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1985

Songs

In the children's department, Jeff, Jodie, Sam and Muffy are agreeing to meet back in an hour. Jodie excitedly tells us about the song contest she and the others are going to enter. They need to write a song and sing it. They couldn't decide who should write their song, so all four are going to try writing one. Then, they'll all get together and pick one of the songs. If they win, first prize is $1000.

"I can hardly wait to see what kind of songs the others write." says Jodie. "I can hardly wait to see what kind of song I write!"

Sam, flustered about getting his song written, runs to the computer room and searches everywhere for music paper. TXL is thrilled to hear that Sam is going to write a song, and wonders what type of song it will be.

"What type? Whaddaya mean what type? The type you sing, of course! What other type is there?"

TXL clarifies. Will he write a happy song, a sad song, or a funny song?

Sam has no idea, so TXL decides to show a quiz.

We see a picture of Muffy at her piano, and TXL tells us she's going to write a happy song. Will it sound like this? (We hear very peppy music), Or this? (We hear a funeral march). She tells us to remember our answer and listen to see if we're right or wrong.

(Note: Muffy's says her piano is out of tune when she hits several close keys. "Oh, it's out of tune, well I'll fix that soon!")

Now we're in Muffy's apartment, and she's sitting at her piano. "Any song they choose is fine, but I sure hope they choose mine!" She decides to write a happy song, and immediately begins singing and playing: "I'm so happy, sitting here and singing out my happy song! I could sing it, just like this and I'll be happy all night long."

"If I rehearse this like I should, I could make it super good!" Muffy exalts.

In the travel department, Jeff is as stumped as Sam. But he gets inspiration from the two mannequins standing nearby, dressed as if they're off on vacation. He decides to write a song about them.

"Just singin' a song to brighten my day, just singin' a song, 'cause you're going away, please don't be gone long, my blue skies are gray, just singin' a song, til you're back to stay . . ." he sings. When he's finished, he's quite pleased with it, and rushes off to the children's department to sing it for Jodie.

Now we're treated to a little show. Sharon, Lois and Bram sing a medley of Canadian folk songs from Newfoundland and Quebec.

Meanwhile, Sam is still struggling to write his song. He's found the music paper, but he can't think of a tune - or words!

TXL suggests he put a nursery rhyme to music.

"Hey TXL your circuits are really plugged in tonight! That's a good idea. Yeah, but, uh -- what nursery rhyme?"

TXL demonstrates by singing, "Sing a Song of Sixpence."

That gives Sam an idea. "Can I write music on your keyboard?" he asks.

"Just switch my mode to music," TXL says. But when he tries, his voice, singing "Yo He Ho," comes on instead, full blast, all over the store. It interrupts Jeff playing his song for Jodie and Muffy practicing her song.

Muffy immediately suspects foul play. "This noise is meant to stop me! Why, Sam's determined he must top me."

Sam, in the meantime, is wondering how to stop all the noise.

TXL suggests he push "off."

He does, and the noise ends. But he has to explain it somehow to everyone else. So he announces over the loudspeaker that he was just doing a little speaker test.

But it's too late. Muffy wants revenge.

Now, the mime is listening to music on a portable radio. TXL tells us to try and guess what kind of music she is listening to by the way she dances to it. First she dances in long, sweeping moves, and TXL asks if we think she's listening to a waltz or a polka? Certainly, it's a waltz, as we hear when she takes points her earphones toward us and we can hear the music. Then she changes the station, and begins dancing energetically. TXL asks us if she's listening to a lullaby or rock n' roll. It seems she's listening to rock n' roll, but then she points the earphones toward us again. It's a lullaby! She tricked us. But next she finds a real rock and roll station and boogies away.

Next we see that Sam has retreated to the piano department to try and write his song. He plays awkwardly on the keys a very simple melody. "Sing sing sing a song song song all day day day day long long long it's fun fun fun and everything if you just sing sing sing sing sing." He likes it, and begins to play it again, when Muffy comes through, listening to "Cheese, Please" on a transistor radio. Sam wonders why she has to come and bother him there with the whole store to play in. He continues to practice his song, but soon Muffy comes through again, this time with a boom box, much to Sam's annoyance.

Then, as he continues trying to sing his song, Muffy brings in a tape player with HUGE speakers and rolls it right in front of Sam as it blares out, "Cheese please! Cheese please! Please oh, please can I have cheese, please!" Sam is livid.

"MUFFY! MUF-FY! Sufferin' sea biscuits! Can't you see I'm trying to work here? What are you up to any way, Muffy! I'm tryin' to write a song!"

"Sam, I thought by now you would have guessed, this is just a speaker test!" crows Muffy.

"A speaker... a speaker..." stammers Sam. "Oh, gosh!" He has his head in his hands for a bit and then wonders if Mozart had to put up with any of this.

In the children's department, Jodie is singing her song to Jeff. The song talks about all kinds of feelings. "Whenever days are dreary, the hours just drag along, you'll help to make them cheery, if you just sing a song, but if you feel unhappy, your feet just drag along..." Jeff and Jodie dance throughout the children's department and end the song by running their hands down the piano keys in a flourish.

Having worked her mischief with Sam, Muffy is getting into more trouble in her room. "If I had Jodie's lovely voice, my song would be the others' choice. So I think I'll take a look, in good old Waldo's magic book." She tries a spell designed to give her Jodie's voice.

"Forte, Fortissimo, Molto Piano, Alto Bass Tenor, Jodie soprano!" she says.

