I’m barely old enough to remember any of the early days of Peter, Paul, and Mary, but Mom had the Peter, Paul, and Mommy album, and we played it a lot when I was young.

I pretty much know all the songs on it by heart, and it isn’t uncommon for me to sing out a chorus when events prompt a memory of one or another of the songs.

My kids know “It’s Raining,” “Going To The Zoo,” “Boa Constrictor,” “Mockingbird,” and “Puff (The Magic Dragon)” mostly from me singing. I’ve given them bits of “Make-Believe Town” before, but this morning at breakfast, Elizabeth was putting jam on a biscuit and exclaimed that she almost dropped her book in the jam.

I belted out, “He studies in books, where nobody looks, because they’re all covered with jam,” and the kids all said, “Huh?” Well, I managed to complete the verse, and they understood, but Joseph asked more, and so I pulled up Spotify, found the album, and started it playing.

That was neat! Not only was it quite nice to pull up the old memories and good feelings, but it was gratifying as a daddy to see the kids positive reactions, especially Joseph, the most artistic of us.

He started singing along, even to the ones he’d never heard before. It was almost like the “Marvelous Toy,” passing it along.

Does a daddy’s heart good.

I was also struck by the wisdom in those children’s songs.

I encourage all men to remember the advice of the turtle dove, “Court her night, court her day, never give her time to say, “Oh nay.” (That’s  how you win her, and that is how you keep the love strong!)

As a daddy, this one is particularly significant to me:

Tell me why you’re crying, my son
I know you’re frightened, like everyone
Is it the thunder in the distance you fear?
Will it help if I stay very near?
I am here.

Refrain:
And if you take my hand my son
All will be well when the day is done.
And if you take my hand my son
All will be well when the day is done.
Day is done, Day is done
Day is done, Day is done

Do you ask why I’m sighing, my son?
You shall inherit what mankind has done.
In a world filled with sorrow and woe
If you ask me why this is so, I really don’t know.

(Refrain)

Tell me why you’re smiling my son
Is there a secret you can tell everyone?
Do you know more than men that are wise?
Can you see what we all must disguise
Through your loving eyes?

(Refrain)

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