What Musical Does The Song L-O-V-E Come From Listen to the Children While They Play

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Listen to the Children While They Play

I was 13 years old in 1968 when Hanson Cargill, a relatively unknown name in country music, topped the country charts with the Jack Moran and Glenn Tove classic, “Skip a Rope.”

I just got into music in a new way. And the music changed in an important way. Pop music became more politically and socially aware. In a few short years we grew from “I Want to Hold Your Hand” to “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “All Along the Watch”.

Country music has also changed. Another year, Kenny Rogers would make it big with “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town” inspired by Mel Tillis’s Vietnam. On all fronts of popular music, social commentary was on the rise.

“Skip a Rope” was another early country entry in the “All We Need Is Love” musical movement.

In those days, youth music magazines printed the lyrics to the top songs in the back of the issue. I began to be fascinated by songwriting: who wrote the song, what the words “really” mean, etc.

“Skip over a rope” was one of the songs I found the words to. As a child who experienced major family problems, the words were especially meaningful and poignant for me.

“Skip Rope” dealt with everything: family discord, racial discrimination, greed… and I wasn’t far from actually skipping a rope in the playground and hearing the kind of mean things kids can say, often just repeating the rope. What they heard at home. The song rang “right” for me, and I assume for countless others as well.

Over the years I often thought about “skip a rope” and hummed it to myself. I couldn’t remember who wrote or even who recorded the song until I learned that Hanson Cargill died at the age of 66 on March 24, 2007. The news brought back a flood of memories.

Skip A Rope words

(Words and music by Jack Moran and Glen Tov)

Oh, listen to the children while they play,

Now, it’s not quite funny what the kids say,

skip rope

Dad hates mom, mom hates dad,

Last night you should have heard the fight they had,

gave the little sister another bad dream,

She woke us all up with a horrible scream.

(choir)

cheat on your taxes don’t be stupid

Now what did they say about the golden rule?

Whatever the rules, just play to win,

And hate your neighbor because of the color of your skin.

(choir)

stab them in the back, that’s the name of the game,

And mom and dad are the ones to blame.

skip rope skip rope

Just listen to your kids while they play,

It’s really not funny what the kids say,

skip rope, skip rope

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