Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Silly songs and rhymes

After a weekend mourning the departure of “Grammy” – who stayed with us three weeks, first awaiting Owen’s belated arrival and then helping us survive our first week with new baby – I thought I’d share a few fun Grammy songs and rhymes that Will especially loved.

His favorite was “the bathtub song,” which he made my mom sing dozens of times, and which my grandmother used to sing to my mother when she was a child. I found a website with a variation on the lyrics and guitar chords to go along with it: http://alumni.media.mit.edu/~kristin/songbook/Silly/Alice.pdf. Here’s my mom’s version:

“Alice, where are you going?”
“Upstairs to take a bath.”
She was so tall and skinny
Just like a big giraffe

And when the bath was over
She pulled the stopper out
(Say this line at breakneck speed): Oh my goodness, oh my soul, there goes Alice down that hole!”

Another silly rhyme passed down from my grandmother that appeals to the icky-loving instincts of male toddlers:

Ooey Gooey was a worm
A little worm was he.
He climbed up on a railroad track
A train he did not see.Ooey Gooey!

And a useful rhyme for teaching your toddler to look both ways before crossing the street. (We actually learned this one from Grammy long ago and have been singing it for at least a year now.):

Stop, look and listen before you cross the street
You use your eyes, use your ears, and then you use your feet.

Grammy, who is a former preschool teacher and director, also led Will on multiple thigh-slapping bear hunts. The words and motions that go along with it (as you climb a tree, go through tall grass, swim across a lake and descend into a deep, dark cave) are too lengthy to share here. But you can find a variation of them at

And one last danceable Grammy hit that she used to sing with her preschoolers

Johnny pounds with one hammer, (pounding fist on floor)
one hammer, one hammer
Johnny pounds with one hammer
Now he pounds with two

Johnny pounds with two hammers,
(pounding two fists on floor)
two hammers, two hammers
Johnny pounds with two hammers
Now he pounds with three

Johnny pounds with three hammers…
(pounding two fists, one foot)

Johnny pounds with four hammers…
(two fists, two feet)

Johnny pounds with five hammers
(add bobbing head)
five hammers, five hammers
Johnny pounds with five hammers
Now he goes to sleep. (lay head on hands)

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