Who are you!

Grand old Duke of York

Hansel and Gretel’s Dance

I’m a big bright star

I’m little Dutch child

Old King Glory

Sing a song of sixpence

Sur le pont d‘Avignon


Last updated: 25/10/2015 10:09


The songs below are part ofHop, skip and away we go!’ The original collection

compiled, adapted and illustrated by Dany Rosevear


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© Dany Rosevear 2008 All rights reserved


To listen to music from these songs click on O

To watch the author sing a song click on the title at:


You are free to copy, distribute, display and perform these works under the following conditions:

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Your fair use and other rights are no way affected by the above.



Grand old Duke of York O


Dance simply marching around the classroom stretching high, stretching low or with the dance moves as below. As a simple singing game this can be used in the swimming pool to help beginner swimmers adapt to the buoyancy of water.


Listen at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bA9Ovlieq3A&feature=related


Children stand in two lines facing a partner. Allow a small group of confident children to demonstrate moves to the others, then partner those children with the less confident.





Oh, the grand old Duke of York,

He had ten thousand men;

He marched them up to the top of the hill,

And he marched them down again.


And when they were up, they were up,

And when they were down, they were down,

And when they were only half way up –

They were neither up nor down.

The pair at the head of the set join hands and skip to the foot and back again.

Children then ‘peel the orange’. All turn to face the front of the line and the pair at the head turn right or left and lead their column up the outside. The lead couple meet at the foot of the set and form an arch while the rest go through, hand in hand back to the head of the line where they swing each other around. The new head pair ready to repeat the sequence.



















Hansel and Gretel’s Dance O


As a young child in the early 1950s I danced enthusiastically to this same music by Humperdinck. The movements differ from the little I remember, how lovely it would be to acquire the book of folk dances used by the teacher at that time.


This challenging dance requires plenty of stamina. Children will need to practice the heel and toe movement and jumping individually before moving with a partner. The dance begins with partners holding hands standing side by side. These pairs are placed in two long lateral lines, one line behind the other; both facing the teacher.





















Partner, come and dance with me,

Heel and toe, so fine and free,

Forward first, back and then,

Jump and jump and jump again.

Tra-la-la-la etc


Stretch that right foot, heel and toe,

Next your left foot, do it so,

Jump back first, forward then,

Jump and jump and jump again.

Tra-la-la-la etc


Last time do that heel and toe,

Keep it going, then bow low,

Swing your partner, STOP and then...

Round about and back again.

Right foot out, heel to floor. Swing foot back, toe to floor. Repeat. Second line: do the same with left leg. Jump forward once, then backward once. Jump forward four times.

Repeat sequence as above.


As before for first the two lines of the song.

Reverse first verse actions, end with four jumps back.

Repeat second verse sequence, finish with four jumps back – returning to original line position.


Repeat heel and toe sequence to first with left leg. Face each other, slowly bow to partner.

Hold hands then skip partner to the left. Stand still. Skip partner to the right.











I’m a big, bright star O



An action song with a lovely rhythm. Play as a circle game where all the children dance round in a ring while the one in the centre demonstrates a movement. The others then stop and imitate the action to ‘Tra-la-la’

Each child chooses an item that could be found on or under the Christmas tree and shows how it might move in their mime.













I’m a big, bright star on a Christmas tree,

Girls and boys come and look at me!

Look at me, see what I can do,

Then all of you can do it too.

Tra-la-la, la-la, Tra-la-la-la etc.


I’m a bouncing ball etc.


...puffing train...


...drummer bold...


...sugar mouse...


...waving fan...

One child imitates a sparkling star with star jumps and flashing fingers while the others watch.


The rest copy the action.


Springy bounces all around the room.


Shuffle with arms moving back and forth.


March with high knees and arms beating.


Scamper with tiny steps.


Mime waving fan.
























I’m a little Dutch child O


This song, more commonly known as ‘I’m a little Dutch girl / boy’, has a German tune. Add more verses especially if you have parents / carers / grandparents who come from other countries who can suggest movements and how to say ‘Hello!’ in their language.


