Friday, September 23, 2016

Dick & Jane

Dick and Jane, sang by Bobby Vinton and written by Dewayne Blackwell speaks of unrequited love and the eternal love triangle. A love story spawned at the early stages of childhood, from innocence to social awareness.  The song opens with the chorus:

Look, Dick look, look at Jane
See Jane laugh and play
Look, Dick look, see pretty Jane
I'm gonna marry her someday

The phrases bring back familiar phrases: look, look at jane, see pretty Jane.  Indeed, Dick and Jane are the main characters of books used to teach children in the United Stateshow to  read using the "look say" method.  The next lines confirms this connection of the song:

I've loved her since we were children
Back in grammar school
Loved her then and I always wiIll
Though I know I'm just a fool

Was the songwriter admonishing the basal reading method? In the 50s Rudolf Flesch wrote the book "Why Johnny Can't Read" blaming "look say" and urging a return to teaching phonics instead.

The story of unrequited love follows with:

Then one day I kissed her
But it was all in vain
Cause I was at their reception
To have fun with Dick and Jane

Time has turned some pages
Since they moved away
I think back in stage
Of the way she'd laugh and play

Today I received a letter
That she has passed away
So one last time I kissed her
By the flowers where she'll lay

But Why did Blackwell turn the love story to a tragic ending

The basal reading pedagogy started losing favor in the 70s.  

Bobby Vinton recorded Dick and Jane in 1975. 

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