Peace Songbook 39 / 112

High Brow

Music and lyrics by Cynthia Dougherty

©2018 Cynthia Dougherty

A lovely tea party is rudely interrupted,when the young hostess decides that a newcomer can't join the festivities because of the way he is dressed.

Lyrics

I was feeling rather fancy

Called up Nancy

And by chance, she

Told me she was feeling rather fancy, too.

 

So we called our friend Alyssa

Who was chatting with Marissa

And we thought of something fancy we could do.


 

We set up some little chairs

 

We set up a little table

 

We set up some cups and saucers

 

Pinkys up, if you are able.


 

This is a High Brow affair

If you don’t like that, we don’t care.

You’re not invited if you’re rude

So bring your snooty attitude

To this High Brow affair!


 

Sitting by the tall oak tree

We sipped our tea

And did agree that this was

Really quite a grand idea indeed.

 

As our biscuits we were nibbling

I observed my younger sibling

Stepping toward us in his jacket made of tweed.


 

He approached us with a chair

 

He placed it at the table

 

We curtsied and he bowed

 

“Pinkys up if you are able!”

This is a High Brow affair

If you don’t like that we don’t care

You’re not invited if you’re rude

So bring your snooty attitude

To this High Brow affair!


 

And we sipped and we quipped

And it was so very pleasant

As we chatted ‘bout the day and lovely weather

 

And I spied on the horizon

A small boy, a silly peasant

Travelling on his bike toward all of us together.

 

“Can I play too?” this young boy waved as he did bellow

I took a look, and gazed at this unfortunate fellow...


 

He was filthy head to toe

This ragged beau

He had to know that

He was in no way dressed up for this occasion

 

I looked over at my sibling

Right away we started quibbling

This boy simply didn’t fit in this equation.


 

My brother got another chair.

 

He placed it at the table.
 

They sat down and I screamed , “NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!”

 

“Pinkys up, but YOU’RE not ABLE!”


 

“This is a High Brow affair

If you don’t like that I don’t care

You’re not invited ‘cause you’re rude,”

I said with snooty attitude,

“To this High Brow affair!”

My mother’s head peaked out the door

She did implore

That I come inside for

The two of us to chat about my outburst

 

I got up in a huff

I’d had enough of

This boy’s rags and scruff

His presence at our party was the worst.

 

I went in to plead my case

But please, let’s face it this was mom

And mothers always tend to win this type of battle

 

And before I could begin

She held my chin, and then my mother calmly

Silenced all the tats that I might tattle.

 

“I know you think he’s ragged, that

This boy does not belong, but

Judging people based on looks will

Often lead you to be wrong.”

 

I gazed outside and saw the boy

Had combed his hair and slicked it back

I heard him using words like “riveting” and “hence.”

 

Then I thought of how I acted

I was snooty, I was rude

I felt embarrassed that I could have been so dense.

 

This young man wasn’t ragged

Wasn’t rude or unrefined

He was fancier than all of us by far!

 

Here’s the lesson that I took

You should never judge a book

Fancy isn’t how you look

It’s who you are.




 

I went over to my chair

 

I begged forgiveness fronm the table

 

The boy stood up, pulled out my chair, and said,

 

“Pinkys up, if you are able!”


 

This is a High Brow affair

And all are welcome, we declare!

You can’t be fancy if you’re rude

So leave your snooty attitude

For this High Brow affair!

 

This is a High Brow affair

And friends can come from anywhere!

You can’t be fancy if you’re rude

So leave your snooty attitude

For this High Brow affair!

1. This song lends itself well to a drama activity. Children can take on the roles of the characters in the story, and act out the story with minimal props. Allow kids to perform the story as multiple characters as an exercise in empathy. Children can engage in discussions about how their character's point of views are different.

2. Older children can perform the story without music, rewriting the ending with multiple scenarios:  a. How might the story have ended if mom hadn't intervened?  b. What might have happened if the girl's brother didn't invite the newcomber at all?  c. How might the story turned out if the girl's friends, Alyssa & Marissa, had also gotten angry and refused to the let the newcomer join?

 

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