June 21, 2016
It’s time for your hump day pick-me-up featuring the camel’s hump-less relatives.
I first met an alpaca at the Great Minnesota Get-Together a few years ago. These big-eyed, I-want-to-bury-my-face-in-your-wooly-coat critters melted my heart, and I admit I’ve become moderately obsessed. We’ve purchased the fuzzy alpaca “doll,” the scarves, the fingerless gloves and dryer balls. The alpacas have been our first stop at the State Fair every year since that day, we’ve visited a local alpaca farm and I’ve even half-joked about bringing one home to live in our backyard.
Llamas, while not as cute in my opinion, enjoy greater awareness in our culture, perhaps due to the unique double ‘L’ at the beginning of their name — and the hundreds of second-grade teachers who include it on spelling tests. In recent years, the Llama Llama books by Anna Dewdney have helped popularize llamas. These books were some of our favorites when my daughters were younger; fun to read and listen to. Then there was Tina, that fat lard. And of course, llamas reached social media celebrity status in February 2015 when Lainey and Carnita escaped during a visit to an assisted-living facility and ran free on the streets of Sun City, Ariz.
But about six months ago, my daughters came home singing a silly song about llamas, fully equipped with hand motions. I’ve since learned that this song has been around for years but the lyrics vary slightly depending upon who you ask. One of the most interesting variations in the version my daughters learned is the replacement of “Don’t forget Barack Ollama” with “Bye Felicia Llama,” which is especially funny since my 9-year olds have no idea what Friday is.
I wanted to discover the origin of the song, and in doing so I fell into a world I had no idea existed; a world where the llama and (to a lesser degree) the alpaca were king.
My favorite hands-down is “The Llama Song” (again, many years old, but worth a watch even if for nostalgia).
This song is a total earworm; it doesn’t help that my kids ask me to play it frequently (which I happily oblige). Then there is twaimz’s version, which I have not shared with my kids as it’s not at all kid-friendly (and not super work-friendly), but if you’re not one of the 20 million viewers, look it up.
An alpaca version of The Llama Song was released last year. After you watch, you can even take a quiz to see how well you paid attention.
I also fell for this sweet little kawaii-style student video.
Not only are there silly llama and alpaca songs, but I’ve witnessed more gift and home paraphernalia in boutiques and crafty shops than ever before. The easy rhymes and puns, combined with their cute faces, make for a winning combination (even if many of the illustrators don’t know the differences between the two).
Alpacas and llamas will never reach “put a bird on it” status, but these funny, fuzzy critters will aways put a smile on my face.