“Down in the meadow in a little bitty pool,
Swam three little fishies and a mama fishie too.
‘Swim,’ said the mama fishie, ‘Swim if you can.’
And they swam and they swam all over the dam.”
Three Little Fishies
(Itty Bitty Pool)
This past week, as I was trudging through my morning workout at Green Valley Park (and at the same time enjoying our spectacular Rim Country winter weather), I witnessed two really nice size trout, well over a foot in length (and that ain’t no fish tale) being reeled into the nets of two extremely ecstatic on-shore anglers.
It isn’t often that I’ve had the opportunity to see the actual catch of even one such beautiful fish, so to see two in the span of a half an hour was really a thrill. It seems that Game and Fish’s October to May stocking program is really working quite well at our beautiful park.
It was then, as I was jogging that the song, “Three Little Fishies,” written by Saxie Dowell and recorded by both the Hal Kemp and Kay Kyser Orchestras (a number one hit for Kyser) splashed into my head.
Since its 1939 introduction, the song “Three Little Fishies” has been covered by many artists through the years — from Glenn Miller and Harry Babbit to Guy Lombardo and the Mills Brothers.
Over time, the song has become a favorite children’s sing-along song and has been recorded over and over again on many children’s records, tapes and CDs — most recently on Disney’s 2004 “Disney: The Best of Silly Songs.”
I remember when I was young (decades ago) my mother singing “Three Little Fishies,” as she tucked my brother and me into bed and also singing it as she did her baking in the kitchen. I’ll bet some of you also have fond memories of hearing your parents sing Dowell’s classic to you — or maybe you’ve entertained your own children or grandchildren with it.
The song has both silly, repeated lyrics (Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!) and a storyline, too.
Dowell tells the story of a mama fish who encourages her three little “children” fish toward independence, “Swim” said the mama fishie,” “Swim if you can.”
So swim, they did — “they swam and they swam all right over the dam.”
But as children often do, the three little fishies took their newfound freedom a bit too far and began swimming away from their mother.
“Stop,” said the mama fishie, “or you will get lost!” Of course, “the three little fishies didn’t want to be bossed,” so the adventurous trio turned tail and “went off on a spree and they swam and they swam right out to the sea.”
“Whee!” yelled the little fishies, “Here’s a lot of fun. We’ll swim in the sea till the day is done.”
This week’s music question is: According to Saxie Dowell’s 1939 “Three Little Fishies” song, what happened to the little fishies after they reached the sea?
Did they A) see a shark, get scared, turn tail and swim back to the meadow pool, B) get caught in a fisherman’s net and then eaten for supper, C) make friends with other adolescent sea creatures or D) meet their “sole” mates, become responsible adult fishies and start careers as “school” teachers?
This week, if you are the sixth caller and have the right answer, you’ll win a custom CD of your choice. Just pick out 20 of your (or your special someone’s) favorite hits and I’ll put them onto a CD for you.
Now, let’s check out how we did with last week’s music trivia question: Who, in 2003, did soul singer Dobie Gray team with on his new version of his 1973 hit “Drift Away?” Was it: A) Mother Nature, B) Father Time, C) Aunt Jemima or D) Uncle Kracker ?
The correct answer was contemporary pop-rock singer/DJ Uncle Kracker.
Born Matthew Shafer in Mount Clemens, Mich., Uncle Kracker’s other top hits were his 2001 “Follow Me,” “When The Sun Goes Down,” a 2004 chart-topping country duet with Kenny Chesney and his 2010 adult contemporary hit “Smile.”
Congratulations to this past week’s music trivia winner, Bob Chasse, who won a $15 dollar gift certificate to the newly reopened and remodeled Miss Fitz 260 Café — “Where good friends and good food meet!” say new owners Kathy Beckett and Diane Fitzpatrick. Bob has been a winner several times in the past.
Have a nice week — and keep up those New Year’s resolutions!