Tag Archives: childrens songs

Grandparents Day Music Give-Away!

grandmother toya at the senior centerThis year National Grandparents Day is September 10th.  If you were wondering, in the USA it’s always celebrated the second Sunday in September.

And around the world, there are similar annual holidays and celebrations to honor grandparents   But; honestly, any time of year is a great time to appreciate the role of that special someone or group of grands in your child’s life.

One easy and fun way to bring generations together and make lasting memories is through sharing music, especially the simple or special songs that meant a lot to grandma or granddad. In our family, our Greek Xiaxia shared a version of patty-cake in Greek that the kids remember and sing to this day. Their other grandmother loved to tell them about the silly songs she sang at school like Grandchildrens Delight Cover“Three Little Fishies” and “Jadda, Jadda Jing Jing Jing!”. Because these songs mean so much to old and young alike, I created a CD of songs that were hand-picked by my fans and audiences in response to the question: “What songs would you most like your grandkids to hear”.

The result (and it’s a give-away below) was a CD called Grandchildren’s Delight and it includes songs like You Are My Sunshine, Grand Old Flag, This Little Light of Mine, Oh Susannah, Playmate and so many more. So please, enter to win below but also remember how music can bring old and young together.

I bet there’s a special song you recall from your childhood or memory that’s just waiting to be sung to your little one!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Favorite Songs from Your Family Or Childhood

Yes, I am still asking folks about favorite songs from their childhood or their parent’s era. Either from the USA or anywhere around the world! Do you have a special song from jump rope, summer camp or a holiday you loved?   If so, let me know. I’d love to share it with my readers and my audiences.

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Silly Songs For Kids – Do Your Ears Hang Low?

Adorable girl hearingSinging or learning a silly song with your child is a great tension reliever, a fun way to play with language and creates great family memories.

I bet you know the first part of this classic silly kids song.  But, do you know all the verses?  How about these two?

Do your ears hang wide?
Do they flap from side to side?
Do they wave in the breeze
With the slightest little sneeze?
Can you soar above the nation?
With a feeling of elation?
Do your ears hang wide?

Do your ears fall off?
Does it happen when you cough?
Do they lie there on the ground?
Or bounce around at every sound?
Can you stick them in your pocket
Like a little Davey Crockett?
Do your ears fall off?

The lyric sheet below has the six most popular verses and – I warn you – they are not the easiest thing to sing. Try the words and the hand motions and see if you don’t end up laughing hysterically at how hard this simple little song can be!

What About The Hand Motions?

Naturally, lots of popular kids songs are also action rhymes.  These types of songs are prefect for learning coordination and motor skills – at any age!

I’ve seen quite a few sets of hand motions for this song.  The most popular set of boy scout hand motions are described here:   http://www.scoutorama.com/do-your-ears-hang-low-song

Go Ahead, You Can Sing It!

Some moms, dads and caregivers feel a bit ashamed about singing out loud.   They tell me they don’t have the best voices or can’t carry a tune in a bucket.  No worries.  Most people can manage to hear a tune and most kids will not behave like judges on American Idol… they just want to have fun with you!

And; by the way, the sweetest thing a child will ever hear if a loved one’s voice – so go ahead and belt it out!

Versions of This Song To Avoid

After performing this song for years, I’ve been informed that there are profoundly colorful versions from the US military and one set of off-color lyrics sung by English rugby players.  If you’re looking this song up for your child, you may wish to avoid any of these.

Links and Resources

Find the complete lyrics sheet and printable PDF here:
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Do-Your-Ears-Hang-Low-Lyric-Sheet-2566376

Grandchildrens Delight CoverYou can find that song plus 14 other best-loved songs from the good old days on DARIA’s popular intergenerational music cd, here:

On Amazon mp3:  http://amzn.com/B001EN3ZTA

On Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/grandchildrens-delight-best/id292915765

On TeachersPayTeachers: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/INTERGENERATIONAL-MUSIC-CD-GRANDCHILDRENS-DELIGHT-1220989

Take A Nature Walk/Make a Recycled Rattle!

Nature RattleLooking for some fun activities for April to celebrate Earth Day?  This project combines getting outdoors, exploring nature and having some musical fun at the same time.  Here’s what you need for this eco-friendly project that is just as easy and as much fun as a walk in the park!

Any see-through recycled container, preferably with a large “mouth” opening

Curious kids

Backyard, park, beach or other great natural place to walk

Sturdy tape (like electrical tape) for sealing the instrument when completed

Rattles made from gourds, seeds, feathers and a donkey’s jawbone

ALL ABOUT RATTLES

Rattles are one of the simplest instruments to play and can be found around the world.  They appear in different forms and are made of some really diverse materials. Take a look at some of the examples here.  They can be made from dried gourds, seashells, clay, bark, coconuts, and a variety of other natural materials. Caixixi (pronounced “ka-she-she”) rattles from Africa are made from woven fiber.  In India, there are rattles made from colored palm fronds woven together in clever patterns – as beautiful to see as they are to hear.  On the coast area of Peru,

there’s rattle made from the jawbone of a donkey with the loose  teeth making the vibrating sound.  In short, people generally make instruments from materials that they have found in abundance near their home.  We are going to take that same approach in creating recycled “nature walk” rattles!

MAKE YOUR OWN RATTLE

Since most families probably don’t have coconuts in their front yard or gourds or palm leaves drying in their ceiling rafters  – we’ll opt for materials that can be found in most homes – recycled containers.  Start with a clean, clear, see-through container with a lid and you are ready to go!

