Elementary School Music

Early Childhood Songs and Rhymes

Posted in Repertoire by P. Conrad on November 18, 2009

To browse a collection of lyrics to many traditional standards for teaching music in early childhood, click on the “more…” tag, below.

Many thanks to the compiler, Walter Paul, who teaches music at P.S. 42 in Manhattan. He has provided brief a cappella MP3 files for melodies of any unfamiliar pieces, at      http://drop.io/songsandrhymeslevel1

CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT SONGS:
1. GREETING/GOODBYE CHANT
Good day, boys and girls,
Good day, [Mr. Paul].

2. CAN YOU MAKE A CIRCLE?
Can you make a circle, a circle, a circle?
Can you make a circle? Show me how.
We can make a circle, a circle, a circle.

We can make a circle; this is how.

FINGER PLAYS:
3. FIVE LITTLE SOLDIERS
Five little soldiers standing in a row.
Three stood straight and two stood so.
Along came the captain, and what do you think?
They all stood straight as quick as a wink!
4. THIS LITTLE PIGGY
This little piggy went to market,
This little piggy stayed home,
This little piggy had roast beef,
And this little piggy had none.
But this little piggy cried, “Wee, wee, wee”
all the way home!

5. FROM HERE TO THERE
From here to there to Madison Square,
When I get there, I’ll pull your hair!

6. HERE’S THE CHURCH
Here’s the church,
Here’s the steeple,
Open the doors,
And see all the people!
Open the doors and hear them pray,
Close the doors, they all walk away.

7. TWO LITTLE DICKY BIRDS
Two little dicky birds sitting on a wall,
One named Peter, one named Paul.
Fly away Peter, fly away, Paul,
Come back Peter, come back Paul.

8. THE EENCY WEENCY SPIDER
Oh, the eency weency spider climbed up the
water spout.
Down came the rain and washed the spider out.
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain,
And the eency weency spider climbed up the spout again.

FOR PRACTICING BEAT:
9. ACKA BACKA
Acka backa soda cracka, acka backa boo.
Acka backa soda cracka, out goes you!

10. PEASE PORRIDGE
Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold,
Pease porridge in the pot, nine days old.
Some like it hot, some like it cold,
Some like it in a pot nine days old.

11. BOUNCE HIGH
Bounce high, bounce low,
Bounce the ball to Shiloh.

12. SNAIL, SNAIL
Snail, snail, snail, snail,
Go around and ‘round and ‘round.

13. TOUCH YOUR SHOULDERS
Touch your shoulders, touch your knees.
Raise your arms, and drop them, please.
Touch your ankles, touch your toes.
Pull your ears, and touch your nose.

FOR PRACTICING RHYTHM (“the way the words go”):

14. ONE, TWO, TIE MY SHOE
One, two, tie my shoe,
Three, four, shut the door,
Five, six, pick up sticks,
Seven, eight, lay them straight,
Nine, ten, a big fat hen,
Eleven, twelve, dig and delve.

15. TWO, FOUR, SIX, EIGHT
Two, four, six, eight,
Meet me at the garden gate.
If I’m late, don’t wait.
Two, four, six, eight.

16. ENGINE, ENGINE NUMBER 9
Engine, engine number nine,
Going down Chicago line,
If the train goes off the track,
Do you want your money back?
Yes, no, maybe so!

ENGINE, ENGINE NUMBER 8 (by Walter Paul)
Engine, engine number eight,
Get on board, and don’t be late.
Sit right down, and pay your fare.
Very soon you will be there.

ENGINE, ENGINE NUMBER 3 (by Walter Paul)
Engine, engine number three,
This is where I like to be:
Sitting in the red caboose,
Eating pie and drinking juice.

17. THIS OLD MAN
This old man, he played one,
He played knick-knack on my thumb.
With a knick-knack, paddy-whack, give a dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.
[Two—shoe, Three—knee, Four—door,
Five—hive, Six—sticks, Seven—up in
heaven, Eight—gate, Nine—spine, Ten—hen (or “once again”)]

FOR PRACTICING HIGH/LOW:
18. RING AROUND THE ROSIE
Ring around the rosie,
Pocket full of posies,
Ashes, ashes, we all fall down!

