Beatlemania hits Ottawa elementary school
Joanne Schnurr, CTV Ottawa
Published Wednesday, February 5, 2014 5:37PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 5, 2014 6:46PM EST
There's a beetle invasion happening in Ottawa. This time, it's not the ash borer. This is a British invasion involving 900 school kids and a whole lot of rock 'n roll. It was fifty years ago this week that the Beatles rocked to the top of the US charts with their song “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” The Beatles' British invasion took the world by storm.
Half a century later, students at Jack Donohue Public School in Kanata are still groovin' to the kings of rock and roll, thanks to the school's eccentric music teacher Stephen Eisenhauer, also known as "Ringo."
"The thing about the Beatles,” says Eisenhauer, “is they lend themselves to this thing so well, the lyrics are appropriate for little kids to sing, melodies are singable, the messages are good.”
Besides, he says, it gives the students a reason to sing.
“Singing is good for you. It’s like vegetables and exercise.”
Most of the elementary school kids at Jack Donohue weren't even born before two of the Beatles had already died
“I like the Beatles. I think they're a good band,” says 12-year-old student Sameer Bussiere.
But some of them would put an adult’s knowledge of the Beatles to shame.
“I thought especially “Let It Be” (was great ),” says 12-year-old Grant Brooks, “because he's singing about his dead mom that touched me because the lyrics were very meaningful.”
For some of the younger ones, though, it was just a chance to sing.
“Who are the Beatles,” CTV reporter Joanne Schnurr asked 7-year-old Charlie Derouin. “I don’t know,” he replied. “What is a Beatle?” “A bug,” he added.
“It’s their 50th year of doing this,” added 7-year-old Juliana Strickland, “and the beetle is a type of bug like Charlie said.”
Whatever the kids think of the Beatles, the event was clearly a success, bringing together a diverse group of students will the sole purpose of song. This Friday, by the way, marks the very day, 50 years ago, that the Beatles stepped off that Pan Am flight at JFK in New York to 3-thousand screaming fans. The world of music has never been the same.