This afternoon my own childhood collided with that of my children as we sat together on the grass in Davisville Park and watched Sharon, Lois & Bram perform live.
I can still remember sitting on my couch watching taped episodes of The Elephant Show on VHS. First there would be the closing credits of Happy Days, followed by...One elephant went out to play, upon a spider's web one day! I can still clearly envision episodes of this show, especially the one where the trio visited Toronto's Centreville amusement park (now my daughter's favourite place in the city). I saw Sharon, Lois, and Bram live in Ottawa at a concert which my mom tells me was where I contracted Chicken Pox. I grew up singing their songs and dancing to their music.
Until today my kids didn't really know much about Sharon, Lois, and Bram. We had one CD when Willow was a baby and would often sing A You're Adorable while trying to get her to sleep. Both kids have heard many of their songs, though, without knowing where they came from.
When I heard via Facebook that Councillor Josh Matlow had arranged to have the playground in Davisville park (one of our local favourites!) named after the musical trio and that they would be performing at the ceremony—I was really excited. Way more excited than my kid.
So we cozied up on the lawn with hundreds of other families from the community and my husband and I got ready to share a little bit of our childhoods with our kids. It was hard not to feel emotional when the three, now 71, 73, and 77, took the stage—looking older than I remembered but still so familiar—as though they were relatives I hadn't seen in years. Their energy was amazing and the songs came back to me as if no time had passed. My mom held my baby girl and sang along to the songs she'd taught me as a kid. It was totally surreal. Everyone was on their feet, especially the adults, singing along and doing all the actions to songs like Peanut Butter & Jelly, I Am Slowly Going Crazy, She'll Be Comin' Round The Mountain, and of course, Skinnamarink!
As Willow got ready for bed tonight we sat together watching old episodes of The Elephant Show online and I felt like I was going to cry. She said: "I really like Sharon, Lois, and Bram now!" And, so you see, some things and some people are amazing enough to transcend time. Thirty-some years later, a new Sharon, Lois, and Bram fan has been born.
Thanks Josh Matlow for making this afternoon so magical.
Watching Sharon, Lois, and Bram live with my kids is something I won't soon forget.
Love other great, classic children's music? Check out this interview with Raffi.