In 460-odd daily comments, I have yet to write one about music. Anyone who has heard me whistle will know why.

But one family of eleven I know — two parents, nine kids — told me recently how, when Saturday morning came around, Dad would put on his John Philip Sousa recordings, crank up the volume . . . and soon everyone would be marching around, cleaning up the house as if they were invading Normandy. For variation, he’d sometimes put on bagpipe music, which worked equally well.

Anyone who’s taken an aerobics class can tell you the effect music has on mood and energy. Or look what it did to Laurel and Hardy’s wooden soldiers when the boogie-men were about to overrun Toyland!

(If you have somehow failed to see Babes in Toyland, the 1934 classic known also as March of the Wooden Soldiers, in which Santa ordered 600 one-foot soldiers but they accidentally made 100 six-foot soldiers and . . . well, gather the kids round the TV Christmas Eve — it’s almost always on around Christmas — and enjoy.)

Feeling a little overwhelmed by the holidays? Grab yourself a tape of Rocky and come roaring back.

I tell you this now, rather than later in the month, so you have time to acquire the proper music. Removing and putting away the Christmas tree ornaments a drag? Just remember John Philip Sousa, and it will be done in no time.


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