« If I Had Words »

In the movie Babe there is a song farmer Hoggett sings to Babe when he is sick on the day of the big sheepdog competition. It is called "If I Had Words" and it's just the coolest song. Well, some of you know I got this thing about pigs, and Babe is probably my favorite piggy of all, from the first time I saw the movie. We just got a copy of it this weekend and of course it was the momentus point of the weekend for me! But this time the song just popped out at me. So I went looking for it and found something like five renditions of it from a few places. The version in the movie still comes off as the most endearing. It's a capella and very rubato (liberal use of expressive pauses and phrasing) and the way it was sung was just so real—no goop or other stuff, and it actually sounds like a song sung by Joe Everyone. And, best of all, it is in a key I can actually sing in! This comes as a revelation to me because I have been stumped as far as material I can sing with and actually hit notes right. So I mainlined the ditty over and over last night, just soaking it up. Today, it was thoroughly in my head, except for the words. It seems that I could hit the pitches but I could not get the words right, even though there are only about eight lines in the whole song!

If I had words
To make a day for you
I'd sing you the morning
Golden and true

I would make this day
Last for all time
Then fill the night
Deep in moonshine

repeat over and over and over in the Fitzgerald/Keely version (the mice version at the end credits is the F/K version sped up and pitch shifted up a couple octaves). The words shift from one version to another, this was just the film version.

So today, I had no other tunes in my head. I must have sung or hummed it a thousand times from the time I woke up till now. I even went out and bought a guitar today, and the first thing I tried to play was this song!

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