More circle games G-H

Go round the mountain

Golden ring round the Susan girl

Goosey, goosey gander, where do you go?

Great big house in New Orleans

Green coffee grows on white oak trees

Gretel Pastetel

Haida

Hands, knees and Boomps-a-daisy

Here sits a monkey

Here we come a-piping

Here we go dancing jingo-ring

Here we go Santy Maloney

Here we sit in a ring

How do you do and shake hands

How d’you do? How are you?

Hunt the cows

Last updated: 6/5/2018 2:39 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.

 


 

Go round the mountain 🔊

 

 


A singing game from Illinois. Originally this would have been a more complex circle game with boys and girls partnering each other. This version is suitable for young children learning to identify parts of the body.

 

Each time the chorus is sung walk round in a circle holding hands. Move as suggested for each verse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Go round the mountain,

To-di-diddle-um, to-di-diddle-um,

Go 'round the mountain,

To-di-diddle-um, dum.

 

Show me your fingers, wiggle fingers

To-di-diddle-um, to-di-diddle-um,

Show me your fingers,

To-di-diddle-um, dum.

 

Show me your elbows   

flap elbows up and down

 

Show me your hips   wiggle hips

 

Show me your feet   stamp or tap foot


 

Golden ring around the Susan girl 🔊

 

 


A play-party singing game from Jean Ritchie’s childhood. Her game is complete with do-si-dos and other traditional dance moves. The game below is a simpler one. Verse 3. Can be omitted if it causes too much hilarity!

 

Make a single circle with partners alternately labelled As and Bs (traditionally girls and boys) A is on the left. Verse 1. All hold hands and walk to the left. Chorus: Walk to the right. 2. Take partners hands and swing round 3. The same in the opposite direction but faster. 4. A. steps into circle and promenades partner round the circle counterclockwise. Chorus: As before moving left in the circle. A. then moves B. with the right hand in front and then to the left of them ready to dance with a new partner on the right as the game starts once again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Golden ring around the Susan girl,

Golden ring around the Susan girl,

Golden ring around the Susan girl,

All the way around the Susan girl.

 

Chorus

Round and around, Susan girl,

Round and around Susan girl,

Round and around, Susan girl,

All the way around the Susan girl.

 

Take a little girl and give 'er a whirl,

Take a little girl and give 'er a whirl,

Take a little girl and give 'er a whirl,

All the way around the Susan girl.

 

Get a little faster, Susan girl!

Get a little faster, Susan girl!

Get a little faster, Susan girl!

All the way around the Susan girl.

Chorus

 

Then take 'im on home, Susan girl,

Take 'im on home, Susan girl,

Take 'im on home, Susan girl,

All the way home the Susan girl.


 

 

Goosey, goosey gander, where do you go? 🔊

 

 


A charming, less well-known American nursery rhyme and circle game. Even more fun if played with feet splayed.

 

Children walk round in a circle holding hands, one child walks round inside the ring. At the end of the song this child stops opposite another and points at them. They then swap places and the new child chooses another movement – hopping, skipping, jumping etc..Alternately the choice of partner can be made half way through the game and both can move round the inside together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Goosey goosey gander, gander, gander,

Goosey, goosey gander, where do you go?

 

I am going walking, walking, walking.

I am going walking, if you must know!

 

Hopping…

Skipping…

Jumping…


 

 

 

Great big house in New Orleans 🔊

 

 


This dance is a simplified from the ‘Handy play party book’ published 1940 by the Cooperative Recreation Service. It was collected by  Lynn Rohrbough from Neva Mae Tom in Columbus, Ohio.

 

1. Children form a circle holding hands and walk clockwise keeping a steady beat.

2. a. Every other child moves 4 steps to the centre joins hands and dip them low. b. The outside circle move 4 step, placing arms in front of the inner circle and join hands. c. Keeping hands held, the outside circle raise arms high and down behind the back of the inner circle. d. With hands still held the inner circle raise arms up and brings them down behind the backs of the outer circle to make a daisy chain formation.

3. Keep this formation and both circles then walk to a steady beat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Great big house in New Orleans,

Forty stories high.

Ev'ry room that I went in,

Was filled with pumpkin pie.

 

Went down to the old mill stream,

To fetch a pail of water.

Put one arm around my wife,

The other 'round my daughter.

 

Fare thee well, my pretty little miss,

Fare thee well, my daughter;

Fare thee well, my darling wife,

With golden slippers on her.


 

 

Green coffee grows on white oak trees 🔊

 

 


A medley of songs with slow and fast parts in 4/4 and 2/4 time; use as many or as few as you like. The game is written for the first three verses.

The first part was by Lillian Summers, Chatanooga and publihed in the ‘Handy Play Party Book’ by the Cooperative society in 1940. The second you can find in  The John Quincy Wolf Folklore Collection sung by a Mrs Apple, here her singing at:  http://web.lyon.edu/wolfcollection/songs/applecoffee1265.mp3

 

Verse 1 Children walk round in a circle holding hands, one child walks round in the ring in the opposite direction. This child chooses a partner and swings round.

