar and Lunar eclipses; the trumpet (of the Archangel Gabriel) is the way in which the Last Judgment is announced. As the hymn expresses the wish to go to Heaven, picturing the saints going in (through the Pearly Gates), it is entirely appropriate for funerals.