Lyrics

Let Yourself Shine!

THANKFUL

I’m thankful for my family
And all the things they do for me
I’m thankful for water and for food
The stars in the sky and the moon
I’m thankful for God and these hands I lend
My thankfulness it never ends.
I’m thankful for you and
to dance in these shoes
To sing and to play, I hope you
have the most wonderful day
I hope that you see, I’m thankful to be me
For the blanket on my bed and
for the roof over my head
I thank you, We thank you, I thank you, We thank you
I’m thankful for friends and sunny weather
I hope we always stick together
Forever and ever and ever and ever, forever
I’m thankful for sisters and cousins and brothers
Moms and Dads lets love one another
Everybody be kind to each other
Always and always, forever, together
I’m thankful for you and
to dance in these shoes
To sing and to play, I hope you have
the most wonderful day
I hope that you see,
I’m thankful to be me
For the blanket on my bed and
for the roof over my head
I thank you, We thank you,
I thank you, We thank you

_________________________________________________________________

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It centers around a communal meal and requires no exchange of gifts except giving thanks. But how many of us truly take the time to appreciate what we have or give back to others? This song was born out of a conversation I had with the kids right around the Thanksgiving holiday. Every year Community Rocks! does an annual campaign called “Give Thanks, Give Back.” We collect food, clothing and money for our Neighbors in Need program. But I would wonder as we were doing it… do the kids truly get it? Having children of my own, I want them to be grateful and thankful for what we have.  We are very fortunate to every night have a blanket on our bed and a roof over our head, cause many do not.

So I thought an exercise that the kids listed everything to be thankful for, we would all be reminded. In order to relate, we needed to make it personal. So a brainstorming session of what we all are thankful for turned into a drawing and writing session which turned into a song. We all need to be more thankful every minute of every day. What better way to remind ourselves then to write about it, sing about it and draw about it.  This song is first on the CD as a reminder to all of us to be thankful, everyday!

_________________________________________________________________

LOOSE TOOTH

Got a loose tooth,
it’s wiggling all around
It hurts a little bit and
I want to pull it out
My tooth is so loose,
it’s driving me crazy, CRAZY
I hope it comes out soon so I get
money from that Tooth Fairy lady
My mommy tried to pull it out!
My daddy tried to pull it out!
It made me scream and shout!
I want to whine and pout!
My tooth is so loose,
it’s driving me crazy, CRAZY
I hope it comes out soon so I get
money from that Tooth Fairy lady
I hope it comes out soon so I get
money from that Tooth Fairy lady

_________________________________________________________________

Every kid I’d ever worked with would lose teeth and it was always a HUGE DEAL. It’s a rite of passage for 5 year olds. Every single year, I’d say, “We really need to write a song about this.”  It wasn’t until my own daughter  Sadie Jane starting losing teeth that the song writing began taking form. Sadie Jane and a friend wrote this with me and are featured singing on the CD.

_________________________________________________________________

LOVE MAKES THE WORLD GO ‘ROUND

Love tastes like cupcakes fresh from the oven
Me and dad eating ice cream in the summer
Clean white snow falling down
Love makes the world go ‘round
Love feels like friends playing outside
Grandma’s cheeks smooshed against mine
Kisses and hugs, love lost and found
Love makes the world go ‘round
Love makes us laugh, Love makes us sing
Love is a many splendored thing
Love looks like dune grass blowing in the wind
My mom being silly, and my best friend
Love looks like smiles and hearts all around
Love makes the world go ‘round
Love sounds like music boxes playing a tune
Twittering birds, a whistling flute
People saying hello everywhere in town
Love makes the world go ‘round
Love makes us laugh, Love makes us sing
Love is a many splendored thing
Love in different languages: “Amor” (Spanish), “Amore” (Italian),
“Milovat” (Czech), “Uthando” (Zulu and Sindebele from South Africa
& S.E. Zimbabwe) & “Nikukonda” (Central Eastern Zambia
and Malawi), “Libe” (Yiddish) and “Ahavah” (Hebrew)
Love makes us laugh, Love makes us sing
Love is a many splendored thing
Love smells flowers wild and free
Cookies and candy so chocolatey
A pretty meadow, ocean waves so proud
Love makes the world go ‘round
Love makes the world go ‘round

_________________________________________________________________

Love tastes like ? Love smells like ? Love feels like ? What started out as a creative workshop about defining what love is, such as kids making collages of all the people, places and things they loved, became this song.  This song will now be used to continue the workshops with kids of all ages, spreading the love!  Since the theme was that love was the fuel that motored the earth, we thought it would be cool to to include the word “love” in different languages, authentically spoken by friends from different countries. Every time we perform the song, I learn a new way to say the word “love.” We encourage parents, teachers and students to share their native languages.

