The Shapiro Files

Friday, April 20, 2007


CowsSandra Boynton is evil.

I recently purchased for Melody and Julianne a combo CD/book of songs written by well-known greeting card designer and children’s book writer/illustrator Sandra Boynton. Called Philadelphia Chickens, the collection is a whimsical pseudo-musical review of songs about various animals and other silly topics performed by Boynton’s very talented musical collaborators and a bunch of celebrities such as Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline. The music is catchy and can be enjoyed by both adults and children alike.

So why is Boynton evil? The answer: a song called “Cows.”

“Cows” is the opening track of the album and is very much in the style of “One” from A Chorus Line. It’s exactly the kind of silly song that I might be inclined to write if I had to make cows its topic. I certainly thought it was amusing enough when I first played it and was hoping Melody might enjoy it as well. As it turns out, she didn’t just enjoy the song; she became absolutely obsessed with it.

At first, I thought it was absolutely adorable when Melody would point at our music player and say “Cows!” Then I thought it was pretty cute that she’d keep asking me to repeat the song when it was finished. But after the umpteenth time playing the song (and eventually setting iTunes to loop it after that), things started getting a little less charming.

Now, I’m the first to admit that any song with lyrics such as “Cows! We’re remarkable cows/And where we go it’s quite a show/Yes you know we are cows” and “If you thought that all we could do is go moo/Then you ought to come and see what we do” should be endlessly giggle-worthy. But I challenge you to read the above words one hundred times (not ten, not twenty, but one hundred!) and see if you’re still giggling.

Cows indeed. Curse you Boynton!


  • I remember I used to get pretty obsessed with things as a child. I could listen to the same fairy tale or the same song or watch the same animated movie over and over again. What's worse, I could TELL the same stories hundreds of times in a row, only changing the ending, but retaining all the rest of the detail. While it may have been cute in the beginning, I'm sure it drove my parents and grandparents crazy after a while. I'm just surprised at all the patience they had to listen to that! : ) I think many little kids are like that - they hear or see something they like and they just can't stop enjoying it, until they find another obsession. Don't worry, she'll get bored with it EVENTUALLY!

    By Blogger Irina Tsukerman, at 4/21/2007 11:52 AM  

  • My cousins son is obsessed with trains...and watches the Thomas the Train video OVER AND OVER AND OVER's exhausting when you're not around it all the time, I can't imagine living with it. We'll be there soon enough! :)

    By Anonymous cousin jody, at 4/26/2007 6:03 AM  

  • Here's a link to a sample of the song on Amazon for the curious (like me):

    By Anonymous David Scott, at 5/01/2007 3:54 PM  

  • Irina and Jody, yes kids really do get obsessed with certain things. In fact, besides "Cows," Melody is completely obsessed with the wonderful animated film Tonari no Totoro (American title: My Neighbor Totoro), which I keep meaning to write about. Every day, she works her way over to the TV, points, and demands, "Toto! Toto!" I've now seen that movie what feels like a hundred times. The good news is that I love that movie and it manages to always entertain.

    And by the way, I hope everyone took my tone in this posting as ironic. Of course, I don't really think Sandra Boyton is evil and in fact, I really like the entire Philadelphia Chickens album.

    David, thanks for the link. I should have thought to do that! Catchy tune, isn't it? :)

    By Blogger Steve Shapiro, at 5/01/2007 4:48 PM  

  • Speaking of cows...well not really...where are you steve?? :)

    We miss your updates!

    The Egel Nest

    By Blogger Bradley Egel, at 6/28/2007 9:20 AM  

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