New Song – Lady Aberlin’s Muumuu

February 12th, 2008

Took a bit longer than expected to finish – I had some trouble getting the mix right (it’s not) and also I wanted to get some lady vocals in there (courtesy of my lovely and talented sister Lacey Kohl). But now, here it is.

One of the nice things about being a father is the opportunity to watch Mister Rogers again. I have such fond memories of the show from when I was a kid, and watching it still makes me all happy and fuzzy inside. It’s just so great. Fred Rogers was a genius and a saint and probably a space alien from the planet Love, Johnny Costa can make pianos play just by thinking about them – the whole thing is so mellow and pleasant and awesome. If opium were a TV show, it would be Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.

But watching it again for the first time in many years, I was reminded how much I loved (I should say: LURVED) Lady Aberlin. I always picture her in this one particular blue dress with flowers on it, I have no idea if it’s a muumuu. But she’s pretty and has a pretty voice and she’s so nice to little Daniel Striped Tiger. I’m getting all flushed just thinking about it. This song is sort of a love song to her, by way of that dress.

Lady Aberlin’s Muumuu

Buy it or Donate

Chords and lyrics

63 responses to “New Song – Lady Aberlin’s Muumuu”

  1. Jeff Eberlin says:

    I thought it was Lady Eberlin all of these years… are you telling me it’s Aberlin? :-( :-(!!!!

  2. the Moffitts of Princeton says:

    are ALL big fans of BettyKayDay!

  3. […] And why do I worry that he and Betty Aberlin will be hooking up for some song and dance thing arrnged by Kevin Smith? With a green striped shirt and a muumuu? […]

  4. Betty Aberlin also had a kickass radio show when I lived in the burgh. Thanks, Jonathan…

  5. Jonathan Whittum says:

    Hello to all from a long-time Mr. Roger’s neighborhood fanatic. I just wanted to comment on a page where Betty Aberlin had also done so. Just to “breathe the same air” so to speak, in an electronic format as it were. Somehow I always knew I would marry a woman who reminded me of you, Lady Aberlin, and I have. There was always something so comforting about you, like I knew you and you knew me even through the TV. Try as he might have, Fred did NOT prevent your beautiful womanhood from shining through upon me. I am glad; you were an early inspiration among a choice few, in realizing the beauty of, and feeling love for, womankind. It will be fun if you get to read this, from surely one of your biggest fans!

  6. Betty aka Lady Aberlin says:

    ongoing thanks, Jonathan and dear peeps!

    fyi the Neighborhood is in jeopardy…see:

    wow! Martha – I am thrilled that you heard my WYEP radio show (Stone Soup, Armadillo Mermaid) – it was such freedom! – a sequence of an evening might be Tom Rush, Lenny Bruce, Benny Golson & a sory by Flannery O’Connor – real Public Access Radio as distinct from National Public Radio. As in, you want air time? Go right ahead.

    & Chapomatic? Fear not. My scene in Kevin’s latest film wound up on the cutting-room floor *shuddering sob* so I will have to wait until the DVD “out-takes” to see whether I got the Pittsburgh accent correct, or in any way acquitted myself.

    Jonathan? Thanks for the head’s up = apologies for hijacking the thread, and many thanks for the cyber soap-box.

    with love,


    and Jonathan W. – you do me great honor. I think coming from a broken home as I did, with a tv and the kindly voices of radio announcers as father-figures, made me overmuch loyal to the program – that I might be part of giving what I had so longed to receive…and did receive in my young years from a salad of Milton Berle, Kukla, Fran & Ollie, and Mister I. Magination (the unsung Paul Tripp). Thank you for your lovely affirmation.

    Averagejon? Many other people fused Lady Aberlin with Lady Elaine Fairchilde. the puppet shadow side of Fred, named after his adopted sister Elaine – she who countered Lady Aberlins unfailing sweetness with mischief and the tlling of truth to power. Perhaps together we made up one person…?

    Eric? I tried but could not find the lacivious ladies song…I am not too computer savy though.

  7. Betty aka Lady Aberlin says:

    story by Flannery O’Connor (probably “Everything That Rises Must Converge”)

    drat. yat: yet another typo.

  8. Russ Rogers says:

    Growing up with the name “Rogers,” I would sometimes get teased by kids at school. “Hey, MR. ROGERS! Is it a beautiful day in YOUR neighborhood?”
    I guess boys with the surname, “Rogers,” must grow up either loving and defending Mr. Rogers or hating him. I love him.

    When people asked me as a kid, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, I would sometimes reply, “An architect, or Mr. Rogers.” And it was true. I longed to grow up and write songs and be funny and entertain people, especially children.

    And you know what? I did it! I’m a children’s entertainer! OK, the children I entertain mostly are my four daughters. But I’ve also been a working children’s entertainer, a singer/songwriter/comedian for about sixteen years now! I was in a duo, “Kit and Kaboodle” for a decade. And now I have a solo show called, “Rusty’s Rocking Jamboree!”

    Fred Rogers and I aren’t related. But my mother once had dinner with HIS mother! Fred Rogers was actually an ordained Presbyterian Minister. The Minister at Mr. Rogers’ church when he was a boy (and his neighbor) was my Great Uncle, my mother’s uncle!

