Rabbit Trails and Songs Around the Globe

This morning the littles and I read in our history book about the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that destroyed Lisbon, Portugal on November 1, 1755.  What with it being All Saints’ Day, many lives were lost while sitting in church on that tragic morning.  The ones who fled to the harbor were later lost at sea when the tsunami hit.

Devastation.  An amazing story.  The king and his family and court had gone to the country for the holiday at the request of one of the king’s daughters, and their lives were spared.  They came back and they rebuilt Lisbon, stronger than ever before–complete with earthquake safe buildings.  That they were able to study it and make that happen all those hundreds of years ago is absolutely mind-blowing.  And impressive.


A young woman and her mother who teach the littles on Sunday evenings shared their globe with us for a few weeks.  When we saw one just like it at the GW Boutique for $6.06, we grabbed it.  It is a wonderful asset to our homeschool program and just really great for learning in general.

Our Princess went and found Lisbon, Portugal on our globe.  By setting the dial and tapping the two places on the globe, she learned how far it is from Georgia to Lisbon.  Then she moved the dial to music.  She danced to the tune that played when she tapped Portugal.

“My favorite’s from India.  Do you mind if I play that song?”  I shook my head no.  She smiled and hummed along to the Indian music.

As I went over to begin preparing lunch, she tapped on the US.  The tune of “Oh Susannah” began to play.

I’m sorry.  What?


I sighed.  Really?

I mean, I grew up listening to that song, and I love it, but that’s the one song they could choose to depict American music?–something I think of as a true melting pot where the flavors still stay distinct and don’t completely blend.  There are all sorts of music written, played, and listened to in this country.

Before I could finish gathering my thoughts, she tapped it again.  Then the tune of “America the Beautiful” played.

Well.  Okay.  I can see that one.

And then tap.

“When the Saints Go Marching In” began playing.

Gotcha.  Okay, so I started thinking maybe it was going to play traditional songs from different parts of the country, when–


You’re never going to believe this one.

“Amazing Grace.”  Now I was in the kitchen, and I can’t be quite certain, but I am pretty sure it was a bagpipes version.


It got me to thinking.  This globe is very cool, and what a bargain, right?  They use it a lot and we talk about the facts they learn about the different countries from using it.  I am wondering a couple of things though.

As far as the music goes, are they as far off in other countries as they seem to be on this one?

What song would I say gives the best picture of this country I live in?

I don’t know.

I don’t know that one song can do all of that.  But those four right there–it’s sort of like when the food judges tell a contestant on Chopped, “I like all the ingredients individually, but they really don’t seem to go together on the plate.”

I like all those songs, but together?   A picture of what the US is?

Ahem.  No.

It’s something fun to think about though.  What about you?  What song feels like home to you?  What song reminds you of the country you grew up in?  I’d love to hear.

Tonight I’m giving thanks for all the rabbit trails our learning takes us on.  It might seem a little crazy sometimes, but it always leaves us wanting to learn more.

And I’ll call that a win.

Love to all.


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