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Songs with lyrics suitable for children

Related threads:
English traditional songs for children (16)
Lyr Req: Songs for young children (15)
Looking For Celtic Songs For Children (26)
Children's songs about gardens/plants (14)
Help: Songs for children's program (21)
Lyr Req: animal songs for children (17)
Songs to sing with Children (76)
Sea songs for children (26)
Children's St. Pat's Day songs (14)


Shalini 11 Apr 09 - 03:55 AM
Desert Dancer 11 Apr 09 - 03:10 PM
Kent Davis 11 Apr 09 - 03:20 PM
Richard Bridge 11 Apr 09 - 05:14 PM
Shalini 19 Apr 09 - 02:24 AM
Gurney 19 Apr 09 - 11:55 PM
folktheatre 20 Apr 09 - 05:01 AM
Alice 21 Apr 09 - 11:00 PM
Flash Company 22 Apr 09 - 09:52 AM
GUEST,Mr Red 22 Apr 09 - 10:04 AM
Midchuck 22 Apr 09 - 10:04 AM
GUEST,leeneia 22 Apr 09 - 10:20 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 22 Apr 09 - 10:40 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 22 Apr 09 - 11:18 AM
Shalini 22 Apr 09 - 02:09 PM
Shalini 22 Apr 09 - 02:16 PM
Gurney 22 Apr 09 - 07:55 PM
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Subject: Songs with lyrics suitable for children
From: Shalini
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 03:55 AM

I teach at a school and have been looking for folk songs to introduce to the children, to teach, or simply sing for them. Most of the most lovely folk songs I've heard have lyrics that I feel are either unsuitable for children (drinking, sexual references, etc) or just difficult for young children to relate to (love with all its complications, war, etc). I'm not looking for 'children's songs' or funny songs in particular, but perhaps songs about nature or other subjects they could relate to.

For example, I've modified the words to the Twankydillo that Maddy Prior sings to teach the children a song they love:

Here's a song for the jolly blacksmith
The best of all fellows
He works at his anvil
While the boy blows the bellows
Which makes his bright hammer
To rise and to fall
There's to Old Cole, and to Young Coal
And to Old Cole of all
Twankydillo, twankydillo
Twankydillo, dillo, dillo, dillo
And a roaring pair of blowpipes
Made from the green willow

I thought I'd teach them a shortened version of Castle of Dromore. They've learned Donna Donna and various popular folk children's songs. Any other suggestions?


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Subject: RE: Songs with lyrics suitable for children
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 03:10 PM

Here are threads from the past three years (I set the filter to "children's" and selected from the results); undoubtedly there are more links in these, and not all the suggestions will fit your criteria (people's opinions on "suitability" vary, of course) --

Songs to sing with Children
Help: Songs for children's program
Children's songs about gardens/plants
Sea songs for children
Lyr Req: animal songs for children
Lyr Req: Songs for young children
Children's singing games
Children's St. Pat's Day songs
Looking For Celtic Songs For Children
English traditional songs for children

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Songs with lyrics suitable for children
From: Kent Davis
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 03:20 PM

"Get Up and Bar the Door" (Child 275)
"Bangum Went to the Wild Boar's Den" (Child 18) (depending on the age of the children and the version)
"The Wise Farmer/The Crafty Boy" (Child 283)
"John Henry"
"She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain"
"Old Dan Tucker"
"Old Joe Clark"
"Cindy"
"Sourwood Mountain"

If religious songs are not against school policy, you could find many suitable songs here: thread.cfm?threadid=104255

Kent


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Subject: RE: Songs with lyrics suitable for children
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 05:14 PM

Green and Yellow!


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Subject: RE: Songs with lyrics suitable for children
From: Shalini
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 02:24 AM

Thank you everybody.

Richard, Green and Yellow, the song that starts "Where have you been, Henry my son"?

As I said though, I don't really need CHILDREN's songs. Just nice folk songs with words suitable for children :). The children range from 6 to 15. So the older ones may find many children's songs below them. On the other hand, we can't sing songs about unrequited love or murder with the littlest ones.

Any other ideas?


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Subject: RE: Songs with lyrics suitable for children
From: Gurney
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 11:55 PM

That's the one, Shalini, but there are versions, and versions!

You could also try the songbooks from the Scouting and Guiding organisations, and the Youth Hostellers songbook.
If the children have enough vocal control, a couple of the 'Working on the Railway' versions will prove popular, and the shanty 'Drunken Sailor.'


