Songs for the Christmas season (inc Thanksgiving)

 

Old man of the woods

Once the was a turkey

Over there

Past three o’clock

Pat-a-pan

Reindeer go

Ring, ring, ring the bells

Silent night

Sing a song of Christmas

Sing a song of mincemeat

Santa Claus

Santa’s reindeer

Sing hey! Sing hey!

Stir a bowl of gingerbread

Also: Mister Turkey and Mister Duck

Christmas songs: A-E 📦 🔔 F-N 🔔 T-Z 🎅

 

Last updated: 12/19/2017 5:18 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:

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Your fair use and other rights are no way affected by the above.


 

Old man of the woods O

 

 


This song for Christmas time comes from ‘Thirty folk settings for children’ words by Anne Mendoza to a Welsh folk tune which I found recently in an Oxfam book shop. It can also be found in the BBC Publication Singing Together, Autumn 1970.

 

Mime swinging an axe with a strong rhythm as the song is sung.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Chopping trees and cutting branches;

In the wood there is an old man.

In the wood there is an old man,

Chopping trees and cutting branches.

 

Trees for Christmas tall or short ones,

In the wood the old man's chopping,

In the wood the old man's chopping,

Trees for Christmas tall or short ones.

 

Come and buy now all good people

From the old man in the wood,

From the old man in the wood,

Come and buy now all good people.


 

 

Once there was a turkey 🔊

 

 


From ‘This is Music 4’ published in 1968. The words are by Anonymous and the music is by Wallace E. De Pue and the girls and boys of Leetonia, Ohio; the tune has been arranged here by Dany Rosevear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Mister Turkey Gobbler thought he was so grand,

He strutted round the barnyard like a king of all the land.

With feathers spread and beak held high, its very plain to see

Why all the barnyard fowls thought him conceited as can be.

 

“Gobble gobble,” said the turkey,

I’m the fairest of the fair,

“Gobble gobble,” said the turkey,

I am wanted everywhere.

Only this morning Mister Farmer came to say,

I’m invited to his dinner on Thanksgiving Day.

 


 

 

Over there 🔊

 

 


This light-hearted American version is an anomaly as it is sung as a Christmas carol but is based on the traditional Irish famine song “The praties they grow small”.

It can be found in the ‘This is music 4’ a schools songbook from North America published in 1968 which notes it is an early American song from 1844.

To find out more visit: https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=13830 .

The tune is arranged by Dany Rosevear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Oh, potatoes they grow small over there,

Oh, potatoes they grow small over there,

Oh, potatoes they grow small, 'cause they plant 'em in the fall,

And then eats 'em tops and all, over there, over there.

 

Oh, the candles they are small over there,

Oh, the candles they are small over there,

Oh, the candles they are small, for they dips 'em lean and tall,

And then burns 'em sticks and all, over there, over there.

 

Oh, I wish that we were geese, night and morn,

Oh, I wish that we were geese, night and morn,

Oh, I wish that we were geese and could live our lives in peace

And accumulate much grease eating corn, eating corn.

 


 

 

 

Past three o’clock 🔊

 

 


A lovely Christmas song but the traditional verses are rather challenging for little ones so I have added a simple couplet to complement the chorus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Past three o’clock,

And a cold frosty morning,

Past three o’clock,

Good morrow masters all!

 

Softly sleeping, warm in your cradle,

Tiny babe sleep till dawn peeps through the sky.

 


 

Pat-a-pan O

 

 


Pat-a-pan is a French Burgundian carol that dates back to the 17th C.

There are many loose translations of this song but this version felt right for young children.

By its very nature it is a perfect Christmas song to accompany with percussion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


William bring your little drum,

Robin, bring your flute and come;

We will listen as you play,

Tu-re-lu-re-lu,

Pat-a-pat-a-pan,

Flute and drum together play,

On a happy Christmas Day.

 

Children bring your flute and drum,

For it’s time to have some fun!

We’ll be merry as you play,

Tu-re-lu-re-lu, pat-a-pat-a-pan,

Listen to the lovely sound’

Sing and dance and jump around!

 

Children bring your flute and drum,

For the festive time has come!

We’ll be merry as you play,

Tu-re-lu-re-lu, pat-a-pat-a-pan,

We’ll be merry as you play,

Sing and dance this Christmas Day!


 

 

Reindeer go 🔊

 

 


A nursery knee jogging rhyme translated from the Norwegian.

Tune by Dany Rosevear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Reindeer go, over the snow,

Fast, fast and never slow;

Up and down, through the town,

Go, reindeer, go, go, go!

Go, reindeer, go, go, go!

 

Reindeer fly, way up in the sky,

Where the stars are twinkling high;

Over the hills, smooth and still,

Fly, reindeer, fly, fly, fly!

Fly, reindeer, fly, fly, fly!


 

 

Ring, ring, ring the bells 🔊

 

 


This song can be sung as a round or played as a game like ‘Row your boat’. For the second verse try holding hands with a partner standing up and alternatively move up and down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Ring, ring, ring the bells,

Ring them loud and clear,

To tell the children everywhere

That Christmastime is here!

 

Ring, ring, ring the bells,

Ring them up and down.

Christmas bells are here again,

All about the town.

 

 


 

 

Rocky, rocky road 🔊

 

 


Sing your hearts out at Christmas with this traditional West Indies spiritual, additional text by Louise Dobbs. For nostalgia buffs this comes from BBC School Radio ‘Singing together’ Autumn term 1979, 1986.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Wrapped in swaddlin’ clothes, the babe is lyin’,

In his mother's arms, there'll be no cryin’,

Shepherds from afar, they do come nigh him,

Rocky road-um, Hey, a Rocky road-um.

