01 June 2011

Rock-a-bye Doggie

I never really thought about how much singing goes on in our house until a great friend visited who doesn't really sing much.  My husband is an amazing blues/rock guitar player, and his singing is impressive, too.  I once took a class called, "Singing For Those Who Can't Sing," and I must admit that now I can (sometimes) tell when I'm off key (so long as someone nearby is singing properly).  While Daddy sometimes worries that the 'variety' of musical quality might keep the boys from developing his natural ear for music, I sing for joy and comfort, and the boys don't complain very often.

We began singing purely for comfort.  I was truly shocked that even my singing could comfort my newborn baby.  Over these few years, we've also learned to sing for any reason we can imagine.  Some songs help to comfort or calm a boy who is sad or needs help transitioning to sleep (Rock-a-bye Baby, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star).  If we are playing and the stress level gets too high, we try to sing engaging songs (Open, Shut Them, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes) to redirect everyone, or mellow songs (My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean) to lower the tension.  If someone is really resistant to sleep, we choose something monotonous (The Ants Go Marching, Row, Row, Row Your Boat, Hush Little Baby)- it may not be fun, but it really works. 

The real fun that we've found, however, is making up our own songs.  When our Doggie Boys need more Doggie Songs (How Much Is That Doggie In the Window just wasn't enough!), we started singing:
  • My Doggie Lies Over the Ocean (ala My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean
  • Rock-a-bye Doggie on the Treetop (ala Rock-a-bye Baby)
  • (To the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle)  Doggie, doggie wag your tail; chase the kitty down the trail.  Doggie, doggie, eat your food; eat it 'cause its really good.  Doggie, doggie wag your tail; chase the kitty down the trail. *
How can there be so many kids who love trucks, and so few songs about trucks?  We love:
  • (To the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle)  Backhoe, backhoe, truck that's big; how I like to watch you dig.  Down at the construction site, digging through the day and night.  Backhoe, backhoe, truck that's big; how I like to watch you dig. *
  • (To the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle) Helicopter, flying high, soaring through the bright, blue sky.  Your propeller spins around, and 'round, lifting you right off the ground.  Helicopter, flying high, soaring through the bright, blue sky. *
  • Dump truck, dump truck, dump truck, vrooming down the road.  Dump truck, dump truck, picking up a load.  (the first song Jason wrote) 
  • Truckery Rhymes, an entire book of truck-themed nursery rhymes
  • Firetruck
  • There is a great tow truck song in the book, How Many Trucks Can A Tow Truck Tow?
Some songs and tunes easily lead to variations, such as Rock-a-bye (baby) and My (bonnie) lies over the ocean.  Others might take a little more effort to tailor them to the kids' interests:
  • Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream.  Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.
  • Tow, tow, tow your truck, powerfully down the street.  Carefully, carefully, carefully, carefully, don't run over feet. *
  • Throw, throw, throw your goat, swiftly through the trees.  Scarily, scarily, scarily, scarily, flying through the breeze. *
Can you identify the original song from this changing table parody?
I will clean your poo; these five words I swear to you.  When you pee, I'm gonna change your diaper for you.  I will clean your poo! *
I'm honestly surprised that this is our only fully-fleshed-out diaper changing song.  However, since Jason's potty learning adventures began, "It's Pot-ty, it's Potty Time!"  Not the most appropriate song to parody for the kids, but too much fun to ignore!  After all, conditions are perfect for going potty.

There are many, many more songs on Wikipedia (here and here), and for every song there are probably tens or hundreds of Youtube videos, if you need a reminder of the tune, motions, or dance steps.  What are your favorite kids' songs?  What songs have y'all made up?  Please share!

*All of the original songs posted here are copyrighted by David Michael, used with permission.

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