_________________________________________________________________

LET YOURSELF SHINE!

I saw her walking down the street
Her head held down dragging her feet
I noticed she had some shiny shoes
With shoes so bright why feel so blue?
Let Yourself Shine!
And dance walking down the street
Hold your head up stepping to the beat
Be confident, be true
Your shoes shine bright and so can you!
You can shine bright like the golden sun
Shine like a jewel, the most unique one
Shine like a sparkler on the Fourth of July
Shine, shine so bright and light up the sky
Let Yourself Shine!
And dance walking down the street
Hold your head up stepping to the beat
Be confident, be true
Your shoes shine bright and so can you!

_________________________________________________________________

Everyone knows, even children, that shoes say a lot about a person. The origin of the song was a conversation about shoes, but it didn’t start out that way. It started as a homework assignment for the kids was to write about things that shine. Ella Band (killer name, huh?) came to rehearsal a week later with her assignment in hand titled “Shoes Shine Bright” (featured on the back of our CD).

Little did we know that this essay about shiny shoes would be the genesis for a pop song about shiny shoes. The lyrics speak for themselves. Empowering and encouraging young girls to hold their heads up and let themselves shine!

_________________________________________________________________

VEGETARIAN

I want to be a vegetarian,
but I like pepperoni too much
I want to be a vegetarian,
but I like hamburgers too much
I want to be a vegetarian,
but I like hot dogs too much
And no matter what they say,
if you eat fish, you’re not a vegetarian
I am a vegetarian, I don’t eat anything with eyes
I am a vegetarian, I bet you’re all surprised
I am a vegetarian and I really love French fries
And no matter what they say,
if you eat fish, you’re not a vegetarian
I’m not a vegetarian, I eat a lot turkey
I’m not a vegetarian, I love Italian hoagies
I’m not a vegetarian, cause I’m full of bologna
And matter what they say,
if you eat fish, you’re not a vegetarian
We all like to eat pizza and broccoli with cheese
We all like to eat pasta, apples and yummy ice cream
We like to eat watermelon and chocolate-covered strawberries
But no matter what they say,
if you eat fish you’re not a vegetarian
Yes, no matter what they say,
if you eat fish you’re not a vegetarian
You’re a pescatarian
Boy: I thought I was Presbyterian?
Girl: No honey, you’re Catholic!

_________________________________________________________________

This song came to be when I overheard a conversation between two of my students six years ago at “Kids Band” Class. Brielle (at the time, 6 years old) said to her best friend, Emmie, who was a young vegetarian, “I want to be a vegetarian, but I like pepperoni too much.”

I thought it was a very entertaining subject to discuss in a song that would not only make you laugh, but educate the kids through repeated listens. It also shows that no matter what you eat and how different your diet may be, we all have to eat and sometimes compromise on something so everyone is happy. VEGETARIANS and MEAT-EATERS UNITE!

_________________________________________________________________

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE

Love, love, love, Love, love, love
We’re talking about
Love, love, love, Love, love, love
We’re singing about
Love, love, love, Love, love, love
We’re praying for
Love, love, love, Love, love, love
He dreamed about freedom, peace and love
Everyone to work together, everyone to get along
He walked for miles for equality
To spread justice and that’s why we sing
Love, love, love, Love, love, love
We’re talking about…
He fought without weapons, without bombs or guns
He preached nonviolence for everyone
These are the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
We believe in him and that’s why we sing
Love, love, love, Love, love, love
We’re talking about…
Love, yeah, something that is true
Martin Luther King made a way for me and you
He saw passed the adversity and only saw the light
Which gave him the strength and the audacity to fight against
All the people, they tried to silence him,
But he didn’t use violence he just used words
WORDS, the words he chose “I have a dream,” yes, I suppose.
Love, love, love, Love, love, love
We’re talking about…

_________________________________________________________________

This song was first performed at my sister Katie’s wedding.  Her 3rd grade students from Yorkship School, together with my family’s nieces and nephews helped create special lyrics to sing on thewedding day. Later that year, Community Rocks! hosted their annual MLK Day of Service and kids repurposed the song about love into one of universal love, acceptance and non-violence to honor the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The song became our anthem and was later recorded and included so many students throughout the years, including my sister Katie with her now 3-year-old daughter. “Love, Love, Love” is a timeless tune that will be carried on every MLK Day (and more) by many generations of Community Rocks! Kids!

