Follow-my-leader and other line games A-I

A flea went hopping

Alabama girl

All ‘round the brickyard

All the birdies in the air

All the ducks are swimming in the water

American jump

Be kind to your web-footed friends

Black snake, black snake

Can you tell me?

Come on, everyone!

Do as I’m doing

Down the river

Engine, engine number nine

Follow my Bangalorey Man

Follow the leader

Green grow the leaves on the hawthorn tree

Here come three dukes a-riding

Hi dee roon

I went to school one morning

I’m a great big tiger

Find more line games at: http://www.singinggamesforchildren.com/A%20Cluster%202.1%20HSAAWG/HSAAWG%2029-37%20awaywego%20w.htm

Last updated: 7/31/2018 4:54 PM

These songs are nursery rhymes and other traditional songs compiled, illustrated and music arranged by Dany Rosevear.

Return to the ‘Singing games for children’ home page

To listen to music from these songs click on 🔊

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

 

© Dany Rosevear 2013 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.

 

 

A flea went hopping O

 

 


A follow my leader round the circle game by Jenyth Worsley.

This is a great opportunity to think of other creatures that hop. If you live in Australia you will be familiar with the animals below but could also add the kangaroos, kookaburra, wallaby and the many others that jump.

 

Children sit in a circle, one child is chosen as the flea. The flea hops round the outside of the circle as the song is sing. On the word ‘grasshopper’ the flea stops and the nearest child becomes the grasshopper ready to follow the flea round the circle. The game continues with new creatures joining in with the hopping.

If this is challenging for younger children split the group into smaller circles and/or jump rather than hop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A flea went hopping, hopping, hopping,

Over the field where the grass is green.

On his way he met a grasshopper…

Won’t you follow my leader with me.

 

A grasshopper went hopping, hopping, hopping,

Over the field where the grass is green.

On his way he met a little frog…

Won’t you follow my leader with me.

 

A frog went hopping, hopping, hopping,

Over the field where the grass is green.

On his way he met a rabbit…

Won’t you follow my leader with me.

 

A rabbit went hopping, hopping, hopping,

Over the field where the grass is green.

On his way he met a kangaroo…

Won’t you follow my leader with me.

 

A kangaroo went hopping, hopping, hopping,

Over the field where the grass is green.

On his way we heard him calling…

Won’t you follow my leader with me.


 

 

Alabama girl O

 

 


A lively ‘play party’ line game, you can find out more at: http://pancocojams.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/examples-of-play-party-song-alabama-gal.html

 

For other variations of this game watch at: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/127648970661277093/

 

Two lines face each other each child opposite a partner.

1. The head couple join hands and sashay down the set and back again; those in the line clap. 2. Couples ‘do si do’ right shoulders passing. 3. Head couple then lead their individual lines clapping up the outside. 4. The pair make an arch for the others to go through in pairs.

The game begins again with the new head couple.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


1. Come through in a hurry (x3)

Alabama Girl!

 

2. You don’t know how, how (x3)

Alabama Girl!

 

3. I'll show you how, how (x3)

Alabama Girl!

 

4. Ain't I rock candy (x3)

Alabama Girl?


 

 

All ‘round the brickyard 🔊

 

 


An African American play party and playground game. I can be played freely around the room, in a circle or as a follow my leader game.

 

The ‘leader’ chooses a movement and the rest copy. After each verse the leader moves to the back of the line so a new child improvises words and actions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


All 'round the brickyard, remember me,

I'm gonna step it, step it, step it, and a remember me.

 

Suggested movements:

Hop it, swing it, clap it, tiptoe, wave it, etc.

 


 

 

 

All the birdies in the air 🔊

 

 


Similar to ‘Oranges and lemons’ this game can be found in ‘This little pig went to market’ compiled by Norah Montgomerie 1966. It probably originated in ‘Traditional singing games from Scotland and the border’ collected by R. C. Douglas and K. M. Briggs; The Girl Guides Association 1955.

Dany Rosevear has added a simple tune but the words could just be chanted.

 

Two children make an arch; one is ‘robin’ the second ‘thrush’.

The others move round and through the arch holding on to the waist or clothing of the child in front. On the word ‘tail’ the pair making the arch lower hands to trap a child; this child then chooses either ‘robin’ or ‘thrush’ and stands behind that child.

The game continues until every child is caught and ends with a tug of war.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


All the birdies in the air,

In the air, in the air,

All the birdies in the air,

Tickle tail to my tail!


 

 

 

All the ducks O

 

The English translation of this Dutch song is well known in the English speaking world even though ‘eendjes’ translates as ‘ducklings’. Lovely to sing during water play with rubber ducks.

