Mister Rogers' Neighborhood constituted a large part of my childhood television-viewing regime, and I credit this song with bolstering my self esteem to its present level as well as instilling in me an affinity for avant-garde syntactical ambiguity in poetry and prose. Notice how he runs the second and third lines together--when sung, the "as proud as I am" descends in pitch and crescendos until the opening line is repeated again, with vigor. On the show it was always sung with piano accompaniment--chunky chords played proudly and majestically.
One of the reasons why the songs on his show were so catchy is that Fred Rogers actually graduated from Rollins College with a degree in Music Composition.


I'm Proud Of You

by Fred M. Rogers

I'm proud of you, I'm proud of you.
I hope that you're as proud as
I am proud of you,
I'm proud of you.
I hope that you are proud,
And that you're
Learning how important you are;
How important each person you see can be.
Discovering each one's specialty
Is the most important learning.

I'm proud of you. I'm proud of you.
I hope that you're as proud as I am
Proud of you,
I'm proud of you.
I hope that you are proud of you, too!

Tears rolled from my eyes as we marched back to the buses. A legacy had come to an end. My last performance with this group, ever. I submitted to the shock of it, and let myself pour out.

It must be different for people that march drums. The entire hornline seemed to be just fine, while my senior percussion comrade and I sulked in the shadows of one of the coldest days I've ever known. The younger members of the section didn't understand what was wrong. I only told them one thing.

"I'm proud of you."

I packed up my drums, along with the swizzle stick that had snapped in half with the energy of the final two measures of the best show I'd ever played. Out with a bang indeed.

They say that all good things must come to an end. I don't know how my good thing could have come to a better end.

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