What songs were you taught in kindergarten/grade school?

Kathyb53
@kathyb53
4 months ago
1 posts

Oh, I loved music period in grade school! We sang Swing Low Sweet Chariot, She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain, my favorite Ol' Dan Tucker, I've Been Working on the Railroad, can't remember the title but the words were "make new friends but keep the old ones. One is silver and the other gold". My Bonny Lies Over the Ocean, West Virginia Hills, Tell Me Why, Red River Valley, Home on the Range, and of course, all the Christmas favorites!

Jan Potts
@jan-potts
4 months ago
416 posts

In grades 4-6 I was in a brand new school (Claxton Elem. for those of you in Greensboro, NC!) and each classroom was equipped with a piano and there was a set of music books for each grade level.  Since we'd never had music classes in elem. school, I loved it when our teacher would say it was time to pass out the books and sing!  I already knew a lot of songs from Girl Scouts and all the songs I'd sung with my family, but I loved learning the ones in these books--Streets of Laredo, the Orchestra Song that someone else mentioned, lots of songs from other countries, as well as many rounds and duets...White Coral Bells, Tell Me Why, Scotland's Burning, Sing Your Way Home.

John, I would have loved being in your music class!  Those little kids are so lucky!




--
Jan Potts, Lexington, KY
Site Moderator

"Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best." Henry Van Dyke
John Keane
@john-keane
4 months ago
255 posts

Thanks Jill!  We tend to have fun!

Jill Geary
@jill-geary
4 months ago
16 posts

Cute, John! I don't think I knew that many songs at that age?? You seem to have control over the group LOL!

John Keane
@john-keane
4 months ago
255 posts

Here's some that we do right now! 

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
4 months ago
56 posts

I was a single father of two 3-7 year old sons for about 4 years.  The songs they loved us to sing while driving in our truck were Mama's Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys, John Prine's Spanish Pipe Dream (which they called "that Blow up your TV song") and Gene Autry's Cowpoke Pokin' Along.

Jan Potts
@jan-potts
4 months ago
416 posts

Here's a START!

Pre-school through Kindergarten (in Michigan) I remember learning:

  • A-Hunting We Will Go  (a singing game)
  • Little Sally Waters, Sitting in a Saucer (a singing game)
  • I've Been Working on the Railroad (I love all the many changes in the tune)
  • Swimming, Swimming, in the Swimming Pool (Day Camp, age 5)
  • Hot Cross Buns, Are You Sleeping, Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush, Ring a Round a Rosy
  • The songs in my sister's piano books by John Thompson--"Teaching Little Fingers to Play", and ALL the songs in John Thompson's Modern Course for the Piano - First Grade, which I taught myself to play on the piano....and some that I now play on the dulcimer!
  • My Bonny Lies Over the Ocean
  • She'll be Comin' Round the Mountain
  • Home on the Range
  • Billy Boy
  • Little White Duck, Sittin' on the Water
  • Frosty the Snowman--which I learned from a record with a crack in it so I always sang it that way (making me sound like a very drunk toddler!)
  • Mack the Knife--this may have been one of those records that you cut out of the back of the cereal box
  • ...and of course all the songs from Sunday School at the Methodist Church, lots of Christmas carols, and all the songs sung on "Howdy Doody", Mickey Mouse Club!



--
Jan Potts, Lexington, KY
Site Moderator

"Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best." Henry Van Dyke
JenniferC
@jenniferc
5 months ago
26 posts
My favorite songs from early childhood were the ones I learned at home. Bill Grogan's Goat, you are my sunshine, hush little baby, summertime, Chattanooga choo choo.
My mother loved to sing. I also had the album "free to be you and me", which I adored.

In school, I remember skip to my lou, oh susanna, pick a bale of cotton, on top of spaghetti, and tons of patriotic and Christmas songs, my favorite of which was, o Tannenbaum, because we learned the German lyrics, which I thought was cool. I also remember learning a lot of old cowboy songs, the names of which escape me now.
Jim Yates
@jim-yates
5 months ago
56 posts

I recall a song about the musical instruments: "The clarinet, the clarinet goes doodle, doodle, doodle, doodle det... The violin's singing with lovely ringing... "

My dad used to sing us a song with the lines "Hush, hush, whisper, Who dares?  Christopher Robins is saying his prayers." when he was putting us to bed.
In the car, he'd sing The Whiffinpoof Song, St. James Infirmary and Frog Went A Courting.  He ended the song with verses I've not heard anywhere else:
They paddled off across the lake uh huh,
They paddled off across the lake uh huh,
They paddled off across the lake
And were swallowed up by a big black snake
Uh huh, Uh huh, Uh huh.

