Roger Miller — Music for Children — You Can’t Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd


Thanks to Bø Zolner for the You Tube

Now for something quite different for this website.  It’s a change of pace.  That was You Can’t Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd by Roger Miller. What brought that to mind were my recent thoughts about music for children. I think when my mother initially bought me 45 RPM records those were children’s records. The record I remember was Little Orley and the Pancake about a pancake that jumps out of a frying pan and rolls out the door and down the road. The pancake successfully challenges each of the animals along the road until he meets a pig who eats him.   For children, the more absurd the story the better. The absurd has a great place and purpose in children’s music.

If you think about it, there is a lot of negative experience in childhood. Learning is sometimes painful.  “You can’t do this, you can’t do that.” The most common word , especially, in a Mom’s vocabulary is “No!” It’s no, no no all day long. Below is a video on You Tube from a few years back, where a little Girl named Charlotte gets back at her parents by saying “No” to everything they ask.  Notice how she loves it when it’s her turn  to say that word.

Thanks to sencryr37220 for the You Tube

Of course, Moms usually say no because she has experience. And when little junior does something risky without asking Mom, and it doesn’t end well, he sometimes pays an extra price.

Roger Miller captures this paradox of childhood, the absurdity and clown comedy of childhood. That’s why children love it. The song was used in a Muppets show segment with their Jug Band in 1976.

Thanks to dorcm 1973 for the You Tube

I decided to post this topic because I was thinking about children and music.


About Richard Rollo

I am a retired Community College Instructor. I taught Political Science 1 American Government for 22 years in Southern California. I am originally from Northern Minnesota. My earliest years were spent in the living quarters of a rural Duluth Winnipeg & Pacific Railway Depot. Then my family joined the great 1950's migration to Southern California where I joined up with fellow baby boomers in overcrowded schools.
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