Seasonal songs

Spring T-Z

The donkey and the cuckoo

The fairy ring

The little brown bulbs

The winter now is over

Tirra-lirra-lirra

To people who have gardens

Up pop the flowers

Wake up, wake up, all you little children

Welcome, Spring!

Welcome the Spring

What is yellow?

What the robin told

When I was a lad on me father’s farm

Where are the froggies?

White bells

Wise Johnny / Little Johnny-jump-up

 

Also find Spring poems and songs at:

Two little chickens

Little Tommy Tadpole

Pussy willow

If you see a daffodil

 

Last updated: 4/17/2018 8:31 PM

The songs below are part ofAway we gocompiled, adapted and illustrated by Dany Rosevear

Return to the ‘Singing games for children’ home page

To listen to music from these songs click on O

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.

 

The donkey and the cuckoo O

 

 


This German song ‘Der Kuckuck und der Esel’was loosely translated by Mabel Willson in her book Music Time. It was also recorded for BBC radio ‘Time and tune’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The donkey and the cuckoo,

They quarrel every day;

Who is the finest singer

In the merry month of May,

Who is the finest singer

In the merry month of May?

 

‘Cuckoo!’ the bird sings loudly,

Until his throat is sore,

And the donkey bellows proudly

With a gruff ‘Hee-haw, hee-haw!’

 

‘Cuckoo!’ ‘Hee-haw!’ together,

They make a lively din:

But they cannot hear each other,

So they don’t know which should win.


 

 

The fairy ring 🔊

 

 


A circle game for all seasons. The words are anonymous and the music was written by Herbert Wiseman for “A 3rd 60 songs for little children” published by OUP in 1960. It is also sometimes sung to “Twinkle, twinkle little star.”

Play as below or make fairy rings with hoops or rope circles. Accompany with bell percussion as children dance in and out of the circles. When the music stops, if a child is ‘caught’ inside the circle they pretend to fall asleep until the music resumes.

 

Children join hands and skip in a ring, one child could act as the Fairy Queen in the centre; move slowly for the first verse then faster for the second.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Let us dance and let us sing,

Dancing in a merry ring;

We'll be fairies on the green,

Sporting round the Fairy Queen.

 

Like the seasons of the year

Round we circle in a sphere;

I’ll be Summer, you’ll be Spring,

Dancing in a fairy ring.

 

Spring and summer glide away,

Autumn comes with tresses gay;

Winter hand in hand with spring

Dancing in a fairy ring.

 

Faster, faster, round we go,

While our cheeks so rosy glow;

Free as birds upon the wing

Dancing in a fairy ring!

 


 

 

The little brown bulbs 🔊

 

 


How still can you stay until Spring comes tiptoeing along?

Music by Dany Rosevear.

This song is an adaptation of Margaret Prescott Montague’s poem; there are many versions of this delightful rhyme.

See the original at:  https://skokisok3.wordpress.com/tag/poetry/

 

Curl up small like a bulb, put a finger to lips at the right time and be ready to spring up like a flower at the end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The little brown bulbs went to sleep in the ground,

In their little bed jackets they slept very sound.

Old King Winter he roared and he raged overhead,

But the little brown bulbs never stirred in their beds.

Yes, the little brown bulbs never stirred in their beds.

 

But when Spring came tiptoeing over the lea,

With finger to lips, just as soft as could be,

The little brown bulbs all lifted their heads,

Threw off their jackets and jumped out of bed!

Threw off their jackets and jumped out of bed!

 


 

 

The winter now is over 🔊

 

 


An Italian / Swiss folk song. Hear it sung in Italian at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSK4SoC0SZo .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The winter now is over,

And April rains are past;

I know I heard this morning

The cuckoo’s song at last.

Chorus

Cuckoo! Cuckoo!

Oh, can’t you hear it too?

I know I heard this morning

The cuckoo’s song so true.

 

High up in the mountains,

The snow has gone away;

The cuckoo finds a nest

Where her little eggs can lay.

Chorus

 

L’inverno e passato

L’aprile non c’e piu

E ritornato il maggio

Al canto del cucu.

Cucu, cucu, l’aprile non c’e piu

E ritornato il maggio al canto del cucu.

 


 

 

Tirra-lirra-lirra 🔊

 

 


This spirited song for the seasons is a traditional German folksong.

The English translation by John Erwin can be found in ‘140 Folk-songs’ from the Concord series published in 1922 by E. C. Schirmer Music Co.

 

Skip in a circle clockwise and then counter clockwise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Tirra-lirra-lirra, in the spring,

Orioles and robins sweetly sing;

From the leafy branches we can hear,

Tirra-lirra-lirra ringing clear!

 

Tirra-lirra-lirra, is our song,

When the lovely summer days are long;

Rowing on the river or the sea,

Tirra-lirra-lirra, sing with glee.

 

Tirra-lirra-lirra, soft and low,

Hear the brook in winter ’neath the snow;

Though the leaves are dead where e’er we look,

Tirra-lirra-lirra, sings the brook.

 


 

 

To people who have gardens 🔊

 

 


Written by Agnes Mure Mackenzie of Stornoway in 1921 with music arranged by Marjorie Kennedy Fraser. The version below has come from BBC School’s ‘Music Time’ Spring 1983. Dany Rosevear has added the chords.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A day's work, a week's work, as I go up and down,

There are many gardens all about the town.

 

One that's bright with daffodils, one with children playing,

One that’s white with cherry flower, another red with may.

 

Kitten and a lilac bush, petals gently falling,

Later crimson roses, against a granite wall.

 

I have passed your garden gate, when you never knew,

And people who have gardens, I give my thanks to you.

 


 

 

Up pop the flowers O

 

 


Springtime flowers gladden the heart.

Dramatizing this song adds to the thrill of burgeoning new plant life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


We plant some seeds in the dirt.

Pretend to plant seeds

The rain falls in a shower.

Wiggle fingers downward

The sun comes out, and what do you know?

Make a round shape, squat down

Up pop the flowers!

Jump up in the air

 

All around the grass is green,

From all those springtime showers.

The leaves are budding on the trees.

Up pop the flowers!


 

 

Wake up, wake up, all you little children 🔊

 

 


Spring is on its way, be up and about ready to enjoy the new season.

Words and music: J. Mehta. Arrangement Dany Rosevear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Wake up, wake up, all you little children,

Sunlight, sky bright, Spring is coming now.

Gusty March winds blowing, daffodils a-growing,

Birds sing, bells ring; there’s blossom on the bough.

 

Piper, piper, play your happy music,

Singing, singing, we will follow on.

Dancing through the daytime, lead us to the May-time.

Sing songs, Spring songs, the winter's past and gone.

 


 

 

 

Welcome, Spring! 🔊

 

 


Celebrate the coming of Spring either as a handplay or together in one big circle.

 

1. Slowly raise hands. 2. Circle arms over head. 3.Cup hand behind ear. 5. Throw hands out. 5. Raise arms up. 6. Open and close thumbs and forefingers. 7. Join hands. 8. Stand and raise arms in cheer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Up come the flowers,

Out comes the sun,

Hear the bees a-buzzing;

Springtime has begun!

 

Up in the treetops,

The birds are all here,

Now we know it's springtime,

Let's give a big cheer!

 

 


 

 

 

Welcome the Spring 🔊

 

 


Also known as ‘Dance in a circle’, a Louisiana French folk song. I would love to know the French version. This English version comes from ‘Bright ideas Teacher’s handbook, language resources’ published 1987.

 

The words suggest the actions to make.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Chorus:

Dance in a circle, dance in a ring;

Dance in the morning to welcome the Spring.

 

Skip, march, walk, creep etc.

 

Dance on your own, around and around;

Dance very slowly, now sit on the ground.

 

 


 

 

What is yellow? 🔊

 

 


Yellow and green are the colours of Spring but what else tells you it is this season of the year? Encourage children to think of more things that signify Spring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


What is yellow? What is yellow?

Do you know? Do you know?

Daffodils and sunshine, daffodils and sunshine,

Primroses too, primroses too!

 

What is green? What is green?

Do you know? Do you know?

New leaves on trees, new leaves on trees,

Grass growing too, grass growing too.

 

What is Springtime? What is Springtime?

Do you know? Do you know?

Little birds nesting, pussy willow, catkins,

Lambkins too, lambkins too.

 


 

 

What the robin told 🔊

 

 


Spring is on its way. A cheerful hand play and nursery rhyme.

Music by Dany Rosevear based on ‘Incy Wincy spider’.

 

Wind: Hands move like waves, Grasses: Forearms move back and forth. Trees: Forearm up with fingers spread. Bushes: Move arms down. Bees: Cross forefingers and flap. Robin: Open and close forefinger and thumb. Wake up: Stretch arms. Spring: Clap hands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The wind told the grasses,

And the grasses told the trees;

The trees told the bushes,

And the bushes told the bees

The bees told the robin,

And the robin sang out clear:

“Wake up! Wake up!

Spring is here! Spring is here!”

 


 

 

 

When I was a lad on me father’s farm O

 

 


A song from Alison McMorland’s wonderful book ‘The Funny Family’ She collected it from Mr Thornton of the valley of Lothersdale, Yorkshire. Add more verses and accompany with suitable animal noises.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


When I was a lad on me father’s farm

In the merry, merry month of May.

I used to feed the ducks and hens

In the merry, merry month of May.

They were (quacking) here, and (clucking) there,

And (clucking) here, and (quacking) there,

In the merry, merry month of May.

 

When I was a lad on me father’s farm

In the merry, merry month of May.

I used to feed his two donkeys

In the merry, merry month of May.

They were (braying) here, and (braying) there,

And (braying)  here, and (braying) there,

In the merry, merry month of May.

 

When I was a lad on me father’s farm

In the merry, merry month of May.

I used to feed the sows and pigs

In the merry, merry month of May.

They were (snorting) here, and (snorting) there,

And (snorting) here, and (snorting) there,

In the merry, merry month of May.


 

 

Where are the froggies? O

 

 


A song about hibernation and the coming of spring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Where are the froggies when the north winds blow?

We cannot see them in the ice and snow.

Deep, deep, down in the mud they lie,

Froggies sleeping with tight-closed eyes.

When the warm spring sun comes out,

Froggies wake and jump about.

Oh, how happy they will be,

A spring-time world they will see!

 

Where are the turtles when the north winds blow?

We cannot see them in the ice and snow.

Deep, deep, down in the mud they lie,

Turtles sleeping with tight-closed eyes.

When the warm spring sun comes out,

Turtles wake and crawl about.

Oh, how happy they will be,

A spring-time world they will see!

 

Where are the bears when the north winds blow?

We cannot see them in the ice and snow.

Snug and warm in a cave they lie,

Baby bears sleeping with tight-closed eyes.

When the warm spring sun comes out,

Bear cubs wake and run about.

Oh, how happy they will be,

A spring-time world they will see!

 

Where are the squirrels when the north winds blow?

We cannot see them in the ice and snow.

Cracking nuts in a hollow tree,

Squirrels are cozy as cozy can be.

When the warm spring sun comes out,

Squirrels wake and jump about.

Oh, how happy they will be,

A spring-time world they will see!

 

Where are the caterpillars when the north winds blow?

We cannot see them in the ice and snow.

Snug and warm in cocoons they lie,

Caterpillars changing into butterflies.

When the warm spring sun comes out,

Butterflies wake and flutter about.

Oh, how happy they will be,

A spring-time world they will see!

 


 

 

 

White bells O

 

 


Another song from ‘Infant Joy’ by Desmond Mahon published 1954; the second verse was written by Dany Rosevear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Ring, snowdrop, ring!

Today we welcome Spring.

She wears a handsome golden gown,

And on her head a silver crown,

Ring, snowdrop, ring!

Today we welcome Spring.

 

Sing, children, sing!

Today we welcome Spring.

She’s banished all the sleet and snow,

Her warm smile makes the gardens grow,

Sing, children, sing!

Today we welcome Spring.

 


 

 

Wise Johnny / Little Johnny-jump-up 🔊

 

 


This is a common name for a violet, heartsease or pansy. Find out more here: https://www.mamalisa.com/blog/are-you-familiar-with-little-johnny-jump-up/

Words by Edwina Fallis, music by Arthur C. Edwards from ‘Music in our town’ Book 2 published 1956 by Silver Burdett Company.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Little Johnny-jump-up,

Said,“It must be Spring,

I just saw a lady-bug

And heard a robin sing!”


 

 

 

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