19. SEE-SAW
See-saw, up and down:
In the sky, and on the ground.

20. STAR LIGHT, STAR BRIGHT
Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight,
Wish I may, wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight.

21. HOT CROSS BUNS
Hot cross buns,
Hot cross buns.
One a-penny, two a-penny
Hot cross buns.

22. HICKORY DICKORY DOCK
Hickory dickory dock,
The mouse ran up the clock.
The clock struck one, the mouse ran down,
Hickory dickory dock.

LULLABIES:

23. BYE, BABY BUNTING
Bye, baby bunting,
Daddy’s gone a-hunting
To catch a little rabbit skin
To wrap his baby bunting in.

24. HUSH, LITTLE BABY
Hush, little baby, don’t say a word.
Papa’s gonna buy you a mockingbird.
If that mockingbird won’t sing,
Papa’s gonna buy you a diamond ring.
If that diamond ring turns to brass,
Papa’s gonna buy you a looking glass.
If that looking glass gets BROKE,
Papa’s gonna buy you a billy GOAT.
If that billy goat won’t pull,
Papa’s gonna buy you a cart and bull.
If that cart and bull turn over,
Papa’s gonna buy you a dog named Rover.
If that dog named Rover won’t bark,
Papa’s gonna buy you a horse and cart.
If that horse and cart fall dn,
You’ll still be the sweetest little baby in town.

25. LONDON BRIDGE
London Bridge is falling down,
Falling down, falling down,
London Bridge is falling down,
My fair lady.
Build it up with iron bars…
Shake him [her] up with pepper and salt…
Off to prison you must go…

INDIVIDUAL SINGING:
26. WHAT COLOR ARE YOU WEARING?
[girl] Snow is white, just like a pearl,
What color are you wearing my little girl?
[boy] Sky is blue, sun is yellow,
What color are your wearing my little fellow?

27. BEE, BEE
Bee, bee, bumblebee
Can you sing your name to me?

HEAD/SINGING/CHEST VOICES:
28. QUEENIE, QUEENIE CAROLINE
Queenie, Queenie Caroline
Washed her hair in turpentine,
Turpentine to make it shine,
Queenie, Queenie Caroline!

CALL AND RESPONSE GAME:
29. LEMONADE
Here we come.
Where from?
New York.
What’s your trade?
Lemonade.
Get to work and give us some, if you’re not afraid!

GAMES OF CHASE:
30. LUCY LOCKET
Lucy Locket lost her pocket,
Kitty Fisher found it.
Not a penny was there in it,
Only ribbon ‘round it.
31. CHARLIE OVER THE OCEAN
Charlie over the ocean,
Charlie over the sea,
Charlie caught a [big fish, lobster, tuna…]
Can’t catch me.

PARTNER CHOOSING GAMES:
32. LITTLE SALLY WATER
Little Sally Water, sitting in a saucer,
Rise, Sally, rise, Sally, wipe away your tears, Sally.
Turn to the east, Sally, turn to the west, Sally,
Turn to the one that you love the best, Sally.
33. HERE COMES A BLUEBIRD
Here comes a bluebird,
In through my window,
Hey, diddle-dum a day, day, day.
Take a little partner,
Hop in the garden,
Hey, diddle-dum a day, day, day.

34. BLUEBIRD
Bluebird, bluebird, in my window,
Bluebird, bluebird, in my window,
Bluebird, bluebird, in my window,
Oh, Johnny I am tired!
Take a little one, tap him on the shoulder,
Take a little one, hop in the garden,
Take a little one, tap him on the shoulder.
Oh, Johnny, I am tired!

35. ONE ELEPHANT
One elephant went out to play on a bright and sunny day.
He had such enormous fun, he asked another elephant to come.
One elephant, two elephants.
Two elephants went out to play…

TIMBRE RECOGNITION:
36. DOGGIE, DOGGIE
Doggie, doggie, where’s your bone?
Somebody stole it from my home.
Who stole the bone?
I stole the bone.

SKIPPING SONGS (6/8 METER):
37. SALLY GO ‘ROUND THE SUN
Sally go ‘round the sun,
Sally go ‘round the moon,
Sally go ‘round the chimney pot ev’ry afternoon.

