Lab Tracks

Lab Track: Little Known Facts

Every so often, I have the good fortune to play in the pit for a musical. This means I get to break out all sorts of obscure woodwinds like piccolo and kazoo, but it also means I have a handful of really catchy songs stuck in my head for the entirety of the show’s run. Just because I love you so much, I’m wreaking one such tune upon your earbones.

It’s from You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, which is basically a series of Peanuts comic strips put to music. In this one, Lucy is doing what so many older siblings do and telling her little brother Linus completely ridiculous facts about the world. I thought it’d be appropriate for a lab track because it addresses skepticism in children, and made me think back to the first time I said, “There’s no way that’s true.” If I remember correctly, it was embarassingly late in my development. Do you remember when you started questioning what you were told?

You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown
Little Known Facts

Do you see that tree?
It is a fir tree.
It’s called a fir tree because it gives us fur,
For coats,
It also gives us wool in the wintertime.

I never knew that before, Lucy. That’s very interesting.

This is an elm tree.
It’s very little.
But it will grow up into a giant tree,
An oak.
You can tell how old it is by counting its leaves.

Gosh, Lucy, that’s fascinating.

(Charlie Brown)
Now wait a minute, Lucy. I don’t mean to interfere, but–

And way up there,
Those fluffy little white things?
Those are clouds
They make the wind blow.
And way down there,
Those tiny little black things
Those are bugs
They make the grass grow.

Is that so?

That’s right. They run around all day long, tugging and tugging at each tiny seedling until it grows into a great tall blade of grass.

Boy, that’s interesting.

(Charlie Brown)
Oh, good grief.

And this thing here?
It’s called a hydrant.
They grow all over,
And no one seems to know
Just how
A little thing like that
Gives so much water.

D’you see that bird?
It’s called an eagle,
But since it’s little it has another name,
A sparrow,
And on Christmas and Thanksgiving
We eat them.

(Charlie Brown)
Lucy, how can you say that?! I’m sorry, but I can’t stand idly by and listen to–

And way up there,
The little stars and planets
Make the rain,
That falls in showers.
And when it’s cold and winter is upon us,
The snow comes up
Just like the flowers.

(Charlie Brown)
Now, Lucy, I know that’s wrong. Snow doesn’t come up, it comes down.

After it comes up, the wind blows it around so it looks like it’s coming down but actually it comes up out of the ground–like grass. It comes up, Charlie Brown, snow comes up!

(Charlie Brown)
Oh, good grief!

Lucy, why is Charlie Brown banging his head against that tree?

To loosen the bark to make the tree grow faster.

Clouds can make the wind blow
Bugs can make the grass grow
So, there you go
These are little known facts
That now you know!

This has been another installment of Monday Lab Tracks. Send us your musical recommendations through our contact link at the top of the page, and tell us what you think of the song in the comments below!

Ashley Hamer

Ashley Hamer (aka Smashley) is a saxophonist and writer living in Chicago, where she performs regularly with the funk band FuzZz and jazz ensemble Big Band Boom. She also does standup comedy, sort of, sometimes. Her tenor saxophone's name is Ladybird.

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