Mr. Talker and the Walker has to be one of The Music Class’s most unusual songs.
Can you even call it a song? It has no melody, so normally we would call it a chant. But the thing is so loosey-goosy and free-form, it doesn’t even adhere to normal chant rules where each line has the same number of syllables! It doesn’t perfectly rhyme! And have you seen the trippy art with the Gumby-looking dude talking to a face in the sky? WHAT IS THIS THING?
The thing is, strict rules about syllables and rhyming do not reign supreme in the poetry world. Many modern poems are free-form, adhering to no specific rules at all. Freeform poems are “free” to make up their own rules and patterns, and then change the rules whenever they feel like it. If you listen to a freeform poem though, it still sounds like a poem. You wouldn’t walk into a poetry reading and assume people are just chatting with each other over the microphone about their day.
If you listen to Mr. Talker and the Walker, it still sounds rhythmic. It definitely has a flow that is a loose duple meter, and really distinct phrasing. If you were telling a story about that time you were walking into town through the snow and your friend came flying by and suggested you both get an uber, it wouldn’t sound like this. (Though it probably would be a pretty entertaining story. Did you say flying?)
I think we can call Mr. Talker and the Walker a free-form poem or a musical story.
If you want to try writing your own free-form poem or musical story, Pixar has an incredible free storytelling course called "The Art of Storytelling." Or, you can try reading your child's favorite bedtime story with some rhythm, like imagining you were chanting or rapping or reading a poem instead of a story. You can even try tapping a beat while reading and see how it goes! There are so many fun and creative ways to get a little more musical with your storytime.
But also, if you're not trying to create your own rhythmic content, The Music Class has got you covered. We deliver all of the rhythmic, tonal, and instrumental varieties of music ed. so that you don’t have to find and create all of that content on your own. (phew!) Mr. Talker and the Walker provides a specific non-traditional example of creative rhythmic form and musical phrasing, which is unique even within the library of Music Class songs. Hopefully, this will help teach our kids there is no wrong way to be musical or creative, and maybe one day inspire them to come up with their own new-wave type of song or poetry or dance or art or movie that the world has yet to see!
We will end this free-form blog post with a little more Pixar; a delightful infographic from their “22 Rules of Storytelling." If you're feeling up for making your own poetry or musical story, go for it!! And if not, please enjoy chanting Mr. Talker and the Walker with your family, and don't forget to color in the Gumby art in your songbook!