Songs for the Christmas season (inc Thanksgiving)

 

Five fat turkeys

Five little Christmas trees

Five little jingle bells

Five little reindeer / Santa’s reindeer

Gloucestershire wassail

Holly berries

I have a turkey in my garden

I saw three ships

It’s almost day

Jingle bells

Jolly old Saint Nicholas

Kolyada

Mary had a baby

Nine happy reindeer

Also: Mister Turkey and Mister Duck

Christmas songs: A-E 📦 🔔 O-S 🔔 T-Z 🎅

 

Last updated: 12/19/2017 5:08 PM

The songs below are part ofAway we gocompiled, 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:

·       you must give the original author credit

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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.


 

 

Five fat turkeys are we O

 

 


Explore ways of expressing the same words by singing in different tones: quietly in case the cook hears, loudly as if crowing how clever they are, wearily as if tired, angrily – how dare the cook try to cook them! Alternatively use as a hand play as below.

 

1. Put up five fingers. 2. Put closed hands to cheek. 3-4. Put hand to forehead in seeking mode. 5. Point to self.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Five fat turkeys are we,

We slept all night in a tree,

When the cook came around,

We couldn’t be found,

And that's why we're here, you see!

 

Oh, five fat turkeys are we,

We slept all night in a tree.

It sure does pay,

On Thanksgiving Day,

To sleep in the tallest tree!

 


 

 

Five little Christmas trees O

 

 


Use fingers, hands and arms to mime the actions in this song.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Five little Christmas trees

Standing straight and tall;

Stretch out their branches

As the snow begins to fall.

Along comes a woodcutter,

He’s on his way to town.

Chip chop! Chip chop!

A tree falls down.

 

Four little Christmas trees...

Three little Christmas trees...

Two little Christmas trees...

 

One little Christmas tree

Standing straight and tall;

Stretches out its branches

As the snow begins to fall.

Along comes a woodcutter,

He’s on his way to town.

Chip chop! Chip chop!

The tree falls down.

 

No little Christmas trees

Standing straight and tall;

Where have they gone

As the snow softly falls?

Each one is in a cosy house

Decked with Christmas cheer.

They wish you Merry Christmas

And a Happy New Year!


 

 

Five little jingle bells 🔊

 

 


This Christmas song was written by Virginia Pavelko and published 1962 in ‘Singing Fun’ as ‘Ten little jingle bells’. Older children might indeed prefer to start at ten. Music arranged by Dany Rosevear.

The steady beat of jingle bells would add a festive note to the music.

 

Even better, let children trot in lines of five weaving in and out of others groups each child shaking a jingle bell. On the second verse the child at the end of the line puts bell in hand so the sound is dulled. Each subsequent child does the same until there are no bells ringing. On the last verse trot slowly but then speed up for the chorus as all the bells appear and are rung joyfully.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Five little jingle bells hung in a row,

Five little jingle bells helped the horse go.

Merrily, merrily over the snow,

Merrily, merrily sleighing we go.

 

One little jingle bell fell in the snow,

Four little jingle bells helped the horse go.

Merrily, merrily over the snow,

Merrily, merrily sleighing we go.

 

One little jingle bell… Three... Merrily…

One little jingle bell… Two… Merrily…

One little jingle bell… One… Merrily…

 

One little jingle bell fell in the snow,

No little jingle bell helped the horse go.

Slowly, so slowly our bells are all gone,

Let’s get some new ones and put them back on!

Merrily, merrily …

 


 

 

Five little reindeer / Santa’s reindeer 🔊

 

 


A Christmas number game. Learn the number bonds that make eight.

Music by Dany Rosevear.

 

Line 1. Point to each finger one at a time then hands to head like antlers. 2. Point upwards. 3. Put hand to mouth. 4. Point to wrist. 5. As before. 6. Put hand to ear, listening, jingle bells. 7. Hold up three fingers. 8. Ask children to say how many reindeer it will take to make 8 - Hold up eight fingers.

Change the number of reindeer waiting each time: ‘1,2, 3, little reindeer...’ and ‘Wait for five…’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


One, two, three, four, five little reindeer,

Stood by the North Pole gate.

"Hurry, Santa," called the reindeer,

Or we’ll soon be late."

One, two, three, four, five little reindeer,

Santa said, "Please wait!"

"Wait for just three more little reindeer,

Then we will have eight."


 

 

Gloucestershire wassail 🔊

 

 


This simple version of the Gloucestershire wassail comes from BBC radio’s ‘Time and tune’ Autumn 1960. During the Christmas period groups of people went from door to door singing this wassail. Find out more about the song and wassailing customs at: http://www.gloschristmas.com/wassail/gloucestershire-wassail-3/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Wassail! Wassail all over the town!

Our toast it is white and our ale it is brown.

Our bowl it is made of the white maple tree;

With the wassailing-bowl, we'll drink to thee!

 

So here is to Cherry and to his right cheek,

Pray God send our master a good piece of beef.

And a good piece of beef that may we all see;

With the wassailing-bowl, we'll drink to thee!

 

And here is to Dobbin and to his right eye;

Pray God send our mistress a good Christmas pie,

And a good Christmas pie that we may all see;

With our wassailing-bowl, we'll drink to thee!

 

And here is to Fillpail and to her left ear;

Pray God send our master a Happy New Year,

And a happy New Year as e'er he did see;

With our wassailing-bowl, we'll drink to thee!

 

Then here's to the maid in the lily-white smock,

Who tripped to the door and slipped back the lock!

Who tripped to the door and pulled back the pin,

For to let those jolly wassailers in.

