All Must Heed the Traffic Cop

You will never believe what they're doing at my office building. When you pull up to the entrance to the parking structure, there's a 3-way stop sign, and speed bumps at each sign. But apparently that wasn't enough, because now they have a traffic cop there, wearing a smart suit and white gloves! As I approached the stop sign today he held up a white glove and gave me an admonishing look, as though saying, "I emplore you to slow down and come to a stop, Madam."

Wow, a real live, white-gloved traffic cop. It reminds me of a song I used to play on the piano when I was little, from John Thompson's First Grade Book, that went like this:

Traffic Go, Traffic Stop!
All must heed the Traffic Cop!
When I'm grown, I shall be
Just as fine a cop as he!

It was a jolly little song which I quite enjoyed playing. That was a great songbook, come to think of it. It also included such favorites as "Runaway River" and "Swans on the Lake."  And OH my goodness, if you thought this entry couldn't get any better, you were wrong!  I have found on Amazon.com an excerpt out of John Thompson's First Grade Book, and Lo!  Click four times on the right arrow and you will come face to face with none other than "The Traffic Cop"!  It is better than I could have imagined!  And don't forget to enjoy the beautiful illustrations on all the pages.  As a super extra bonus, the aforementioned "Runaway River" is also one of the excerpts for you to enjoy.  Clearly, they have chosen a "best of" selection of songs.

This is turning out to be a fine day indeed.

 *Amendment, 4/27/06: I realize now that I didn't make this clear, and this is an important bit of information: The traffic cop does not seem to be an actual policeman.  He is simply a man in a suit with white gloves who makes "stop" and "OK, go" signs with his white gloves. 

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5 Comments »

  1. 1

    What is a ‘smart suit’, exactly? It strikes me as odd that anything ‘smart’ could be found on a traffic cop…

  2. 2

    On Tuesday MAy 24, 1949 I sang the Traffic Cop song at the graduation of my kindergarten class in Washington DC. It has remained riveted in my brain like a MAdison Avenue advertising jingle. I will send you a pdf of the graduation program featuring this musical number if you like. I was looking for the last half of the refrain and got Googled to your page. I did not grow up to be a cop — a lawyer, sort of like a cop, maybe. ANd until now I did not know it was in the Thompson book.
    This has been a fine day indeed.
    Brian Murphy

  3. 3
    lorne svarc Says:

    I am going to perform this song- funk rock style.

  4. 4
    Jocelyn Sirkis Says:

    My beloved first grade teacher, Sophie Stirt taught us this sweet simple song and it’s been stuck in my mind ever since! I googled the lyrics (43 years after first grade) and found your post. Ah nostalgia”

  5. 5
    Jan Potts Says:

    I remembered the tune and words to the song (from my sister’s piano lessons), but couldn’t remember what book it had come from (“John Whatshisname”). I’d like to include this in a sing-along for senior citizens who, even if they didn’t learn it, will probably remember hearing it over and over as their children practiced it!


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