Song cupboard Sm - Sw



Snow white little burro

Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah

Somewhere there’s a forest

Song of the Delhi Tongawallah

Song of the bugs

Song of the fishes

Sourwood Mountain

Spin, spider, spin

Star Festival song / Tanabata-sama

Star of the evening

Story of Creation

Sun and stars

Susie, little Susie

Sweet potatoes

Swim on, swim on

Last updated: 9/19/2022 11:10 AM

The songs below are compiled, adapted and illustrated by Dany Rosevear

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To listen to music from these songs click on 🔊

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


© Dany Rosevear 2008 All rights reserved

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.






A classic campfire song.




















It isn't any trouble just to S-M-I-L-E,

It isn't any trouble just to S-M-I-L-E,

So smile when you're in trouble,

It will vanish like a bubble,

If you'll only take the trouble just to S-M-I-L-E!


It isn't any trouble just to G-i-gig-gle-ee,

It isn't any trouble just to G-i-gig-gle-ee,

So giggle when you're in trouble,

It will vanish like a bubble,

If you'll only take the trouble just to G-i-gig-gle-ee!


It isn't any trouble just to Ha ha ha ha, laugh,

It isn't any trouble just to Ha ha ha ha, laugh,

So laugh when you're in trouble,

It will vanish like a bubble,

If you'll only take the trouble just to Ha ha ha ha, laugh!




Smiles 🔊



Make others happy with a friendly smile.

Words by Daniel T. Taylor from ‘The children sing’ published 1951.















If you chance to meet a frown,

Do not let it stay.

Quickly turn it upside down

And smile that frown away.


No one likes a frowning face.

Change it for a smile.

Make the world a better place

By smiling all the while.



Snow white little burro 🔊



A Chilean folk song which I believe was more usually known asCaballito blanco’ Cluster 2.5 Spanish/66-73 Spanish songs w.htm

I first came across this version in the ‘Kodaly Approach’, published 1978. The other three couplets came from this recording: Snow-White Little Burro : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive.




















Snow white little burro, take me for ride,

Down the rocky valley, up the mountain side

Saddle bells are jingling as you trot along.

You will play the music, I will sing a song.


Snow white little burro, carry me away,

To my home in childhood where I used to play.

You have nothing, nothing, neither sheep nor hen,

Three white sheep I’m tending in a little pen;

One sheep will support me, one will give me milk,

One will give me woollen, warmer far than silk.




Someone’s in the kitchen with DinahO


A popular summer camp song in the English speaking world.

Children love songs with nonsense words and phrases and even the youngest will pick up the words of the chorus quickly.

If you’re feeling very brave add an extra verse: Fee, plonk ting, fie, plonk ting, fiddle-ee-i-o, plonk ting,





Mime the playing of instruments for each of the following sounds: fee/flute, fie/clarinet, fiddle-i-o/violin, plonk/drum, ting/ triangle




























































Somewhere there's a forest 🔊



We all need our moments of peace and fresh air.

This song was written by Susan Stevens and appears in the ‘Our chalet songbook’ published in 1974 and then ABC schools ‘Sing!’ 1995.


























Somewhere there's a forest,

Where you can stand and dream,

And walk alone beside the waters

Of a forest stream.


Where quietness and peace of mind,

Are waiting there for you to find,

So leave the noisy world behind,

For just a little while.


Somewhere there's a seashore,

Where the wind is blowing free,

And wheeling seagulls call above,

The music of the sea.



Somewhere there's a hillside,

Where you can climb at dawn,

And wonder at the sunrise,

As another day is born.






Song of the Delhi Tongawallah O


A Hindustani folk song. A Delhi tongawallah drives a horse and cart.

This translation can be found in ‘The Ditty Bag’ compiled by Jane E. Tobbit and written for the Girl Guides in 1946.


Move around the room at different speeds – quickly each time the chorus is sung and more slowly for each verse.



















Gallop quickly, gallop quickly,

Gallop quickly brother horse.

Gallop quickly, gallop quickly,

Gallop quickly brother horse


We have still five miles of travelling

And the shades of night are falling.


If cruel robber do waylay us,

What to do then? What to do then?


Grain and grass be yours in plenty

If we get home quickly, horse.





Song of the bugs O



This song has been adapted from Margaret Wise Brown’s poem. Find out more about her at: .

The adaptation and melody is by Dany Rosevear.






























Some bugs pinch and some bugs creep,

Some bugs buzz themselves to sleep.

Buzz, buzz, buzz,

Buzz, buzz, buzz,

Singing, flickering, buzzing bugs. X2


Some bugs fly when the moon is high.

Some bugs make a light in the sky.

Flicker, flicker firefly,

Flicker, flicker firefly,

This is the song of the bugs.

Flicker, flicker, flicker, Buzz, buzz! X2



Song of the fishes O



A sea song from New England; there are many more verses which cover most of the tasks needed aboard a sailing ship.




















Come all you bold fishermen, listen to me,

While I sing you a song of the fish in the sea.


Chorus So blow ye winds westerly, westerly blow,

We're bound to the southward, so steady we go.


First comes the blue-fish a-wagging his tail,

He come up on the deck and yells: "All hands make sail!"


Next come the eels, with their nimble tails,

They jumped up aloft and loose all the sails.


Then comes the swordfish, the scourge of the sea,

The order he gives is "Helm's a-lee!"


Next comes the whale, the largest of all,

Singing out from the bridge: "Haul taut, mainsail, haul!"


Then comes the mackerel, with his striped back,

He flops on the bridge and yells: "Board the main tack!"


Along came a dolphin, a-flapping his tail,

He yells to the boatswain to reef the foresail.