38. HUMPTY DUMPTY
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the King’s horses and all the King’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

39. JACK AND JILL
Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown,
and Jill came tumbling after.

40. KANGAROO
Kangaroo, skippy-roo,
Sitting in the noonday sun.
Comes a hunter, run, run, run!
Guess who caught you just for fun.

41. THE FARMER IN THE DELL
The farmer in the dell, the farmer in the dell,
Heigh ho the merry-o, the farmer in the dell.
The farmer takes a wife…
The wife takes a child…
The child takes a nurse…
The nurse takes a dog…
The dog takes a cat…
The cat takes a rat…
The rat takes the cheese…
The farmer runs away…
The wife runs away…
The child runs away…
The nurse runs away…
The dog runs away…
The cat runs away…
The rat runs away…
The cheese stands alone…
We all take a bite…
We clap for the cheese…
The cheese runs away…

42. LOOBY LOO
Here we go looby loo,
Here we go looby light,
Here we go looby loo,
All on a Saturday night.
You put your left hand in,
You take your left hand out,
You give your left hand a “shake, shake, shake”
and turn yourself about…

PHRASE:
43. MAI LONG SERA
Mai long sera,
Mai long sera,
Mah lah see see gah ray
See gah ree gah ray.

SEASONAL:
44. OLD WITCH
Old witch, couldn’t sew a stitch,
Picked up a penny and thought she was rich.
[First 2 times:] Are you my children? Yes, ma’am.
[Last time:] Are you my children? No, you
old witch!

45. TO FOOL SOME FOLKS…
To fool some folks on Halloween
I’ll tell you what I’ll do:
I’ll hide behind this pumpkin head,
And then I’ll shout, “Boo.” BOO!!!

“SING ALOUD”—ILLUSTRATED SONGBOOKS
46. MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB
Mary had a little lamb…its fleece was white as snow.
Ev’rywhere that Mary went…the lamb was sure to go.
It followed her to school one day…which was against the rule.
It made the children laugh and play…to see a lamb at school.
And so the teacher turned it out…but still it lingered near
And waited patiently about…’til Mary did appear.
“Why does the lamb love Mary so?”…the eager children cry.
“Why Mary loves the lamb, you know,”… the teacher did reply.

47. TEDDY BEAR, TEDDY BEAR
Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around,
Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the ground.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, show your shoe,
Teddy bear, teddy bear, that will do!
Teddy bear, teddy bear, go upstairs,
Teddy bear, teddy bear, say your prayers.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn off the light,
Teddy bear, teddy bear, say good night
(Good night!)

48. TWINKLE, TWINKLE, LITTLE STAR
Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are.

UNCLASSIFIED SONGS/RHYMES:
49. RAIN, RAIN
Rain, rain, go away;
Come again another day.
Little Johnny wants to play;
Rain, rain, go away.

50. IT’S RAINING
It’s raining, it’s pouring,
The old man is snoring.
He went to bed and bumped his head,
And he didn’t get up in the morning.

51. I WON’T GO TO MACY’S
Oh, I won’t go to Macy’s anymore, more, more,
There’s a big fat policeman at the door, door, door.
He’ll grab you by the collar
And make you pay a dollar.
No, I won’t go to Macy’s anymore, more, more!

52. SIX LITTLE DUCKS
Six little ducks that I once knew,
Fat ones, skinny ones, tall ones too.
But the one little duck with the feather on his back,
He led the others with his “quack, quack, quack.”
“Quack, quack, quack; quack, quack quack.”
He led the others with his “quack, quack, quack.”
Down to the river they would go,
Wibble-wobble, wibble-wobble, to and fro…
Home from the river they would come,
Wibble-wobble, wibble-wobble, ho, hum, hum…

53. ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE
One, two, three, four, five, I caught a fish alive.
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten, I let it go again.
Why did I let it go?
Because it bit my finger so, because it bit my finger so.
What finger did it bite?
The little one on the right, the little one on the right!

