Tag Archives: nonsense rhymes

Silly Songs for Kids: How Much Wood Could a Woodchuck Chuck?

Groundhog’s Day is on its way and it’s a great time to encourage being silly with your little ones!  Do you remember tongue-twisters from when you were a child?  Did you ever say “She sells seashells by the seashore” or wonder how many pecks of pickled peppers that peter piper could pick? Or collapse in giggles because it was really hard to say “rubber baby buggy bumpers” three times fast without totally messing it up?

Although it may not seem very serious, any time you speak or sing to your baby or child you’re increasing their intelligence and helping them develop language skills. As they listen and enjoy the sound of your voice they are developing their sense of what sounds right, even if they haven’t begun to speak on their own.

And, best if all, you are bonding.  Although a tiny baby can’t pop up out of her crib and say “Gee mom, thanks, that really made me laugh!”.  Or her toddler brother won’t declare: “Wow, that increased my vocabulary!”, children know when you are speaking to them and sense your delight in playing with words or in singing a simple song or a set of silly syllables!  It stimulates their mind and the attention makes them feel wanted, included and loved.

So, if you’re stuck inside in the cold, you might want to pass the time by trying some tongue-twisters with your kids. Or you might want to try your hand at the Groundhog’s Day song. It asks the timeless question:

“How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck chuck could chuck wood?”  and

“How much ground could a groundhog hog if a groundhog could hog ground?” and even

“How much sap could a sapsucker suck if a sapsucker could suck sap?”

If you master any of the groundhog’s day tongue-twisters, you might want to reenact Groundhog’s day in your own living room.  Below is a link to an easy pop-up puppet activity.  Color your own puppet and the woodchuck or groundhog will pop out of the cup to see its shadow – or not!

So whether you’re waiting for Spring or not concerned about the weather at all, take the time to speak or sing a silly rhyme with your child.  Or try not to trip over a tongue-twister with them!  Chances are good, they will love and remember the fun you’ve had with them for a long time to come!

Fun Resources

Groundhog’s Day Song – Printable Lyric sheet

http://www.dariamusic.com/theGroundHogSong.php

Groundhog’s Day Pop Up Puppet Activity

http://www.dariamusic.com/docs/PuppetInstructions.pdf

Groundhog’s Day Song On Amazon mp3

http://amzn.com/B003YE1T2C

Groundhog’s Day Song On Itunes

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/groundhog-song-how-much-wood/id385842751

Lyrics to The Groundhog Day Song

The Groundhog Song (How Much Wood Could A Woodchuck Chuck?)

Words and music by Daria A. Marmaluk-Hajioannou

How much ground could a groundhog hog

If a groundhog could hog ground? (2x)

If he could hog ground,

On Groundhog’s Day

I know he surely would!

But, how much ground would a groundhog hog

If a groundhog could hog ground?

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck

If a woodchuck, could chuck wood? (2x)

If she could chuck wood,

She would chuck wood

I know she surely would!

But, how much wood could a woodchuck chuck

If a woodchuck, could chuck wood?

How much sap could a sapsucker suck

If a sapsucker could suck sap? (2x)

If he could suck sap,

He would suck sap

I know he surely would!

But, how much sap would a sapsucker suck

If a sapsucker could suck sap?

Some Popular Tongue Twisters (In English) 

She sells seashells by the seashore.

Toy boat. Toy boat. Toy boat.

I saw Esau sitting on a seesaw.  Esau, he saw me.

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.
 If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

A proper copper coffee pot.

Six thick thistle sticks. Six thick thistles stick.

Three free throws.

One-One was a racehorse.
Two-Two was one, too.
When One-One won one race,
Two-Two won one, too.

Which wristwatches are Swiss wristwatches?

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Do Your Ears Hang Low?

Do your ears hang low?  Have you checked lately?

This is one of those wonderfully funny songs that draw a smile from babies, toddler, moms, dads and grandparents alike!  It’s often listed as a kids song, a folk song, a summer camp song, a scout song and also as a song that is accompanied by hand motions and all of these are true!

While it’s related in lyrics and melody to the famous fiddle tune “Turkey In The Straw”, no one really knows who wrote it and the song has certainly been handed down to so many people that a variety of different versions have survived.  You can look below for a version that I like to sing and also one that Wikipedia lists as alternate lyrics.

How do you do the hand movements?  They are really easy.  Check out the link below to see the guitar chords and hand movements explained.  Or download the free sheet music.  Or download my free mp3 of this song from that great kids song resource – Kiddiddles.

So, go ahead.  Get silly.  And let your kids see you getting silly! Challenge them to learn the hand movements – they will probably master them before you!  Just one warning here – it may not be a good idea to sing this song while you have a cold. Have you guessed why?  If not, check verse five below and get ready to catch some run-away appendages!

Hear Daria’s version on Kiddiddles here:
http://www.kididdles.com/lyrics/d104.html

Do Your Ears Hang Low?
On Itunes

Do Your Ears Hang Low?
On Amazon mp3

Do Your Ears Hang Low Lyrics, Sheet Music and Misc.
Printable lyric Sheet
Free Sheet Music For Piano
Hand Motions

More Silly Songs from Daria’s website:
http://www.dariamusic.com/sillysongs.php

 

DO YOUR EARS HANG LOW?
Do your ears hang low?
Do they wobble to and fro?
Can you tie them in a knot?
Can you tie them in a bow ?
Can you throw them over your shoulder?
Like a continental soldier?
Do your ears hang low?

Do your ears flip flop?
Can you use them for a mop?
Are they stringy at the bottom?
Are they curly at the top?
Can you use them for a swatter?
Can you use them for a blotter?
Do your ears flip flop?

Do your ears hang high?
Do they reach up to the sky?
Do they droop when they’re wet
Do they stiffen when they’re dry?
Can you semaphore your neighbor
With a minimum of labor?
Do your ears hang high?

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?

Wikipedia lists this as another set of verses:
Do your ears hang low?
Do they wobble to and fro?
Can you tie ‘em in a knot?
Can you tie ‘em in a bow?
Can you throw ‘em o’er your shoulder
Like a regimental (or continental) soldier
Do your ears hang low?

Do your ears stand high?
Do they reach up to the sky?
Do they droop when they are wet?
Do they stiffen when they’re dry?
Can you semaphore your neighbor
With a minimum of labor?
Do your ears stand high?

Do your ears flip-flop?
Can you use them as a mop?
Are they stringy at the bottom?
Are they curly at the top?
Can you use them for a swatter?
Can you use them for a blotter?
Do your ears flip-flop?

Do your ears stick out?
Can you waggle them about?
Can you flap them up and down
As you fly around the town?
Can you shut them up for sure
When you hear an awful bore?
Do your ears stick out?

Magdalena, Hagdalena …And Her Many Aliases!

Do you recognize this very silly song?

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 Screen shot 2018-11-05 at 8.35.54 PMcreated 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 can be found in the freebie lyric sheet 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!

Links and Resources

Listen free on Spotify:  https://open.spotify.com/track/1DxQ0RXQe1a1gy5mlfrgiZ

Apple Music:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/jadda-jadda-jing-jing-jing!/id474677341

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

Magdalena Hagdalena Printable lyric page

Tedd Arnold’s Book:
Catalina Magdalena Hoopenstiener Wellendiner Hogan Logan Bogan Was Her Name.
http://amzn.com/B000JGWDS

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!