Well that was the end of him and her, uh huh,
That was the end of him and her, uh huh,
That was the end of him and her
Now we won't have tadpoles covered in fur,
Uh huh, Uh huh, Uh huh.

I taught school for thirty some odd years and some of that time was spent teaching music to kindergarten to grade eight students.  Some songs that went over very well with kids were Pete Seeger's Abyoyo, Carl Martin's The Vegetable Dance, the old jug band tune Boodle Am Shake, a song I learned in Scouts called The Watermelon Song and Hopalong Peter, a tune I learned from The New Lost City Ramblers.

My first dulcimer, made in about 1970, before I knew much about building instruments, stated in my classroom and kids were welcome to use it.  The diatonic scale made it easy for kids to pick out tunes or invent their own.  This old dulcimer, made from a the wood from a hollow core mahogany door and model railroad plywood for the top, has a lot of battle scars from kids playing it, but has given a lot of kids a lot of fun.

homemadedulcimer.jpg


updated by @jim-yates: 02/09/17 11:12:18AM
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
5 months ago
1,460 posts

Ruth -- a hukilau is a hula and song and a beachside ceremony for group fishing using nets edged with ti leaves which help frighten the fish as the nets are hauled ashore.

hugssandi
@hugssandi
5 months ago
215 posts

Y'all have such great memories!  I remember one about building a bungalow and one about stirring stuff in my witch's brew at Halloween.

Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
5 months ago
40 posts

Singing was important in my primary school. In kindergarten I learned a song about "going to a hooki Lau" and I'm probably mangling the Hawaiian word. But we had to do movements as we sang and our mothers made us hula skirts out of crepe paper. Mine was orange and purple. It was for an end of year concert. I can still remember the words and movements.

Oh we're going to a hooki Lau. Hooki hooki hooki hooki hooki Lau. 

Everybody loves a hooki lau, where the bow-wow meets the cau-cau at the big luau. 

We'll throw our nets right into the sea, and all the tumerumas come a swimmin to me.

Oh we're going to a hooki Lau. Hooki hooki hooki hooki hooki Lau. 

 

Something like that!

Also I remember singing Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree, Its a Small World After All, Getting to Know You, The Water Is Wide, Jamaican Farewell, Oh Island In the Sun. There was a teacher who played guitar and taught us these.  Being a Catholic school we sang hymns at Mass. We also sang in an annual eisteddford and the music teacher nun would drill us rigorously in the songs. It was a big deal to have to travel to the regional city where the competition was held. We never won but would get third place. I can't remember any of those songs though. Sorry Sr. Jan!  

 

 


updated by @ruth-lawrence: 02/05/17 09:19:57PM
Sheryl St. Clare
@sheryl-st-clare
5 months ago
334 posts

Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree!

D. Chitwood
@d-chitwood
5 months ago
140 posts

I"m a little tea pot

The ants come marching, one by one, 

I'm a juvenile delinquent....that's just what I wana be...la la la la...

I was JUST thinking about this very thing the other day and realizing this generation of kidnicks aren't singing things like 'Ring around the rosie' and 'I've been working on the Railroad'. Sad to think these would pass away!

Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
5 months ago
872 posts

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

One a penny, two a penny,

Hot Cross Buns

 

Our music teacher would also use the numbers One, Two, Three to the same tune while using a hand to demonstrate ascensending and descending notes. 




--
Robin T
one of the Moderators here :)
Keep a song in your heart!

updated by @robin-thompson: 02/03/17 03:25:47PM
Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
5 months ago
102 posts

First thing that came to mind for me was Eensy Weensy Spider (or Itsy Bitsy spider, if you're my wife).  

Then I remembered a tune that my dad used to sing to us.  One he learned from his mother.

 

Did you ever go down to an Irishman's shanty

Where money was scarce and whisky was plenty

A three leg-ed stool and a table to match

An old broken door and an old broken latch

 

Sung to the tune of the Irish Washerwoman.  I've known this tune as long as I can remember.  My grandmother's name was Susanna McGranahan, btw.  She knew something about being Irish.  :-)




--
Bob
Site Moderator

The greatest music is made for love, not for money -- Greg Lake
kypfer
@kypfer
5 months ago
3 posts

A couple of lines from a song we sung in primary school (probably about 8 years old) were "Hey rig-a-jig in a jaunting car" and "Clear the track, let the bullgine run". These stuck with me, probably because they didn't make a lot of sense (to an 8-year-old).

