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Children Learn What They Live (Nolte)

keberoxu 20 Jan 18 - 10:59 AM
keberoxu 20 Jan 18 - 11:10 AM
keberoxu 20 Jan 18 - 04:12 PM
keberoxu 21 Jan 18 - 04:05 PM
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Subject: Dorothy Law Nolte: poem, 1954
From: keberoxu
Date: 20 Jan 18 - 10:59 AM

This free-verse poem has a life of its own,
so much so that the name Dorothy Law Nolte, who is the author,
is not as widely known as the poem she wrote in the 1950's.

At least one American artist has set the poem to music,
and recorded said setting.

Mrs. Nolte lived until 2005, which was long enough for her, as the author,
to copyright the poem and even to rewrite it slightly.
The version, "If children live with ... " is Nolte's,
re-written to eliminate gender bias,
as it says "they learn" instead of "he learns."

Here is the original.

CHILDREN LEARN WHAT THEY LIVE

If a child lives with criticism,
he learns to condemn.

If a child lives with hostility,
he learns to fight.

If a child lives with ridicule,
he learns to be shy.

If a child lives with shame,
he learns to feel guilty.

If a child lives with tolerance,
he learns to be patient.

If a child lives with encouragement,
he learns confidence.

If a child lives with praise,
he learns to appreciate.   

If a child lives with fairness,
he learns justice.

If a child lives with security,
he learns to have faith.

If a child lives with approval,
he learns to like himself.

If a child lives with acceptance and friendship,
he learns to find love in the world.

© Dorothy Law Nolte


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Subject: RE: Children Learn What They Live (Nolte)
From: keberoxu
Date: 20 Jan 18 - 11:10 AM

The musical version that I know of is by
African-American singer ("jazz") and songwriter Betty Carter
and was recorded on The Betty Carter Album,
released in 1976 on the Bet-Car label.

Anybody else know of
a musical adaptation of
Children Learn What They Live ?


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Subject: RE: Children Learn What They Live (Nolte)
From: keberoxu
Date: 20 Jan 18 - 04:12 PM

Here is Betty Carter's musical setting,
with her ensemble (jazz trio plus voice), from 1976.

Children Learn What They Live (Betty Carter)


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Subject: RE: Children Learn What They Live (Nolte)
From: keberoxu
Date: 21 Jan 18 - 04:05 PM

Although this next adaptation goes back to the 1970's,
it is new to me.
Fred Werner made a musical setting in which
a sung refrain, to the words
"children learn what they live,"
frames spoken-word recitation of the "When a child" verses
over an instrumental music backing.

This version was included in the "Desiderata" album
recorded by media announcer Les Crane;
and while I remember the "Desiderata" single well enough,
I have no recollection of hearing this musical take on
"Children Learn What They Live."

However, in looking all this up and searching for references,
I discover that this rendition of
"Children Learn What They Live"
was popular in Jamaica, of all places, in the 1970's.
There is a whole generation of families who remember this recording
as being deemed suitable for children,
and there are adults who grew up in Jamaica
who remember hearing this version on Sundays.


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