If I'd Never Had a Teacher

from More Than A Number: Songs for Sane Schools by Barry Lane

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lyrics

If I’d Never Had a Teacher words and music by Barry Lane www.barrylane.com


Her name was Carolyn Foley
and she taught 4th grade.
I was her favorite student
I thought for 3 decades.
She read my stories to the room.
I sat beside her desk.
I love the way she sang to us.
I even loved her tests.

But teachers they’re just lazy.
It’s what the people say.
They babysit till 3 o’clock
and then they’re home all day.
And think of those vacations,
all that time away.

If I’d never had a teacher, I’d still turn out O.K..

She had a lot of textbooks but she left them on the shelf.
Miss Foley taught with projects. We wrote some books ourselves.
I studied the Egyptians, that Pharoah of the Sun.
I still have my cardboard pyramid. My Tomb of Akhenaton.

But teachers they’re just lazy.
It’s what the people say.
They babysit till 3 o’clock
and then they’re home all day.
And think of those vacations,
all that time away.

If I’d never had a teacher, I’d still turn out O.K..


She rarely lost her temper, but when she did we knew.
And later, she’d apologize and we say sorry too.
She wasn’t always perfect but she usually was kind,
and she had a way of holding up a mirror to our minds.

But teachers they’re just lazy.
It’s what the people say.
They babysit till 3 o’clock
and then they’re home all day.
And think of those vacations,
all that time away.

If I’d never had a teacher, I’d still turn out O.K..

Miss Foley never married. She never had offspring.
Unless you count the 600 she cheered on to sing.
We rarely come to visit her. We hardly ever write.
But she follows us around each day and sleeps with us each night.

Billy is a scientist—Jane she reads the news.
Sarah is a doctor now—Phil just gave up booze.
We met at the reunion and talked about the past.
“Who was your favorite teacher. What was your favorite class.”

Remember Mr. Johnston, We all played ancient Greeks.
Miss Hawthorne read a poem by Keats. The tears ran down her cheeks.
And what about Miss Foley. Her class was so much fun.
I was her favorite student, we say in unison.

But teachers they’re just lazy.
It’s what the people say.
They babysit till 3 o’clock
and then they’re home all day.
And think of those vacations,
all that time away.

If I’d never had a teacher, I’d still turn out O.K..

Oh you who pay the taxes. Oh you who make the laws.
Remember all your teachers and cherish them because,
You wouldn’t be so self assured—no you wouldn’t be so smart
If you hadn’t had a Miss Foley to hold you in her heart.

But teachers they’re just lazy.
It’s what you often say.
They babysit till 3 o’clock
and then they’re home all day.
And think of those vacations,
all that time away.

If I’d never had a teacher…
If I’d never had a teacher…
If I’d never had a teacher…

Who would I be today?

credits

from More Than A Number: Songs for Sane Schools, released May 12, 2013

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about

Barry Lane Vermont

I write songs about kindness for children and songs about hope and justice for adults.

I love Pete Seeger, and believe, as he did, that a single song can help change the world by uniting hearts and minds.


We are the mixed fruit of one tree,

Live in peace and unity.

Forget the old
embrace the new,

Less me, me, me,
more

You, you, you.

For now is the New Day.
... more

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