Songs for a better world

Deep blue sea

Do you know how many little stars

Good morning dear Earth

Let it be

Little things

Lots of worms

Mother Earth

My roots go down

One pair of hands

Our planet is a garden ***

Our poor planet Earth***

Simple gifts

Somewhere there’s a forest

Swim on, swim on ***

The best things in life are free

The family of man

The garden song

The river is flowing

This pretty planet

Last updated: 4/15/2019 4:16 PM

The songs below are compiled, adapted and illustrated 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 2008 All rights reserved

You are free to copy, distribute, display and perform these works under the following conditions:

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·       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.


 

 

Deep blue sea 🔊

 

 


This lullaby is based on John Bell’s Peace version of the traditional song of the same name which included the line ‘It was Willie what got drownded’ sung by Odetta and Pete Seeger among others; we knew it well in the late 1960s.

The third verse is written by Dany Rosevear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Deep blue sea, baby, deep blue sea,

Deep blue sea, baby, deep blue sea,

Deep blue sea, baby, deep blue sea,

Now there's peace, in all the land,

And o’er the deep blue sea.

 

Sleep my child, you are safe with me,

Sleep my child, you are safe with me,

Sleep my child, you are safe with me,

Now there's peace, in all the land,

And o’er the deep blue sea.

 

Feel the love, it is all around,

Feel the love, it is all around,

Feel the love, it is all around,

Now there's peace, in all the land,

And o’er the deep blue sea.

 

Moon is high and the sun’s at rest,

Stars are twinkling, the night is dressed,

Dream, sweet dreams in your downy nest,

Now there's peace, in all the land,

And o’er the deep blue sea.


 

 

Do you know how many little stars 🔊

 

 


This lullaby was originally a hymn. I have adapted it to reach a wider audience and to encourage older children to consider how we can care for the wonders of our world and our place in it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Do you know how many little stars

There are, twinkling in the skies?

Do you know how many clouds above

Every day go drifting by?

Could we count them, count them eve’ry one,

Would we miss one should it fall?

Yes, we’d miss one should it fall,

Precious little star of the night.

 

Do you know how many birdies

In the sunshine sing each day?

Do you know how many fishes

In the sparkling water play?

Our Earth is here for all living things,

Food and life to each is given,

With our love and care they will flourish there,

Precious wonders of our world.

 

Do you know how many children

Go to little beds at night,

And without a care or sorrow

Wake again with morning light?

But our parents well, each name can tell,

For us they know, and they love us so,

They’re our best and dearest friends,

Precious little child of the night.


 

 

Good morning dear Earth 🔊

 

 


A greeting song to help children understand how we are all interconnected and part of a wider entity. Make up verses to include parts of the natural world around your own setting.

 

1. Touch ground. 2. Make circle above head with arms. 3. Place one hand curled on the other. 4. Open hands round face. 5. Cross forefingers and fly. 6. Cross hands at wrists and fly. 7. Open arms out then cross arms to chest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Good morning dear Earth,

Good morning dear Sun,

Good morning, dear stones

And the flowers every one.

Good morning, dear bees,

And the birds in the trees,

Good morning to you

And good morning to me!


 

 

Let it be 🔊

 

 


Nature thrives without our help as long as we don’t bother it.

A delightfully thoughtful song by Malvina Reynolds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


When you walk in the forest, let it be.

There's a flower in the wood, let it be.

There's a flower in the wood, and it's innocent and good,

By the stone where it stands, let it be.

Let it be, let it be,

It's so lovely where it is, let it be.

Tho you want it for your own,

If you take it from its home,

It will not be what it was when you loved it

Where it stood in the wood.

Let it be, let it be,

It's so lovely where it is, let it be.

It's a thoughtful child, innocent and wild,

By the stone, by the reed,

Let it bloom, let it seed, let it be.

 


 

 

 

Little things O

 

 


These words are adapted from a hymn written by Julia Carney in 1845. I have adapted the second verse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Little drops of water,

Little grains of sand,

Make the mighty ocean

And a pleasant land.

 

Little seeds of friendship

Sown by little hands,

Grow to feed the nations

In near and far-off lands.

 

Little deeds of kindness,

Little words of love,

Make our earth an Eden,

Like the heaven above.

 

And the little moments,

Humble though they may be,

Make the mighty ages

Of eternity.


 

 

Lots of worms O

 

 


What would our world do without worms?!

A song with swing by Patty Zeitlin.

 

Wiggle fingers for worms and make up actions to fit the words; digging with a spade, bending knees and pointing down etc.

Just use the rhythm of the music and your imagination!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Well there’s lots of worms way under the ground,

Lots of worms that I've never found,

But I bet they’re just there a-diggin' around

Way under the ground.

