A 3-year-old’s tribute to Patti Page and “How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?”


For more than a year I sang the same two lullabies to Daniel. Night after night, I sang “Toora Loora Loora” and “Away in a Manger.”

Then our little guy turned 3. And he decided he was going to pick his bedtime songs.

He still wants “Toora Toora,” as he calls it.

But his new request is “The Doggie Song,” better known as “How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?”

I don’t even remember why I first sang it to him, except that I knew he’d like barking between the lines. It has become one of his favorites.

Earlier this week my mother mentioned to me that Patti Page had died. This meant nothing to me because I never know who wrote or sang any song. But, as it turns out—and maybe you already knew this—Patti Page sang “How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?” 

I skimmed a few of the stories about her and realized real music experts have disdain for Daniel’s current favorite song.

“It is often cited as an example of what was wrong with pop music in the early ’50s, a perceived weakness that opened the door for rock ’n’ roll,” read the obituary in The New York Times.

That doesn’t sound like a compliment.

So the other night I asked Daniel if he would like to sing the song for the camera. He adores making movies.

I suggested that his stuffed dog might like to sing it, but he chose an Angry Bird instead. I suppose it wouldn’t make sense for the singer to be a dog since the song is about a dog.

Maybe Daniel’s performance will give you a greater appreciation for Patti Page’s song. He certainly has the barking down.

Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.