If you know great children’s songs / singing games that do not yet appear on my website or YouTube videos and would like to hear them do let me know at: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t forget to press F5 to refresh pages as I regularly correct and update.
I regularly post videos every Monday but family circumstances might mean timings will be flexible for a while.
About the author and the project
Last updated: 8/01/2022 2:50 PM
I am a retired primary school teacher living in Devon, England.
I began teaching in and around Birmingham but then spent most of my professional career in Oxfordshire.
Music making was one of the most enjoyable aspects of my job. I also sang regularly with my three children when they were younger.
I set up the web site ‘Singing games for children’ as a retirement project to share the fun that I and the children had in the classroom playing these games. I was also keen to research songs I would have liked to have discovered but as a busy teacher would have had difficulty finding.
As well as the traditional singing games the scope of this project has grown to include a treasury of songs: number songs, lullabies, nursery rhymes, poems, songs of the seasons, songs for a better world, hand plays and old favourites from my childhood among others.
I also now have young grandchildren to entertain so lullabies, lap songs and pirate songs come in useful! Sometimes they ask me to write songs for them and were keen to join in when I recorded songs; sadly that is no longer possible with children’s wellbeing on the internet nowadays an issue.
Songs for a better world
Songs that tackle climate change issues, looking after our precious natural world and looking after ourselves and each other.
Though born in Brighton, like many British people today I have friends and family in other countries. My grandparents came from Russia, Poland, England and Ireland. My aunts had French and Italian husbands.
My sister lives in Australia and one of my
brothers in France. As a child I lived in
Malaya for 2 ½ years and then in my youth I travelled widely; sometimes to international work camps (Poland, Finland and Turkey) where youngsters from many countries came to work, socialize and sing together.
Find out more about my international
Schools in this country often have a wide ethnic mix. For a broader understanding of each other’s cultural identities we need to be familiar with aspects of these traditions and language. With this in mind and to support those children with a mixed background like myself, I am keen to collect and promote songs and games from around the world.
OTHER INTERNATIONAL LINKS
http://www.trilingualchildren.com/ is a wonderfully supportive site if you are trying to raise your child in a home where more than one language is spoken:
You also can find many more songs and singing games in Polish and other languages and vidoes at: http://www.edumuz.pl/news.php
From Australia? You might well be interested in Rebecca Jane Flanagan’s great site:
Dynamic Alina Celeste sings and tells stories in English and Spanish at: https://www.youtube.com/user/AlinaCelesteMusic
Find more Catalan songs and poems too, some by Valencian musicians such as Paco Muñoz and Dani Miquel, translated into English by Lluís Barberà i Guillem.
Find Aimee Curtis Pfitzner’s delightful Orff based Hand clapping books and other collections at: http://www.beatinpathpublications.com/ACP/home.html and a very lively blog full of great ideas at: http://ofortunaorff.blogspot.co.uk/
Nancy Stewart is a children's singer-songwriter based in Seattle, Washington who has produced a wonderful collection of children’s songs at: http://www.nancymusic.com/index.htm
Find music in the Waldorf tradition on Marty Lane’s lovely CD at: http://www.martylayne.com/music/
Sarah Pirtle is an award-winning author and musician who writes and sings for all ages. Sarah has recently created a site where people can hear and download sixty of her two hundred songs for free:
Patty Zeitlin is a wonderfully accomplished songwriter with a much admired opus; find out more and access her CDs at: PattyZeitlin.com Round and Round by Patty Zeitlin.c.1960 Bullfrog Ballades, ASCAP. Lots of Worms by Patty Zeitlin c. 1967, Spider, Spider Spin by Patty Zeitlin c. 1974 Bullfrog Ballades. .
Despite not being a linguist I endeavour to translate international songs so they can be sung both in their native language and in English. Google Translate has been a great help to get a rough translation but fortunately I have friends and family, including my supportive husband, who have kindly checked the accuracy and all round feel of the translations. I have not attempted a literal translation of the songs but aimed to create an English translation that can be sung and reflects the spirit of the original.
I was enthused by old school song books including those from my childhood where songs from other countries were accompanied by English translations, albeit rather old fashioned ones.
Adaptations and compositions
During my teaching career I have often adapted songs to suit a particular audience and to encourage creativity I have enlisted the help of my young students. Some of these adaptations can be found in the early collections.
Since retiring I have also written lyrics to complement a few of the lovely tunes discovered during my research. More recently I have had a go at composing my own simple melodies to accompany original songs, traditional rhymes and classic poems.