 


 

 

Holly berries 🔊

 

 


Appreciate how the Christmas season brightens up the darkest night with light and and good cheer. Learn the Christmas colours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Why are holly berries red?

And why is snow so white?

Why are spruce and pine so green?

And why are candles bright?

 

Can't you guess?

It's Christmas time

When everything's aglow,

And loving hearts are full of cheer –

It's Christmas - don't you know?


 

 

 

I have a turkey in my garden 🔊

 

 


From the delightful collection of nursery rhymes and songs by Laura Corpuz: http://hagonoy-bahay-kubo.blogspot.co.uk/2009/02/nursery-rhymes-and-songs.html

The tune is by Dany Rosevear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I have a turkey in my garden

And his name is Dan;

The feathers in his tail are brown and tan.

When he walks he wobbles,

When he talks he gobbles,

And he spreads his tail

In a big wide fan.

 


 

 

I saw three ships O

 

 


I have failed to find this secular children’s version of the Christmas song on the internet and would be delighted if someone could tell me its origins. The older and more traditional version tells of the Virgin Mary taken to Bethlehem. Find more at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Saw_Three_Ships

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I saw three ships come sailing by,

On Christmas day, on Christmas day,

I saw three ships come sailing by,

On Christmas day in the morning.

 

And what was in those ships all three,

On Christmas day, on Christmas day,

And what was in those ships all three,

On Christmas day in the morning?

 

Three jolly rats were in them then,

On Christmas day, on Christmas day,

Three jolly rats were in them then,

On Christmas day in the morning.

 

Now one could whistle and one could sing,

And one could play the violin;

They joyfully played at the cat’s wedding,

On Christmas day in the morning.

 


 

 

It’s almost day 🔊

 

 


You can easily change the words of this song to suit your own Christmas scenarios.

Ideally sing this without breaks between lines and with a swing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Chicken crowing for midnight, it’s almost day…

Santa Claus is coming it’s almost day…

Morning star’s arising, it’s almost day…

Thought I heard my mother say, it’s Christmas Day…

Father stuffs the turkey on Christmas Day…

Turkey’s in the oven on Christmas Day…

Everybody’s coming, it’s Christmas Day…

Turkey’s on the table, it’s Christmas Day…

We all have a good time, it’s Christmas Day…


 

 

Jingle bells O

 

 


This song was written by James Lord Pierpoint in the 19th century. To find out more visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jingle_Bells

The chorus of this song is a very compelling one and simple for young children to sing with gusto at Christmas time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Jingle bells, jingle bells,

Jingle all the way,

Oh, what fun it is to ride

In a one horse open sleigh.

 

Dashing through the snow

In a one horse open sleigh,

O’er the fields we go,

Laughing all the way.

Bells on bobtail ring

Making spirits rise.

What fun it is to ride and sing

A sleighing song tonight!

 

Jingle bells, jingle bells...


 

Jolly old Saint Nicholas O

 

 


What is your name for Father Christmas: Santa Claus, Saint Nick?

This American carol was written by Benjamin Hanby. With its simple tune it is a popular recorder or piano favourite for those showing off their burgeoning musical skills at Christmas time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Jolly Old Saint Nicholas,

Lean your ear this way;

Don't you tell a single soul

What I'm going to say,

Christmas Eve is coming soon,

Now my dear old man,

Whisper what you'll bring to me;

Tell me if you can.

 

When the clock is striking twelve,

When I'm fast asleep,

Down the chimney broad and black,

With your pack you'll creep;

All the stockings you will find

Hanging in a row;

Mine will be the shortest one,

You'll be sure to know.

 

Johnny wants a pair of skates;

Susy wants a sled;

Nellie wants a story book;

One she hasn't read.

As for me, I hardly know

What to give the rest;

Choose for me, dear Santa Claus,

What you think is best.


 

 

Kolyada 🔊

 

 


A simple cheerful Russian carol; Kolyada is the diminutive of Saint Nicholas.

Traditionally he leaves cakes on the windowsill on Christmas Eve, similar to our tradition of Father Christmas filling the children’s stockings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Kolyada, Kolyada

Walks about on Christmas Eve;

Kolyada, Kolyada,

At our window cakes he’ll leave.

 

Kolyada, Kolyada

Come this holy night, we pray.

Kolyada, Kolyada

Come and bring us Christmas Day.


 

 

Mary had a baby 🔊

 

 


A St. Helena Island spiritual.

This can easily be adapted to tell the rest of the Christmas story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Mary had a baby, Yes, Lord,

Mary had a baby, Yes, my Lord,

Mary had a baby, Yes, Lord!

The people keep a-comin’ but the train done gone!

 

What did she name him? Yes, Lord…

 

Mary named him Jesus, Yes, Lord…

 

Where was he born? Yes, Lord…

 

Born in a stable, Yes, Lord…

 

Where did she lay him? Yes, Lord…

 

Laid him in a manger, Yes, Lord…


 

 

Nine happy reindeer 🔊

 

 


Rudolph saves the day! Learn the names of Santa’s reindeer.

Music and words by Dany Rosevear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


“Come Dasher and Dancer, come Prancer and Vixen,

Come Comet and Cupid, come Donner and Blitzen!"

Eight little reindeer ready to go,

Out in the dark and the falling snow;

 

“Oh dear!” said Santa, “What a terrible night -

We’ll never get going without a good light!”

 

Then Rudolph appeared and he pawed at the ground

His red nose a-shining, a light had been found!

Nine happy reindeer away they soon sped,

To visit good children, all tucked up in bed.


 

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