While walking in your backyard or the park, look for items that might make a wonderful sound when placed inside your recycled container and shaken. You can stop by your bird feeder for a handful of sunflower seeds, look for pebbles, acorns or small twigs.  Are there any small pine cones, dried berries or other seeds from plants you find?  If you are passing by a stream, you’ll find smooth pebbles that the water has polished for you.  By the shores of a pond or lake, you might find driftwood, shells from small fresh water clams or unoccupied snail shells. If you’re lucky, you might find a colorful feather or a unique rock to add, making your rattle truly special for you!

Did you find something you don’t recognize?  If you’re in a larger park or have one nearby, stop and talk to the naturalist or some of the park rangers, staffers or volunteers on duty.  They can often help you identify nuts, seeds, plants or other items found on your walk making this trip an educational exploration as well.

Two recycled rattles with birdseed, craft materials and beads.

Two recycled rattles with birdseed, craft materials and beads.

When you’ve finished adding items to your rattle, seal it with some sturdy tape, such as electrical tape.  This helps keep the contents inside and generally makes it a safer activity for younger children. Then what?  Then, it’s time to have fun!  Play your rattle along with your favorite music.  It will fit in with any music from slow and quiet to happy and upbeat – even wild and crazy tunes.

I particularly like to play my recycled rattle with music about the Earth or nature.  Some of my favorite songs are below such as “We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands” and “Wild And Free”, about caring for dolphins, whales, manatees and creatures that live on the land as well.  But my rattle has a particular favorite song that makes it dance with joy.  It’s called:  “Be Kind To Your Web Footed Friends”.  Why?

Look closely and you’ll see that this rattle has a small mallard duck feather in it!

Magdalena, Hagdalena …And Her Many Aliases!

When I recorded my first children’s music CD many moons ago, I included a hysterical little summer camp song called “Magdalena Hagdalena”.  I learned the song from my sister-in-law who had sung it during her girls scout years in the Philadelphia area.  Little did I know that as I took that song around, I would find out that good old Magdalena had a host of aliases and lots of rather odd and unusual traits.  In fact, it’s one of the songs that people talk about most, because they’ve always heard a slightly different version.  I just love that aspect of certain folksongs… everyone recognizes the song, but each one has their own twist or lyric change that makes it more personal, memorable or unique for them.

If you haven’t heard Magdalena Hagdalena, it’s a song that folklorists call a “nonesuch”.  You know… something that can’t possibly happen, like the old rhyme that starts…

“One dark night in the middle of the day
Three dead boys came out to play
Back to back
they faced each other”
(Complete rhyme below)

In this case, Magdalena was an interesting character with several hairs on her head, strange dental irregularities and two feet like bathroom mats.  In short, it’s just a silly song that makes you smile with how the sounds in the song fit together and by imagining what the impossible lyrics might really be describing.

The best part of this tongue-twisting tune is the many names that folks have created for good old Magdalena.  In fact, there were apparently so many that one author named Tedd Arnold collected them in a wildly illustrated book he calls:
Catalina Magdalena Hoopenstiener Wellendiner Hogan Logan Bogan Was Her Name.

Tedd’s book lists a host of choruses that I had heard for our likable character and some that I had never imagined including:
Madalina Catalina, Whoopastina Wilamina
Oopsy Doopsy Woopsy was her name
Aggalina Maggalina Whoops Now Whoops Now
Ooga Booga Booga was her name
Madalina Catalina, Rupesteena Wanna Donna
Hoko poko poko was her name

The lyrics I learned and recorded are written below.  But, whichever version you are familiar with, it’s nice to share silly songs with your child.  It lets them hear you play with language and also fires up their brain to think out why something might be impossible or ridiculous and still funny at the same time.  If Magdalena, Hagdalena or one of her incarnations is part of your past, you can also talk to them about where you learned it and what other songs are part of your life story and why. Were you at summer camp? Did your parents or siblings teach it to you?  Were you jumping rope or did you sing it on the bus to school to drive the bus driver crazy?  And what were your favorites songs way back when?

Sharing these kinds of seemingly simple experiences helps kids answer important questions about where you come from. Mom (or Dad or Grandma or Grandpa) what were things like when you were my age?   You know, in the time when dinosaurs roamed the Earth … along with silly little girls named Magdalena!

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Magdalena Hagdalena

Mp3 on iTunes  http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/jadda-jadda-jing-jing-jing!/id474677341

MP3 Download on Amazon: http://amzn.com/B005Y6EVEQ

Magdalena Hagdalena Printable lyric page

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Magdalena Hagdalena Version from DARIA’s Jadda, Jadda, Jing, Jing Jing!

Magdalena, Hagdalena Uka Taka Waka Taka 
Oka Mocha Polka was her name
She had seven hairs on the top of her head – 
Four were alive and the rest were dead
She had two eyes in the middle of her head  – One was green and the other was red
She had two teeth in the middle of her mouth  – One pointing north and the other pointing south
She had two teeth like a bathroom mat 
- Everybody asked how they got like that
And one day – a ten ton truck – hit poor Magdalena 
- The poor truck driver had to buy a new machine

To listen to this song, visit DARIA’s website

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More Silly Songs From DARIA can be found here
http://www.dariamusic.com/sillysongs.php

Tedd Arnold’s Book:
Catalina Magdalena Hoopenstiener Wellendiner Hogan Logan Bogan Was Her Name.
http://amzn.com/B000JGWDSM

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One Dark Night
One dark night
in the middle of the day
Three dead boys
came out to play

Back to back
They faced each other
Drew their swords
and shot each other

If you don’t believe
what I’m telling you is true.
Go ask the blind man…
he saw it , too!