The original songs can be found at Sunshine Pie (Sunshine Pie - original songs written by Dany Rosevear - YouTube).
After travelling around the Antipodes and to Australia in particular, where I visited my sister in Perth, I was inspired to write several songs including those about the incredible wildlife to be found on that side of the world.
Songs for a better world: Most recently concerns about our beautiful planet have encouraged me to collect and write songs that address enviromental and issues including looking out for and being kind toothers and ourselves.
YouTube playlist: Songs for a better world - YouTube
An Australian animal alphabet
(Tread lightly on the Earth my friend)
Did you ever see a kangaroo?
Grandma saw a possum
Great big boomers
If you want to see a wallaby
Inky pinky pumpkin pie
Kevin the Crow
The sea sings to me
Whales can’t ride a bike
Who wants an octopus cuddle?
With Wynken, Blynken and Nod
Some of my other compositions:
You are welcome to use these songs freely if you are working with children or are parents or grandparents as long as they are not used for commercial purposes.
I would love to know where and how you are using them.
Some of my more recent compositions:
You can find many, many more on my Sunshine pie playlist: Sunshine Pie - original songs written by Dany Rosevear - YouTube
You are free to copy, distribute, display and perform these works under the following conditions:
· you must give the original author credit
· you may not use this work for commercial purposes
· for any re-use or distribution, you must make clear to others the licence terms of this work
· any of these can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder
Your fair use and other rights are no way affected by the above.
As a life-long “doodler” I wanted to draw my own illustrations to accompany the songs. My first drafts were based on children’s drawings and Quentin Blake type pictures; but with the aid of pen, watercolours and the simple Paint programme plus plenty of practice I hope I have begun to develop a more personal style.
I set up a website named www.gryphonsgarden.co.uk to promote the first collections of singing games; this site also includes other resources that were developed to support 4-11 year olds in their learning.
At the same time I produced four booklets of singing games but found the practical side of putting pages together to produce these books too much like hard work. How much easier it is to put everything online with no need for postage and packing!
Once the website was up and running I developed it further by:
1. Making videos to accompany many of the songs in the English language. My voice is a little rusty after years of teaching but as I sang daily with classes of children supported by my trusty guitar I am having a go and having fun!
Please remember I am just an ordinary practitioner (rather than an accomplished musician) who wishes to pass on the many wonderful songs discovered during a long teaching career. As an older person I now tend to sing in a lower pitch than the written music but as always the singer should not be bound by a key but be ready to adapt it to a comfortable mode.
The accompanying mp3s, however, are often in a higher key.
Most of the recordings can now be found on my dedicated YouTube channel.
2. A collection of Dutch singing games has been added.
3. Since the birth of my three grandchildren I have begun to include a number of nursery and number rhymes. Many of these are simply songs rather than movement games.
….4. I have also added songs from my childhood and other songs that I have more recently remembered for those nostalgia buffs out there. Occasionally I have added more verses or a different ending!
5. I have developed a ‘Poetry corner’ of children’s rhymes sometimes with my own original musical accompaniments.
…..6. 15/8/20: Most of the songs I now post on my YouTube channel tend to be much more random than in the early days – they tend towards the seasonal and are often just songs that take my fancy including nostalgiac ones from the past!
More recent developments:
I would like to continue developing the strands above but also:
1. Make videos of English translations of some of the international songs especially those from the Far East.
2. Continue writing songs when the muse comes visiting – usually during a 25 minute walk to the Leisure Centre!
4. After a visit to the Antipodes I have begun to develop an Australian section. Do let me know if you are aware of great songs and games for children (especially younger ones) from this part of the world that I have not yet included.
5. Italian and Portuguese songs are next on my list. Watch this space!
You will have waited a long time for 5. (!) As I have been distracted by the so many songs with great tunes and words, traditional and newer ones, discovered in books and on the internet, ones that I had never encountered before but would, in the past, have loved to use in the classroom.
I add them weekly to the website and to my YouTube channel for others to enjoy.
6. Lastly I would like to grips with the chaotic nature of my website – it has grown like Topsy and is certainly not mobile or even tablet friendly – maybe one day!
contact the author email me at: I would
love to hear from you.
To contact the author email me at:
I would love to hear from you.
****I have been very frustrated of late when music, links and pictures have disappeared from my website which must be even more frustrating for those who come searching for chords and music.
As I am not very technology-minded it will take a while before they are restored. If you would like me to prioritise sections do let me know at the address above.****
Don’t forget to press F5 to refresh pages as I regularly correct and update.