The song below is from a book called ‘Old Dutch nursery rhymes’

 

Watch at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZSU1zG0M8g

Find this in Dutch at: http://singinggamesforchildren.com/A%20Cluster%202.8%20Dutch/48-54%20On%20the%20farm.htm

 

Make several lines of four to six, one behind the other; the child at the head of the line is the ‘mother duck’ and leader. The leader takes their line around the room in and out of the other lines. The ‘ducks’ flap their elbows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


All the ducks are swimming in the water,

Fol-de-rol-de-rol – do, fol-de-rol-de-rol – do,

All the ducks are swimming in the water,

Fol-de-rol-de-rol – de-ray.

 

The bridge is broken, however shall we mend it?...

 

In my boat I’ll quickly row you over....

 

Three new pennies we will gladly pay you...

 


 

 

 American jump O

 

The game below can be found in the Opie’s ‘The Oxford nursery rhyme book’ p78.

A child holds an adult’s hands and jumps up and down. On the number ‘three’ the child jumps up high and clasps an adult’s waist with their legs and lets their head fall back to near the ground. When asked ‘Dead, or alive or round the world?’ if the choice is ‘Dead’ they are dropped to the floor, if ‘Alive’ is pulled back up, if ‘Round the world’ they are swung around.If you are outside make sure you play this on the grass!

 

Alternatively play this game with a partner: Holding hands jump up and down. On ‘one, two, three’ jump forward, back and the forward again. On line three ‘turn the blanket over’ – swing bodies under arms held high. And then back again. Line four link arms and skip round. Drop down for ‘Dead’, jump up for ‘Alive’ skip round for ‘Round the world’.

 

 

 

 

 


American jump, American jump,

One, two, three.

Under the water, under the sea,

Catching fishes for my tea,

Dead,

Or alive,

Or round the world?

One, two, three.

 


 

 

Be kind to your web-footed friends 🔊

 

 


Have fun with this community song.

Decide how you are going to change versions: loud/quiet, high/low, fast/slow or have a verse pretending to play an instrument.

The tune is a military march ‘Stars and Stripes forever’ and was written by J. P. Sousa on Christmas Day in 1896.

 

March along in lines of five or six, in and out of each other, pretend to play instruments. Tiptoe when singing quietly and stamp when loud.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Be kind to your web-footed friends,

For a duck may be somebody's mother.

Be kind to your friends in the swamp,

Where the weather is always damp.

You may think that this is the end.

Well, it's not, for we are gonna sing it quieter:

 

Be kind to your web-footed friends… (sing quietly)

 

Be kind to your web-footed friends… (sing loudly)

 

Last time: Well it is!

 


 

 

 

Black snake, black snake O

 

This is a hide and seek game with an emphasis on soft / piano and loud / forte singing.

 

One child, the ‘snake’ chooses a colour and hides. The others walk round the room singing the song with the named colour first softly then louder when they think they are close to the snake. When they come near snake’s hiding place the ‘snake’ jumps out and chooses a new ‘snake’ who then chooses another colour so the game can begin again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Black snake, black snake, where are you hiding?

Black snake, black snake, where are you hiding?

Black snake, black snake, where are you hiding?

Don’t you bite me! Ouch!


 

 

Can you tell me? O

 

This song can be adapted to work with your physical or dramatic objectives. One child goes in the centre of the circle and mimes an action: texting, cycling, shopping. The others guess what they are doing and then copy them.

 

Stand in a circle; one child chooses a movement and the other children then copy it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Can you tell me, can you tell me,

What the girls and boys do?

They are jumping, they are jumping,

So I will jump too.

 

Can you tell me, can you tell me,

What Dylan can do?

He is dancing, he is dancing

So I will dance too.

 

Can you tell me, can you tell me,

What Nancy can do?

She is hopping, she is hopping,

So I will hop too.


 

 

Come on, everyone!  🔊

 

 


This song is from ‘Catch a song’ by Deanna Hoermann where it is suggested as a good song to start a lesson as it is a great way catch everyone’s attention.

Substitute other actions for ‘clap’. It lends itself to the follow-my-leader format below.

 

Make lines of five to seven children, leaders take it in turn to choose an action for everyone to copy; stamp, skip, tiptoe etc. Lines move carefully around the room making sure they give other groups space to weave in and out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Come on everyone, come on everyone,

Come on everyone, clap with me.

 

Come on everyone, come on everyone,

Come on everyone, follow, follow me.

 

Come on everyone, come on everyone,

Come on everyone, stamp with me.

 

Come on everyone, come on everyone,

Come on everyone, skip with me.

 

Come on everyone, come on everyone,

Come on everyone, tiptoe with me.

Come on everyone, come on everyone,

Come on everyone, sit with me.


