The critiques of the first annual Canadian Celebrity Chefs event held last Monday, January 31st at the NAC in Ottawa continue to come out in news outlets and through food blogs this week. The feedback of the event has evoked strong passions as to whether the event was a success or not so much. As well, emotions have run high on who has the clearer vision of that truth.

Some of these volleys reminded me of a shtick done by well-known comedian Steve Martin, in 1977 on his ‘Let’s Get Small’ album. His very sentimental ‘Grandmother’s Song’ is speckled with the kind of loving, good advice that grandmothers like to impart on their descendants as they attempt to shape their malleable characters. All this in hopes that the young ones learn to make good decisions and live to a higher standard.

Although I couldn’t find footage of the reverend Steve performing his act, I did find a YouTube clip of a red-headed ‘wannabe’ doing a pretty good rendition of this piece. A piece I had listened to often in my youth and have pretty much committed to memory. (For what useful, future use, I really don’t know.)

I have included the words below so you can sing along with RED. It may be a bit cathartic and I bet you will find that there is a little bit of sage for just about anyone listening!

Although I like to think that Steve Martin is timeless, I know I run a huge risk trying to teleport 33-year-old humour into the present. But a risk I take in the spirit of lightheartedness and levity. Your response might be ‘well I guess you had to be there”. I say “thank-you Steve”.

Before the song, his spoken intro went like this….

“Thank you. You know folks, when I was a kid, I was pretty close to my grandmother and she used to sing a song to me when I was about this high. It always meant something to me and I’d like to do it for you right now because it does have meaning in today’s world even . . . all these years, you know those, even during the “hip drug days” you know when everybody was supposed to be so cool and everything had double meanings and this little simple tune would keep coming back to me and I think it kinda guided me through those years and I’d like to do this song for you right now, I think it might have a little meaning for you, so here it goes.”

Song Lyrics:

Be courteous, kind and forgiving,
Be gentle and peaceful each day,
Be warm and human and grateful,
And have a good thing to say.

Be thoughtful and trustful and childlike,
Be witty and happy and wise,
Be honest and love all your neighbors,
Be obsequious, purple, and clairvoyant.

Be pompous, obese, and eat cactus,
Be dull, and boring, and omnipresent,
Criticize things you don’t know about,
Be oblong and have your knees removed.

Be tasteless, rude, and offensive,
Live in a swamp and be three dimensional,
Put a live chicken in your underwear,
Get all excited and go to a yawning festival.

O.K. everybody!

Be courteous, kind and forgiving,
Be gentle and peaceful each day,
Be warm and human and grateful,
And have a good thing to say.

Be thoughtful and trustful and childlike,
(O.K. everybody on this!)
Be witty and happy and wise,
Be honest and love all your neighbors,
Be obsequious, purple, and clairvoyant.
(Let ’em hear you outside!)

Be pompous, obese, and eat cactus,
(Everybody sing!)
Be dull, and boring, and omnipresent,
Criticize things you don’t know about,
Be oblong and have your knees removed.

(Ladies only)
Be tasteless, rude, and offensive,
(Now the men)
Live in a swamp and be three dimensional,
(Everybody)
Put a live chicken in your underwear,
Go into a closet and suck eggs.

Lyrics By: Steve Martin
Music By: Steve Martin
Produced By: William E. McCuen
Released By: Warner Brothers Records
Published By: L A Films Music
Advertisements