Tag Archives: Silly Songs For Kids

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

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Magdalena, Hagdalena …And Her Many Aliases!

Want to hear it? Listen free on Spotify:  https://open.spotify.com/track/1DxQ0RXQe1a1gy5mlfrgiZ    or Apple Music:  https://music.apple.com/lu/album/jadda-jadda-jing-jing-jing/474677341

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

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!