An example of the subjunctive mood in English, which is used when talking about things that are being offered as hypothetical (such as "If I were you, then...") or things that are being hoped or demanded to happen--I think the highfalutin' term is mandative--"they asked that Smith refrain from smoking in the nursery".

I put it forward as an example of the subjunctive mood being alive and well, to the naysayers who want to claim otherwise. I think most people would call "If I were you" more correct than "If I was you" even if they couldn't explain why. I also really doubt anyone would say "they asked that Smith refrains from smoking in the nursery".

Where the subjunctive is dead, however, appears to be in most pre-high-school English classes. :(

Kermit the Frog's sonnet of love. I think he's wearing Renaissance garb while strumming on a mandolin. I like it (and I'm not going to say whether I've sung it to my SO or not = ).

If I were

Words by David Axelrod
Music by Stephen Lawrence
sung by Kermit the Frog (Jim Henson)

If I were a poet
I would write a sonnet
It would say "I love you"
Your name would be upon it
If I were a farmer
I'd give you a bunny
If I had a beehive
You would get free honey
Fa la la (many times)

If I were a baker
You could have a cruller
If I were a painter
Choose your favorite color
If I had some diamonds
I'd give you a few
Anything to show you
How much I love you
Fa la la, etc.

Did you guess my secret?
I am not a poet
Couldn't write a sonnet
And I think you know it
I am not a farmer
Can't give you a bunny
I don't have a beehive
Sorry 'bout the honey
Fa la la, etc.

I am not a baker
Don't know bread from batter
And I am not a painter
And it doesn't matter
I don't need a present
All I have to do
Is look at you to show you
How much I love you
Fa la la, etc.

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