Skip to main content

Too Old For The National Spellng Bee

I'm too old for the National Spellng Bee
But it's just as well
As a kid I was a wiz at words
But now it's hard for me to S-P-E-L . . . L . . . P
(the P is silent)

But maybe you still have dreams
Of spelling those difficult words
But listen to what they threw this year
at those cute little brainy nerds

G-R-A-N-A-C-H-E  - that spells granache
A wine grape grown in Southern France
Probably fun to squash

D-A-U-E-R-L-A-U-F – dauerlauf
A long distance cross country ski race
Take your mark . . . get set . . . now they're off!

Clotrimazole C-L-O-T-R-I-M-A-Z-O-L-E
Eew, an anti-fungal ointment apply liberally

F-L-I-T-T-E-R-N – 'flittern'
Pertains to the bark of a young oak tree
A word you didn't expect you'd learn

Sententious – S-E-N-T-E-N-T-I-O-U-S
What do you think it means –
Come on and guess!
Yes, abounding in aphorisms –
An aphorism's a tersely phrased bon mot
'If you always do what you always did,
You will always get what you always got.'
(Mom's Mabley said that.)
(Oh, and by the way, real French people would pronounce that "bone moe"
but I come from the Nellie Forbush South Pacific school of Frenchified-speakin')

C-L-O-G-W-Y-N – a clogwyn is a cliff

An A-L-A-S-T-O-R (alastor) is an avenging deity
Who knew they had tiffs?

Yes it is a German word
Pronounced vi-snict-vo
It means an imaginary situation
Like competing in a spelling bee
I must come to grips with the fact
Such glory's not meant for me

Last night I dreamed I was told to spell
Humuhumunukunukuapuaa  (that's a Hawaiian trigger fish) then
I said HU-MU-HU–MU-NU-KUN . . .
U-KU-A-PU-A -A – I got it right!
That's as close as I'll ever get to a spelling bee
In my dream last night

So I'll set my sites on other dreams
that I might attain
Like mastering  American Sign Language
That's a workout for my brain
And learning to knit a cable
Something I've yet to do
A spelling bee is out of reach for me . . .
Kids, I leave that to . . .U-A-K-A-R-I -  uakarai
A tree-dwelling short-tailed Amazon basin monkey.  
It has shaggy fur, humanlike ears, and a distinctive bald face
that become flushed when he is excited and jumps all over the place

Look at that uakari monkey in that tree
someday he might help U . . .
A K A R I win a spelling bee

p.s. Every difficult word above -- except for "uakari" -- was in the 2009 National Spellng Bee

p.p.s. I recorded this song live, and yes, by accident I DID spell "clogwyn" wrong.  
We didn't notice til the next day.
But I liked the performance and didn't want to start over,
so we came up with the idea you hear here.


Christine Lavin:  vocal and guitar
Brian Bauers:  Spell Cop
© Christine Lavin Music ASCAP (administered by Bug Music)