Song cupboard U-Z

Up in a balloon

Wade in the water

Walking through the jungle

We are all noddin’

We are little sunbeams

Wee Mr. Wagtail

We’re going to dig, dig, dig

What care we?

What shall I do when a button pops?

What shall we do with the old sow’s hide?

When I first came to this land

When I was young I had no sense

When the train comes along

Where are you going, little birdie?

Where did you get that hat?

Who built the ark?

Who wants to dance with the pretty porcupine

Wim wim wobble-O

Yellow bird

Last updated: 8/13/2018 3:08 PM

The songs below are part ofAway we go

compiled, adapted and illustrated by Dany Rosevear

Return to the Singing games for children’ home

To listen to music from these songs click on 🔊

To watch the author sing a song click on the title at:

 

© Dany Rosevear 2008 All rights reserved

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.


 

 

Up in a balloon 🔊

 

 


A music hall song written in 1868 by George W. Hunt. Below you will just find the chorus for the verses visit: http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=6100. Recorded by the wonderful Alan Mill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Up in a balloon, boys,

Up in a balloon,

All among the little stars

And sailing ‘round the moon.

Up in a balloon, boys,

Up in a balloon.

Won’t we have a jolly time,

Up in a balloon!

 


 

 

Wade in the water 🔊

 

 


A song adapted from a spiritual with a colour theme and one to revel in; clap and move to the rhythm. Percussion instruments would add to the fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Chorus: Wade in the water,

Wade in the water, children,

Wade in the water,

We’re gonna wade in the water.

 

Who’s that yonder dressed in red?

We’re gonna wade in the water.

Isaac is a child that’s dressed in red.

We’re gonna wade in the water.

Chorus

 

Who’s that yonder dressed in blue?

We’re gonna wade in the water.

Emilia is a child that’s dressed in blue.

We’re gonna wade in the water.

Chorus

 

Who’s that yonder dressed in green?

We’re gonna wade in the water.

Ethan is a child that’s dressed in green.

We’re gonna wade in the water.

Chorus

 


 

 

Walking through the jungle 🔊

 

 


I first came across this rhyme in the classic nursery volume ‘This Little Puffin’ in the late 60s.

The primary source of the song, however, can be found in Game-Songs with Prof Dogg’s Troupe published by A&C Black in 1984 and was written by Harriet Powell.

There have been many wonderful adaptations from both sources for picture books, Schools TV, online and indeed in the classroom. Stella Blackstone’s big book (Barefoot books) with its delightful illustrations by Debbie Harter was a favourite in the classroom, it had a different tune.

My version below has worked well with classes of infants, especially for a rainforest theme.

 

Move individually in and out of each other miming the actions of each animal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Walking through the jungle,

Walking through the jungle,

What can you see?

What can you see?

I can see a tiger,

I can see a tiger,

ROAR! ROAR!

Growling for his tea.

Growling for his tea.

Oh, I do hope tea’s not me!

 

I can see a crocodile,

SNIP! SNAP!

Snapping for his tea

 

I can see a boa constrictor,

HISS! HISS!

Hissing for his tea

 

I can see an elephant,

TRUMP! TRUMP! TRUMP!

Trumpeting for his tea

 

I can see a monkey,

HOO-HOO-HOO!

Chattering for his tea...

Now he points and laughs at me!

Creep through the jungle.

 

Look from side to side making binoculars with hands.

Stand on the spot and make lion - shaped claws; move from side to side.

Roar with hands to mouth.

Prowl like a lion.

 

Pull hands to chest and shake head.

 

Move as above miming the distinctive movements of each animal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

We are all noddin’ 🔊

 

 


A time to go home song.

This American glee song appears in the ‘Boston Glee Book’ published in 1838. It started life as a Scottish song by Robert Burns see:  http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=9049

You can find a Christmas version here: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/19826/19826-h/19826-h.htm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


We are all noddin’, nid, nid, noddin’,

We are all noddin’ and dropping off to sleep.

To keep us awake we have all done our best,

But we're weary and sleepy,

So home to our rest,

For we're all noddin’, nid, nid, noddin’,

We are all noddin’, and dropping off to sleep.

 

We are all noddin’, nid, nid noddin’,

We are all noddin’, and dropping off to sleep;

The hour it is late, we'll no longer delay,

But we'll take our hats and bonnets and quickly away,

Singing all noddin’, nid, nid noddin’,

Singing all noddin’, and dropping off to sleep.

