I went to the local Salvation Army yesterday to kill some time and I found this little gem. It's not in the best condition but well enough to share with you. There isn't a copyright date on the record and there is very limited information on this album available. I'm assuming by the musical style and the clip art on the album cover that it's from the late 60's to early 70's. There is an address on the record itself from Oklahoma City and as an Okie myself, I am saddened this is a product from my own state.
As a young child my parents would constantly feed music into my brain. My dad would put on classical music to help me sleep, for example. I remember back hearing children music, even as a rug rat, I could tell the difference between children's music with real texture (Raffi for example) from drivel like this.
This record, to me at least, is particularly annoying. The music on this album is designed to facilitate tike-sized square dancing. See? The name of the album itself is a pun, which is annoying enough. Children will take carpet segments, turn them nap side down and perform instructed movements. There isn't much one can do on a small carpet square, added with the limited mental capacity of four and five year olds, the activities are quite limited. Twisting, for example, is a real staple move for this activity.
I'll share a few tracks from this record to show you what I mean. This album is fairly rare (gee, I wonder why!?) but you may be able to pick up a copy on eBay.
The first track on this album is an appalling adaptation from an old royalty-free ditty.
Sweet Georgia Brown Carpet Twist
This track really outlines what this entire album is about. Believe me, it'll get worse as we move along.
I find the seventh track particularly disturbing.
It's made up of a chorus and a series of musical interludes. I edited out the musical stops (which lasted around 10 seconds) to make this song just that much less painful to listen too. You're welcome! The description on the album best describes what's going on:
"This routine can be done either with Carpet Squares nap side down or up (stationary). We suggest that the group be divided into small circles or one large circle with the leader interpreting the music from the center of the circle. There is time provided for the quick changing of the leader as the mood of the music changes, too."
This album wasn't made long after the Cuban Missile Crisis and still in the thick of the Cold War. You would think teaching children of a collective obedience to a centralized command would be frowned upon. Aah well, maybe I'm just over thinking it. Let's move on...
Now here's an ode to our men and women in uniform!
Carpet Drill Team Routine
If you're like me, you're finding it hard to imagine what this would actually look like in practice. I might have to get some friend's kids together to test it out. Not because I find it a good idea. Rather, how will kids respond to something like this? Will they respond? My best guess is at some point a kid will slip and bust his head open on the hardwood floor; given how litigious our country has become over the past 40 years or so, luckily we never will have to worry about finding out.
Now, the best has been left for last.
This is the last track on the album and I feel they have long ran out of ideas by time they reached this song. I bet the singer, who reminds me of the Russian La la la guy, said something like, "Uh, I don't know I'll just say something like I am swimming and I'm happy or sad or something. The little brats can just reenact what I'm saying I'm doing or feeling. Who cares at this point?". And that's exactly what they did.
One thing I really like, that I found amusing while listening to this record (and yes, I listened to the entire thing twice), is how the bass guitarist really seems to be putting his entire heart into it. He seems to get more and more aggressive, more into it as the album progresses. I'd like to find out who he is just so I can shake his hand. That takes one hell of a constitution.