Dan’s First Song

Since early summer, Dan started to sing “A ba dee… A ba dee” and clapped his hands or swing them up and down. The song has a nice melody. Even Dao and I started to sing along, but we had no idea what the song was about. I thought it was a Jewish song that he learned at summer camp. I asked his teachers and no one knew what Dan was singing about either.

Last weekend, my wife cracked the code and discovered that “A Ba Dee” is Dan’s unique rendition of “Happy Birthday.” If you ask him to sing “Happy Birthday,” he would sing “A Ba Dee.” If you listen closely you can hear the similarity. Dan has the tendency to skip words and somehow he hears things differently. He still says “fucker” instead of “tractor.”

I am not sure if this is his gift or his curse. On one hand, it’s hard to understand the things he says. On the other hand, he completely invented a new melody from such a familiar song. In a way, that is what jazz musicians had done most of the time when they reinterpreted a standard. I am finding this development from Dan to be quite fascinating. I can’t wait to sing “A Ba Dee” when he turns two.

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