 

 

 

Do as I'm doing O

 

 


Children love to copy and this game can be a lot of fun when children make their own movements.

 

The children make a line with a leader who chooses the action for everyone to copy; roll arms, nod head, clap hands, slap knees, shrug shoulders etc.

If it is challenging for younger children to play this game in a line, have a leader facing the group so the actions are clear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Do as I'm doing, Follow, follow me!

Do as I'm doing, Follow, follow me!

 

If I do it high or low,

If I do it fast or slow…

 

Do as I'm doing, Follow, follow me!

Do as I'm doing, Follow, follow me!


 

 



 

 

Down the river O

 

 


This steamboat river song is also known as Down the River, Down the Ohio, it was published in 1854 by William Hall & Son as part of Edwin P. Christy’s Plantation Melodies Series. It has also been used as a play party song and can be found in children’s song collections in a modified version.

 

Children make a longways formation with partners standing facing each other. They sing and clap during each of the verses. When the chorus is sung the head couple meet in the middle and link right arms, swinging all the way round. They then link left arms with the next child in their own line and swing round to bring them back to their partners right arm; this pattern continues down the line to the end of the ‘river’ where they stay. The game continues with the new head couple leading the swinging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The river is up, the channel is deep,

The wind blows steady and strong.

O won't we have a jolly good time

As we go sailing along?

Chorus

Down the river, oh, down the river,

Oh, down the river we go-o-o,

Down the river, oh, down the river,

Oh, down the O-hi-o.

 

Oh, the water is bright and flashing like gold,

In the rays of the morning sun.

And old Dinah's away up out of the cold,

A-getting the hoe-cake done.

 

The river is up, the channel is deep,

The wind blows steady and strong.

The waves do splash from shore to shore,

As we go rolling along.

 

The river is up, the channel is deep,

The wind blows steady and strong.

The splash of the oar, the measure we keep

To row the old boat along.


 

 

Engine, engine number nine 🔊

 

 


Traditionally used as a skipping game or a ‘dip’ for counting out. Originally began life in the U.S.A. as ‘ Engine, engine number nine, Going down Chocago line.’

 

Play as a line game of five to six. Lines weave in and out of each other as they move off in different directions, elbows moving forward and back. Don’t forget to pull the whistle with a loud ‘Ooooh! Ooooh!’ Children take turns to be the driver of each train. Give children other roles such as station master and ticket collector for a more complex scenario.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Engine, engine number nine,

Running on the London line.

If she’s polished, how she’ll shine,

Engine, engine number nine,

 

Engine, engine number nine,

Ring the bell when it’s on time. Ooooh! Ooooh!

Running east, running west,

Running through the cuckoo's nest.

 

Engine, engine number nine,

Running on the London line.

If the train goes off the track,

Do you want your money back?

Yes, no, maybe so!


 

 

 

Follow my Bangalorey Man O

 

This traditional Mother Goose nursery rhyme dates back to colonial times in the 19th century when young British ladies sailed out to India to find a suitable partner.

It was made popular by Josef Marais and Miranda and this is the tune I have used below (near enough!) It was also featured on Play School February 1969.

 

One person is chosen to be the leader and everyone follows skipping. Each time the verse changes the leader moves to the back so the next child becomes the leader. To enable everyone to have a turn as leader have lines of five or six weaving out of the others. The leader will need skill to ensure their group does not come into contact with other lines!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Follow my Bangalorey Man;

Follow my Bangalorey Man;

I will do all that ever I can

To follow my Bangalorey Man.

We'll borrow a horse, and steal a gig,

And round the world we'll do a jig,

And I will do all that ever I can

To follow my Bangalorey Man.

 

Follow my Bangalorey Man;

Follow my Bangalorey Man;

I will do all, that ever I can

To follow my Bangalorey Man.

We'll borrow a boat where ever we are,

Around the world we'll follow a star,

And I will do all that ever I can

To follow my Bangalorey Man.


 

 

Follow the leader 🔊

 

 


A French folk song from Beth Thompson’s wonderful collection of songs: http://www.bethsnotesplus.com/author/musicabethgmail-com/page/40

Lorraine Warner wrote the first verse of the English version.

 

Take turns to be leader and choose an action to move behind each other to a steady beat.

 

 


I will follow you, follow you, follow you;

I will follow you, follow you all day.

 

I will clap my hands, clap my hands, clap my hands;

I will clap my hands, clap my hands all day.

 

I will stamp my feet, stamp my feet, stamp my feet;

I will stamp my feet, stamp my feet all day.

 

I will follow you, follow you, follow you;

I will follow you, follow you all day.


 

 

Green grow the leaves on the hawthorn tree 🔊

 

 


A partner ‘follow my leader game’.

