Friday, December 21, 2012


Call and Response - gets their attention!
     We hear a lot about Reduce, Re-use, Recycle.  Well, can we even do it with songs?  YES!  Miss Carole of Macaroni Soup here, and I’d like to talk about how to make a great song last all year long – or at least as long as you want it to!

Start with a song that your child or class REALLY likes, and would like to sing over and over.  Teach the “original” version first.  This is my personal choice, as I’d like kids to know a song the way it was written unless the original lyrics were unacceptable.  I ran into that for my newest cd, Season Sings! when recording the classic “You Are My Sunshine” – great chorus, questionable verses about love lost, despair, etc.  Yes, I got permission to write a new, more child-friendly verse.  But that’s not what RECYCLING SONGS is about.  But I digress!

     Here’s an example of recycling a song that my classes really enjoy singing in the Summertime – “Going on a Picnic” by Lynn Freeman Olson.  The original, which I recorded on my HUM – Highly Usable Music cd goes like this:

Going on a picnic, leaving right away
If it doesn’t rain we can stay all day.
Did you bring the ___________?
Yes, I brought the __________!
Going on a picnic, here we go!

     This song is beloved because it is call and response, inviting the child to suggest food you might bring on a picnic, then we all sing that item in the song.  Great for creativity, logical thinking, taking turns and call/response singing.

      Let’s RECYCLE and RE-USE!  As mid-October rolls in, I re-introduce the song thus:

Going trick-or-treating, gonna have a fright
If it doesn’t rain, we’ll stay out at night!
Will we get some (favorite candy or item)?
Yes, we’ll get some (Snickers – that’s MY favorite!)
Going trick-or-treating, Boo! Boo! Boo!

     I’ve also done it just AFTER October 31st, and made the call/response:
Did you get some _____________?
Yes, I got some ______________!

    Now we roll around to late November, and the song becomes:
Thanksgiving Dinner, wasn’t it a feast?
Family ‘round the table, what did we eat?
Did we have some ___________?
Yes, we had some ___________!
Thanksgiving Dinner, yum yum yum!

    Children need and love repetition, and when it comes to their favorite songs, it may take them waaay longer for them to tire of a song than it does for you!  Sometimes I say to teachers, sorry – you just have to keep singing that “StickyBubble Gum” song (or whatever the kids are currently stuck on!)  They need it and love it.  I’ve read research that said children under 3 years old need to hear something 7 – 11  times before it is theirs and they can repeat it with joy and abandon.  For preschoolers, it’s 4 – 6 times!  That’s just when it gets to be fun for the child! 
          Don’t roll your eyes and tear your hair out – play it again, please!

   Let’s recycle a great partner dance“Jump Jim Joe!”  If you don’t know it, you can find it on my “DancingFeet” cd, or on the Song of the Month page on my website for March 2009.
     The original:
Jump, jump, jump Jim Joe!
Nod your head and shake your head
And tap your toe!
‘Round and ‘round and ‘round you’ll go
Now you find another partner
                                                                                   And you jump Jim Joe!
 Recycle and re-use for Winter:
Jump, jump, jump in the snow!
Nod your head and shake your head
And tap your toe!
‘Round and ‘round and ‘round you’ll go
Now you find another partner
And you jump in the snow!

Now we’re talking!  Some other songs I’ve had great fun with:
B-I-N-G-O (the circle dance) becomes 
A jolly man is coming soon
And Santa is his name-o
S-A-N-T-A, S-A-N-T-A, S-A-N-T-A,
And Santa is his name-o!

“Singing in the Rain” becomes “Singing in the Snow”
I’m singing in the snow
Just singing in the snow
What a glorious feeling,
I’m happy, you know!

Ok – got the idea?  And as far as the REDUCE part of the phrase, quite the contrary – you RECYCLE, RE-USE and INCREASE the fun!

Yours for a Song – New or Used!
“Miss Carole” Stephens


  1. Very fun and what an opportunity for the children! Very nice. You made this easy for others to use this great idea.

  2. Thanks, Carolyn. I may re-title this post - I think some may thing it's about how to chuck your trash! Glad you got it!


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