Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

RED, RED ROBIN, an Illustrated Song

Posted on: May 22, 2016

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Red Red Robin Lori Lee Stultz Cover
Red, Red Robin
Words and Music by Harry Woods
Illustrated by Lori Lee Stultz

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Writing 5/22/2016, A dream came true today!

The story starts about 12 years ago when I took a cabaret class at a church in NW Washington, DC to work on some songs.  One of the other singers sang, RED RED ROBIN. I’d heard the song, but not thought much about until then.  That robin song has been hopping through my mind ever since.  When I started Singing Books and making music to sing illustrated songs discovered at the library and at used, retail and online bookstores, I also began to wish for illustrations of song that I couldn’t find.  RED RED ROBIN was at the top of the list.

Now, whenever a poor unfortunate artist crosses my path, I can’t help myself but regale that person with the wonders of illustrated song and what a great project that would make for them. Writing that, it is obvious why I’ve not had a lot of success in this endeavor.  Artists need to be inspired on their own.  Inspiration cannot be forced! This is especially true since I’m not a publisher with money as inspiration to offer, it is just me begging for pictures to sing with.

One day a few years ago, I visited my friend Lori Lee’s house to discover that she is an artist.  Beside myself, I began spewing forth about songs (including RED RED ROBIN) that were just begging for pictures.  Somehow, by magic, she was interested in the idea!

What is REALLY REALLY MAGIC is the result!

Her work on the pictures of these these birds in their collage landscapes exceeds my grandest hopes.  I didn’t have any expectations, honestly, but these pictures are just so, so wonderful.  Look at those colors and the birds’ adorable exuberance!

To write here that I’m excited about this project, just simply doesn’t cover it.  I’ve got this amazing vehicle to share this wonderful old song with children in libraries and classrooms.  It is magic and pure joy!

THANK YOU LORI LEE for sharing your artistic talents and giving the world a new book to sing!!
I hope you illustrate lots more songs.  You’ve really go something here!

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Lori Lee’s Story for the Book:

Lori Lee told me that she used pastels, inks, and collage, then smeared the whole thing with Mod Podge, a decoupage medium, to create the marvelous pictures for this song.

She also tells some of her story on the book’s dedication:

Red Robin dedication page for book

Click the picture to enlarge.

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A good sing-along track:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004GZYFAG?ie=UTF8&keywords=melinda%20caroll%2C%20red%20robin&qid=1463927098&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

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I love Carmen McRae’s rerndition:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_HThbCF7_Q

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I love Steve Goodman’s rendition, too:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Q-vBRJRO40

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I’ve got a feeling that Melinda Caroll was inspired by Rosie Flores’ rockabilly rendition which is joyful and fun:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYVRl-1nG_U

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Some interesting info on the song’s origins, here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/When_the_Red,_Red_Robin_(Comes_Bob,_Bob,_Bobbin%27_Along)

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RED RED ROBIN
Words and Music by Harry Woods

I heard a robin this mornin’
I’m feelin’ happy today
Gonna pack my cares in a whistle
And blow them all away

What if I been unlucky
Really, I ain’t got a thing
There’s a time I always feel happy
As happy as a king

When the red red robin
Comes bob bob bobbin’
Along, along
There’ll be no more sobbin’
When he starts throbbin’
His old sweet song

Wake up, wake up you sleepy head
Get up, get out o’ bed
Cheer up, cheer up the sun is red
Live, love, laugh and be happy

What if I’ve been blue
Now I’m walking through
Fields of flowers
Rain may glisten
But still I listen
For hours and hours

I’m just a kid again,
Doin’ what I did again
Singin’ a song
When the red red robin
Comes bob bob bobbin’along

When the red red robin
Comes bob bob bobbin’
Along, along
There’ll be no more sobbin’
When he starts throbbin’
His old sweet song

Wake up, wake up you sleepy head
Get up, get out o’ bed
Cheer up, cheer up the sun is red
Live, love, laugh and be happy

What if I’ve been blue
Now I’m walking through
Fields of flowers
Rain may glisten
But still I listen
For hours and hours

I’m just a kid again,
Doin’ what I did again
Singin’ a song
When the red red robin
Comes bob bob bobbin’
Red red robin comes bob bob bobbin’
When the red red robin
Comes bob bob bobbin’ along.

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A scene from RED RED ROBIN, June 2017. Thanks to Ms. Moody for the Tweet!

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Related Posts

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GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK

Singable Picture Books of the Great American Songbook and Michael Feinstein’s Foundation for the Preservation of the Great American Songbook
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/09/10/american-songbook-singable-picture-books-and-michael-feinsteins-foundation-for-the-preservation-of-the-great-american-songbook/

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BIRDS

For the love of birds!
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/06/25/for-the-birds-a-list-of-singable-picture-books-to-celebrate-our-tuneful-feathered-friends/

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