Everybody Has A Farm, E-I-E-I-O!

Don’t you just love those easy folksongs that can be personalized to delight your family or your classroom?

Here are some simple instructions for turning “Old McDonald” into a song that everyone can participate in.

Good Old McDonald

In case you’re unfamiliar with this “oldie but goodie”, here are the standard set of lyrics:

daria and sheep PMOld McDonald Had A Farm, E-I-E-I-O
And on this farm he had a (name an animal) E-I-E-I-O
With a (animal sound x2) here                      and a (animal sound x2) there
Here a (animal sound), there an (animal sound)
Everywhere an (animal sound x2)
Old McDonald Had A Farm, E-I-E-I-O


For instance, if you chose a “sheep”, like the friendly sheep in the picture here, it would be:

Old McDonald Had A Farm, E-I-E-I-O
And on this farm he had a sheep – E-I-E-I-O
With a baah baah here, and a baah baah there
Here a baah, there a baah …
Everywhere a baah, baah!
Old McDonald Had A Farm, E-I-E-I-O

Repeat as much as you like with any animal you wish to add.

My Friend Sandy Has A Farm

pollitosIf you’re singing to a group or a class, sit everyone in a circle and go from child to child, letting each one pick an animal for his or her verse.  You can ask the whole group to come up with the animal sounds.

Two quick suggestions.  If you think you may have run out of animals for the song, remember that you can use the names for the full grown animal and baby animal or the names for the male and female animal as well. For instance, you sing about both horse and pony, sheep and lambs, cows and calves, etc.  And don’t forget hens, chicks and roosters or billy goats and nanny goats, too!

With names, the only tricky situations are using names with three syllables or more.  In that case, drop the “My Friend” and simply use their name to fit within the first line of the song.  In other words, instead of “My friend Isabella”, or “My friend Jeremiah” try… Isabella has a farm… or Jeremiah has a farm, E-I-E-I-O and it should fit perfectly!

Your Family Farm

Here’s a fun family version of Old McDonald.  It uses the same idea, but you ask the child which animals a family member might want to have on their own fantasy farm.  In that way, the child gets to imagine what other people would want as their favorite farm animal.

It might sound like this:

If my sister, had a farm, E-I-E-I-O
On her farm she’d have some kittens, E-I-E-I-O (etc.)

If my brother, had a farm, E-I-E-I-O
On his farm he’d have a dinosaur, E-I-E-I-O (etc.)

If my mommy had a farm,
On her farm she’d have a parrot, E-I-E-I-O (etc.)

If my daddy had a farm,
On her farm he’d have a puppy, E-I-E-I-O (etc.)

An Animal Rescue Farm

Which brings us to a good point.  Kids love to imagine and this song can be very imaginative.  Feel free to sing your own barnyard version, animal rescue version or even an imaginary animal version.  Unicorns and dragons, anyone?

Need Music?

Naturally if you play guitar, piano, ukulele or a similar instrument, it’s awesome to strum out the music.  Below is a link for free sheet music for guitar.  But if you don’t, no worries.  Everyone knows the melody and you can easily, clap, tap, tap on desks or play simple percussion (like shaker eggs) along with this song.

Need some simple instrument or percussion ideas?  Below are four suggestions all made from handy items found in your kitchen or recycling bin.  So tap and clap away as you create some memorable music and a fantastic farm or animal song for your lovely little ones!

Links and Resources

DIY Shaker Eggs

Milk Jug Shekere

Nature Walk Rattle

Make Your Own Maracas

Old McDonald – Free Sheet Music For Guitar


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