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Subject: RE: Songs with lyrics suitable for children
From: folktheatre
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 05:01 AM

Derby Ram is great with kids. I think they'd like songs about monsters. Or the Lambton Worm etc. What do you think? Depends on their age I suppose. Not suitable, I guess, for early years.


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Subject: RE: Songs with lyrics suitable for children
From: Alice
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 11:00 PM

The Bog Down In The Valley O

Red Is The Rose

Fiddle I Fee

All Through The Night

Aura Lee

Mairi's Wedding

Mist Covered Mountains of Home


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Subject: RE: Songs with lyrics suitable for children
From: Flash Company
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 09:52 AM

When I think that Weela Wallya and A Man of Double Deed both started out as children's songs perhaps we should reverse the question, i.e. are there any children's songs suitable to perform for grown ups!

FC


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Subject: RE: Songs with lyrics suitable for children
From: GUEST,Mr Red
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 10:04 AM

I like to sing "Somebodies Moggy".

The kids love to hate me, and they miss the fact that far from getting cheap laughs (as if) I am doing the educative thing with the highway code.

Subversive or what?

And the parents love it once they realise I am going to do an Eric Bogle song. Until they realise I am doing an Eric Bogle song!


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Subject: RE: Songs with lyrics suitable for children
From: Midchuck
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 10:04 AM

What good is a folk song where nobody gets drunk, killed, or f***ed?

Seriously, I'm reminded of a Farmer's Market gig where Kris sang the Berrymans' "A Chat With Your Mother" (the song that everyone insists on calling "The F-Word Song). A lady came up to her afterwords and complained that that song was unsuitable for singing where children were present. K. replied, "But there are no nasty words in it at all! That's part of the point of the song!" The lady replied, "Yes, but what if my child asks me what the 'F-word' is?"

Kris (a public school teacher for 20+ years even then) asked how old the kid in question was. The lady said he was in kindergarten.

Kris replied: "He knows."

End of discussion.

Peter


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Subject: RE: Songs with lyrics suitable for children
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 10:20 AM

I googled 'songs for children,' and the first site I checked was a good one, Kididdles.

http://www.kididdles.com/lyrics/allsongs.html

It has words and tunes.

When my nieces and nephews were little, I set children's poems to little tunes. These were poems from the poetry section of the children's library. They were superior to the usual kid stuff, and my nieces and nephews really liked them.


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Subject: RE: Songs with lyrics suitable for children
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 10:40 AM

Well I've been pleased to see this thread since the one I started a while back has fallen off the page, and thanks to all contributors whose advice I've followed up assiduously. I've also gone through about 20 books looking for songs for my schools project - but actually so far I've only come up with a couple that suit my particular needs - which is proper story songs. (The whole project is pitched around Narrative).

On my thread someone suggested the Golden Vanity, which is perfect - though I've had to change 'auger' to 'drill' for example, (because I don't want to have to do too much explaining), and the 3/4 bars have gone for similar reasons (what the heck were they doing in there anyway I wonder)?

I seem to be finding thousands of excellent songs for children, but almost no really good story songs - i.e. ones with a real plot, rather than just a sequence of events. I'll probably throw in Molly Malone, for example, but it really doesn't qualify.

For older children I'd be happy to plunge into anything up to and including Long Lankin and Lucy Wan, but I'm not happy doing Hammer Ballads to litluns.

Anyone got any more suggestions?

Thanks

Tom

PS I'm resorting to writing some - it's actually easier!


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Subject: RE: Songs with lyrics suitable for children
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 11:18 AM

I have heard from numerous parents whose children loved "Pony Man" by Gordon Lightfoot. Years ago, I attended one of his concerts where a woman who had recently lost her son asked him to play it for her. It had been her son's favorite song as a child. You could have heard a pin drop as he explained that to the audience. He had not, by this time, performed the song for several years in public. It was good enough.


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Subject: RE: Songs with lyrics suitable for children
From: Shalini
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 02:09 PM

It's great to see so many suggestions. I am slowly looking for the songs I don't know. Molly Malone is a song that never struck me. I recently heard Priscilla Herdman sing R.L. Stevenson's poem 'The Moon' - very nice.


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Subject: RE: Songs with lyrics suitable for children
From: Shalini
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 02:16 PM

Tom, I'm not sure exactly what would qualify for your project. But some songs that may be possibilities, especially if you also have older children:

Barring of the Door
Stewball
Henry Martin
Sir Eglamore
Long Black Veil
The Queen and the Soldier


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Subject: RE: Songs with lyrics suitable for children
From: Gurney
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 07:55 PM

Shalini, 'Barring of the Door' is another song with variants. Don't be surprised if a kid says "Miss, he didn't just KISS the old wife...."


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