Shaken and Stirred.

Pegged Jean Nightmares 3

This is a children’s song, and for all I know it’s a standard. I’m nearly thirty years removed from first encountering it.

I remember the day in kindergarten when we sang this song, which I believe is called “Stirring My Brew.” It was around 10 AM, and the sky outside remained a perfect twilight grey. I imagined I could hear the dry leaves blowing in tight circles near the outside door. Our kindergarten class was taking the time sing a Halloween song, as the holiday was quickly approaching.

The song is a simple little ditty about a witch and her brew, and it’s filled with lots of low “oooo” singing. As we sang on, I found myself staring at a pale-skinned classmate who somehow looked much older than her kindergarten age.

This girl suddenly became the witch our class was singing about.

The beauty of a young imagination is its ability to accept without questioning. At that moment, this student was an old witch, and that was that. As the song droned on, I felt I could see the edges of a yellowing witch-skull poking out of her forehead and cheeks. I felt hypnotized; my classmates sang on, oblivious to the evil in the room with them. At any moment, the room could melt away and it would be the witch  and my class trapped in the room forever, wasting away in silence.

Then, the song ended and my witch daydream was over as quickly as a child’s daydream can end.

Except I can still picture the witch-face I saw in my imagination, and I can still hear the song.

– Axel

I am including a link to a YouTube video of children singing this song. Enjoy.

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