Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal
Eliana, a kindergartner at Sierra Vista Elementary School, was nervous to sing on Friday.
Normally, she has no problem belting out songs while riding around in her dad’s truck. But when faced with a room full of adults on Friday, to perform a song she’s been practicing with her class in preparation for Thanksgiving, her nerves were getting to her.
“I’m nervous and scared at the same time,” she said.
But she rallied quickly, reminding herself and her classmates that “having fun is the best (part).”
It didn’t take long for the rest of the 5- and 6-year-olds to warm up.
Soon, the kindergartners were singing, gobbling and dancing along to the song, called “Albuquerque Turkey.”
They scampered, giggling, across the carpeted floor of the music room, flapped their arms like turkeys, and sported paper turkey headbands they colored in themselves.
“Happy Thanksgiving,” they shouted at the close of their performance, before letting out one last “gobble gobble.”
The kindergartners have been practicing the song for days, and music teacher Kristen Hutchinson said she’s sure they’ve been singing it at home nonstop.
“They sing it everywhere,” she said. “I think it’s fantastic, because it’s not easy to rhyme with ‘Albuquerque.’ So them being able to do it and be so happy is everything.”
The song, set to the tune of “Oh My Darling, Clementine,” is about a turkey named Albuquerque that the children agreed not to eat because it’s a pet, not food.
“He once told me, very frankly, he deserves to be my pet,” the kindergartners sang. “For our Thanksgiving dinner, we had mac and cheese instead.”
Hutchinson sang alongside the children, gesturing like a conductor as she guided them through the performance. School staff asked that the students only be identified by their first names.
Though the kindergartners adore the song, they may not all jive with its message, as many cited turkey as their favorite Thanksgiving dish.
For Tristin, 6, turkey is the best part of Thanksgiving, hands down – even trumping other holiday favorites.
“I tasted it, and I didn’t like pumpkin pie,” he said. “Turkey … is all that I like.”