Nobody does it like Lois.

September 26, 2012

Sing…CANTA….Sing a song….CANTA UNA CANCION… 

Let us pretend for a second that I am four years old. Aside from putting my Barbies through a multitude of existential and romantic crises, my favorite thing to do is watch The Elephant Show. I haven’t created imaginary friends; I just pretend that Sharon, Lois and Bram would invite me on their adventures through Toronto, or they’d be invited on my adventures through…Target. (My childhood was mucho exciting, obvs.)

That show cemented so many things in my life, I can’t even begin to express my gratitude. SL&B are flawless harmonizers, which I credit my immediate liking to vocal jazz and swing to; not to mention their dedication to American and Canadian folk music which turned me on to more contemporary folk acts. Not to mention, both Sharon and Lois had the exact same haircut through the entire duration of the series leading me to confuse them all the time (I was *convinced* they had switched names until I was about ten), and I still mix up main characters of my favorite TV shows to this day. (Because I’m awesome.)(…and a dumbass.)

Today I’d like to talk to you about more than three Canadians and a ballerina in an elephant suit. Not much more; but I digress.

Sharon was the leader of the group it seemed. She was the assertive one who always had her shit together. Her ideas were always the most logically sound of the group, and she always was the hardest worker when it came to pulling her weight. Bram was definitely the one who brought everything back down to earth. He always sang the tenor and bass parts because he was the dude, so I’d like to think of him as the glue that kept things together. Not to mention, he always had the guitar, which proved helpful in many situations.

As much as the other two were important, I’d like to focus on the brassy powerhouse virtuoso (and my personal favorite) Mrs. Lois Lilenstein. She’s basically the freaking badass of the group, the Lucille Ball of children’s television, and a huge part of my growing up personality. This is for her.

Dear Lois,

You are the June Christy of my childhood. You are the age appropriate chanteuse. The gateway drug to my jazz addiction. You are the no judgey-judgey Mamma Bear that understood where I was coming from. You knew I was going to mess up, and you weren’t going to try and Sally Rally me into trying again. You sat with your arms open and just waited; because you knew I was going to come back to you in my own time. You are Anita O’Day without heroin. I have dreams of you doing a jazz standards album, singing Laurel Masse’s solo on “Candy.” I lay in bed on sick days and wonder what sorts of hijinks you’ll get into today. You keep me company when I’m scared of monsters in the closet, and you sing me to sleep when I’m feeling blue.

To this day, I am thankful Lois, because truly: no one does it like you.

(This video is supposed to start at 3:55, when they do a live version of “Sing”. I’m not sure the embedding will work properly because embedding is dumb– but that’s where you should start the video.)

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