Early Bird gets the earworm

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The song grabbed my attention. It was a bouncy, sweet tune about getting up early that sounded so modern.

And, yet …

The voice. Could it be?

“Is that Shirley Temple,” I asked my husband.

He shrugged.

“It’s Shirley Temple!” I said.

I’d know that voice anywhere, the voice of my childhood, the voice of the adorable kid with a mop of golden curls who entertained me every weekend on television.

Her movies were old-fashioned and trite, but a couple of them — “The Little Princess” and “Heidi” — were particular favorites of mine when I was a kid.

“Someone auto-tuned one of her songs,” I said.

That someone was whoever put together Target’s spring television campaign. I remember nothing at all about the ad, not the people in it, not whatever merchandise was featured; all I can remember is the song, and I can’t get it out of my head.

It’s a most-wonderful earworm.

“Early Bird,” is the song, and it’s from a 1936 movie entitled “Captain January.” It’s about an orphan — Shirley Temple, of course — taken in by Captain January. A truant officer pursues Shirley, Captain January loses his job (and home) at a lighthouse because of automatic lights, and a rich aunt and uncle ride in to save the day, taking in Shirley. They buy the kid a yacht and hire Captain January to sail it.

Ah, yes, Shirley Temple movies and reality did not often meet.

But, what a song that film gave us — and Target.


About Maria Stuart 211 Articles
Journalist Maria Stuart lives in Howell. She worked at The Livingston County Press/Livingston County Daily Press & Argus as a reporter, editor and managing editor from 1990-2009. She is often spotted holding court at Uptown Coffeehouse. You can check out her website by clicking here.