rushthatspeaks: (Default)
[personal profile] rushthatspeaks
As I'm sure I've mentioned, singing to a baby causes one to dredge out of one's memory all the songs one has ever so much as heard in passing, and because it's difficult to keep on and on doing that, most people seem to settle pretty quickly into a relatively stable repertoire.

My mother-in-law happens to remember, and to sing pretty frequently, a tune I do in fact remember from the wilderness camps of my youth, but nowadays I have to say the connotations read, uh, differently, at least for me. It's difficult when I hear her start up for me not to need to leave the room and immediately stifle myself with a sofa cushion lest I go into spasms, because if that happened-- and I really don't want to do this to my mother-in-law-- I would have to explain.

The song is called "Waltzing with Bears". You've probably heard it.

I went to his room in the middle of the night
I tiptoed inside, and I turned on the light
But to my dismay, he was nowhere in sight
'Cause my Uncle Walter goes waltzing at night.

He goes wa wa, wa wa wa, wa waltzing with bears
Raggy bears, shaggy bears, baggy bears too
And there's nothing on earth Uncle Walter won't do
So he can go waltzing, wa wa wa waltzing
He can go waltzing, go waltzing with bears.

You see, I know from bears. I've been to enough Pride parades. They have a flag of their own and everything. It's a pawprint on the leather pride flag, and often the bears are covered with leather, as well as with fur, and they're often very tall as well as very round, and always very burly. Sometimes they carry teddy bears, but the teddies aren't usually any fuzzier than the men.

So Uncle Walter has made a significant lifestyle decision, about which his family seems dismayed, though personally I don't see the problem.

We bought Uncle Walter a new coat to wear
But when he comes in, it's all covered with hair
And lately I've noticed there's several new tears
I'm sure Uncle Walter's been waltzing with bears.

Well damn, Walter. I assume this was all at a leather bar. You probably don't want to ask for the details about how he got his coat torn.

We told Uncle Walter that he should be good
And do all the things that we said that he should
But we know that he'd rather be off in the woods
We're afraid that we'll lose him, lose him for good.

See, when people come out, they generally don't want to go back in, especially if the only reasons you give them are moralizing ones. I'm entirely with Uncle Walter here, is what I am saying.

We begged and we pleaded, "Oh please won't you stay?"
We managed to keep him home just for a day.
Then the bears all barged in and they took him away
Now he's waltzing with pandas, and they can't understand us
And the bears all demand at least one waltz a day.

As far as I can tell, Uncle Walter has at this point taken up with a biker gang. In fact has run off with a biker gang. He really sounds as though he is enjoying that biker gang-- to each their own kinks, Uncle Walter. I am picturing this all "Leader of the Pack" style, except without the crash part, Uncle Walter riding off on the bike behind the lead bear with a loud VRRRRMMM noise, the whole gang vanishing into the night with their middle claws extended. (I vacillate as to how human I think the bikers are. Maybe they're furries? There are definitely bear biker gangs, but I don't know if there are furry bear biker gangs, even though in a just universe there ought to be.)

Now my Aunt Matilda was mad as could be
She said, "Walter, that rat, never waltzes with me."
So she took her fur coat and remodeled it so
Now she can go waltzing and Walter won't know.

I feel your pain, Aunt Matilda. It's distressing that your husband turned out to have a necessary-to-him epiphany so late in life, probably after years of marriage. You love him, and you wish you were still sexually compatible.

... I have to say, I did not see BECOMING A FURRY AND JOINING THE BIKER GANG coming as a solution to this problem. You go, Aunt Matilda! Self-actualize! Claim your waltzing, motorcycle-riding power!

Anyway, by this point I am basically weeping with laughter, and the baby may well be asleep, and I have no desire to say one word about it to my mother-in-law, who is probably actually waltzing the (Schrodinger's-sleeping) baby around the room in an adorable-anthropomorphic-animal nursery-song way, which is perfectly reasonable, honestly, and why shouldn't she.

I just mostly tango with the baby, myself. Waltzing has gone all euphemistic in my head of late, and tango seems the wiser course.