Tagged with: ,

34 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. caroline lennox said, on February 9, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    A wealth of rhymes, many thanks for sharing! 🙂

  2. Sarah Massie said, on November 10, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    I am looking for an old song that I believe my sisters and I learned in school. Here are some of the lyrics: Over the green fields and over the plains, scorched by the hot sun and lashed by the rain. the chorus is: Roll wagon wheels roll, go a rollin a long. Carry them west, to the home of the strong. (or similar to this)

    • DJ said, on February 10, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      I’m looking for it too. The last line is “Thanks to … wagon train, we now enjoy what the strove to attain”.

    • Stevie said, on October 21, 2018 at 11:21 pm

      Can’t seem to find it either. It was an elementary school musical, third grade, I think, early sixties. I can remember a few lines I spoke to another character in the play, “Uncle Bruno”, and the lyrics: Over the green fields and over the plains, seared by the hot sun and lashed by the rains, pioneers trek in their one lonely quest, seeking the new lands that lie in the west, Roll wagon wheels Chorus, Day after day and then week after week, onward we trek though our prospects are bleak, someday at last in the great central plains, we’ll build a homestead this brave wagon train, Chorus. Maybe it was written by a local music teacher? We performed it in Michigan. Seems odd we can’t find on this vast Internet.

  3. Anonymous said, on February 9, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Does anyone remember a song called Tramp Tramp Tramp hear the feet of many children??? I was in the 3rd grade I believe it 1956 or 1957

    • Anonymous said, on March 23, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      Who with smiling faces take their school room places with their friends and neighbors once more

    • Anonymous said, on April 16, 2013 at 4:34 pm

      from what I remember…
      Tramp, tramp, tramp, hear the feet of many children
      From the mountain, river & shore
      Who with smiling faces, take their schoolroom places
      With their friends & neighbours once more
      Tramp, tramp, tramp, hear the feet of many children
      Two million ready today
      To work together, to play together, the good Canadian way.

      • Calvin Warren said, on December 21, 2013 at 11:30 am

        was in 1st grade approx 1955 st louis mo TRAMP TRAMP TRAMP hear the feet of many children from the mountains ,rivers and shores with their smiling faces take their school room places with their friends and neighbors once more .TRAMP TRAMP TRAMP hear the feet of many children thirty million ready today .WE work togetrher we learn together the good American way. when saying tramp tramp tramp everyone had to stomp there feet on those words.

      • Anonymous said, on October 19, 2016 at 1:21 pm

        Dear Anonymous . . . Thanks so much for the words to this song (though I’m sure we sang “American way”. I remembered the 1st part, so I’m grateful for the part I didn’t remember. Now, any chance you remember the melody? Again, I do remember the first part, but not the ending. Thanks again, Evie

      • Carl J. Denbow said, on December 12, 2017 at 2:03 pm

        Thanks, so much. I was just thinking about this song today. I was trying find all the words. I could remember most, but not all. I still remember the melody, but I don’t know musical notation so I can’t write it down. This was the very first song in our elementary school song book. I think we learned it in 1950, when I was in first grade.

      • Anonymous said, on July 8, 2019 at 2:53 pm

        thanks so much; I never thought I’d find this! I sing it in my head still at 64 yrs old! It made me feel like I belonged in the community.

    • Tracy said, on March 24, 2014 at 1:13 pm

      Tramp, tramp, tramp. Hear the feet of many children, thirty million ready today. Who with smiling faces take their schoolroom places with their friends and neighbors once more.

      Coraopolis, Penna ~1967

    • Anonymous said, on July 13, 2014 at 2:59 am

      I do. I just started looking for it. I’m 61 and sing it all the time in my head. Good luck. Maybe we’ll both find it.

    • Anonymous said, on September 16, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      I do. Tramp tramp tramp hear the feet of many children 30 millions (something something). Who with smiling faces take their school room places with their friends and neighbors once more. Tramp tramp tramp hear the feet of many children (something something) We live together, we work together, the good American way.

    • Steve Walton said, on July 8, 2019 at 2:44 pm

      absolutely remember! I was in 3rd grade in 1962 & still hear it in my head

    • Anonymous said, on July 20, 2019 at 5:55 pm

      I r e me mb er it but can not find all t he w ords to it and do not remember all the words.