 


 

 

We are little sunbeams 🔊

 

 


This song was found in ‘The charm: a gift of Sunday school music’ published 1871. You can see from the link that the Victorian words with talk of ‘woe, sorrow and shame’ are not well suited to the children of today. I hope my adapted version still gives children food for thought; at harvest time the words ‘our gifts’ might provoke a worthwhile discussion. I have also slightly adapted the tune.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


We are little sunbeams,

Warm bright and free,

We are little sunbeams,

So happy are we;

Sometimes showers fall,

As the clouds go by,

But up above a rainbow,

Shines so merry in the sky.

Chorus

We are little sunbeams,

Warm bright and free,

We are little sunbeams,

So happy are we.

 

We are little sunbeams,

Like those above,

We are little sunbeams,

Warming with love;

For mother, father, family

And friends in every way,

For our our world, the gifts we have,

We give our thanks each day.

Chorus

 

We are little sunbeams,

With work to do,

We are little sunbeams,

May we be true.

Where others lead the way,

With footsteps sure,

There we may rest and stay,

Safe and secure.

Chorus

 


 

 

 

 

Wee Mr. Wagtail 🔊 O

 

 


A traditional Irish rhyme, the melody is by S Ó’Laoire; Dany Rosevear has added chords.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Wee Mister Wagtail, hopping on a rock,

Daddy says your pretty tail is like a goblin's clock.

Wee Willie Wagtail, how I love to see,

Wee Willie Wagtail, wag his tail at me.

 

Wee Mister Wagtail, running by a pond,

Daddy says your pretty tail is like a goblin's wand.

Wee Willie Wagtail, how I love to see,

Wee Willie Wagtail, wag his tail at me.

 


 

 

We're going to dig, dig, dig 🔊

 

 


A song from BBC’s Playschool.

Get outside and active in the garden.

 

 

We're going to dig, dig, dig,

Dig up all the ground,

We're digging up the ground,

We're digging all a-round,

We're going to dig, dig, dig,

Dig the whole day long,

Then we’ll dig, dig, dig,

And sing our digging song.

 

We're going to rake, rake, rake,

Rake up all the leaves,

Rake up all the leaves,

That fall from all the trees,

We're going to rake, rake, rake,

Rake the whole day long,

Then we’ll rake, rake, rake,

And sing a raking song.

 

We're going to plant, plant, plant,

Plant some little seeds,

Plant some little seeds,

That’s what the garden needs.

We're going to plant, plant, plant,

Plant the whole day long,

Then they’ll grow, grow, grow,

Until they’re big and strong.

 


 

 

What care we? 🔊

 

 


Money to serve our basic needs, yes but riches count for little when we have people we love to sustain us. From ‘Favorite Songs and Hymns for School and Home’ edited by J. P. McCaskey published in 1899.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


What care we for gold or silver?

What care we for house or land?

What care we for ships on the ocean?

Onward going hand in hand.

 


 

 

 

What shall I do when a button pops? 🔊

 

 


There is always an answer for every question. Make up your own problems and answers.

This song was broadcast on BBC’s School’s Music Time in 1970. You can see a video of The Spinners singing it at: http://www.broadcastforschools.co.uk/site/Music_Time/Peter_and_the_Wolf

From ‘Songs for the Elementary Classroom’ by Paul Brodsky, Follett Educational Corporation.

 

Mime these tasks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


What shall I do when a button pops?

What shall I do when a button pops?

Sew it on again sew it on,

Sew it on again sew it on.

 

What shall I do when my pencil breaks? X2

Grind it sharp again, grind it sharp…

 

What shall I do when an apple falls? X2

Eat it up quite quick, eat it up…

 

What shall I do at the close of day?

What shall I do at the close of day?

Go to bed and sleep, go to bed,

Go to bed and sleep, go to bed.

 


 

 

 

 

What shall we do with the old sow’s hide? 🔊 O

 

 


A folk song from the U.S.A.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


What shall we do with the old sow's hide?

Make a good cushion as ever did ride.

Coarse cushion, fine cushion, any such a thing,
The old sow died of the measles in the spring!

 

What shall we do with the old sow's feet?

Make a good pickles as ever was eat.

Coarse pickles, fine pickles, any such a thing,

The old sow died of the measles in the spring!