2. Children round rapidly to the right.; the pair in the centre skip left. On ‘turn’ children drop hands and turn withbacks to the centre. 3. They hold hands and move right and on ‘turn’ move back to their original position. The original child in the centre returns to the circle leaving the new child to start again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Green coffee grows on white oak trees;

The rivers flow with brandy-O.

Go choose someone to dance with you,

And swing like 'lasses candy-O.

 

Somebody’s rocking my sugar lump,

Somebody’s rocking my sugar lump,

Somebody’s rocking my sugar lump;

Turn my sugar lump round.

 

Just keep rocking my sugar lump,

Just keep rocking my sugar lump,

Just keep rocking my sugar lump;

Turn my sugar lump out.

 

Railroad, steamboat, river and canal,

I lost my truelove in that raging canal,

Oh, she's gone, gone, gone,

Oh, she's gone, gone, gone,

Yes, she's gone in that raging canal.


 

Gretel Pastetel 🔊

 

 


A simple tune and children’s game from Germany. Free translation by Dany Rosevear.

Make up your own rhyming verses.

 

Children stand in a circle as one child ’Gretel’ skips round on the inside. This child chooses others to be one of the animals as each verse is sung. They skip round inside the ring as the outer circle claps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Gretel Pastetel,

Where has your goose gone?

She sits near the water

And watches the swans.

 

Gretel Pastetel,

Oh, where is your hen?

She clucks in the yard,

And lays eggs now and then.

 

Gretel Pastetel,

What does your cow do?

She stands in the barn

And does nothing but ‘Moo!’

 

Gretel Pastetel,

Oh, where is your pig?

It rolls in the mud,

And then dances a jig.

 


 

 

Haida 🔊

 

 


A Jewish circle dance in which the word ‘Haida’, used similarly to ‘la’, is repeated to a strong rhythm. Traditionally it is sung faster and faster each time. It will take a little practice before the claps are in the right place. Sing through twice and then after an instrumental interlude Sing in two parts twice through.

The dance can also be played in line with hands on hips 1st part: three steps to the right, clap, three stamps. Do the same to the left. 2nd part: Move round to the beat right with hands up and fingers wiggling, clap, three stamps. Do the same to the left.

 

Children stand in a circle holding hands, 1. Move hands starting with hands high up and down to the beat.2. Step round anticlockwise keeping the hand movements going.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Haida haida haida-da haida,

Haida (clap) haida haida.

Haida haida haida-da haida,

Haida (clap) haida haida.

 

Haida haida-da haida,

Haida (clap) haida haida.

Haida haida-da haida,

Haida (clap) haida haida.

 


 

 

 

Hands, knees and Boomps-a-daisy 🔊

 

 


A delightfully silly song with words and music by Annette Mills, 1938.

I was very familiar with this as a child in the 1950s but we only sang the chorus and played it simply with a partner in the playground. You can find the ‘proper’ way to play it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsfmDa4BlHk.

The simplified game below would work for a children’s party.

 

Make two circles, one inside the other with partners facing. 1. Clap, tap both knee, bump bottoms, hold hands and do two side steps. 2. Repeat first part, hold hands and ‘turn the blanket’. 3. Repeat first line. 4. As before but finish with a bow and two stamps. The inner circle then moves one to the left to stand in front of a new partner and the game continues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hands, knees and BOOMPS-A-DAISY!

I like a bustle that bends.

Hands, knees and BOOMPS-A-DAISY!

What is a BOOMP between friends?

Hands, knees, oh don't be lazy,

Let's make the party a Wow!

Now then hands, knees and BOOMPS-A-DAISY!

Turn to your partner and bow, Bow - Wow!


 

Here sits a monkey 🔊

 

 


Another great game from ‘American folk songs for children’ by Ruth Crawford Seeger.

Each child can choose which creature they would like to be

 

1. Children make a circle around a child who sits or stands on or behind a chair. 2. They walk round singing. 3. The child chooses anther from the circle and the game continues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Oh, here sits a monkey on the chair, chair, chair,

She/He lost all the good friends She/he had last year,

So rise upon your feet and greet the first you meet,

The happiest one you know.

 

Oh, here stands a bear behind the chair, chair, chair,

She/He lost all the good friends She/he had last year,

So rise upon your feet and greet the first you meet,

The happiest one you know.

 

Oh, here lies crocodile by the chair, chair, chair,

She/He lost all the good friends She/he had last year,

So rise upon your feet and greet the first you meet,

The happiest one you know.


 

 

Here we come a-piping 🔊

 

 


A singing game for the May festivities.

It comes from the classic classroom collection ‘Infant Joy’.

Adapted and arranged by Dany Rosevear.

