George Didn't Wear A Wig
by John Riggio
Snooty and pretentious. That pretty much sums up the style of the song, and what better way to celebrate Presidents' Day than with a snooty tune about wigs! Seriously though, this song has some information that not everyone is aware of, which is that George Washington didn't wear a wig. For a long time, this writer thought he did. I mean, how could you achieve that coif on the one dollar bill without a wig? That said, my research revealed that he powdered his hair, but didn't wear a wig. His contemporaries, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, partook in both stylings – powdered hair and wigs. Go figure.
To keep the style going, your singers will want to sing this with their noses up a bit. There are also a few phrases where the quarter notes are marked staccato, which adds to the essence of the piece. (What a good opportunity to discuss or reinforce staccato as "short and separated.")
You'll also need volunteers for the six optional spoken lines. These are not on the music due to length, but they are indicated on the lyric page on page 42. On the full performance version, you can hear how this works. On the accompaniment track version, we separated the sound effects into their own track so that if you choose not to use this final bit, it won't be there. Obviously, if you do use it, you'll want to be sure to hit the play button in a timely way for the sound effects (SFX) track, which is track 25. A couple of practice runs should do the trick for timing.
If possible, have an 18th century-looking wig. If you don't have access to one, you can make one using a painter's cap (worn backwards) or paper bag cut to shape, covered with cotton balls, with a pony tail tied with some string. (Do an Internet search for other ideas.) Then, if you choose to execute the "trip and fall" sequence at the end of the song, have the chosen student wear the wig so it covers one or both of his eyes after he pretends to fall down. Maybe have a cushy bean bag or mattress for him to fall on. Whatever you do, keep it safe!
Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.