 

I dug the biggest hole I ever did dig.

The biggest hole, it sure was big!

And then I got to the bottom, you know what I found,

Way under the ground?

 

I found a worm to go on a fishing pole

Way down there in that deep dark hole.

But I left him alone ‘cause he liked his own home

Way under the ground.

 

I found a bumpety bug with big black dots,

Three pairs of legs and twenty two spots.

But I left him alone ‘cause he liked his own home

Way under the ground.

 

I found an old sow bug curled up in a ball,

He didn't move from there at all.

But I left him alone ‘cause he liked his own home

Way under the ground.

 


 

 

My roots go down  🔊

 

 


Words and music by Sarah Pirtle, © 1979 and 1989. You will find many other delightful versions of this song on the internet as Sarah has encouraged others to make up verses meaningful to their own lives. You will also notice differing interpretations of the music.

Sarah has recently created a site where people can hear and download sixty of her two hundred songs for free: http://sarahpirtle.com/hope-sings/heart-of-the-world.htm

Move with imagination; the video will give you some ideas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


My roots go down, down to the earth,

My roots go down, down to the earth,

My roots go down, down to the earth,

My roots go down!

 

I am a pine tree on the mountainside,

I am a pine tree on the mountainside,

I am a pine tree on the mountainside,

My roots go down!

 

I am a tiny stream trickling down,

I am a tiny stream trickling down,

I am a tiny stream trickling down,

My roots go down!

 

I am a willow in a raging storm,

I am a willow in a raging storm,

I am a willow in a raging storm,

My roots go down!

 

I am a waterfall skipping home…

I am the river rushing to the sea….

I am an ocean wild and free…

We are the voice of every living thing…

 


 

 

One pair of hands 🔊

 

 


Together we can make a difference.

This song is based on Pete Seeger’s ‘One man’s hands’; other words of protest for good causes have been attached to this wonderful song over many years.

It was Marilyn and Paul Wilson’s version written with Wren choirs in Devon that caught my imagination. The words for young children here are written by Dany and Alan Rosevear and the music adapted and arranged by myself.

 

Show both hands, shake finger. Wave hands.

Chorus: Show hands, point to self.

Use imagination for the others ‘til I revisit this site!! Too busy. 😊

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


One pair of hands can’t stop the climate changing,

Two pairs of hands can’t stop the storms from raging;

Chorus:

But if two and two and many make a million,

Then we can change the world,

Then we can surely change the world.

 

One pair of hands can’t stop the ice caps melting,

Two pairs of hands can’t stop sea waters rising;

 

One pair of hands can’t stop fatburgers growing,

Two pairs of hands can’t keep clean water flowing;

 

One pair of hands can’t stop our cars polluting,

Two pairs of hands can’t stop waste accumulating;

 

One pair of hands can’t keep the the whales a-spouting;

Two pairs of hands can’t keep us all from shouting;

If two and two and many make a million,

Then we can change the world,

Then we can surely change the world.

Then we can surely change the world.

 


 

 

Our planet is a garden 🔊

 

 


Everyone making small changes can make a big difference.

Written by Dany Rosevear as a request from a preschool for a song about climate change. We are never too young to consider what we can do to make a difference to the future of our home called Earth.

2

Line 1. Sweep out hands, cross hands at wrists and flap. 2. One hand on top of the other with thumbs out, make hands dip and dive. Point to others and self. 3. Shape a ball, put hands to heart. 4. Throw out hands. Chorus: Wag finger. Stamp three times and hold nose. Beat fists three times.

Verse 2. Hold arms and shiver, prowl, forefingers to mouth, shake elbows, hands to head with fingers outstretched then as before.

Verse 3. Make hands and arms into trees, hand to ears, scratch armpits, wave arm for trunk then as before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


All across our lovely world the little birdies fly,

The fishes swim, the dolphins leap and so do you and I.

Our planet is a garden needing tender love and care,

And if we all make changes we can make it fit to share.

No more dirty air and water,

No more dirty air and water,

No more dirty air and water,

Our lovely world needs everyone,

To help and fix it quick!

 

All across our icy lands the polar bears can roam,

The walruses, the penguins and the reindeer have a home.

Our planet is a garden needing tender love and care,

And if we all make changes we can make it fit to share.

No more dirty air and water,

No more dirty air and water,

No more dirty air and water,

Our lovely world needs everyone,

To help and fix it quick!

 

All across our wooded lands the jungle creatures call,

Monkeys screech, and elephants, oh, how we love them all.

Our planet is a garden needing tender love and care,

And if we all make changes we can make it fit to share.

No more dirty air and water,

No more dirty air and water,

No more dirty air and water,

Our lovely world needs everyone,

To help and fix it quick!


