Bill Harley, an author, storyteller and two-time Grammy Award-winning musician, visited Batesville primary and intermediate schools April 14-15, entertaining students in grades K-5. He also presented a family concert Tuesday evening at Batesville High School.
The musician sang songs with kindergarten students. The lyrics for the first one were “so long, my mom. Sorry, but I cannot stay. I’ve got a big load, and it’s a long road, and I have to be on my way.” He also taught the youngsters sign language to go along with it.
With assistance from the audience, the Massachusetts resident added verses to “I’m not Small.” He began with “I’m not small. I’m so tall. I can carry a tree on my back. When it grows, I’ll grow, too. That’s not very hard to do.”
Some of the kids’ suggestions included a dragon and elephant. He sang, “I can carry a dragon on my back. When it breathes fire, I’ll breathe fire, too .... I can carry an elephant on my back. When it squirts water, I’ll squirt water, too. That’s not very hard to do.” Through their giggles, the kindergartners joined in.
Harley also told stories and shared some of his other songs. He showed a picture of his house and the studio where he writes his stories and songs.
With the fifth-graders, the entertainer began with a song about adults. “Grownups are strange. That’s a fact. But there’s just goin’ forward, you can’t go back. Grownups are weird, yes, that’s true. Someday that could happen to you.”
He kept their interest by telling a very funny story based on adventures he had with his friend, Sheldon, his friend’s little sister, Louise “Weezy”; and their neighbor, Francis.