 

Children stand in a semi-circle; The Queen or King sits in front and young Bridget or Peter stand by their side holding a soft ball. The others advance singing ‘Here we come…’ Then one from the line steps forward with three letters. The Queen sings, ‘We cannot read one…’ Then young Bridget throws the ball to one of the other children who take on the roles of those in front.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Here we come a-piping,

First in Spring, and then in May.

The Queen she sits upon the strand,

Fair as a lily, bright as a wand.

King John has sent you letters three,

And begs you'll read them unto me.

We cannot read one without them all,

So please, young Bridget, deliver the ball!


 

 

 

Here we go dancing jingo-ring 🔊

 

 


A simple skipping ring dance. The fun is in the nonsense words possibly a corruption of ‘Merry maids dancing’ or ‘marry me’. Find out more in Iona and Peter Opie’s ‘The Singing Game’ published 1984. The second verse from County Donegal can be found in ‘Children’s games throughout the Year’ by L. Daiken 1949.

There is a longer version of this played at weddings and acted out like ‘The farmer’s in his den’ where a child is offered a ‘guinea-gold ring’.

 

Children hold hands in a circle and skip round. On the second verse they drop to the floor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Here we go dancing jingo-ring,

Jingo-ring, jingo-ring,

Here we go dancing jingo-ring,

About the merry-ma-tanzie.

 

Here we go round the jingo-ring,

Jingo-ring, jingo-ring,

Here we go round the jingo-ring,

And the last pops down!


 

 

Here we go Santy Maloney 🔊

 

 


A song from the Irish tradition.

 

Skip round in a circle holding hands for the chorus which is sung between each verse. Stand still and tap each named part of the body.

This song can continue as children suggest other body parts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Here we go Santa Maloney,

Here we go Santa Maloney,

Here we go Santa Maloney,

As we go round & round.

 

Tap your hands on your shoulders...

 

Tap your hands on your knees...

 

Tap your hands on your tummy...

 

Wave your hands in the air...

 


 

 

Here we sit in a ring 🔊

 

 


A singing game from the USA.

Encourages good observation and awareness of others.

 

Children sit in a circle with eyes closed while singing. The leader / teacher taps a child on the shoulder and they hide behind a door or partition.

When song ends the children open their eyes and guess who is missing from the circle. The absent child then returns and everyone claps to greet them. The child who guessed correctly can walk round the circle and be the next tapper making sure everyone gets a turn to hide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Here we sit in a ring;

Close your eyes now while we sing.

One of us will go and hide,

Guess who made that space so wide.


 

 

How do you do and shake hands 🔊

 

 


Meet and greet each other.

Find this dance at: http://lsmusicspanish.edublogs.org/tag/pre-k/page/2/

 

Initially children face a partner in one circle and shake right hands as they sing. Once they are familiar with the song and shaking hands they can move to a new partner by passing by their original partner with right hand out to greet the new one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Say: “How do you do?” and shake hands,

Shake hands, shake hands,

Say: “How do you do?” and shake hands

But don’t let go, But don’t let go.

 

Say: “How do you do?” and shake hands,

Shake hands, shake hands,

Say: “How do you do?” and shake hands

And tell us your name today,

And tell us your name today.

 

Say: “How do you do?” and shake hands,

Shake hands, shake hands,

Say: “How do you do?” and shake hands

And find another partner,

And find another partner.

 


 

 

 

How d’you do? How are you?  🔊

 

 


A great meeting and greeting song. Older children can play in circles as below; younger ones can play it freely with a partner moving on to a new child each time.

 

Stand facing a partner in a concentric circle.

1. Shake right hand. 2: Shake left hand. 3. Make a full turn. 4. Outside circle moves one to the right. 5. Wave to new partner. 6. Tap knees twice, clap own hands twice, clap partners hand twice. Start again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


http://www.singinggamesforchildren.com/A%20Cluster%202.2%20Awaywego/14%20Over%20the%20ocean%20w2_files/image049.jpgHow d’you do?

How are you?

I am fine and dandy!

Move along.

Sing a song.

Fine as cotton candy!


 

 

 

Hunt the cows 🔊

 

 


This song with two contrasting tempos is great fun as children anticipate instructions to wake up. The game and song comes from Jean Ritchie’s delightful collection of childhood singing games: http://media.smithsonianfolkways.org/liner_notes/folkways/FW07702.pdf

 

Choose a leader, the others hold hands in a circle.

Lines 1and 2: Skip to the left. Repeat in the opposite direction. 3. Still holding hands put one knee down on the floor, then the other. 4. Put one elbow on the floor with the chin on one hand, then place the second elbow on the floor with the chin resting on both hands, pretend to be asleep. The leader pauses for effect then sings ‘Wake up you lazybones’ those in the circle jump up and skip as before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Wake up you lazybones and go and hunt the cattle.

Wake up you lazybones and go and hunt the cows!

Wake up you lazybones and go and hunt the cattle.

Wake up you lazybones and go and hunt the cows!

The cows are lost.

The day is warm.

I think I'll rest,

‘Til they come home.


 

Return to the ‘Singing games for children’ home page