 

 

Our poor planet Earth 🔊

 

 


Little things that we do can make a difference to the health of our precious world.

Another song written by Dany Rosevear as a request from a preschool for a song about climate change. The tune might be familiar to young children as ‘Miss Polly had a dolly’. Encourage children to add their own ideas for making our world a healthier place to live. NASA has a great site for kids to learn more about the environment and ways that they can help effect change.

 

Verse 1. Wipe tears. Throw out hands. Tap wrist put fist under chin. Knock three times on forehead.

2. Rock arms. Stretch arms above head. Hands to heart, twist tap. Clean teeth, turn tap.

3. Waggle then shake finger. Put up one finger at a time. Shake finger. Use thumb and forefinger to indicate little.

4. Throw out hands. Mime switching off light and cyling. Dig. Show one then two trees with arm and outstretched fingers. Throw out arms, point outwards then to self.

5. Hands to cheek. Rock arms, then as before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Our poor planet Earth is getting sick, sick, sick,

How can we save her quick, quick, quick?

It’s time to put on our thinking caps,

And knock on our noddles with a rat-a-tat-tat!

 

Poor planet Earth says, “Please take care of me!

Wake up now to save my land and seas.

Show me your love each time you use a tap,

And when you clean your teeth turn it off like that!

 

Remember your toilet is not a bin,

Think three p’s: just paper, pee and poo go in;

Recycle waste and don’t buy tat,

Use far less plastic, little things like that.”

 

Tell us planet Earth, what else should we do?

“You could switch off the lights, walk or bike to school,

Grow your own fruit and veg, plant a tree (or two),

You’re doing it for ev’ryone, not just you and me.”

 

Poor planet Earth is very, very old,

She needs looking after so we are told,

It’s time to put on our thinking caps,

And knock on our noddles with a rat-a-tat-tat!


 

 

Simple gifts O

 

 

 


Composed by Joseph Brockett in 1848 it was written as a dance song: http://www.americanmusicpreservation.com/JosephBrackettSimpleGifts.htm

I first came across this song in the 1960s; the delightful tune became a very familiar one in school assemblies as ‘Lord of the dance’ by Sidney Carter. I added it to my class music collection from a BBC Publication ‘Singing Together’ Spring 1974 to where it was described as an American ‘Shaker’ song; I have omitted the second verse as it was not in the original version.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,

'Tis the gift to come down where you ought to be;

And when we find ourselves in the place just right,

'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gained,

To bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed.

To turn, turn, will be our delight,

'Till by turning, turning we come round right.


 

 

Somewhere there's a forest 🔊

 

 


We all need our moments of peace and fresh air.

This song was written by Susan Stevens and appears in the ‘Our chalet songbook’ published in 1974 and then ABC schools ‘Sing!’ 1995.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Somewhere there's a forest,

Where you can stand and dream,

And walk alone beside the waters

Of a forest stream.

Chorus

Where quietness and peace of mind,

Are waiting there for you to find,

So leave the noisy world behind,

For just a little while.

 

Somewhere there's a seashore,

Where the wind is blowing free,

And wheeling seagulls call above,

The music of the sea.

Chorus

 

Somewhere there's a hillside,

Where you can climb at dawn,

And wonder at the sunrise,

As another day is born.

Chorus.


 

 

Swim on, swim on 🔊

 


A wish for our world's waters. What are you doing to help keep our oceans fit for the future? A song to encourage a discussion of how we, in our small way, can make a difference to the survival of the creatures and species we love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Swim, swim through the waters,

Little fish of the sea,

Through the clear, salty waters,

Swim on merrily.

With no more pollution

And no microbeads,

Swim on, swim on,

So wild and so free.

 

Plough on through the oceans,

Great whales of the sea,

May your journeys be long

And your passage be free,

From waters polluted

With the plastic bags gone,

Plough on, plough on,

Sing your beautiful songs.

 

It’s the future we are spoiling

For our natural world,

With plastic, noise and garbage

That will never grow old.

Please think what you are doing,

Keep our water’s alive,

Think on, think on,

So our oceans can thrive.

 


 

 

The best things in life are free 🔊

 

 

 


Appreciate what we have and make the most of our natural world.

Written for the 1927 musical ‘Good News’ with lyrics by Buddy DeSylva and Lew Brown and music by Ray Henderson. There was a revival of the song in the 1950s by a number of well known singers. Find out more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Moon belongs to ev'ryone,

The best things in life are free.

The stars belong to ev'ryone,

They gleam there for you and me.

 

The flowers in spring,

The robins that sing,

The sunbeams that shine,

They're yours, they're mine!

And love can come to ev’ryone,

The best things in life are free.

 

The stars in the sky

The Moon on high

They're great because they're free 


 

 

The family of man 🔊

 

 

 


A song for our times - together we can make a difference.