It was only recently, with the magic of the search engines on the internet, did I manage to track down The Margaret Evans and add it to my repertoire ... really ought to figure it out for the dulcimer :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charles Thomas
@charles-thomas
5 months ago
78 posts

I remember in 8th grade our music teacher taught us "Band on the Run" I still hear  2,3, band on the run.... She also taught us some Beatle tunes.

Steven Berger
@steven-berger
5 months ago
73 posts

I seem to remember "I've Been Working On The Railroad", "This Old Man"...probably more...it's been a very long time ago (3 years!).

 

Steven

Lisa Golladay
@lisa-golladay
5 months ago
75 posts

The first songs I remember learning were in Sunday school.  They came with choreography!  I may never march in the infantry, ride in the cavalry, shoot the artillery... even as a preschooler I wondered why we're pretending to fire a rifle in church when Jesus says to love one another.  But I loved "This Little Light of Mine."  Then and now, forever.

In 1st Grade they taught us "The Star Spangled Banner."  In 3rd Grade Mrs. Coolidge had us sing "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" every morning.  We learned "If You Dance Then You Must Have Boots of Shining Leather" in music class and it was not an easy song to sing.  But the songs that really counted were the songs we sang on the school bus.  I lived outside North Canton, Ohio (not Canton, not even North Canton...) and Grades 1-12 rode the same bus to the same huge consolidated school.  Given the range in ages, the playlist was, um, interesting:

B.I.N.G.O.
There she was, just a walkin' down the street, singing doo-wa-diddy, diddy-dum diddy-doo
I Wanna Hold Your Hand
Rat Fink (to the tune of Rag Mop)
The Name Game
It's My Party and I'll Cry if I Want To

There was an ongoing argument among the older girls about whether The Beatles or The Dave Clark Five was a better band. 

4th Grade is somewhat too old for this discussion, but I must share the following, which I remember almost verbatim from our long-suffering music teacher (this was Cumberland, MD by now):  "The words are 'her green beret has met his FATE.'  That's FATE, not FACE.  He didn't meet his FACE, that doesn't make any sense.  How could somebody meet his own FACE?  He met his FATE which means he DIED.  Now let's try it again."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
5 months ago
511 posts

I remember we sang Happy Birthday if any of our classmates had one on a school day. Songs that I recall are Skip to My Lou; Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Sweet Betsy from Pike and I Ride An Old Paint (Cowboy day in first grade), and as we moved on we used at song book entitled Twice 55 which had 110 songs in it. Here is a link to it on Amazon: Twice 55.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
5 months ago
1,460 posts

I grew up in Ohio, and the songs I remember from early school are (in nor particular order) things like Twinkle Twinkle, Frere Jacques, Today Is Monday (foods for each day), John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, Happy Birthday, etc.

At home my folks had a bunch of old wax 78s and I learned one of my Mom's favorite tunes Across the Alley From The Alamo

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
5 months ago
891 posts

What a great idea for a thread!  I may post multiple times; please excuse my enthusiasm.

I grew up listening to the Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie albums for kids, and my mom would also sing those songs accompanying herself on a ukulele, but that was at home.  In school?

I grew up on the east coast, in Connecticut and then Massachusetts. However, I spent 3rd grade in Santa Barbara, CA, and one song I remember learning in school there was "Tinglayo, Come Little Donkey Come."  I loved the rhythm of the song and the silly lyrics in which "my donkey eats with a knife and fork."  However, we moved back to the east coast after that year and no one asked me to sing that song again.

Decades and a few lifetimes later, I found myself raising a daughter back in California.  And lo and behold, in her Montessori preschool, everyone sang Tingalayo!  I was so excited to hear that song once again. And on those occasions when I brought my guitar or ukulele to that preschool, we all sang that song together.

Here is the Canadian folk/children's music group Sharon, Lois, and Bram, singing the song on one of their albums.  In the interests of wonderfully full disclosure, I must add that the middle name in that trio (Lois Lilienstein, RIP) is the mother of one my best friends from college.  She was an absolute encyclopedia of kids music. If you ever started to sing a song, she would have a ready-made harmony part, or some hand gestures, or a rhythmic chant, or something fun that accompanied the song. She and I did not connect musically until a few years before she passed, but she was an absolute delight.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

"A good song makes you laugh, it makes you cry, it makes you think."
-- Pete Seeger
Strumelia
@strumelia
5 months ago
1,764 posts

I thought it would be interesting to hear about the songs we were taught when we were very little, in kindergarten through the first few years of grade school, like up to the age of around 10.  
Did certain songs 'stick' with you through your life in meaningful ways?  
What were YOUR early impressions and experience in learning songs as a small child in school?




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990