Thursday, May 31, 2012

"John Brown's mother said that milk is very best!"

As Marash Girl sat drinking her coffee this morning (decaf au lait, that is, half milk, half decaf), she remembered learning and singing 
(to the adapted chorus above of "Battle Hymn of the Republic") the following song in her Newtonville kindergarten class, the last line of each verse sung with emphasis.

John Brown's mother said that coffee isn't good!
John Brown's mother said that coffee isn't good!
John Brown's mother said that coffee isn't good,
For children growing up!

John Brown's mother said that tea is just as bad!
John Brown's mother said that tea is just as bad!
John Brown's mother said that tea is just as bad,
For children growing up!

John Brown's mother said that milk is very best!
John Brown's mother said that milk is very best!
John Brown's mother said that milk is very best,
For children growing up!


Before writing about the memory, Marash Girl decided to check the internet to see if the lyrics were recorded anywhere, and try as she might, she found nothing relating to John Brown's mother's words of wisdom on coffee, tea or milk.  Who was John Brown's mother, anyway?


Amazing how ingrained a song learned in kindergarten becomes, to remember the song all these years later!  Was it a song instituted into the kindergarten curriculum by the dairy farmers of Massachusetts?  Have any of you ever heard the song? Please share your memories in the comments below!

1 comment:

  1. I have no idea where this version of "John Brown" came from, however, one line reminds me of something.... My mother grew up in Winthrop. She told me that when she was a little girl in the 1920s she went to temperance lectures conducted by the mother of the writer, Edward Roe Snow. They were really lectures, they were propaganda sessions for children. My grandparents did not approve of my mother and my aunt going to them, but they were children and it was an afternoon's entertainment. Mrs. Snow taught them various temperance songs. One of the songs included the line "And tea is just as bad."
    Marko Pasha

    ReplyDelete