Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream."
"Propel, propel, propel your craft
Placidly down the liquid solution
Ecstatically, ecstatically, ecstatically, ecstatically
Existence is but an illusion."
The first song is a classic; the second, learned at Girl Scout camp.
The classic version brings to mind a serene Impressionist image of people enjoying their day on the river. I can see the parasols and boater hats right now, in a painting of muted yet sunny shades of blue and green and white.
The second version is harder on the tongue and brain. It sounds like a science and philosophy experiment colliding, propulsion meeting a state of ecstasy in an alternate universe.
There's a difference in the feelings of "row" and "propel". Rowing seems relaxing, while propelling seems to imply urgency, a need to move forward quickly--which doesn't jibe with the word "placidly" used in the camp version.
My dreams these days seem to be of the propulsion kind. Dreams of landing that library position, dreams of motivating my students to read and write and solve math problems, dreams of my own children's continuing success in school and college, dreams of major home overhauls, dreams of fitting into my skinny clothes again, dreams of finishing crochet projects in time, dreams of conquering my to-read pile...
My dreams are becoming a to-do list.
What happened to that meandering river of dreams?