Last week, my children, who just started kindergarten and first grade, asked me if I knew how to sing "California Girls." Of course!, I replied. I started to sing this:

No, no, no, they interrupted. That's not "California Girls." They started to sing some unrecognizable tune, with some snippets of lyrics that included "sunrise so hot will melt your popsicle" and "fine, fresh fish." I still had no idea what they were singing. Now, to be clear, the Beach Boys are way before my time. My time is more this version:

Anyway, for several days, confusion has reigned in my household, with the kids insisting that the song they know is the "childrens' version" of "California Girls," and my tune is the "grown-ups' version." (This despite Michelle's fine contribution to my blog's coverage of popular culture, which failed to lodge the title of the popular new song in my head.)

Anyway, today I read my old-fashioned print copy of the Washington Post and saw a review of Katy Perry's new album, including the song "California Gurls," which describes the song as ubiquitous:

For an entire summer, it refused to leave us alone, tumbling out of cars, gyms, nightclubs and shopping malls as if on a mission to melt every last popsicle. To avoid Katy Perry's "California Gurls" was to live under a rock buried beneath a pile of bigger rocks -- a summertime megahit so overplayed, it made the ice cream truck song jealous.

That's me, underneath the rock buried beneath the pile of rocks.

Anyway, I looked up the video, which my kids haven't seen and hopefully won't see for a decade or so, and learned that their understanding of the lyrics is, fortunately, very poor, and their understanding of its metaphor nonexistent. This is not a song about popsicles or fine, fresh fish:

I am aging fast. Hopefully my children can mature at a more leisurely pace.