    Did you know Fred Rogers went to High School with Arnold Palmer!

    I wrote Mr. Rogers a fan letter in 1996. I sent him a Kit and Kaboodle album as a token, as some kind of proof his influence, a tribute. He was very kind. He took the time and wrote back a very nice letter. He also sent me a photocopy of an article Life had done on him too.

    Fred Rogers was a kind man. He was also a REALLY good song writer. He knew how to be simple. And some of his harmonies and progressions can be tricky as all get out. He didn’t dumb down the music. And he was FUNNY! People forget how witty, biting and insightful the satire of The Land of Make Believe could be. Maybe because his comedy wasn’t cruel. Even a pompous oaf like King Friday remained loyal and lovable. Lady Elaine was never evil, just ornery and mischievous.

    Here’s a beautiful video:

    And Fred surrounded himself with talent. Johnny Costa was a master. The background music to each episode is peppered with flashes of genius, little musical jokes, touches and flourishes. The way Fred Rogers could flow from conversation into song and then back, it’s a tribute to both Fred and Johnny! They made music seem effortless.

    And Betty Aberlin was right in there. A beautiful actress and singer. She went for YEARS talking to puppets without ever getting smarmy or saccharine! Not a false note. Oh my goodness, I just IMDBed her! She was in “Dogma” and “Jersey Girl”! I’ve seen both of those movies and didn’t notice. Obviously Kevin Smith is a fan too!

    I’m rambling. I’m sorry.

    Jonathan, this is a gorgeous song. A lovely tribute. Thank you. When I grow up, if I can learn how to write songs half as good as this one, then you will still write songs twice as good as mine!

  9. Joe K says:

    What a strange odyssey that landed me here …

    Just the other day, after probably six or year years of not seeing the show, I stumbled across a “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” episode on TV (the one where Fred interviews Lou “The Incredible Hulk” Ferrigno and Bill Bixby). The show, as usual, included a visit to the Neighborhood of Make-Believe where Lady Aberlin did much to maintain a cheerful, comforting environment. She made me smile then, as she did 20 some years ago when I would look forward to watching the show (which already was mostly in syndication) each morning on PBS with my very small children. I think I looked forward to those shows more than my kids did!

    The shows helped honed my parenting skills, although I don’t think I consciously approached viewing them day after day with that objective in mind. I just thought they were great TV for kids, and great opportunities for parents to spend with their kids. Fred’s excellent show on divorce, in particular, would help me not long after I first saw it when I went through one myself. It gave me ideas on how to broach the subject with my own kids and how to reassure them that my love for them would be unchanged despite the imminent split of their mom and dad. I have always been grateful to PBS, Fred and the show’s cast for that.

    I tip my had to Betty for taking the time to acknowledge your work, your song and your toast to a wonderful, beautiful woman, Jonathon. Like the others, I find the song tuneful, enjoyable and very appropriate.

  10. bob says:

    Lady A was/is so hot. So damn hot. Even as a kid, I knew the deal.

  11. Cheri Herald says:

    re: Lady Aberlin–one thought led to another:

    Lady Aberlin Denied

    When I grew up
    I wanted to be Lady Aberlin
    from the land of make-believe
    soft-spoken, reserved, ever-so-nice

    But ladies need backing
    Strength is required to slay dragons
    dig moats–protect the castle

    In my world
    of not-so-make-believe
    knights were too busy
    polishing their armor, admiring
    their reflections

    I learned a bit
    of the dragon’s fire
    how to wield my own sword
    draw a quick bow

    Lady Aberlin calloused
    behind armor forged of necessity
    but chafed at the steel

    I kept waiting
    for that white horse
    whose rider would arrive
    Lady Aberlin would don proper silk
    and soften her stride

    But crusades are long
    the best knights
    always seemed to be absent
    imprisoned, or otherwise occupied

    I no longer wait
    at the tower window
    for one good knight to set Aberlin free
    I’ve learned to ride–securely astride–
    bought my own horse

    But, ah, there are nights
    when the wine is sweet and the moon is full
    that I sit by my weathered window
    and a wish still rises
    to a distant star

    9/12/2009 Cheri Neuman Herald
    Thanks, Jonathan Coulton and Betty Aberlin, for the poetic inspiration.

  12. Waldo says:

    To extend this thread into another year–

    Lady A– Believe it or not, the memory of Paul Tripp (Mr. I. Magination) has survived at least one more generation. I grew up on his album “Billy On A Bike” and the one where he meets Rip Van Winkle. I ripped it from vinyl to MP3 for my own enjoyment, but I think it’s also here:

  13. Suldog says:

    I came upon this thread via a link from the Mister Rogers Neighborhood page on Wikipedia. Marvelous stuff! All of the comments are so loving and caring and full of great memories, but to have a few by Betty Aberlin herself – what a tribute to your songwriting!

    I absolutely adore Fred Rogers’ work, and I sometimes wondered if MY WIFE and I might be the only adults around who watch the show with no children present. Now I know for sure we’re not – and how wonderful to know that!

    If you’d like, my own tribute to Fred Rogers (a written one) is at…

    Thank you for this. It made my day happier.