_________________________________________________________________

TOGETHER WE CAN FLY

The fairy who wanted to fly
She saw her friends take off to the big sky
But she was stuck on the ground
She wanted to leave for another town
Ahhhh, Ahhhh, Ahhhh
He got stuck in a spider web
When he tried to fly with his best friends
He watched them fly away
So sad and lonely cause he was left out that day
Ahhhh, Ahhhh, Ahhhh
He untangled himself from that spider web
Put both feet on the ground and rose up his head
She tried to fly and failed again
They almost gave up but a voice inside them said
You can fly
But you gotta try and try and try
We all can fly
But we gotta try and try and try and
Together we can fly

_________________________________________________________________

One of our principles is literacy through music. Much of what I learned as a kid was through “Schoolhouse Rock”, which were shorts played between cartoons that musically taught me how a bill becomes a law (“I’m Just a Bill”), among other topics. The lyrics to this song were originally Inspired by the book “The Fairy Who Could Not Fly.”

The characters in the book create a community together; they listen to each other, and they are listened to; they are responsive to the differences among themselves. By uniting, they could fly together. What a great lesson. The song was later recorded in honor of Brooke Mulford, a real life superhero, who lost her young life to cancer after surviving it for over six years. Brooke is now our angel, flying over us, teaching us the importance of community and inspiring thousands to work together. “Together We Can Fly… But We Gotta Try.”

_________________________________________________________________

TAKING TURNS & SHARING

Taking turns  and sharing
IS SO GREAT!
We share with our moms,
we share with our friends
Take turns on our toys,
the fun never ends
We share with our cousins,
we share with our dads
Take turns on instruments
and yoga mats
Taking turns and sharing
IS SO GREAT!
We share with our brothers
and our sisters too
Take turns on the drums
and we share at school
We share our Legos
and the basketball
Take turns on guitars
Share kindness and love
Taking turns and sharing
IS SO GREAT!
So BE GREAT TODAY!

_________________________________________________________________

One of the first lessons that kids must learn is how to take turns. In less than two minutes, we drive home the point that sharing can be great! Inspired by the 3, 4 & 5 year olds at VIRTUA’S Castle Program, CASTLE (Children Achieving Success Through Life Experiences) provides high quality diagnoses and treatments for children having difficulty functioning in a social environment. Needless to say, the idea of sharing is even more difficult for these children. One day I was teaching an exercise class and noticed that the kids weren’t sharing the balls, taking turns or listening.  It became a frenzy and I really wanted to freak out. Impulsively, I grabbed my guitar, started strumming my go-to chords singing loudly “TAKING TURNS AND SHARING IS SO GREAT!” They all froze and listened. Soon enough, the room got quieter and my tone became kinder. It not only got the kids to bob their heads, it was actually very therapeutic for me. In the tradition of a song in less than two minutes, I had written my first kids PUNK ROCK song!  Written as much for parents and kids, I chuckle at the thought of a Mom in a minivan blasting this song when her kids are driving her crazy! Channeling both the frustration of parents and kids, TAKING TURNS AND SHARING is not always easy. However, kids eventually have to figure it out if they ever want to play with other kids.

“Taking turns and sharing… it’s so great. So Be Great Today!”

_________________________________________________________________

HALLOWEEN

Bloody Mary is scary
Roosters go cock-a-doodle-doo
Ah, ah, ah, ah, goes the witch
As she stirs her brew
Ghost fly high in the night
Monsters all over the world
Halloween is the time of year
To scare all the boys and girls, BOO!!!
IT’S HALLOWEEN TIME TO PARTY
TRICK OR TREATIN’ WITH ALL OUR FRIENDS
DRESS IN COSTUMES, JACK O’ LANTERNS
DON’T EVER WANT IT TO END
DON’T EVER WANT IT TO END
Chocolates, lollipops, gumdrops
Ghost and goblins too
Cast a spell listen as we tell of
How IT came for you
Creepy, crawly, slime
Oozing out of the wall
Fog sets it, the future looks grim
Let go to the Halloween Ball
I’m a monster from China,
I’m from Pakistan
I’m a monster from Australia,
I’m from Candy Land
I’m a monster from Ecuador,
I’m from France, France
I’m from Italia, I’m here to wow ya,
Watch us as we dance

_________________________________________________________________

I had a particular student one year, Fiona, who was obsessed with Halloween! She loved everything about it. Not just the candy and dressing up, but the spooky stories and trick-or-treating with her friends. As said in the song, “Halloween is scary.” Some kids can get scared by the creepy monsters and makeup. Our song is our attempt to disarm the scariness and make it fun and light. I must confess: I was somewhat unsure about this song.

For whatever reason, however, kids LOVE to sing this song! Many of them, list ”Halloween” as their favorite song on the CD. I then realized that he world needed a “cool” Halloween song for kids, for sure!