"Oh, I don't think it worked," she says, but in Jodie's voice. "But it did! Waldo came through exactly as bid!" Then she happily sings her song again, now in Jodie's voice. Somehow, she thinks she can keep it secret.

Jeff comes outside and demands that Muffy come upstairs.

Muffy is a bit nervous. "He couldn't know!" she says. "Well, I'd better go."

When Muffy arrives at the children's department, Jeff puts the question to her directly.

"Muffy, have you been fooling around with Waldo's magic book again?"

Muffy shakes her head in denial.

"What do you think, Jodie?" Jeff asks.

"Well," she says, in Muffy's voice, "I think somebody has!" When Muffy hears her own voice coming from Jodie, her jaw drops. "Muffy, are you sure it wasn't you?"

Muffy finally admits it. "Oh, Jodie," she says in Jodie's voice, "Please forgive me, do. I wanted to sound just like you!"

Jeff and Jodie are shocked by Muffy's "new" voice, and Jeff tells Muffy to get the book and hurry back.

Meanwhile, Sam comes into the children's department, pushing, with some difficulty, a huge reel-to-reel tape player with speakers almost as tall as he is. It is blaring "Yo He Ho."

"Sam," says Jeff, "Have you written your song yet?"

Sam can't stop. He's on his way to put this huge noisemaker in front of Muffy's door.

"Sam," squeaks Jodie, "I think you should stay!"

When Sam hear's Jodie's altered voice, he's stunned. "Jumblin' jellyfish - What on earth is going on?"

Meanwhile, TXL tells a story about "The Furry Family." Furries, apparently, are small, fur covered animals. In the story, two of the furries borrow the "giant boy's" wagon (he's our size), evidently without his knowledge. However, they have trouble getting the wagon, which they rode so gleefully down the hill, back up the hill again. The problem is, the two furries, Foozle and Freebo are pushing and pulling with great vigor, but unfortunately, each one is on opposite ends of the wagon, and they are pulling and pushing against each other. Grandpa Fap comes along and, after laughing hysterically, tells them that in order to get the wagon up the hill, they must "pulsh" together. In other words, one on one end pushing, and the other on the other end pulling - in the same direction.

This works beautifully, and they get the wagon up the hill and into the boy's garage before he comes to play with it himself.


Back in the children's department, Jeff is making a short speech. He is telling everyone that they should work with each other, not against each other, by trying to distract each other and using magic spells. Sam and Muffy apologize to each other, and Jodie begins to comfort Muffy, but when her voice comes out she remembers that they have yet to get her voice back.

Muffy has the book, and she finds the page with the magic spell. "Forte fortissimo, Muffy piano, alto bass tenor, Jodie soprano!" she says, trying to reverse the spell. At first it seems to work, Muffy's voice is back to normal!

Unfortunately, now everyone has Muffy's voice.

"Don't sweat, don't fret, I'll get it yet!" Muffy says. She tries another way: "Forte fortissimo, Sam Jeff piano, alto bass Jodie, Muffy soprano!"

This time, more chaos. Sam sounds like Jeff, Muffy like Sam, and Jeff like Jodie. Jodie still sounds like Muffy. For a minute, they're all amused at hearing their own voices from another perspective. Sam says his sounds like a foghorn on a very foggy night.

Jodie reminds everyone that though they all sound funny, they've got to get their voices back. So Jeff, sounding just like Jodie, takes a look at the book. "You know Waldo's spells," he says, "They always work. If you can figure them out."

While he's looking Muffy tells Sam to open and close his mouth while she talks. "I'm in a fix with Waldo's tricks!" they say. Then Jodie tries to do the same while Muffy opens and closes her mouth, but she can't think of a rhyme for "orange."

"I've got it!" cries Jeff.

"Me, too," says Sam, in Jeff's voice, "Porange!"

But Jeff was referring to the magic spell. "It's a song spell. Well, you probably have to sing it." So they sing together, to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star."

"Forte fortissimo, molto piano, alto bass tenor, mezzo soprano." Now comes the time to test their voices. Jodie tries first, "Hello, everybody!" she says, and it's in her own voice. It worked!

Now, it's time to pick a song. Muffy, Jodie and Sam each begin singing their own songs - all at the same time.

Jeff tells them that he thinks they can all sing their songs - if they sing them together. Sam begins with his "Sing sing sing a song song song," then Jodie begins hers, "Whenever days are dreary . . .," and Muffy sings her song, much slower than before, "I'm so happy, sitting here..." and then Jeff sings "Just singin' a song," and amazingly, all the songs work together and as each sings their song in counterpoint to the others.

All together, the songs sound beautiful.


Quizzes:

  • None

Nursery Rhyme:

  • None

Notes:

  • First in the quiz and then when we watch Muffy writing her song, we hear a jarring note (caused by hitting several close keys at once). "Oh, it's out of tune, well I'll fix that soon!" says Muffy. Then she plays the song beautifully. I guess they decided to forget about the fact that it was out of tune - or that it takes a professional to tune a piano.
  • The idea of the four separate songs fitting together into a beautiful whole was brilliant, and I was amazed that even the rather clunky song Sam wrote fit in so well. However, the songs they sing together are not exactly the same as the ones they sang alone. As pointed out in the summary, Muffy's part is sung much more slowly in the foursome, and at one point, all four of them sing "brighten the night" from Jodie's song. But the song that is most changed is Jeff's. Originally, he sings, "Just singin' a song to brighten my day, just singin' a song, 'cause you're goin' away." In the foursome, he sings, "just singin' a song in an easy way," and sings other lines like "let's sing right, let's sing bright." Additionally, all four of the songs were about singing.
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