I haven’t done one of these posts in a while. It hasn’t been from the lack of collecting, as there are plenty piles of new books on the floor to trip on. I’m simply trying to focus more time on story creation and drawing. But I must share this one.
I picked up this cheerful cover last week during one my hunts at my local library book nook.
This one is a genuine oldie, published in 1937 and printed in Holland.
It wasn’t until last night however, on the eve of 9/11, that I opened it up to sing some of the songs with my youngest child before bedtime. As we flipped through the book, we fell upon this page.
What touched me in addition to the song were these little words at the bottom.
“Probably few children of nursery school age outside of N.Y. know the Empire State building but the song seems worth including…”
When this was written, the Empire State Building was completed just a handful of years earlier in 1931. It was, of course, destined to become a famous emblem from New York City that all children would know. It remained the tallest building until the World Trade Center’s North Tower went up some 40 years later. On 9/11/2001, the Empire State building took back its claim to tallest building in New York.
The last line of the song reads,
“Empire State, do you want to reach the sky?”
On a day of remembrance, when people across our nation (and the globe) speak to their children about what happened to two very tall towers that tried to reach the sky, this, to me, is a bittersweet song.