Words and music by Karl Dallas.

This song from ‘Come and Praise’ BBC radio for schools, was very popular in assemblies all the years I taught and always sung with much gusto.

The second verse resonates very personally as my larger family is spread around the world including Perth and Paris!

I have very gently tweaked some of the less contemporary words and replaced them with more inclusive language; deleting ‘coolie’ and culling ‘men’! Though the ‘man’ of the title of course refers to ‘mankind’.  

I loveThe miner in the Rhondda’ / but if you wish to be more up to date sing ‘The miner in Wyoming’ as most coal is produced there.

Apparently the songwriter sings it differently each time so I would imagine this version is an acceptable one! See discussion at: https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/philosophy_religion_spirituality/676786-Song-hymn-The-Family-of-Man-I-belong-to-a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I belong to a family, the biggest on the earth;

Ten thousand every day are coming to birth.

Our name isn't Davis, or Groves, or Jones,

It's a name everyone can be glad we own:

Chorus:

It’s the family of man, keeps growing,

The family of man, keeps sowing

The seeds of a new life every day.

 

I've got a sister in Perth, a brother in Paree,

The whole wide world is mum and dad to me.

Wherever you go you will find my kin,

Whatever the creed or colour of skin:

 

The miner in the Rhondda, the builder in Beijing,

Those across the ocean who plough, reap and spin,

They've got a life and others to share it,

So let's bridge the oceans and declare it:

 

Now some people say the world is a terrible place,

But it's just as good or bad as the human race;

Dirt and misery or health and joy,

We can build or we can destroy:


 

 

The garden song / Inch by inch, row by row 🔊

 

 


A song for the growing season written by David Mallet. It has been sung by Pete Seeger and John Denver among others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


CHORUS:

Inch by inch, row by row,

Gonna make this garden grow.

All it takes is a rake and a hoe

And a piece of fertile ground.

Inch by inch, row by row,

Someone bless these seeds I sow,

Someone warm them from below,

'Til the rain comes tumbling down.

 

Pullin' weeds and pickin' stones,

We are made of dreams and bones,

Feel the need to grow my own, for the time is close at hand.

Grain for grain, sun and rain,

We are part of Nature's chain,

Tune my body and my brain to the music from the land. CHORUS

 

Plant your rows straight and long,

Temper them with prayer and song,

Mother Earth will make you strong, if you give her love and care.

Old crow watching hungrily,

From his perch in yonder tree,

In my garden I'm as free, as that feathered thief up there. CHORUS

Just found this extra verse!

Brothers, sisters all around

This is where our garden’s found.

Side by side we work the ground to help these seedlings grow.

Water them with love and care,

Trust the promise that we share.

Keep them healthy and prepare for our first fruit to show.

 


 

 

The river is flowing 🔊

 

 


The source of this song was probably a chant written in the 1970s by Sun Bear, a member of the Chippewa Tribe. He was born in the White Earth Reservation in the North of the United States on 31 August 1926 and died on 19 June 1992 at the age of 66 in Spokane, Washington. Additional verses have been added over the years and you can find several interpretations of the melody. Find more at: http://www.soulrebels.com/beth/riverflowing.html and http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=7568.

I have adapted the words of the final verse to lament a changing world and hope for the future of our children.

In German ‘der fluss der will fließen’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



The river is flowing, flowing and growing,

The river is flowing, back to the sea.

Mother Earth carry me, your child I will always be,

Mother Earth carry me, back to the sea.

 

The moon she is waiting, waxing and waning,

The moon she is waiting, for us to be free.

Sister Moon watch over me, your child I will always be,

Sister Moon watch over me, until we are free!

 

The sun he is shining, brightly he’s shining,

The sun he is shining, lighting our way.

Father Sun shine over me, your child I will always be,

Father Sun shine over me, until we can see!

 

The earth she is changing, her waters are rising,

The earth she is changing, her waters are tears.

Mother Earth, carry me, your child I will always be,

Mother Earth carry me, down through the years.


 

 

This pretty planet 🔊

 

 


This wonderful song by Tom Chapin is more usually sung as a round. It is also sung as a lullaby.

This amazing song went round the entire world when it was one of the songs used to wake up the astronauts, including John Glen, on the Discovery 7 space shuttle!

 

1.Make a ball with hands, roll forearms round each other. 2. Make flower round face, arms make waves, hands together as in prayer. 3. Lift arms up and outwards, as in first line. 4. Hands to cheek, hold arms, Lift arms up and outwards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


This pretty planet, spinning through space,

Your garden, your harbour, your holy place.

Golden sun going down,

Gentle blue giant spin us around.

All through the night,

Safe ‘til the morning light.


 

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