With Apologies to Counting Crows
Have you ever had one of those days when you start to get a little slap happy? When you’ve been sitting in front of a computer for long periods of time entering data, and then suddenly your brain (in a fit of what I assume is self-preservation) notes something normal and makes a ridiculous parallel.
Right. So. I’m working on stack of books and suddenly I see the book "Bea and Mr. Jones". It’s an early Amy Schwartz title, picked up by Reading Rainbow back in the day and republished not too long ago with a nice red spine. I’ve used it in storytimes. I’ve read it on my own. It is a title that is well and truly familiar to me. And then it happened.
Bea and Mr. Jones? What if you switched the names around? What if it became "Mr. Jones and Bea"? And what if you suddenly started to sing those words to the song "Mr. Jones and Me" by Counting Crows. Naturally, you’d have something like this in your head all day (god help your soul):
I was down my Kindergarden staring at this big fat man
Mr. Jones strikes up a conversation with this black-haired elementary teacher
He joins in as the the kids all play with colors
He’s suddenly a kid again
We all want to be a kid again
I wish I was a kid again
So come trade your job with him for one morning
Come on Bea! Show me some of your crumbly crackers
Pass me some glitter, Mr. Jones
Believe in him
Help him believe in anything
I want him to be someone who believes
Mr. Jones and Bea tell each other fairy tales
Stare at each other’s occupations
"I wanna be you. Oh yeah, yeah, you wanna be me."
Smiling in the morning light
Traveling in on train lines
When everybody loves you, you can never be unhappy
He will paint my picture
Paint myself in blue and red and black and gray
All of the beautiful colors are very very meaningful
Green is his favorite color
I felt so symbolic yesterday
If I had his gumption
I would join my own Kindergarten and play
Mr. Jones and Bea look into the future
Stare at their wonderful lives
"I’m gonna be you.
Uh, I don’t think so. You’re gonna be me."
Standing in the spotlight
Mr. Jones is now the class pet
Since everybody loves him, he will never be lonely
. . .
Mr. Jones and Bea, they’re gonna be big stars.
Not complete but now you have a sense of how my mind works.
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About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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