 

Rocky, rocky road, a rocky road-um,

Rocky, rocky road, a rocky road-um,

Rocky, rocky road, a rocky road-um,

Rocky road-um, Hey, a Rocky road-um.

 

Ox and the ram, bow down before him,

Shepherds in the field, how they adore him,

Angels up above are watchin’ o’er him,

Rocky road-um, Hey, a Rocky road-um.

 

Can you sound a note to greet the angels,

Can you sound a note to greet the angels,

Can you sound a note to greet the angels,

Can you sound a note ‘ta-ta’ to greet the angels?

 

Listen to the bells, how they are ringing,

Hear the trumpet sound, the people singing,

Music is the gift that we are bringing,

Rocky road-um, Hey, a Rocky road-um.

 


 

 

Santa Claus 🔊

 

 


An old German song. The English words were written by Nathan Haskell Dole and published ‘140 Folk songs’ in 1921, a wonderful collection of songs for young children.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


What clatters on the roofs

With quick impatient hoofs?

I think it must be Santa Claus!

Hark! Old Santa Claus,

He’s in his loaded sleigh!

 

I wonder what he brings,

What heaps of pretty things,

And how he gets them down the flue.

Hark! Down through the flue

Just where the stockings hang!

 

‘Tis cold as cold can be,

Yet I should like to see

If Santa Claus is dressed his best.

Hark! Dressed for his ride,

His ride around the world.

 

I guess I’ll dare to peep,

He’ll think me sound asleep;

Why, there he is with heaps of toys!

Hark! Yes, heaps of toys; yes,

There is Santa Claus!

 


 

 

Santa’s reindeer 🔊

 

 


Another song for Christmas from ‘Singing Fun’ published 1962 song and written by Lucille F. Wood; tune arranged by Dany Rosevear. Note the reindeer’s names do not include Rudolph, the Victorian names come from the 1823 poem ‘The night before Christmas’; find out more at:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Claus's_reindeer .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Some Christmas Eve I'd like to go with Santa in his sleigh,

To drive the reindeer o’er the snow, and this is what I’d say,

“On Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Ho! Vixen, Comet too;

Cupid, Donder, Blitzen” Oh!

That’s what I would do.

 


 

 

Silent night 🔊

 

 


A beautiful Christmas classic that brings a message of peace and love.

As a guitarist I was very taken with the little legend, probably spurious(!), below:

Silent Night was a poem written in 1816 by an Austrian priest, Joseph Mohr who on Christmas Eve in 1818 gave the poem ‘Stille Nacht’ to his friend Franz Xavier Gruber in the small alpine village of Oberndorf. The organ in the church of St. Nicholas was broken so Gruber composed the music with a guitar accompaniament and the simple score was finished in time for Midnight Mass.

Find out more at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_Night .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Silent night, holy night,

All is calm, all is bright;

Round yon virgin mother and child,

Holy Infant so tender and mild,

Sleep in heavenly peace,

Sleep in heavenly peace.

 

Silent night, holy night,

Shepherds quake at the sight;

Glories stream from heaven afar,

Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!

Christ, the Saviour is born,

Christ, the Saviour is born!

 

Silent night, holy night,

Son of God, love's pure light;

Radiant beams from thy holy face,

With the dawn of redeeming grace,

Jesus, Lord, at thy birth,

Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.


 

 

Sing a song of Christmas 🔊

 

 


A Christmas song for the Antipodes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sing a song of Christmas,

Old Santa's packed his sleigh;

He's coming to Australia,

We hope he knows the way.

His bag is overflowing,

With presents bright and gay,

He'll call to all the kangaroos,

“Tomorrow's Christmas day!”

 


 

 

Sing a song of mincemeat O

 

 


This poem by Elizabeth Gould works very well with the tune ‘Sing a song of sixpence’

A great excuse for finding a good recipe in the run up to Christmas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sing a song of mincemeat,

Currants, raisins, spice,

Apples, sugar, nutmeg,

Everything that’s nice.

 

Stir it with a ladle,

Wish a lovely wish,

Drop it in the middle,

Of your well-filled dish.

 

Stir again for good luck,

Pack it all away,

Tied in little jars and pots,

Until Christmas Day.

 


 

 

Sing hey! Sing hey! 🔊

 

 


A great Christmas song for making up your own rhyming verses. The first verse is traditional, the others and the musical arrangement is by Dany Rosevear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sing hey! Sing hey!

For Christmas Day;

Twine mistletoe and holly.

For a friendship glows

In winter snows,

And so let's all be jolly!

 

Sing hey! Sing hey!

For Christmas Day;

For reindeer, sleighs and Santa.

For Yuletide trees

And mince pies please,

For laughter, games and banter!

 

Sing hey! Sing hey!

For Christmas Day;

When we all come together,

For festive treats

And lots to eat,

Long walks in wintry weather!

 

Sing hey! Sing hey!

For Christmas Day;

Hear all the bells a-ringing,

For peace, goodwill

And moments still;

To set our hearts a-singing!


 

 

Stir a bowl of gingerbread 🔊

 

 


It’s time to get cooking. A Christmas hand play.

 

Lines 1.& 2. Hold a bowl and mix with the other hand. 3. & 4. Move flat hands back and forth. 5. & 6. Dramatise holding a cookie cutter and moving it up and down. 7. Pretend to place a tray in the oven. 8. Point to wrist and put up ten fingers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Stir a bowl of gingerbread,

Smooth and spicy brown.

Roll it with a rolling pin,

Up and up and down.

With a cookie cutter,

Make some little men.

Put them in the oven

Till half past ten!


 

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