Teach the clapping pattern before attempting each verse. More confident children could clap their partner’s hands. Begin in a large circle facing a partner.
















I’m a little Dutch child, a Dutch child, a Dutch child,

I’m a little Dutch child, a Dutch child am I,


Go this way and that way, and this away and that way,

I’m a little Dutch child, a Dutch child am I


We all come from Holland, from Holland, from Holland,

We all come from Holland, from Holland we come.

Chorus     DAG!  


I’m a little Welsh child……from Wales we come.

Chorus     SUT MAE! (hello) BORE DA! (good morning)


I’m a little French child…..from France we come.

Chorus     BONJOUR!

Clap hands, slap one knee and then the other – clap, slap, slap 123,123,123.


Hold partners hands and swing arms and legs gently from side to side across body.


Hold hands in circle and skip round clockwise and then anti clockwise. Curtsey or bow.


Clap hands, slap one hip and then the other – clap, slap, slap 123,123,123.


With hands clasped behind back do-si-do – face each other then walk back to back without turning.
















Old King Glory O


All join in! This traditional Anglo American game may well be derived from the traditional nursery rhyme Old King Cole.




Children walk or skip round in a ring. One child, King or Queen Glory, walks round the outside of the circle in the opposite direction. As ‘And it’s one, two, three’ is sung, this child gently taps three children on the shoulder. These three then hold hands with King Glory in the order they were chosen and walk round the outside next time the song is sung. The last child chosen picks three new children to join the outer line.

Continue until everyone is holding hands in the outer ring and just one child is left inside. This child becomes the new King or Queen Glory to whom those in the circle then kneel and bow with hands outstretched repeating, “Salami, salami, baloney!” three times, getting louder each time. A new game can then begin.


If you have a large class begin with two or even three circles to shorten the duration of the game.



































Sing a song of sixpence O


Children should be familiar with this well – known nursery rhyme but not necessarily as a circle game. Choose a king, queen and maid to mime the actions of the characters in the centre of the circle. Children in the ring also perform the actions.

Jenny Wren flies around the outside of the circle.


Watch at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhOmR9NjMn4&feature=related









Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye;         

Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie!             

When the pie was opened, the birds began to sing;

Wasn’t that a dainty dish to set before the king?    


The king was in his counting house, counting out his money.

The queen was in the parlour, eating bread and honey.

The maid was in the garden, hanging out the clothes,

When down came a blackbird and pecked off her nose!


There was such a commotion, that little Jenny Wren –

Flew down into the garden and popped it on again!

Children walk round circle.

Stretch arms towards the centre of the pie. Raise arms high then flap elbows / wings.


Mime actions of each character.


Jenny Wren flies into circle with thumb / nose between fingers and returns it to the queen.



















Sur le pont d’Avignon O


‘Sur le Pont’ was written by an anonymous composer in 1853. At this time dancing occurred under rather than on the bridge The initial wooden bridge spanned the River Rhone dividing France from the Holy Roman Empire. It dated from the end of the 13th century. Only four of its original 22 arches have survived.


Teach this song in French, you will be amazed how quickly young children learn the new words. Watch at:
















Sur le pont d’Avignon, l’on y danse, l’on y danse

Sur le pont d’Avignon, l’on y danse, tout en rond.

On the bridge at Avignon, all are dancing, all are dancing

On the bridge at Avignon, all are dancing, in a ring.


Les beaux messieurs font comme ça,

Et puis encore comme ça.

The gentlemen go this way,

And then again go that way...                     Chorus


The ladies (belles dames) go this way…

The musicians (musiciens) go this way...

The shoemakers (cordonniers) go this way…

The gardeners (jardiniers) go this way...

The soldiers (soldats) go this way…

Skip to the left.

Skip to the right.





Boys take step into the circle, bow and doff imaginary hats.




Girls step forward and curtsey.

Play instrument in circle.

Step forward, mend shoes.

Step forward, garden.

Step forward, march on the spot.

















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