This version comes from the Ladybird book of ‘Dancing games’ published 1976; it originates from Northants (R S Baker). Joe Offer sources a longer version, identified as a 'Northumberland folk-song' it has a different tune and can be found in Singing Together’ Spring 1969, BBC Publications version: http://www.joe-offer.com/folkinfo/songs/583.html

 

One couple is chosen to lead and they go off followed by a long train of other couples, travelling wherever they wish. The leaders part company and branch off to the right or left with the others following their own leader. When the leaders meet once again all the couples do the same and march off arm in arm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Green grow the leaves on the hawthorn tree,

Green grow the leaves on the hawthorn tree,

We jangle and we wrangle and we never can agree,

But the tenor of our song goes merrily, merrily, merrily,

The tenor of our song goes merrily.


 

 

Here come three dukes 🔊

 

 


A meet and greet line game. It is classed by the Opies as a match-making game.

This version came from the Ladybird book of Singing games with the ‘fat and dirty’ verse omitted and the final line changed to make it more gender neutral.

It original probably came from a game collected by Miss Burne in Shropshire in 1891.

 

Three children are chosen as ‘dukes’. The rest form a line facing a line of ‘dukes’. Each line advances, bows and retires in turn. On the ‘poker’ verse the line walks stiffly in a mocking manner. The other line bends and bows very low. For the last verse one child is chosen to join the line of ‘dukes’.

The game continues with the ‘dukes’ singing ‘Here come four dukes’ then ‘five’ until all children are ranged on one side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Here come three dukes a-riding,

A-riding, a-riding,

Here come three dukes a-riding,

With a rancy, tancy, tay!

 

What is your good will, sirs?

Will, sirs? will, sirs?

What is your good will, sirs?

With a rancy, tancy, tay!

 

Our good will is to marry,

To marry, marry,

Our good will is to marry,

With a rancy, tancy, tay!

 

You won’t get one of us, sirs,

Us, sirs, us, sirs,

You won’t get one of us, sirs,

With a rancy, tancy, tay!

 

You're all as stiff as pokers,

Pokers, pokers,

You're all as stiff as pokers,

With a rancy, tancy, tay!

 

We can bend as much as you, sirs,

You, sirs, you, sirs,

We can bend as much as you, sirs,

With a rancy, tancy, tay!

 

Through the kitchen and down the hall,

I choose the fairest of you all,

The fairest one that I can see

Is come along  -------, and go with me.


 

 

Hi dee roon 🔊

 

 


A lively calypso rhythm takes the line round the room making different movements and finally to finish quietly in a circle.

To make sure each child has a chance to be leader have a number of lines weaving in and out of each other.

 

One child leads the others round the room walking to the calypso rhythm; at the end of the verse they move to the end of the line so a new leader can emerge and choose another motion. On the last verse the leader takes the line round to make a circle and finally quietly sit down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Let’s all go walking, Hi-dee-roon, oh!

Let’s all go walking, Hi-dee-roon, oh!

Let’s all go walking, Hi-dee-roon, oh!

Let’s all go walking, Hi-dee-roon.

 

Let’s all go hopping…

Let’s all go skipping…

Let’s go a-creeping…

Let’s make a circle…


 

 

 

 

I went to school one morning O

 

The outside will provide the space for moving to this song. The combination of music, movement and fresh air are sure to lifts the spirits after more sedentary activities.

 

The words will suggest the movements to make.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I went to school one morning and I walked like this,

Walked like this, walked like this,

I went to school this morning and I walked like this,

All on my way to school.

 

I saw a little robin and it hopped like this...

 

I saw a little pony and it galloped like this...

 

I saw a policeman and he stood like this...

 

I saw a great big puddle and I splashed like this...

 

I saw a dear old lady and she hobbled like this...

 

I heard the school bell ringing so I ran like this...

 


 

 

I’m a great, big tiger O

 

 


I originally came across this song in ‘Sing a Song One’ published by the LEA in 1978. With a slightly different tune it was also featured on the Australian version of Play School around the same time. I believe it was credited to Zoe McHenry.

Encourage children to think of other jungle animals and how they might move – snakes, crocodiles etc.

 

Make lines of five to six children. The leader of each line takes those behind weaving in and out of other groups prowling, showing off claws, jaws and teeth. Each time the verse changes the leader moves to the back so the next child becomes the leader. Monkeys move faster with arms making long wavy tails.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I’m a great, big tiger,

Creeping through the jungle,

I have sharp claws and great, big teeth,

I’m creeping through the jungle.

 

I’m a cheeky monkey,

Swinging through the branches,

I have bright eyes and a long strong tail,

I’m swinging through the branches.

Return to the ‘Singing games for children’ home page