Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happiness is a Secured Kangaroo

So the song in my head today is "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport." I learned the chorus of it in elementary school, and somehow got the impression that it was an old Australian folk song. (It was actually written by Rolf Harris in 1957 and became popular in the early 60s.) Anyway, the chorus goes:

Tie me kangaroo down, sport
Tie me kangaroo down!
Tie me kangaroo down, sport
Tie me kangaroo down!

Which is innocuous enough, and a fun song to get a bunch of elementary school children to sing.

The thing is, when I was just a wee one I didn't quite grasp that "tie me kangaroo" was dialect for "tie my kangaroo." I just thought the "kangaroo" was added to the song just to make it Australian. Perhaps it was a verbal tic Australians had, adding the word "kangaroo" to their sentences without even knowing it. "Pass the kangaroo sugar, please." "What's kangaroo on the telly tonight?"

Problem is, that frame of mind changes the lyrics from someone stressing that you don't want a loose kangaroo on your hands to someone saying, "Tie me down, sport... Tie me down."

As an elementary school kid, I had no idea why someone would want to be restrained in such a fashion. While "Tie me down, sport," takes on a whole new meaning to my adult ears, as I kid I could only think of one explanation:

He was asking to be tied down because he was worried about turning into a werewolf. And if he were a werewolf, he'd probably eat the kangaroo.

Who really should have been tied down, don't ya think?


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