_________________________________________________________________

MAKE MY DAY

It’s been a rough day, it’s been a rough week
What tomorrow brings I hate to think
I hope things change, I hope things get better
It’s been rough but this won’t last forever
Got in a fight with a couple of friends
It’s still not ok, I hope it soon ends
I got a loose tooth, “I have one too”
I stepped in a puddle, got water in my shoes
Tomorrow brings a new day
of laughter, joy and fun
A new beginning, singing songs
to share with everyone
Tomorrow brings a new day,
to make up with our friends
Forgive, forget, peace and love,
always doing what you can
Just do what you can
I’ve had a sub all week she mixed everything around
What seems right is now upside-down
I know things can’t always stay the same
Gotta get it together, gotta roll with the change
I’m tired, I’m tired, I’m oh so tired
I just want this week to end
I want my teacher back, I need some sleep and
I’d like to make up with my friends
Tomorrow brings a new day of laughter, joy and fun
A new beginning, singing songs to share with everyone
Tomorrow brings a new day, to make up with our friends
Forgive, forget, peace and love, always doing what you can
Just do what you can

_________________________________________________________________

This song started with an 11-year-old boy and a drum beat. I work at a program called CASTLE (Children Achieving Success Through Life Experiences) provides high quality diagnoses and treatments for children having difficulty functioning in a social environment. The song was written at Virtua’s CASTLE program by the adolescents and now serves as a collective mantra. By exhibiting all of the good behavior named in the song, the kids can transition back into a regular school environment.

The kids featured in the song really felt great about contributing to the song and featured in the recording. It and lifted their collective spirit that there really is time to change, no matter their home life or past actions. If you say to yourself “I’m a positive role model” enough, hopefully one day you will believe it!

______________________________________

ROUGH DAY

It’s been a rough day, it’s been a rough week
What tomorrow brings I hate to think
I hope things change, I hope things get better
It’s been rough but this won’t last forever
Got in a fight with a couple of friends
It’s still not ok, I hope it soon ends
I got a loose tooth, “I have one too”
I stepped in a puddle, got water in my shoes
Tomorrow brings a new day
of laughter, joy and fun
A new beginning, singing songs
to share with everyone
Tomorrow brings a new day,
to make up with our friends
Forgive, forget, peace and love,
always doing what you can
Just do what you can
I’ve had a sub all week she mixed everything around
What seems right is now upside-down
I know things can’t always stay the same
Gotta get it together, gotta roll with the change
I’m tired, I’m tired, I’m oh so tired
I just want this week to end
I want my teacher back, I need some sleep and
I’d like to make up with my friends
Tomorrow brings a new day of laughter, joy and fun
A new beginning, singing songs to share with everyone
Tomorrow brings a new day, to make up with our friends
Forgive, forget, peace and love, always doing what you can
Just do what you can

______________________________________

One thing for certain about kids is that when they start growing up and going to school, they start to have real problems. Whether it is mean kids or even friends, it is inevitable. The “Kids Band”at the time was starting to transition into the “Pre-Teen Band” and it was time to write a song that reflected that.

The song starts with a great quote I heard at a grocery store in Athens way back in 1996 : “Not every day is your day; you gotta save some days for some other folks.” It has stuck with me since on those rough days where nothing goes right; tomorrow brings a new day that may just be your day!

______________________________________

MAKE MY DAY

I’m going to make my day by listening
Being kind, being a good friend
Follow directions and behave
Today I’m gonna make my day
Give a round of applause when another succeeds
Ask for help when you’re in need
Be kind to family and to friends
Let’s play together on the instruments
I’M GONNA MAKE MY DAY TODAY (2x)
In my class, we show respect and treat each other like family
I’M GONNA MAKE MY DAY TODAY (2x)
Today I’m going to participate
Be nice to everybody LOVE not hate
Be respectful to each other
And have compassion for one another
Be nice to our counselors and teachers too
Learn a lot when we’re in school
Work together, have lots of fun
PEACE, LOVE, RESPECT to EVERYONE!!!
I’M GONNA MAKE MY DAY TODAY
I’m a leader not a follower, that’s why I’m a positive role model
I’M GONNA MAKE MY DAY TODAY
You just ignored negative behavior,
you just earned a bonus point
Bring the prize box!
I’M GONNA MAKE MY DAY TODAY (2x)
Any trials & tribulations that you encounter in life,
keep your head up, rise to the top, stay strong,
look up and move forward, that’s life.

______________________________________

This song started with an 11-year-old boy and a drum beat. I work at a program called CASTLE (Children Achieving Success Through Life Experiences) provides high quality diagnoses and treatments for children having difficulty functioning in a social environment. The song was written at Virtua’s CASTLE program by the adolescents and now serves as a collective mantra. By exhibiting all of the good behavior named in the song, the kids can transition back into a regular school environment.

The kids featured in the song really felt great about contributing to the song and featured in the recording. It and lifted their collective spirit that there really is time to change, no matter their home life or past actions. If you say to yourself “I’m a positive role model” enough, hopefully one day you will believe it!