We gathered our 5th graders to perform our Names To the Animals song, opening for Marvine school’s Lion King production. We practiced on Wednesday and wrote a final verse for the song. Things were semi-chaotic but good natured.  We got together about 20 minutes before the show and the kids were animated.

The show was pushed back when the sound and mikes for the show didn’t work and the Zollner Center at Lehigh stepped up big time to supply the equipment. It’s nice to have the big boys step in and help out the grade school. Very fine! But the time dragged by and finally the kids came in for the show. I wasn’t sure we’d have enough time, but Ms. DeStasio said we’d fit it in.

The rambunctious fifth graders, for the most part, froze up in front of the rest of the school. Very un-animated and very quiet. I tried to pump them up in the process but didn’t succeed. It shouldn’t be a surprise though. We ran through it and the audience liked it. I packed up my small system and snuck out the back door as the Lion King production took off. They did a great job on it, with lots of costuming, big cast, good movement, etc. Ms. DeStasio and the other teachers did a great job putting it together and I’m sure they were relieved when it was done.

This was part of the SouthSide Children’s Festival, a program of arts in Bethlehem schools, put together by my friend Doug Roysdon. I did a preliminary session in the fall which wasn’t successful and this was the way I could return, link up with the show and do some songwriting. All in all, it was pretty good, the kids were creative in the classroom and it turned out to be fun.

One girl really rocked with her interpretation of the Gangsta Bandana that we included it the Hyena verse. She was a hoot.

I had gotten paid in the fall, so there was only a small delayed monetary gratification. So it goes.


I saw an animal in the rain forest canopy (wave at the tall trees)

Juggling bananas, swinging from tree to tree.

He likes to break-dance and moonwalk real funky. 

I think I’ll call this animal a monkey. (monkey sounds)


I saw a wild dog loose in the savanna: 

A savage predator with a gangsta bandana (wrap hands around forehead and pose).

It likes dance the hula and the Macarena, 

I think I’ll call this animal a hyena. (everyone laugh)


I saw an animal with four boney tusks (fingers to face) ,

It has a disgusting snout and a stinky musk.

Living the life wallowing in a dark bog, (show satisfaction).

I think I’ll call this animal a wart hog. (snort)


I saw an animal that stalks its prey.

You can hear its roar from 5 miles away,

It’s proud of its mane; it’s his royal bling,

I think I’ll call this animal the Lion King.