There’s a pink one and a green one and a blue one and a yellow one…

Born in San Francisco in 1900, Malvina Reynolds was an American folk/blues singer-songwriter and political activist, who began her performing career late in life.   After receiving her doctorate in English from UC Berkeley she returned to study music theory in her mid-40s and began to write folk songs. It was Pete Seeger who encouraged her to perform some of them and much to her surprise a number of them became popular, especially today’s selection. In her later years she contributed a number of her songs to PBS’s Sesame Street, on which she occasionally appeared as a character named Kate.

‘Though some have called it “sanctimonious” this satirical song, which became famous after Seeger performed and recorded it, was inspired by a drive Reynolds made through Daly City, California one day in 1962.  Reynolds’ version first appeared in 1967 on her album, “Malvina Reynolds Sings the Truth”.

When “Newsweek Magazine” later asked her to point out the houses that served as her inspiration she couldn’t find them, so many more had been built around them and every hillside was totally obscured.

There have since been numerous covers of the song, including a delightful French version by Kate and Anna McGarrigle.  This winning (embedded) YouTube version is performed by the Ontario-based, self-managed, Walk Off the Earth, now famous for its quirky low-budget music covers of popular songs

LISTEN TO TODAY’S SELECTION – Thursday 13 September

Little Boxes

 Little boxes on the hillside

Little boxes made of ticky-tacky

Little boxes on the hillside

Little boxes all the same

There’s a pink one & a green one

And a blue one & a yellow one

And they are all made out of ticky-tacky

And they all look just the same

And the people in the houses

All went to the university

Where they were put in boxes

And they came out all the same

And there’re doctors & lawyers

And business executives

And they’re all made out of ticky-tacky

And they all look just the same

 And they all play on the golf course

And drink their martinis dry

And they all have pretty children

And the children go to school,

And the children go to summer camp

And then to the university

Where they are put in boxes

And they come out all the same.

And the boys go into business

And marry and raise a family

In boxes made of ticky-tacky

And they all look just the same,

There’s a pink one and a green one

And a blue one and a yellow one

And they are all made out of ticky-tacky

And they all look just the same.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s