More circle games J-M

Jeremiah, blow the fire

Jump little Annika

Kokoleoko

Lazy Mary

Let’s go walking

Lickety spry

Little bird hops down the street

Little circle turning

Little lady from Baltimore

Little swallow

Little Tommy Tattlemouse

Looby loo

Lucy Locket

Miss Sue / Go through your tiny window

Mouse, mousie

My little boat turned over

My little dog Buff

Last updated: 11/6/2018 5:44 PM

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

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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.

 


 

 

Jeremiah, blow the fire 🔊

 

 


Learn to identify loud and soft with this rhyme from Ireland. It can be played as a circle game as below, just use the first line repeated, or as a baby or toddler play game: rock baby gently back and forth and then blow on the tummy to each puff, blow normally, gently and roughly.

 

Children walk round in a circle; they then stop and jump on each of the puffs, once on the spot, then into the middle and then out again. Move in the opposite direction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Jeremiah, blow the fire, Puff! Puff! Puff!

Jeremiah, blow the fire, Puff! Puff! Puff!

First you blow it very gently,

Then you blow it rough!

Jeremiah, blow the fire, Puff! Puff! Puff!

 


 

Jump little Annika 🔊

 

 


This Swedish circle game, ‘Lunka på’ is traditionally played at Midsummer festivities with adults and children dancing together round a pole.

Free translation by Dany Rosevear; ‘Hop mor Annika’ translates as ‘Jump mother’s Annika’.

 

1. Children move (walk, tiptoe, skip etc.) forward clockwise round the ring in pairs swinging arms back and forth in a steady manner. 2. Jump up and down either in place or skip round the circle and then take arm hook with partner and dance around clockwise. 3. Do the same as in 2. but dance counterclockwise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Walking round, walking round,

We’ve a long, long way to go,

Walking round, walking round,

We’ve a long, long way to go.

 

Jump with Annika, jump with Annika,

Jump with little Annika,

Jump with Annika, jump with Annika,

Jump with little Annika!

 

Jump with Annika, jump with Annika,

See your children dancing,

Jump with Annika, jump with Annika,

See your children dancing.

 

Tiptoe round, tiptoe round…

Skipping round, skipping round…

Lunka på, Lunka på,

Vi har långan väg att gå.

Lunka på, Lunka på,

Vi har långan väg att gå.

 

Hopp mor Annika,

Hopp mor Annika,

Hopp min lilla Annika!

Hopp mor Annika,

Hopp mor Annika,

Hopp min lilla Annika!

 

Hopp mor Annika,

Hopp mor Annika,

Se din dotter dansar!


 

 

 

Kokoleoko 🔊

 

 


‘Kokoleoko’ is the West African equivalent of ‘Cock-a- doodle-doo’.

Older children might enjoy the wonderfully complicated clapping game at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPL_Ag9OC30

 

Make two circles, one inside the other with pairs facing. Develop a simple clapping routine of clapping own hands then partner’s right hand followed by the left hand.

At the end of each verse the outer and the inner circle both jump to the right to face a new partner. Continue the clapping pattern and movement until children are back with their original partner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Kokoleoko mama, koleoko,

Kokoleoko chicken, crowing for day.

Kokoleoko mama, koleoko,

Kokoleoko chicken, crowing for day.

 

Aba mama, aba,

Aba chicken, crowing for day.

Aba mama, aba,

Aba chicken, crowing for day.


 

Lazy Mary will you get up 🔊

 

 


The Opies say it is not surprising this song does not appear in collections aimed at children as its morality is indefensible!

There are other versions of this song that end with ‘so early in the morning’ and ‘This cold and frosty morning’. The one below is similar to that recorded in the Opie’ book ‘The Singing Game’.

 

Make a ring; a mother and daughter stand in the centre, the daughter crouches with hands to cheek. The circle skips round them. Mother walks towards Mary as she sings and moves back when Mary replies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Lazy Mary, will you get up,

Will you get up, will you get up?

Lazy Mary, will you get up,

Will you get up today?

 

No, dear Mother, I won't get up…

 

What will you give me if I get up…

 

A slice of bread and a cup of tea…

 

Then, dear Mother, I won't get up…

 

What will you give me if I get up…

 

A hunk of fat and roasted rat…

 

Then, dear Mother, I won't get up…

 

What will you give me if I get up…

 

A nice young man with rosy cheeks…

 

Then, dear Mother, I will get up…


 

 

Let’s go walking 🔊

 

 


A simple circle game where children can move round holding hands or move independently.

 

Move as the words suggest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Let’s go walking, walking, walking, walking,

Let’s go walking, walking, far, far away.

 

Let’s walk back now, back now, back now, back now,

Let’s walk back now, back now, back the same old way.

 

Then: hopping, skipping, marching, stamping etc.

 

Let’s go tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe,

Let’s tiptoe, tiptoe, then sit down on the floor.


 

 

Lickety spry 🔊

 

 


A partner game or in a circle with a larger group. By Deanna Hoermann from her wonderful collection: ‘Catch a song’.

