The ink is black, the page is white…

Today I found myself singing “Black and White” ― you know, the song that goes…

The ink is black, the page is white
Together we learn to read and write
A child is black, a child is white
The whole world looks upon the sight, a beautiful sight

I know a lot of ’60s protest songs thanks to Mrs. Trefler (first name unknown), my grade six music teacher. It all makes sense now that I’ve done the math. Mrs. Trefler was probably about 30 or so and this was the late 70s. The ’60s protest songs were the music of her youth and we could not very well sing “I Love the Nightlife (Disco ‘Round)” ― the music of the minute ― in class. Folk music, if anything, is simple enough for a bunch tweens to sing together after lunch and before gym.

Mrs. Trefler ― where ever she is ― is probably retired by now. But there are probably a bunch of us from George Webster Public School who know more Three Dog Night, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan and Buffy Sainte-Marie than your average Gen Xer. Plus we all share the knowledge that there’s a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…

Turn, turn, turn, people…to everything there is a season.


  1. When I was in grade 6, our music teacher, Mr. Noble, let us sing “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” by Meatloaf.

  2. There is something surreal about a bunch of eighth graders “Allemande(ing) Left” to that…

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