Playing with Echo

When Iris and Michael moved into a different home, Rosie quickly adapted to her new environment. She’s an imaginative and curious child, easily venturing into new experiences. The new move gave her the opportunity to experiment with different spaces. She quickly discovered that areas of the house bounced her voice and any noises she made as she played. Soon she deliberately created sounds that would come back to her in an echo. Watching her process was delightful. Even before her 3rd birthday, she had already discovered the mechanics of bouncing sound. She was pleased with her discovery and we loved sharing the experience with her.

We wrote the song, “Playing with Echo,” to capture the essence of her discovery process, but then quickly saw the metaphor of the echo—sending out a sound, an idea, a deed—to see how it might bounce back. How many times do we as adults put something “out there” to get a feel for the response? Is there a quick boomerang back to us, or is there a slow-motion return.? Does the original action come back as it was sent out or does it get transformed into something slightly different? If we focus on the original “sound,” do we hold expectations about its return?

Rosie’s playful discovery invites us to imagine the “what ifs” of what we say and do. If we seriously consider how our actions and words might return to us, would we alter our actions? We sometimes consider a “ripple” effect, whereby we imagine something going ever-outward, but what if our actions and words are actually circular—sort of like the old game of “telephone,” shared over and over again, and finally returning to us. In the game, we are amused with the alterations and mutations of the original phrase. But what if we considered all of our behaviors to be reflective? What if we acted as though our words and deeds were intended to morph and then come full circle back to us for re-evaluation? Would we be amused? Would the echo still be recognizable as our own voice? Something to reflect on . . .



      (RJ: Bonjour)

      (RJ: I can start the show now)

Ribbons of sunshine dancing among the toys

Suddenly tilting her head, did she hear a noise

      (Echo: Yaaay!)

Attention beyond the room, listening, body poised

      (Echo: Hey Loddy Loddy Loddy)

There! she heard it again, the sound of her voice

      (RJ: Hello everybody)

Racing around the corner

Maybe she will find a brand new playmate

Searching in all the hiding places that she knows

Peeking around each doorway

She expects to see familiar faces

Yet she finds that there is no one there

Off she goes back into the sunshine

Singing her favorite song

      (RJ: Up above the world so high)

Then just as her little tune ended

She heard Echo sing along

      (Echo: Up above the world so high)

Echo was singing along

Seconds behind her, without missing a beat

Following note for note, she giggles with glee

      (RJ: Giggles)

Scouting each nook and cranny

She expects to see someone she knows well

Yet she finds there is no one there

Off she goes back into the sunshine

Singing her favorite song

      (RJ: Now I know my ABCs)

Then just as her little tune ended

She heard Echo sing along

      (Echo: Now I know my ABCs)

Echo was singing along

With each of Rosie’s songs

Echo sang along

      (RJ: Have a nice day: Bye-bye; See you later; I love you!)


This song is dedicated to our sweet little Rosie June on her third birthday


From album – Quiet Comes Along
Track released – May 17, 2020
Cheryl Martlage – Lyrics, Vocals and Production
Emerson Martlage – Music, Guitar, Vocals and Production
Inspiration – When Rosie June heard her first echo in the new house