 

Skip round with a partner or in a circle. On the last bar move high or low on the sung notes. Partners or named children turn can take turns to sing final words high or low.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Lickety spry, me oh my!

Make you choice now: low or high?

 

Lickety spry, me oh my!

Make you choice now: high or low?

 

Lickety spry, me oh my!

Here we go now: low, low, low.

 

Lickety spry, me oh my!

Here we go now: high, high, high.


 

 

 

Little bird hops down the street 🔊

 

 


Don’t forget the birds in the winter time when food is scarce: Make bird tables and seed balls to keep them going.

This song, Lata ptaszek po ulicy’ is a Polish version of ‘Ring o’ roses’. The tune is a Mazurka, one of Poland’s national dances. The arrangement is by Elizabeth Poston from ‘The children’s songbook’ 1961. The words are loosely translated by Dany Rosevear. (Find many more Polish singing games translated by myself on my home page.)

The dance in the video has a different tune but shows how the game is played: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAbFiBZtY1s

 

The children make a circle holding hands and skip round singing, while one child (the little bird) hops round inside the ring with elbows flapping. On the last line this child chooses another to become the hungry bird, ready to play the game once more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Little bird hops down the street,

Looking for some grains of wheat.

Hopping here and hopping there,

Will you have enough to eat?

Hopping here and hopping there,

Choose the one you’d like to greet.

Lata ptaszek po ulicy,

Szuka sobie ziarn pszenicy.

Ale ziarnek ani śladu.

Będzie ptaszek bez obiadu.


 

 

Little circle turning 🔊

 

 


A circle game from Finland, Piiri pieni pyörii.

This translation is by Dany Rosevear.

 

Stand next to a partner in a circle.

Line 1&2: Children walk round holding hands. 3.&4. Wag finger x3, stamp x3.

Verse 2. As before then clap x3, tap foot x3. Verse 3. As before then turn to partner and shake right hand x3, then left hand x3. Verse 2. As before then stand still with a serious face.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Little circle turning,

Every child is turning,

Fingers wagging no, no, no,

Shoes are stomping, so, so, so.

 

Little circle turning,

Every child is turning,

Hands are clapping clip, clap, clap,

Shoes are tapping tip, tap, tap.

 

Little circle turning,

Every child is turning,

Shake hands with a ‘How d’you do?’

Then the other, shake it too.

 

Little circle turning,

Every child is turning,

Now they’re standing still you see,

Just like parents seriously.

 

Piiri pieni pyörii,

lapset siinä hyörii.

Sormet sanoo so so so,

kengän kannat ko ko ko.

 

Piiri pieni pyörii,

lapset siinä hyörii.

Kädet panee lip lap lap,

kengän kärjet kip kap kap.

 

Piiri pieni pyörii,

lapset siinä hyörii.

Toisiansa tervehtää,

sitten paikoillensa jää.

 

Piiri pieni pyörii,

lapset siinä hyörii.

Vakavina seisovat

Vallan niin kuin vanhemmat


 

 

Little lady from Baltimore 🔊

 

 


From the album of Canadian singer Alan Mills ‘More songs to grow on’ released 1954. Music educator Beatrice Landeck, compiled a book of American folk songs of the same name that included this one where it was described it as a Southern song.

The suggested dances were the Samba, Rhumba, Lindy and Ickaboga; except for the nonsense last verse were all familiar songs on the dancefloor at the time.

Enjoy as a song before dancing.

 

Children can invent ways to move to the music either in a circle or with a partner. One child makes up a movement then the others move with the initial child.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I know a little lady from Baltimore,

Baltimore, Baltimore,

I know a little lady from Baltimore,

Let’s see what she can do.

Oh, she can do the samba,

I know she can,

I know she can,

Oh, she can do the samba,

Let’s see what she can do.

Now we can do the samba,

I know we can I know we can,

Oh, we can do the samba,

Let’s see what we can do.

 

I know a little fella from Baltimore,

Baltimore, Baltimore,

I know a little fella from Baltimore,

Let’s see what he can do.

Oh, he can play a guitar,

I know he can,

I know he can,

Oh, he can play a guitar,

Let’s see what he can do.

Now we can play the guitar…

 

I know an old fella from Baltimore…

Oh, he can play a cajon…


 

Little swallow 🔊

 

 


A French-Canadian singing game ‘L’hirondelle’.

Find it in French with a more literal translation at:

https://archive.org/stream/negrofolksinging00port_0#page/32/mode/2up/search/l'hirondelle

 

The children make a circle holding hands and walk round singing, while one child (the swallow) walks round the outside holding a hand kerchief and drops it behind a chosen child. The handkerchief is picked up by that child who runs after the ‘swallow’, who attempts to get to the gap left in the circle before being caught by the pursuer. If caught, the chaser then becomes the new swallow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Little swallow, fly to your nest.

Who goes there?

Fly a fly away now!

Little swallow, fly to your nest.

Fly a fly away!


 

 

Little Tommy Tattlemouse  🔊

 

 


A voice recognition game.

 

Children sit in a circle and one is chosen be the mouse who sits outside on a cushion (the house) with their back to the circle.

