Mr. Talker and the Walker has to be one of 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 of the poems you hear now are free form, adhering to no specific rules at all. Free form poems are “free” to make up their own rules and patterns, and then change them whenever they feel like it. If you listen to a free form poem though, it still sounds like a poem. You wouldn’t walk into a poetry slam 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 just say flying?)
Thus, I think we can call the thing that is Mr. Talker and the Walker a free form poem or a musical story.
The favorite thing I found on the internet recently (though it isn’t actually that recent) is Pixar’s free story-telling course called “The Art of Storytelling.” Pixar manages to consistently make magical movies that are terrific for kids, relevant for adults, positive-message-filled, tear-inducing, and funny all at the same time. (*No, this is not an ad for Pixar.) I’m just saying that if you want to check out their free course and up your bedtime story game, and maybe add some iambic pentameter in there, you would be hitting so many educationally valuable boxes that the rest of the universe would quake in its boots.
But… aint nobody got time for that right? At least not every day?
This is where your friendly neighborhood Music Class has 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 that content on your own. (Although anything that you add or change for your family is extra meaningful and valuable, see the Polly Put the Kettle On blog.) Mr. Talker and the Walker provides a very specific non-traditional example of creative rhythmic form and musical phrasing, that is super 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 world has yet to see!
We will end this free-form blog post with a little more Pixar. Here is a delightful info-graphic of their “22 Rules of Storytelling,” in case you are inspired to put a little extra magic into your stories over the holidays. Stay safe, stay warm, hug your kids and encourage them to color in the crazy gumby art for Mr. Talker and the Walker in their songbook!