Date: 2017-04-13 08:22 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
I had the EXACT SAME reaction to that song. While sitting at the back of a classroom full of five-year-olds more-or-less-watching their music teacher. I'm sure my face turned fascinating colors as I tried to stay silent.

It's a good one. I'm rooting for Uncle Walter, too.

Date: 2017-04-13 08:54 am (UTC)
sovay: (Viktor & Mordecai)
From: [personal profile] sovay
So she took her fur coat and remodeled it so
Now she can go waltzing and Walter won't know.

I never heard that verse until you and [personal profile] gaudior sang it for me and I must say that I am delighted.

Date: 2017-04-14 08:43 pm (UTC)
nineweaving: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nineweaving
Me neither. Me too!


Date: 2017-04-13 11:34 am (UTC)
the_rck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_rck
When my daughter was small, just a few weeks old, my MIL complained that the songs I knew were pretty universally depressing and told me I should write new lyrics for all of them. I boggled because I couldn't figure out how she thought that would be something easy, something that I'd have time and energy for.

Which reminded me of the person who wanted me to run a LARP when I didn't have time to write one. He said something on the order of, "Just take an old one and change all the plots!" and looked really pleased to have suggested such a huge time saving technique. So, you know, very, very unclear on the concept.

Date: 2017-04-13 11:50 am (UTC)
rax: (Horo whiskers)
From: [personal profile] rax
I am glad I have somehow missed this thus far because I would have literally exploded from attempting to keep in laughter.

(I've mostly been going with 90s power pop and Joni Mitchell, because, well, because.)

Date: 2017-04-13 12:01 pm (UTC)
mrissa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrissa
I don't know this song. I wish I knew this song. It would be so satisfying to so many of my friends.

Date: 2017-04-13 12:19 pm (UTC)
oracne: turtle (Default)
From: [personal profile] oracne

I'd heard of the song but never heard the lyrics before.

Date: 2017-04-13 12:57 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] kinderny
For some reason when I sang lullabies to my one and only baby I started channeling all the "Irish" songs we learned each year in anticipation of St. Patrick's Day (surprisingly big celebration in suburban Los Angeles). Never knew where that came from but I knew the words. Love the waltzing with bears- although I never heard of it before.

Date: 2017-04-13 06:09 pm (UTC)
genarti: ([avatar] the boulder is not conflicted!)
From: [personal profile] genarti
INDEED. I didn't grow up with that song, only heard it as an adult, and: INDEED.

I actually think I've heard a filk version at least once that takes the obvious interpretation and runs with it more textually, but I can't remember more than that and quick googling isn't turning up anything.

Date: 2017-04-13 09:44 pm (UTC)
wordweaverlynn: (bi)
From: [personal profile] wordweaverlynn
I didn't know that song, but I laughed so hard I almost wet myself.

Date: 2017-04-14 08:14 am (UTC)
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
I am glad the baby is growing up listening to a song which is so supportive of both Walter's epiphany and Matilda's self-actualization! Whatever level of interpretation one places on them. *g*

Date: 2017-04-14 07:02 pm (UTC)
carbonel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] carbonel
I haven't spent all that much time with babies, but I remember Nate Bucklin's "Preposterous" as one of my walking/bouncing around standards.

(I don't like the production values of the studio version the link goes to, but it's what's available online.)

Date: 2017-04-14 07:55 pm (UTC)
weirdquark: Stack of books (Default)
From: [personal profile] weirdquark
... I have to say, I did not see BECOMING A FURRY AND JOINING THE BIKER GANG coming as a solution to this problem. You go, Aunt Matilda! Self-actualize! Claim your waltzing, motorcycle-riding power!

I am so down with this interpretation of the song.

Date: 2017-04-15 01:48 am (UTC)
nineweaving: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nineweaving
I have many fond memories of singing this, twirling round the Buttery living room. According to long thread on Mudcat, it's a variant on "My Uncle Terwilliger Waltzes With Bears," Words by (good heavens!) Theodore Geisel, music by Eugene Poddany. Terwilliger? Paging Hans Conried!

Edited Date: 2017-04-15 01:52 am (UTC)


rushthatspeaks: (Default)

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