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Eric Baylin's
Songs to Brighten
A Teacher's Day

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They tell him it's only November, but Eric Baylin knows that's "a third of the way" through the year -- definitely something to sing about! But then, it seems that educator/songsmith Baylin always has something to sing about. Join him in a chorus of his original autumn anthem "Only November!"

Only November

To the tune of Red River Valley

"Red River Valley" is a classic American folk tune -- although the 20- to 30-something set is less likely to be familiar with it. Hopefully, someone close by will know the tune if you don't. Find someone to sing with and have some fun in the diminishing light of these November days.

About the Lyricist

Eric Baylin has been a teacher for 36 years, working with a variety of age levels in both public and private schools in New York and North Carolina. He currently works at Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn, New York, a K-12 independent school established in 1854. In addition to teaching art and photography to middle- and high-school students, Baylin coordinates a program of collaborative faculty study groups in Packer's professional development program.

Oh they tell me it's only November,
But I'd swear that we've been here a while.
Just last night I was dreaming of summer;
Well I guess that I'm just in denial.

In September I came back all rested;
I was smiling and filled with good cheer.
Teacher workshops and tans had not faded,
Summer months had renewed my career.

Well we got here and hit the ground running.
We had only just entered the door,
When they handed us rosters and grade books,
And our lunchroom assignments, plus more.

Well it did not take long to remember
How much time that my classes required.
Oh it's not that I don't love the children,
It's just that I'm always so tired.

I've got papers to grade on the weekend,
Every night lesson plans to prepare,
And there's one meeting after another,
It's no wonder I'm getting gray hair.

Pretty soon we will break for Thanksgiving;
By my count that's a third of the way.
And I know after that one there're only
Three more weeks to the next holiday.

While I whine and complain that I'm tired,
I would never give up this career.
Still it's hard to believe it's November,
'Cause the first months have seemed like a year.

At our school, we've sung these songs at faculty meetings or other gatherings. When there is no venue for group singing, I put them on our e-mail system. I'm told that individuals and groups have sung them spontaneously in offices.

Song lyrics copyright 2004 Eric Baylin