  4. Johng892 said, on August 1, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    I’m pleased that I seen this website, precisely the proper information that I was trying to find! debkbeadkkga

  5. Anonymous said, on August 3, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    I learned this around 1960, at various schools in and around New Jersey. I’ve loved it all my life, even with the garbled lyrics of memory! Donna

  6. fortunate said, on January 13, 2016 at 3:19 am

    the were so good and helped me a lot in teaching the kindergatten class

  7. Katy said, on April 16, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Does anyone recall an elementary school song, probably from the late 1930’s to1940’s, titled Johnny Rose? I can remember most of the second verse: “Johnny Rose older grows out into the world he goes. Spic and span, thinks he can be a journeyman. As he leaves the old home place, mother looks into his face, gentle sighs, fond goodbyes, best of luck she cries.”

    • Anonymous said, on May 9, 2016 at 5:10 am

      I recall that song. I even have the songbook that it was in (the american singer, book 2).

      Johhny rose older grows,
      Out into the world he goes,
      Spick and span, thinks he can
      Be a journey man;

      As he leaves the old home place,
      Mother looks into his face,
      Gently sighs, fond good byes,
      “best of Luck!” she cries…

      • L. Quinn said, on October 3, 2016 at 3:02 pm

        Years go by, who knows why, Johnny comes home by and by. In the hall, sister small knows him not at all, then his mother bent and gray, rushes from the house to say, have no fear, welcome here, that’s my Johnny dear!
        OMG I loved this song as a kid and have never been able to find it or anyone who knew it. Just decided to google it today.
        Thanks for sharing the book that it was from.

      • Anonymous said, on December 30, 2016 at 12:00 pm

        Dear Anonymous,

        Many thanks, much belated, for your response, especially the title of the text where the song resides. Can you tell me the name of the publisher and a publishing date? I will try to track it down.

        Thank you, again.

        Katy

    • Gary said, on December 3, 2017 at 8:20 pm

      Katy. I sang that song in a one room schoolhouse in 2nd grade. Ha. That was in 1959 and the song book was old then. Probably from around 1930’s. In a twist, the tune is similar to “the Kitty Song” on the “The Big Bang” show. AND they were already sued for copyright infringement of the lyrics.

  8. Steve said, on May 29, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    Tramp Tramp Tramp hear the feet of many children 30 million ready today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    1959 ish, 3rd grade, Linthicum Md.

    That one stuck with me moreso than others.

  9. wayne said, on October 28, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Does anyone remember a song that starts ” Two alligators went to fight a battle , saying farewell to all their little ones ” ?!?

  10. Roy W. Enmen said, on December 15, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    I am looking for a song we sang in primary school about President Lincoln. title was “When Lincoln was a lad”.
    this was in a school song book in 1943 or 1944. In Lancaster,Ohio thanks

    • Barbara A Pompei said, on August 17, 2018 at 2:34 am

      There’s a brown log cabin standing in those blue Kentucky hills, and the forest sweeps around it with the sound of whipporwills. There the indian corn was growing and a boy in buckskin clad, swung his axe beneath the Southern Pine when Lincoln was a lad.

  11. Dan Belo said, on May 26, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    mill song ?

  12. Mary Len Costa said, on January 8, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    Around 1950, my brother (age 7) and I(4) were in a school spring musical (in Memphis)and we both remember several of the songs. We would love to find sheet music. We believe that it was called “O come for a walk in the garden”. as that was the main theme song. First lines of other songs are “Gallantly riding Tiger Lily” and ” Do you know the flowers go to bed each night?” and “Does it matter if the patter comes a-splashing on the pane”. If anyone can help, we would be most grateful.
    Tks,
    mlc

  13. Anonymous said, on September 5, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    awesome songs i would like to have some more especially the latest

  14. […] Elementary School Music Early Childhood Songs and Rhymes https://brooklynmusic.wordpress.com/2009/11/18/early-childhood-songs-and-rhymes/ […]

  15. […] Rhymes – action songs, hand-clapping, marchingKiddles Kids’ Action SongsElementary School Music Early Childhood Songs and RhymesFingerplays, Action Poems, Nursery Rhymes, and SongsAction Songs: Children’s Music that Calls […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: