Tuesday, November 14, 2006

and a-three and a-four...

Even better ~ is this scenario from 2nd Grade:
March 17, 1959.
Every kid in Room 5 at Jean Parker Elementary School wore an article of green colored clothing that day. Each of us had a huge paper shamrock pinned to the front of our outfit.

At the annual St. Patrick's Day school assembly, our 3rd grade teacher Mrs. Sparks had us sing this song

'When Irish Eyes Are Smiling' (music published 1912)

When Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure, 'tis like the morn in Spring.

In the lilt of Irish laughter
You can hear the angels sing.
When Irish hearts are happy,
All the world seems bright and gay.
And when Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure, they steal your heart away.

As with 'Chinatown My Chinatown', we sang just the chorus.
Mrs. Sparks made it a point to instruct us all to pronounce 'smiling' as 'smoylin'.
I guess that was supposed to make us all appear MORE Irish or something.

My favourite line in the chorus: 'and when Irish eyes are smoylin, sure they steal your heart away' - which I always imagined to be 'and when Asian eyes are smyleeeng', sure they steal your heart away'...
In 1959 I was eight years old.


Anonymous said...

hi b

tell me....how is it your school pic looks just like my school pic, except for the fact that all the kids in mine are either jewish, italian, irish or afro-american?
in fact, the girl in the 2nd. row, third from the right, looks to be wearing the same dress that Gale had on in our school pic!
Which one is you, btw?


jessamynit said...

yes, yes, which is you?!

baffle said...

C'mon guys!
'Try guess'.

Bonus points if you figure out which one is me in Grade 1 (previous post'and-a-one and a-two 'Chinatown, My Chinatown') as well.

Contrary to common belief, all Chinese....

P.S. Super Bonus points if anyone can find Romano Vincenzi in both pix! Heehee!

Tip: Click on each photo to enlarge.

Derek said...

You were easy to spot! Too cute! But, yeah, what's with the white dude? Romano? What's his story???

Lauren said...

Yes, you're cute as can be!

baffle said...

Aha - so some of you KNOW but aren't telling.
(D - I will let ya know in due course)

RE: White Dude Romano.
He was Italian-Italian.
That is, Romano was born in Italy and recently immigrated to the U.S., ending up at Jean Parker School with 99.9% Americans of Chinese descent. The rest of us kids loved his last name - three syllables! Chinatown borders North Beach, which at the time was a predominantly Italian neighbourhood. Romano spoke English with a strong Italian accent. He also got frustrated very easily, and his face would turn bright pink.

Gary Fazzio was another white guy who joined our class in later grades.
Gary was born in San Francisco - an American of Italian descent. No Italian accent, no pink face.

For the LONGEST time, I thought all white people were Italian.

P.S. Thanks for pointing out the cuteness, but do pick up on the irony of little Chinese-American kids singing these songs. The teachers didn't have a clue, did they? It was the 50's, after all....
not that we've come that far: http://www.racialicious.com/2006/11/08/musical-yellowface/

Anonymous said...

Hi B

RE: racialious.com
I've heard that little ditty many, many times. never knew that it a)wasn't chinese or b) something to be thought of as racist. (though it did seem to strike me as stereotypical whenever a character of asian background was involved and you'd hear it)
i've learned something new. this only adds to the proof that communication between people of different nationalities, is the way to understanding and enlightenment.


PS. I'll have to see if I can take a picture of my grade school pic and then download it onto the computer and send it to you. see if you can find me! lol

justducky said...

Is someone wearing a barrette?