A beanbag is passed round the circle and, after the second “Someone’s calling” the child holding the beanbag sings, “Yes it’s me!” The mouse then has to guess who the child is and they then swap places.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Little Tommy Tattlemouse,

Lived in a little house,

Someone's calling, wait and see,

Someone's calling, '”Yes it's me!”

 


 

 

 

Looby loo 🔊

 

 


Learn to tell the difference between the left and right parts of the body.

Practice waving the appropriate hand in the air before playing the game.

Show children how to make an ‘L’ for left with their thumb and forefinger.

 

Sing the chorus between each verse.

 

 

 

 

 


Here we go Looby Loo,

Here we go Looby Light,

Here we go Looby Loo,

All on a Saturday night.

Skip round the circle holding hands.

 

You put your right hand in,

You put your right hand out,

You put your right hand in,

You shake it a little, a little,

And turn yourself about!

Drop hands and follow the instructions – the words will tell you what to do!

 

You put your left hand in...

 

You put your right / left leg in...

 

You put your right / left hip in...

 

You put your little head in...

 

You put your whole self in...

 


 

 

Lucy Locket 🔊

 

 


A classic circle game. Its Roud folk number is 19536. Find out more at:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucy_Locket

 

Children walk round in a circle holding hands. One child ‘Lucy’ skips round outside in the opposite direction holding a cloth pocket or bean bag. On ‘Dree, dree...’ ‘Lucy’ walks round the circle for as long as she likes then drops the pocket behind a child who picks it up and runs in the opposite direction to ‘Lucy’ The first to reach the empty space becomes the new ‘Lucy’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Lucy Locket lost her pocket,

Kitty Fisher found it;

Not a penny was there in it,

But a ribbon round it.

 

Dree, dree, drop it, drop it,

Dree, dree, drop it, drop it...

 


 

 

Miss Sue / Go through your tiny window 🔊

 

 


A song from the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia.

This is a singing game from Tony Saletan’s ‘The Song Bag’ Unfortunately there were no instructions for the movements so I have added my own educated guesses.

This arrangement is by Dany Rosevear.

 

Stand in a circle holding hands high. One child stands outside.

Verse 1. This child weaves in and out of ‘windows’ round the circle. 2. Children lower hands so child has to bend knees to travel in and out of windows. 3. and 4. Raise hands and child moves into the circle and chooses a dance to perform, those in the circle clap a syncopated pattern. 5. The original child chooses another to continue the game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Go through your tiny window, Miss Sue, Miss Sue.

Go through your tiny window, Miss Susiana Sue.

 

Now down your tiny window…

 

Heist your tiny window…

 

Now let me see your hustle…

 

Now choose your tiny window…

 

Go through your tiny window, dear John, dear John.

Go through your tiny window, my little Johnny Brown.


 

 

Mouse, mousie 🔊

 

 


A simple chase game with a steady beat. Two or three smaller circles will allow more children to take on the roles of the cat and mouse.

 

Children sit or stand in a circle. One child chosen to be the 'cat' outside the circle turns away as the teacher chooses a mouse from the circle. The cat then walks around the outside of the circle. On the word ‘Run!’ the mouse jumps up and runs around the circle. The cat chases the mouse and tries to catch it before the mouse gets back in place. Places are then reversed and the game begins again with a new cat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Mouse, mousie, little mousie,

Hurry, hurry do,

Or the kitty in the housie,

Will be chasing you. Run!


 

 

My little boat turned over 🔊

 

 


This song possibly comes from Brazil; It is best played in small circle groups so the game doesn’t go on too long!

 

Children walk around the circle to the left singing the first verse; as each child’s name is called out they turn round to face the outside of the circle. The second verse is then sung as the children move to the right and the children turn back to face the centre each time their name is sung.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


My little boat turned over when the wind began to blow.

It was all because of _____ who had never learned to row.

 

Now if I were a fishy and could swim down in the sea,

I would rescue little _______ and I'd take him / her home with me.

 


 

 

My little dog Buff 🔊

 

 


I found this counting out rhyme, a variation of ‘Drop the handkerchief’, in the Ladybird book of ‘Dancing rhymes’ published 1976. It is from a book of ‘Dorsetshire children’s games’ published in 1889 which has words less acceptable for modern sensibilities!

I had a little dog and his name was ‘Buff,’

I sent him after a penn’orth of snuff,

He broke the paper and smelled the stuff,

And that’s the end of my dog ‘Buff.’

“He shan’t bite you, he shan’t bite you etc. he shall bite you all over.”

Find out more at:  https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Page:The_Folk-Lore_Journal_Volume_7_1889.djvu/237

Music arranged by Dany Rosevear.

 

Children stand in a circle, one skips around the outside and on the last line taps each child on the shoulder. After the last ‘you’ the child tapped and the tapper run in opposite directions to attempt to reach the empty space first. The child who succeeds stays there while the other is ready to skip round the outside for a new game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I had a little dog and his name was ‘Buff,’

I sent him up the street for a pennyworth of snuff,

He broke the box and spilt the stuff,

I think my story’s long enough.

It isn’t you, it isn’t you… But it’s you!

 

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