Summer songs A-E

A fish story

A little green frog

A picnic on the grass

Apusski dusky

Around and round Miss Maggie / On a long summer’s day

Bananas, bananas / Ampar-ampar pisang

Bees! Zum! Zum!

Before  the roses come

Blackberries / Berries turned green

Butterflies are better bugs?

Daisy, daisy, open your eye

Day oh! / The banana boat song

Donna, donna

Down at the seashore

Down in the jungle (2)

Summer songs I-S, T-Z

Also see:

Down in the grass, curled up in a heap

Going down to Devon

My shadow

Over in the meadow

Rock gently sailboat

Scraping up sand (Shiloh)

She sailed away on a lovely summer’s day

Last updated: 7/12/2021 3:29 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 🔊

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

·       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.


 

 

A fish story 🔊

 

 


It was how big?!  A little action story about a big whale.

Not sure if this was written or translated by Susanna Myers as it is listed as a Polish folk song. It is from “A child’s book of songs” by Robert Foresman published 1928.

 

Mime fishing, move hands apart in increments until thoroughly stretched. Tap head, cross hands at wrists and flap. Nod, stretch again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


When I was fishing I saw a big fish,

A big one, I tell you, a very big, big fish!

Oh, this was its size, from its head to its tail –

I think it quite likely that it was a whale!


 

 

A little green frog once lived in a pool 🔊

 

 


You don’t need much to be happy!

A poem by Rose Fyleman

Music by Dany Rosevear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A little green frog once lived in a pool,

The sun was so hot and the water so cool.

He stayed in the water the whole day long,

Singing his dear little, queer little song,

"Quaggery, quaggery, quaggery dee,

No one was ever so happy as me!"


 

 

 

A picnic on the grass 🔊

 

 


Eating in the open air. Written by Homer H. Harbour from ‘140 folk songs’ published 1921.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Were you ever on a picnic

When the summer sky is blue,

With the green grass for a table

And for tablecloth too?

 

With the platters made of oak leaves

Tied together with a string,

And with cups made out of birch bark

You can drink from the spring.

 

Picking flowers, picking berries,

Till the good things all are spread;

Eating dinner in the sunshine

While the birds sing o'erhead.


 

 

Apusski dusky O

 

 


A traditional song, so it is said, but I cannot find out where this song originated. I found this calming gentle song from a sheet cut out of a schools song pamphlet but am unsure which one – it was p.18!

Hooray, I have recently been informed this is a Swedish children’s song ‘ I medelhavet’ words below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


In middle ocean, sardines are swimming,

Apusski dusky, apusskidu.

A boat sails over, down comes a net.

Apusski dusky, apusskidu.

 

One wise old sardine flicks out a warning,

Apusski dusky, apusskidu.

Swift through the water they dart away.

Apusski dusky, apusskidu.

 

With tails a-flashing, sardines are swimming,

Apusski dusky, apusskidu.

So full of joy that they’re swimming free.

Apusski dusky, apusskidu.

 

Swedish version:

I medelhavet sardiner simmar apu, apu, apu, apu,

Men i mitt hjärta där simmar du apu, apu, apu, apu.

In middle Ocean sardines are swimming, apu, apu, apu, apu,

But my heart is swimming to you, apu, apu, apu, apu.

 

In MittelMehre Sardinen schwimmen, apu, apu, apu, apu,

Aber in mein Herz da schwimmst ja du, apu, apu, apu, apu.

I medelhavski sardinski simmski, apusskidusski, apusskidu,

Men i mitt hjärtski där simmski dusski, apusskidusski, apusskidu.

 

I Norska havet små torskar svömme, apu, apu, apu, apu,

Men i min blopump, där plasker du, apu, apu, apu, apu.

 


 

 

 

Around and round Miss Maggie /

On a long summer’s day  🔊

 

 


A game song from ‘The Handy Play Party Book’ published by the Cooperative Recreation Service in 1940.

Children hold hands in a circle and moves to the right; one child in the centre skips round in the opposite direction. On ‘Break the ring…’ ‘Miss Maggie’ takes one from the circle as their partner and swings them into the centre with a right arm hook. S/he then moves to the one who was standing on her partner’s right and swings them all the way round with a left elbow swing, then back to her partner with a right elbow swing. This continues all round the circle.  When everyone in the circle has been swung by ‘Miss Maggie’ she then steps into the circle and her partner becomes the new ‘Miss or Mr. Maggie’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Around and round Miss Maggie, on a long summer’s day,

Around and round Miss Maggie, on a long summer’s day.

 

Break the ring and take a swing, on a long summer’s day,

Break the ring and take a swing, on a long summer’s day.