 

What shall we do with the old sow's meat?

Make a good bacon as ever was eat.

Coarse bacon, fine bacon, any such a thing,

The old sow died of the measles in the spring!

 

What shall we do with the old sow's tail?

Make a good whip as ever did sail.

Coarse whip, fine whip, any such a thing,

The old sow died of the measles in the spring!

 

 


 

 

When I first came to this land 🔊 O

 

This is the version I’ve sung in schools since the 1970s It is easy for children to pick up as the verses are cumulative.

 

 

 

 

 

When I first came to this land

I was not a wealthy man.

So I bought myself a shack,

I did what I could.

And I called my shack ‘Break my back’,

But the land was sweet and good,

I did what I could.

 

When I first came to this land

I was not a wealthy man.

So I bought myself a duck,

I did what I could.

And I called my duck ‘Out of luck’,

And I called my shack ‘Break my back’,

But the land was sweet and good,

I did what I could.

 

So I bought myself a cow…

And I called my cow ‘No milk now’…

 

So I bought myself a wife…

And I called my wife ‘Run for your life’…

 

So I bought myself a donkey…

And I called my donkey ‘Horse gone wonky’…

 

So I bought myself a son…

And I called my son ‘My work’s done’!

 

 


 

 

When I was young I had no sense 🔊 O

 

 


An Irish jig. The tune can be heard in many other children’s songs from Ireland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


When I was young, I had no sense,

I bought a fiddle for eighteen pence,

The only tune that I could play

Was ‘Over the Hills and Far Away’.

 

Chorus

So early in the morning,

So early in the morning,

So early in the morning,

Before the break of day.

 

When I was old, I thought me wise,

I played my fiddle for the girls and boys,

But the only tune I still could play,

Was ‘Over the Hills and Far Away’.

Chorus

 


 

 

When the train comes along 🔊

 

 


This spiritual is in the minor key not as well known as the one found in the pentatonic song book ‘Just Five’; it is, however, simple and bluesy and can be sung with a depth of feeling that is appealing and lovely to singg.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Refrain:

When the train comes along,

When the train comes along,

I’m gonna meet you at the station,

When the train comes along.

 

It may be early, it may be late,

But I'll meet you at the station,

When the train comes along.

 

It may be a-snowing, it may be cold…

 

It may be morning, it may be night…

 


 

 

 

Where are you going, little birdie? 🔊

 

 


A dialogue song recorded originally by Jean Ritchie who learnt it from a little girl in the school playground. The tune is ‘Billy boy’.

The more religious among you might prefer her ‘Praise the lord’ as an ending.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Oh, where are you going, little bird, little bird?

Oh, where are you going, little birdie?

I am going to the woods,

I am going to the woods,

I am going to the woods, sweet child.

 

Oh, what's in the woods, little bird, little bird?

Oh, what's in the woods, little birdie?

There's a tree in the woods,

There's a tree in the woods,

There's a tree in the woods, sweet child.

 

Oh, what's in the tree, little bird, little bird?

Oh, what's in the tree, little birdie?

There's a nest in the tree,

There's a nest in the tree,

There's a nest in the tree, sweet child.

 

Oh, what's in the nest. little bird. little bird?

Oh, what's in the nest, little birdie?

There are five little eggs,

There are five little eggs,

There are five little eggs, sweet child.

 

Oh, what's in the eggs. little bird, little bird?

Oh, what's in the eggs, little birdie?

There are five little birds,

There are five little birds.

There are five little birds, sweet child.

 

Oh, what do they say, little bird, little bird?

Oh, what do they say, little birdie?

They can say, “Peep, peep, peep!”

They can say, “Peep, peep, peep!”

They can say, “Peep, peep, peep!” sweet child.

 


 

 

Where did you get that hat? 🔊

 

 


A comic music hall song written and performed by Joseph J. Sullivan in 1888. Below you will just find the chorus as sung for the BBC’s Play School.

For the complete song visit: http://monologues.co.uk/musichall/Songs-W/Where-Did-Get-That-Hat.htm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


"Where did you get that hat?

Where did you get that tile?

Isn't it a nobby one, and just the proper style?

I should like to have one Just the same as that!"

Where'er I go they shout, "Hello!

Where did you get that hat?"

