Occasionally, I think of incredibly weird things that just stick in my mind.
Example: For the last week, a children’s rhyme has been stuck in my head. Around here, it’s the song that the Ice Cream man plays while driving slow around the neighborhood.
The lyrics, though, are what interest me. I’ve been singing this song since I was little, and I never once stopped to think what the words really meant.
Do your ears hang low,
Do they wobble to and fro,
Can you tie ‘em in a knot, can you tie ‘em in a bow,
Do you throw them o’er your shoulder like a continental soldier,
Do your ears hang low?
And the part that bothers me most about this song isn’t that there is a question of having ears long enough to throw over one’s shoulder, it’s that I had no clue as to what a continental soldier was, or if one even existed.
Thanks to the power of the internet, though, I can look it up. There really was a such thing as a Continental Soldier.
Without looking up anything, my first thought was that a Continental soldier would be someone from Europe. After all, it’s an old song, and Europe was referred to by the British as the Continent. So, it would be reasonable to think that soldiers there would be referred to as Continental soldiers.
However, I was wrong, as usual. A Continental soldier was an American soldier, as the army was created by the Continental Congress.
So, now that I know what a Continental soldier is, I can now worry about other, more worrying things. Like, why do they have such long ears? What happened to them? And why do they throw them over their shoulders.
I have questions, and for once, the internet isn’t answering.