Have you ever had that odd experience in which something you see or read gives you a bit of deja-vu? For me, deja-vu is that feeling of having lived a moment sometime in the past. There is something so familiar about the current moment, that I experience a kind of memory echo. For just a second the two events overlap in a strange, hazy way. I can’t put my finger on the moment of the first encounter. And truthfully I can’t be sure there even was a prior moment, or if my mind is just playing tricks on me.
I want to tell you about a time when I had that experience. One day when I was reading a post by the thoughtful and talented Gulrukh Tausif (our very own @dawnwriter) I was reminded of a particular song SJ wrote about an animal out of place. Here’s what happened:
Recognizing a Rhythm in the Writing
I had been reading dawnwriter’s post about enjoying creatures in their natural environment (rather than in one’s home.) It’s a witty, casual post composed for a writing challenge. I didn’t imagine Gulrukh meant for us to take it very seriously.
“I wouldn’t want to see a snake in my living room or an alligator slithering across my backyard,” said she. She then went on to say that she was in no need of “any more scratching, howling, or stampeding creatures” beyond her kids – a thought that prompted a little chuckle from this Mama of four!
But there was something about both the cadence and the language of the post that felt familiar. And I realized that the way our dear friend wrote, she quite reminded me of someone else.
Now, I don’t mean familiar in the way that some people’s posts are. This was a delightful, naturally flowing post that reminded me very much of our dawnwriter. There was no doubt in my mind that it was original content.
But still, something about it felt like I’d met it before.
I re-read the lines that said “alligator slithering across my backyard,” and I could feel the memory filling in around the edges. The cadence of the words marched around in my head and the whole thing taunted me, challenging me to guess where I had heard similar words before.
I mulled it over – and over, and over. I shook my head as if to clear out the clouds, and bring the picture into focus. I spoke the phrases aloud, and as they rolled off my tongue the picture started to get clearer and clearer. Finally, I knew exactly what song she reminded me of: “Alligator in the House!”
Tango with an Alligator
The song that was coming to mind is a very comical tango tango performed by singer-songwriter S.J. Tucker. Originally written by Betsy and Katie Tinney, Tucker received permission from her friends to expand on their lyrics and to record the track. The song is very tongue in cheek, but in the chorus there’s a little hint that the alligator is a symbol for some hidden part of a person’s psyche.
So what’s the big deal? Doesn’t everyone
Have an alligator somewhere, somehow?
And might be this one was always been here,
But I never noticed it till now.
The video below is one of several live performances you can find on YouTube. These are really fun to watch, because she sometimes offers a bit of the back story – like the bit about the snakes in the pit and the credit card company!
I hope you will enjoy this amusing little ditty, and perhaps check out more tunes by the Skinny White Chick. Watch out for the gators!
Watch “An Alligator in the House” below, or go to:
Introducing S.J. Tucker
Pagan songstress S.J. Tucker is also known as “Sooj” and “the Skinny White Chick.” I discovered this talented singer-songwriter several years ago, and have spent many long hours being delighted by both her musical range and her sense of humour.
S.J. was born in Arkansas, and has been recording alternative folk music for over a decade now. She plays the festival circuit in the United States and also sometimes performs in Canada. In fact, one of my favour S.J. Tucker songs was inspired by an experience she had at the Toronto-area Pagan festival, Wic-Can Fest.
You can find all of S.J. Tucker’s music online and, unlike many recording artists, she makes sure you can listen to the entire track of each song free of charge. That is pretty cool!
You can download a very affordable copy of “Alligator in the House” on S.J.’s music page. Or you can check out the album Sirens, from which the track comes. There are plenty of other cools songs you can listen to, and again the cost to download them is quite modest. I happen to be rather fond of “The Wendy Trilogy II – Red-Handed Jill,” but there are literally a ton of wonderful songs of this album! (And if you’re just a bit of a Luddite, who prefers not to download music from the internet, you can till order the album on disc!)
I am not compensated in any way for writing about S.J.’s music or including her links here. I just want to encourage my readers to check out a very talented artist, and I hope that some of you will enjoy her work enough that you want to make a purchase. As we writers know, our art may be a labour of love, but the bills still gotta get paid!
If you want to look for SJ then visit: http://sjtucker.com/
For a complete index of her albums, singles and EPs, go to: http://music.sjtucker.com/
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