Monday, January 3, 2011

That Mother Board

“Dem Bones” is a very clever melody that was written by the acclaimed African American author and songwriter James Weldon Johnson (1871 to 1938) as a way of teaching children the basic anatomy of the human body.

Left: James Weldon Johnson, a man of kaleidoscopic talents who was at various times in his life a writer, lawyer, university professor, diplomat, teacher, civil rights worker and anthologist. (Image Wikipedia Commons )

It was written in traditional spiritual style and was not only an entertaining and instructive teaching aid but also became a highly popular novelty item on the hit parades of several countries, including Australia, in the 1940’ and 50’s.

One of the choruses goes like this:

The head-bone connected to the neck-bone,

The neck-bone connected to the back-bone

The backbone connected to the thigh-bone

The thighbone connected to the knee-bone

The knee-bone connected to the leg bone

The leg bone connected to the foot bone

Oh hear the word of the Lord

A great 1950's version of the song, as performed by the Delta Rhythm Boys singing ultra smooth five-part harmonies, can be heard here:

After recently hearing a version of the song, just by coincidence, it occurred to me that we need a more modern version to explain the mysteries of the computer world to the over sixties (like me), so I’ve had a try, borrowing from James Johnson's idea. Here’s the result:

That Mother Board

The Wifi’s connected to the I phone
The I phone’s connected to the e-zone
The e-zone’s connected to the ring tone
It's the word of the Mother Board

The Airports connected to the Blue Tooth
The Blue tooth’s connected to the tweet zone
The tweet zones connected to the batch file
It's the word of the Mother Board

The bitmaps connected to the Android
The Androids connected to the hard drive
The hard drive’s connected to the firewall
It's the word of the Mother Board

The half tones connected to the V-Ram
The V-Rams connected with the screen shot
The screen shots connected with the inkjet
It's the word of the Mother Board

The clock speeds connected to the bandwidth
The bandwidth’s connected with the add-on
The add-ons connected with the ASCII
It's the word of the Mother Board
It's the word of the Mother Board!

To the Baby Boomers - hope that makes it all clear.

James Weldon Johnson was one of the most influential and high achieving black Americans of the early twentieth century. He was one of the very first African American professors at New York University and later became a professor of creative literature and writing at Fisk University.

In 1988 the United States Postal Service issued a 22 cent postage stamp in his honour.


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