 


 

 

 

 

Who built the ark? 🔊 O

 

 


Another telling of the story of Noah and his animals and is from Afro American roots. This version is very similar to the one in Ruth Crawford Seeger's book "American Folk Songs for Children" published in 1948.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Now, didn't old Noah build the Ark?

Built it out of hickory bark,

He build it long, both wide and tall,

Plenty of room for the large and small,

He found him an axe and a hammer too,

Began to cut and began to hew,

And every time that hammer ring,

Noah shout and a-Noah sing.

 

Chorus:

Who built the ark?

Noah! Noah!

Who built the ark?

Brother Noah built the ark.

 

Now in come the animals two by two,

Hippopotamus and kangaroo,

Now in come the animals three by three,

Two big cats and a bumble bee,

In come the animals four by four,

Two through the window and two through the door,

In come the animals five by five,

Four little sparrows and the redbird’s wife.

 

Now in come the animals six by six,

The elephant laughed at the monkey's tricks,

In come the animals seven by seven,

Four from home and the rest from heaven,

In come the animals eight by eight,

Some were on time and the others were late,

Now in come the animals nine by nine,

Some was a-'shoutin' and some was a-'cryin'.

 

In come the animals ten by ten,

Five black roosters and five black hens.

Now Noah says, "Go shut that door;

The rain's started droppin' and we can't take more."

 


 

 

Who wants to dance with the pretty porcupine? 🔊

 

 


This Israeli song has English words by Margaret Marks and was published by Silver Burdett Company in ‘Making music your own 2’ 1968.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


“Oh, who wants to dance with the pretty porcupine?

The pretty porcupine can't dance alone.”

“Oh, not I!.” “Neither do I!”.

“You're as prickly as a pine cone!”/ cactus! / hairbrush!

“Oh, not I!.” “Neither do I!”.

“Porcupine, go home!”

 

“If no one will dance with the pretty porcupine?

The pretty porcupine will dance alone.

Look at me, dancing with me!

I am perfect as a partner!

Look at me, dancing with me!

You can all go home!”

 


 

 

Wim, wim, wobble-O 🔊 O

(The foolish boy)

 

Find this version in Traditional Nursery Rhymes by John Graham, it has been slightly adapted below. You can find many more versions of this song including the Opie’s ’The ploughboy in luck’ at http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=56919.

 

 

 

 


My father died, I don’t know how,

He left me six horses to follow the plough.

Chorus

With a wim, wim, wobble-O,

Strim-strim-strobble-O,

Bubble-o, pretty boy, over the brow.

 

I sold the horses and bought me a cow,

But how for to milk her I didn't know how.

 

So I sold the cow and bought me a calf,

I never made a bargain but I lost the better half.

 

I sold my calf and bought me a pig,

The poor little thing it never grew big.

 

I sold my pig and bought me a hen,

To lay me an egg every now and then.

 

I sold that hen and bought me a cat,

The pretty little creature by the chimney corner sat.

 

I sold the cat and bought a mouse,

It set fire to its tail and it burnt down the house.

 

I sold my mouse and bought me a mole,

Darned old thing went straight down its hole!

 

 


 

 

Yellow bird 🔊

 

 


Feeling lonely? Get together and sing.

Calypsos were very popular in the 1960s probably as a result of migration from the West Indies. I taught at a school in Handsworth, Birmingham where there were many first generation children of these new arrivals so we often sang many songs such as these in class.

Yellow bird was a English interpretation by Alan and Maralyn Bergman of a Haitian song ‘Choucoune’. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choucoune_(song)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Yellow bird, up high in banana tree.

Yellow bird, you sit all alone like me.

Did your lady friend, leave the nest again?

That is very sad, makes me feel so bad,

You can fly away, in the sky away,

You more lucky than me.

 

I also had a pretty girl,

She’s not with me today.

They’re all the same, the pretty girls,

They leave the nest, then they fly away.

 

Yellow bird, up high in banana tree.

Yellow bird, you sit all alone like me.

Let her fly away, in the sky away,

Picker coming soon, pick from night to noon,

Black and yellow you, like banana too,

They might pick you someday.

 

Wish that I was that yellow bird,

I'd fly away with you;

But I am not that yellow bird,

So here I sit, nothin' else to do.

 

Yellow bird

Yellow bird

Yellow bird, up high in banana tree.

Yellow bird, come fly down and sing with me,

Come fly down and sing with me!

 


 

 

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