Caterpillar

A Tongue-Twister for all ages!

Music by Ron Klusmeier
Words by Walter Farquharson
Tune Name: MOOSE JAW

Lyrics as Poetry

Caterpillar, pillarcat,
cat gets fat and eats a rat.
Caterpiggle, squirm and wiggle,
caterpillage, munch the village.
Cater, cater, cater, cat,
hump your way across my mat.
Cater, cater, cater, cat,
hump your way across my mat.
Cater, cater, cater, cat,
hump your way across my mat.
Cater, cater, cater, cat,
hump your way across my mat.

Play with words and play with words,
play like you shouldn’t oughter.
It’s fun to play with funny words
the way we play, play in water.
Splash them here, splash them there,
on your feet and in your hair.
Splash them here, splash them there,
on your feet and in your hair.
Splash them here, splash them there,
on your feet and in your hair.
Splash them here, splash them there,
on your feet and in your hair.

Words like water trickle, drip,
drip a drop that goes kerplop!
Trip a trickle, pick a pickle,
smash your foot with big swish slop!
You oughter play, you otter play,
all otters play in water.
You oughter play, you otter play,
all otters play in water.
You oughter play, you otter play,
all otters play in water.
You oughter play, you otter play,
all otters play in water.

God gives words and things to say,
minds to think and games to play;
gives us words to say to friends,
words for ends and beginnings.
Thank you, God, for all you give;
lots of laughter, love to live.
Thank you, God, for all you give;
lots of laughter, love to live.
Thank you, God, for all you give;
lots of laughter, love to live.
Thank you, God, for all you give;
lots of laughter, love to live.

Oh, Thank you, God, for all you give;
lots of laughter, love to live.
Thank you, God, for helping me
make it all the way to Amen!

Comments About Song

A Reflection by
WALTER FARQUHARSON


One of my mentors when I was in High School and first feeling a calling to ministry in the church was a delightful older woman I knew as Grandma Cutler. She would sometimes accompany me to serve as pianist when I conducted services of worship in a country school house a few miles from Harris, Saskatchewan. The hymn collection we had at the time was titled Songs of the Gospel. Grandma Cutler would play these old hymns enthusiastically. Many of them were hymns that had been part of her childhood in rural Ontario. The church her family belonged to was some sort of offshoot from Methodism and tended to be very strict about such things as dancing, card-playing, consuming alcohol, and even talking about things sexual.

While there was much she respected about her family’s religious beliefs, she could not agree with their judgemental and overly serious attitudes. As a young married woman she became part of small dance band that played for local dances every Saturday evening. So Saturday evening she chorded popular waltzes, polkas and two steps with a seven-step and a square dance or two thrown in. Sunday morning she played with equal delight to accompany the gathered sinners and saints as they sang God’s praises.

“If God hadn’t intended us to smile and laugh,” she asserted, we wouldn’t have been created ticklish. If we weren’t supposed to dance we wouldn’t have been born with hands and feet that went to keeping time when we heard good music.” Sometimes she’d smile and say, “And God puts up with us in our foolishness – proof enough for me that God has a sense of humour.” Now there was a theologian worthy of being listened to!

Several of the Scriptures referred to in the list above can help us consider the wisdom in Grandma Cutler’s words.

Adam and Eve hide from God. They HIDE from God. As if! They hide their nakedness with only a silly little apron made from fig leaves. (God’s sense of humour is further evidenced when God makes for them sturdier duds of animal skins.)

When Levi the tax collector is called to become a disciple, the righteous are scandalized. The system the Romans used encouraged tax collectors to be dishonest and as collaborators they were strongly despised by both the power elite and the political rebels and resisters (the zealots). Jesus addresses those who consider themselves whole, righteous, secure in their wellness. “I am a healer, I call people to repentance. Why would I not go to those who suffer sickness (alienation) rather than spend my time with those who have no need of healing or any acceptance other than what they assign themselves and each other?” This is not condemnation. It is humour inviting self awareness and change of perspective.

The Book of Jonah has been described as a cartoon. Jonah flees from God and God’s call. He is rescued and brought back and re-commissioned. He grumbles all the way. God will go soft on the Ninevites. And that is what God does. That throws Jonah into a complete angry, feel sorry for himself, funk. God has a vine grow up overnight as shade for poor Jonah. A god-sent worm eats away on the root of Jonah’s protection and the plant withers.  For Jonah that means deeper funk, deeper anger. God challenges him, laughing, “Jonah, look how you care about the plant that grew in a night and perished in a night. Should I not care for all the people of this city, my people in whom I have invested so much?”

Then – in case Jonah still doesn’t get it – “And hey Jonah, consider the cash value of the livestock.”

Often, as God’s people, we need to relax. Smile more. Laugh more.

Laugh with God, for God.  With God’s people, for the sake of God’s people.

The song Caterpillar invites laughter and play. For children, for adults, for adults who have forgotten how to be children. Join in the fun. Be surprised at how good it feels. Be surprised at what awareness shines through.

By the grace of God we’ll make it through the song, make it through our lives, make it through whatever crises loom. We’ll make it through to Amen!

Amen!


Audio Sample

INTRODUCTION (3 measures),
ONE VERSE and ENDING
played on piano.

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Scripture References

  • Genesis 3:7-13
  • Jonah 4:6-11
  • Matthew 7:3-5
  • Matthew 19:13-15
  • Matthew 23:23-26
  • Luke 5:27-32
  • Luke 18:24-27

Season, Theme
or Subject

  • Children∶ music for
  • Intergenerational
  • Joy
  • Laughter

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