The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #114848   Message #2453858
Posted By: Azizi
30-Sep-08 - 12:01 PM
Thread Name: Children's songs about gardens/plants
Subject: RE: Children's songs about gardens/plants
erwanda55, the first song that came to my mind the song "Paw Paw Patch".

I founded and directed various game song groups children ages 5-12 years old in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area from 1997 to 2006. The "game songs" that the groups focused on were of traditional, adapted, and contemporary African American "origin" {"origin" is in quotation marks because the real origin of most of these songs is unknown and probably unknowable}. But, for what it's worth, none of the children in those groups knew the "Paw Paw Patch" prior to my teaching an adapted version to them. And I've never seen any children outside of or inside of those groups spontaneously play "Paw Paw Patch". I'm sure that this game probably was initiated by children once upon a time. But it appears that "Paw Paw Patch" has become relegated to that list of games that children play only when they are led by an adult. And it doesn't appear that many adults who work with children know this game song either. II learned "Paw Paw Patch" from records, and don't remember it from my childhood growing up in Southern New Jersey in the 1950s.

That said, I think that "Paw Paw Patch" is a good movement song that probably is best suited for girls and boys ages 5-7 years. It hads a catchy tune and easy to learn lyrics. Its movements are easy to learn and perform. I like the fact that the game provides opportunities for children to have a starring role {be "it" without too much running and chasing around. The game helps young children learn how to take turns, follow directions, and engage in imaginative play.

Because the children I work with aren't familiar with either a "paw paw" or a "patch", I substituted the phrase "apple tree" for "paw paw patch" and "picking up apples" for "picking up paw paws". Although I've never tried it, it seems to me that other fruits or vegetables can be substituted for "paw paws" and "paw paw patch" {for instance "berries" and "berry bush".

Here's how the children in my groups played this game:

One child is picked to be "it". That child goes across the room or yard and pretends to be hiding {usually by crouching down with his or her face hidden-though in reality the child doesn't hide his or her face for long}.

The other children sing:

Where oh where is little Aliyah*
Where oh where is little Aliyah
Where oh where is little Aliyah
Way down by the apple tree.

*The group substitutes the name of the child who is "it", though two syllable names/nicknames fit the tune better than three or more syllable names.

[Usually the adult ends up being the only one singing this next verse. While the adult sings this verse, she or he makes a "come on" motion with her/his hands, directing the children to move toward the child who is hiding. Technically, the other children are supposed to be singing and skipping in time to the tune of this song as they move towards the child who is hiding. But usually the children end up running toward that child. Actually, running appears to be the part of the game that the children like best.]

Come on now, lets go find her.
Come on now, lets go find her.
Come on now, lets go find her
Way down by the apple tree.

[The child who is hiding is "found" when the first person who reaches her or him "tags" her [lightly touches her or him on the shoulder]. All the children [and the adult who is directing the play] then sing the last verse, and mimic the actions of putting the fruit or vegetable in their [make pretend] baskets.

Pickin up apples. Put them in the basket
Pickin up apples. Put them in the basket
Pickin up apples. Put them in the basket
Way down by the apple tree.

{The first one who tags the child who was hiding, becomes the next child who is hiding in full view, and the game begins again.


Note that I didn't keep the phrasing "Way down yonder by the apple tree" as the children who were part of my groups don't talk that way.


Here's a link to a Mudcat thread on the song: "Paw Paw Patch":

Good luck, erwanda55 with your music classes!