 

Miss Maggie knows how to swing ‘em, on a long summer’s day,

Miss Maggie knows how to swing ‘em, on a long summer’s day.


 

 

Bananas, bananas /  

Ampar-ampar pisang  🔊

 

 


A traditional Indonesian nursery rhyme, and like many rhymes the lyrics don't make complete sense. Translated into English by Dany Rosevear.

It's cheerful bouncy melody however can be used as a finger play or this simple clapping game (to come)

Or a brilliant dance with sticks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ww8RNi-x4E

This video, song and music was sent to me by a very kind young teacher and her colleagues; I am most grateful to Grace Sandy, Mr. Rudy, Ms.Tere and the rest of the team; thank you!

Ampar-ampar pisang” is about the making of the very popular traditional South Kalimantan food ‘rimpi’. To make rimpi bananas are spread on a sheet and dried under the sun. Both fruit flies and children are attracted by the sweet scent,

The elders often scare the children with stories of a giant lizard who like to eat the legs of those who steal.

The monitor lizard is native to South Kalimantan and can grow 3 metres in length but thankfully do not attack children!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


We’ll peel and slice bananas,

Then spread them out to dry;

When they have ripened

The fruit flies come on by,

When they have ripened

The fruit flies come on by.

 

Snap, crackle pop! Snap, crackle pop!

The firewood bends and cracks;

See the fierce flames lick and spit

Before slowly dying out,

See the fierce flames lick and spit

Before slowly dying out.

 

Oh, watch out for that lizard,

It looks for legs to bite!

Oh, watch out for that lizard,

It looks for legs to bite!

 

Ampar-ampar pisang

Pisangku belum masak

Masak bigi dihurung bari-bari

 

Manggalepok manggalepok

Patah kayu bengkok

Bengkok dimakan api

Apinya cangcurupan

 

Nang mana batis kutung

Dikitipi dawang


 

 

Bees! Zum! Zum! O

 

A song from ‘Infant Joy’ by Desmond MacMahon published in 1954.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Bees! Zum! Zum! What a merry hum.

There’s no reason for alarm,

For we won’t do you any harm!

Bees! Zum! Zum! What a merry hum.

 

Bees! Zum! Zum! What a merry hum.

Working all the sunny hours,

Sipping nectar from the flowers,

Bees! Zum! Zum! What a merry hum.


 

 

Before the roses come 🔊

 

 


A song for early summer from ‘The progressive music series’ published in 1922

By Elsie Cobb. Adapted and arranged by Dany Rosevear.

It could also easily be used as a hand play.

 

Verse 1. Draw sun and move fingers upwards. Open and close thumb and forefinger. Draw smile.  Put hand to ear. Verse 2. Throw out hands. Cross forefingers. Draw earth and move hands outwards. Smell rose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The world is bright with sunshine,

The birds sing all the day;

The buttercups are laughing,

To hear their roundelay;

The birds sing all the day;,

Oh, hear their roundelay.

 

You’ll see life overflowing,

When bees begin to hum,

To fill the earth with beauty,

Before the roses come;

When bees begin to hum,

Before the roses come.


 

 

 

Blackberries / Berries turned green 🔊

 

 


Two berry picking verses: one sung, one recited with actions.

Melody arranged by Dany Rosevear.

 

1.Turn to the right, turn to the left. 2. Turn right. 3. Mime picking, point to self, nod head. 4. Make circle with arms then rub tummy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Blackberries, blackberries on the hill,

How many pails can you fill?

Briars are thick and briars scratch,

But we’ll pick all the berries in the blackberry patch.

Blackberries, blackberries on the hill,

How many pails can you fill?

 

Berries turned green, berries turned red,

Berries turned blue, then Mama said,

“Pick me a few.” I said, “Yes, Ma’am!”

So Mama made pie and blueberry jam!


 

 

Butterflies are better bugs / An insect jamboree 🔊

 

 


A homage to our flying garden friends. And a change of heart.

Words and music by Dany Rosevear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Butterflies are better bugs than any one of these:

Blue bottles and fleas, even bumble bees;

They may not buzz like hornet does, make honey from the flow’rs;

But our fragile friends they cheer no end our precious garden hours.

 

Mosquitoes, midges, moths indeed cannot quite compare

With butterfly so fair, in the summer air.

Damselflies and dragonflies they shimmer so I’m told,

But butterfly is pure delight with a beauty to behold.

 

Just watch them chase with gentle grace then settle one by one,

On flowers in the sun, sip nectar ‘til day’s done,

But ladybird and all the rest we love their company,

For a happy garden needs a world of every kind you see;

For a happy garden we all need an insect jamboree.


 

 

 

Daisy, daisy, open your eye 🔊

 

 


When the sun is out the daisies open. Not so sure about daisies foretelling Summer, out on my walk today I saw a bank of daisies and it is only mid March here!

Like sunflowers daisies open as the sun comes up and during the day their heads follow the sun across the sky. At dusk their petals slowly close inwards to make a cup. Daisies will only open when the sun is full, keeping closed in wet weather.

The author of this poem is unknown.

Music and second verse by Dany Rosevear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Daisy, daisy,

Open your eye.

The sun is shining

So high in the sky:

Daisy, daisy,

Close your eye.

The moon is shining

So high in the sky.

 

Pick a daisy,

Make a chain:

For the sunshine

Has come once again;

Thread each daisy,

One by one.

For now we know that

Summer has come.


 

 

Day oh! / The banana boat song 🔊

 

 


A traditional Jamaican folk work song that is often sung as a call and response.

Another calypso from my Birmingham teaching days in the 1960s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Day oh! Day oh!

Daylight come and I wanna go home,

Day oh! Day oh!

Daylight come and I wanna go home.

 

Work all night till morning comes,

Daylight come and I wanna go home,

Stack bananas till morning comes,

Daylight come and I wanna go home.

 

Come Mister Tally Man, tally me bananas,

Daylight come and I wanna go home,

Come Mister Tally Man, tally me bananas,

Daylight come and I wanna go home.

Day oh! Day oh!

Daylight come and I wanna go home,

Day oh! Day oh!

Daylight come and I wanna go home.

 

Lift one bunch, two bunch, three bunch, four,

Daylight come and I wanna go home,

Lift five bunch, six bunch, count some more,

Daylight come and I wanna go home.

Day oh! Day oh!…

 

Seven bunch, eight ‘til my arms are sore,

Daylight come and I wanna go home,

Nine bunch, ten bunch, go back for more,

Daylight come and I wanna go home.

Day oh! Day oh!…

 

A beautiful bunch of ripe bananas.

Daylight come and I wanna go home,

Hide the deadly black tarantula,

Daylight come and I wanna go home.

Day oh! Day oh!…

 

Come Mister Tally Man, tally me bananas,

Daylight come and I wanna go home,

Come Mister Tally Man, tally me bananas,

Daylight come and I wanna go home.

Day oh! Day oh!

Daylight come and I wanna go home,

Day oh! Day oh!

Daylight come and I wanna go home.


 

 

 

 

Donna, donna 🔊

 

 


This song ‘Dos Kelbl’ was composed for the Yiddish theatre by Shalom Secunda; and the wonderful translation is by Arthur Kevess and Teddi Schwartz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


On a wagon bound for market,

There's a calf with a mournful eye.

High above him there's a swallow,

Winging swiftly through the sky.

 

How the winds are laughing,

They laugh with all the their might,

Laugh and laugh, the whole day through,

And half the summer's night.

Donna, donna, donna, donna,

Donna, donna, donna, don.

Donna, donna, donna, donna,

Donna, donna, donna, don.

 

"Stop complaining", said the farmer,

Who told you a calf to be.

Why don't you have wings to fly with,

Like the swallow so proud and free.

 

Calves are easily bound and slaughtered,

Never knowing the reason why.

But whoever treasures freedom,

Like the swallow has learned to fly.


 

 

Down at the seashore 🔊

 

 


A summer seaside action rhyme.

Music by Dany Rosevear.

 

1. Wiggle toes. 2. Fill pail. Sweep arm in and out. 3. Splash with hands. Run forward and back. 4. Hold fist to ear. Put forefinger to lips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Down at the seashore, isn’t it grand,

Wiggling your toes in the soft warm sand?

 

Building a sandcastle where the king and queen can stay,

But when the tide comes rushing in they’ll have to move away!

 

Splashing in the water of the cool blue sea,

Playing wave tag, in and out, “You can’t catch me!”

 

Holding up a seashell tightly to my ear,

Sssh! It’s telling me a secret that only I can hear!


 

 

Down in the jungle (2) 🔊

 

 


Clap and slap to the beat.

Have a selection of jungle creatures at hand to help children select an animal.

An excuse to revisit this tune, music by Dany Rosevear.

 

Children slap their hands on their knees and then clap to the rhythm of the music. Children take it in turns to choose an animal everyone makes suitable noises and actions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Down in the jungle with the beat in your feet.

Think of an animal that you’d like to meet.

Think of an animal that you’d like to meet.

(Child calls out the name of an animal)

A lion, a lion. She/he’d like to meet a lion.


 

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