Thursday, September 8, 2011

we're so brave, we're so smart

The Mighty Minnows of Room 144 are almost literally splishing and splashing down the hall this week due to the many inches of rain that have fallen here, and in two weeks of school they have not been out to recess ONCE.  (Long story; must get to writing that grant to fund 20 pairs of galoshes and 20 ponchos so we can go out in all weathers).

The "big song" we're learning is one both my own children sang in Kindergarten with the wonderful Miss Cook, The Sun Inside Us. (Scroll down to play a sample.)  It's by Sarah Pirtle, from an album called The Wind Is Telling Secrets, and we hope Sarah doesn't mind that we've changed an important word in the chorus from "strong"--which for little children implies muscle power only--to "brave," which is a fine character trait that even the most physically challenged can develop. 

It's just a song, and it's not like they made it up themselves, but I can hardly express how it feels to hear 5-year-olds assert, in sincere and joyful voice (and of course, with motions) that they were born brave and smart, with loving hearts.  I know that singing those words rubs off on them.  The poetry's darn good too.

The Sun Inside Us
Sarah Pirtle

Derry-down a-diddle-um-day!
So we are and so we’ll stay.
We're so brave; we're so smart;
We were born with a loving heart.

We were born with the sun inside us,
We were born with the mystery moon.
We were born with the stars to guide us,
We were born with the blackbird's tune.

We were born with the river's turning.
We were born with the river's run.
We were born with the wild bird's yearning.
We were born with the blue jay's fun!

We were born with the strength of hickory,
We were born with the seagull’s sight.
We were born with cells of crystal,
We were born with the rainbow light.

You're so brave; you're so smart;
You were born with a loving heart.

Katie's hosting Poetry Friday at Secrets and Sharing Soda today.  Bubble on over and fizz!


  1. Great song and I appreciated the link to the audio sample. Just one question--how do the kids manage with "Derry-down a-diddle-um-day"? It's a real mouthful.

  2. First of all -- YIKES!! Two weeks of indoor recess at the beginning of the year?!?!? Hoping against all hopes that the sun returns to you!

    But most of all -- I think it's so true that the song lyrics and poems we memorize stay inside us and help to make us who we are. I often wonder which bits and phrases of BARTER (by Sara Teasdale) remain with that first class of fourth graders I taught oh so long ago sees the world...

    And once again -- can I come be a Mighty Minnow?!?!

  3. I'm getting a mental picture of you singing with your kids, Holly. It makes me wish I could join in. Love these lyrics. I'm going to look for the CD for my niece (age 4). Hope you get recess soon.


  4. I would love for my 9 year old daughter to read this poem and memorize it by heart.

    My favorite stanza:
    We were born with the sun inside us,
    We were born with the mystery moon.
    We were born with the stars to guide us,
    We were born with the blackbird's tune.

    Thank you for sharing.

  5. Those lyrics are terrific! I thought your change from "strong" to "brave" was interesting. I can see why you'd want to do that, or risk having everyone flex their muscles when they are acting it out.

  6. i wish we had more professional sports teams and adult organizations with names like the mighty minnows!

    such a great song, and also that you are instilling these great ideas into their personalities at such a young age. if you say it it you can become it.

  7. Even just reading the words of that song made me want to sit up a little straighter. I especially love that line about the "blue jay's fun!" Thanks for sharing!

  8. I like the word change and am very interested to hear about the possible upcoming experiment with the galoshes and raincoats.

  9. I'd like to apply to be a Mighty Minnow, too. ;0) Great song, and I hope you have some sunshine and blue skies soon.


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!