The Cowboy Song

24 03 2010

My mom had a tape when I was growing up of Linda Rondstadt, and it had a song on it called “Old Paint”.  Until three days ago, I didn’t know the name of the song.  But I’ve always loved the song, a melancholy cowboy song.  I decided to learn it on the guitar, so that I could start building my repertoire of traditional folkie songs to play in community.  So, with guitar in hand, I looked up the lyrics, the chords and started playing.

Little A, a great musician herself, fell in Love with the song.  She asks me to sing it, in classic toddler style, at least 50 times a day.

Today, little A woke up at 4:30am.  I had stayed up after yoga last night and went to sleep at 11:30.  This gave me approximately 5 hours of sleep to recharge enough to take care of an active toddler, cook, clean, teach some random woman how to pressure can, and menstruate.  Definitely not enough, in my opinion.

Sleeplessness seems to be one of my lessons in parenting.  Little A was never a sleeper.  She only started “sleeping the night through” about two months ago, and it’s almost a stretch to call it that.  Before that, she was awake every two hours or less, for more than two years.

In those two years, I learned a lot of patience.  I learned that if my child wants me to do the same thing over and over again, a thousand times, but it is a low-impact activity (reading a book, singing a song, cuddling etc) then I better just surrender to the monotony, and embrace the opportunity for rest while I can.

So, today, it was the “Cowboy Song” as little A calls it.  Over and over and over.  Dragging the guitar behind her, she would insist “mama, sing that other song… the Cowboy Song.”  And, so I would embrace the chance to sit and relax and croon her Old Paint over and over again.

However, tomorrow, I intend on being well rested.  Which means, I will more energy for other things, like sewing, or baking.  I will not be singing Old Paint a thousand times.  In anticipation of this, I recorded a video of it, so that little A can listen to it on youtube instead of me singing it.  I will, most definitely, sing it at least once tomorrow, but when the persistent requests come in, I have a back up plan!

Here is my version, crooning in a messy living room with a dog on my toe, and sleep deprived, of the traditional cowboy song, “Old Paint”:

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