Singing with the animals

November 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Living Space

gramophone (in lomo style) by digika on flickrOne of my favourite books of all time is a children’s book called “The Old Man Who Loved to Sing” by John Winch.

“In a quiet valley far from the city lived an old man who loved to sing. When he wasn’t singing, he whistled, and when he wasn’t whistling, he played music on an old wind-up gramophone.

The animals of the valley learned to love the man and his music, but one day, the music stopped. The old man had forgotten how to sing. And so the animals of the valley gathered to remind the old man of his true love – music.”

It’s a lovely, gentle tale of one man living in total harmony with his surroundings. He doesn’t harm the environment or the animals and they all learn how to get along and even to enjoy each other’s company.


I wonder what we would hear if we went out into the valley or the bush? There is a natural harmony in the sounds of the bush. The gentle rhythm of the cicada, the hum of the flies, the warbling of the magpies and even the crackling of the bark in the hot summer sun are all quite musical sounds if we just stop to listen.

Have you ever sat in your garden in the early hours of a summer morning? Perhaps you like to sit and watch the sun go down and the birds head for bed. These times are when magic happens. It’s not often that we are silent or blessed with silence for a short time during the day. I like to use that time to listen to the natural world and its music.

This story is a lovely way to introduce children to the music of nature. Reading the book as an adult, you will appreciate the many layers within the tale. As a child you will be delighted by the magic.

By the way, if you’d like to know how the animals gave the old man back his music you will have to read the book. I’m keeping it secret.

photo source: gramophone by Tatyana Temirbulatova


One Response to “Singing with the animals”
  1. Chania Girl says:

    Thank you, Anne, for mentioning a little bit book I’ve never heard of before (must check it out) and reminding us of the song that’s being sung all around us every day … if we are just able to stop and listen for it. :)