Along came the shark, with his three rows of teeth,

He flops on the foreyard and takes a snug reef.


Up jumps the fisherman, stalwart and grim,

And with his big net he scoops them all in.

I'll go back to bed and I'll lie there all day,

If there's nothing for to eat then there’s nothing to pay.



Sourwood Mountain 🔊




This traditional American flirting folk song has been sung throughout the southern Appalachian mountains for more than 150 years. It is heard more often as a lively fiddle or banjo instrumental.

Sourwood is another name for the chestnut tree and its bark used for tanning leather.

















Chickens a-crowin' on Sourwood Mountain,

Hey-de-ing-dang, diddle-umma-day.

So many pretty girls I can't count 'em,

Hey-de-ing-dang, diddle-umma-day.

My true love's a blue-eyed daisy,

Hey-de-ing-dang, diddle-umma-day.

She won't come and I'm too lazy.

Hey-de-ing-dang, diddle-umma-day.


Big dog bark, little one bite you,

Hey-de-ing-dang, diddle-umma-day.

Big girl court, little one like you.

Hey-de-ing-dang, diddle-umma-day.

My true love lives over the river,

Hey-de-ing-dang, diddle-umma-day.

A few more jumps and I'll be with her.

Hey-de-ing-dang, diddle-umma-day.


Ducks in the pond, geese in the ocean,

Hey-de-ing-dang, diddle-umma-day.

I’ll go dancing when I take a notion.

Hey-de-ing-dang, diddle-umma-day.

You swing me and I’ll swing you,

Hey-de-ing-dang, diddle-umma-day.

We’ll go to heaven in the same old shoe.

Hey-de-ing-dang, diddle-umma-day.




Spin, spider, spin 🔊




A song for a greater appreciation of nature. This song, the tune has a lovely Russian feel, is by Patty Zeitlin (c. 1974 Bullfrog Ballades, Ascap) and she has a lovely suggestion for making a web with a ball of wool in a circle of children at: .

You can find out more about this wonderful songwriter and access her CDs at:




















As I walked out this morning, spin, spider, spin,

Just as the day was dawning, spin, spider, spin,

I saw a tiny spider, a pretty web begin,

I saw him swing from a silver string, spin, spider, spin.


La la la la, la la, spin, spider, spin,

La la la la la, la la la, spin, spider, spin,

La la la la, la la la,

La la la la, la,

La la la, la la la la la, spin, spider, spin.


When I came home this evening, spin, spider, spin,

Just as the sun was leaving, spin, spider, spin,

I saw a tiny spider, a pretty web all done,

I saw him swing from a silver string, before the setting sun.


He’s not the kind that bites you, spin, spider, spin,

He’s the kind that just delights you, spin, spider, spin,

A tiny harmless spider, the kind that catches flies;

So let him swing from a silver string, a pleasure to the eyes.

So let him swing from a silver string, spin, spider, spin.





Star Festival song / Tanabata-sama 🔊



On July 7th for Tanabata-sama, The Star Festival, children write their wishes on strips of coloured paper and tie them to bamboo branches.

This is a romantic festival to celebrate the meeting of two stars; husband Orihime, the star Vega and wife Hikoboshi, the star Altair. They can only meet once a year at when it is possible to cross the river Amanogawa or the Milky Way, for a flock of magpies will help Orihime cross over just this one time.

Orihime and Hikoboshi cannot meet if it is cloudy as the river will be too high. So in Japan everyone wishes dearly for a clear night, full of stars, on this special date.














Sasa no ha sara sara

Nokiba ni yureru

Ohoshi-sama kira kira

Kin gin sunago


Bamboo softly rustles in the night,

In the sky the stars twinkle bright,

Golden and silver grains of sand,

High above the Milky Way.


Choose your fondest wishes to write,

On five strips of paper bright,

Then tie your wishes high on a tree,

Stars will grant them, you will see.





Star of the evening 🔊




A camp fire song that allows older children to revisit and enjoy the nursery rhymes of their youth in a way that doesn’t feel too infantile. Many nursery rhyme will fit into this format.

I found this version in ‘World around songs’ published in 1986 ‘Very favorites of the very young’ where it is credited as traditional and from Northern Ireland.































Star of the evening, pretty little evening star,

Star of the evening, shining on the harbour bar.


Little Miss Muffet, Muffet,

Sat on her tuffet, tuffet,

Eating her curds and whey;

Down came a spider, spider,

Sat down beside her, ‘side her,

And frightened Miss Muffet away.


Little Jack Horner, Horner,

Sat in a corner, corner,

Eating his Christmas pie;

He put in his thumb, his thumb,

And pulled out a plum, a plum,

And said what a good boy am I.


Old Mother Hubbard, Hubbard,

Went to her cupboard, cupboard,

To fetch her poor doggy a bone;

But when she got there, got there,

The cupboard was bare, was bare,

And so the poor little doggy had none.




Story of Creation 🔊



A traditional song. The creation of the animals and their journey into the Ark, was told in song sung by Dr. Merle St. Croix Wright to the author of ‘On the trail of Negro folk songs’ published in 1925 by Dorothy Scarborough for CUP.



























First he made a sun, then he made a moon,

Then he made a possum, then a big racoon.

All the other creatures, he made 'em one by one;

Stuck 'em on the fence to dry as soon as they was done.



Walk-ee-in, walk-ee-in, walk in, I say.

Walk into the parlour to hear the banjo play.

Walk into the parlour and hear the children sing,

And watch the old man’s fingers as he picks upon the string.

Zing, zing, zing, zing, Zing, zing, zing.


Old Mother Eve couldn't sleep without a pillow,

And the greatest man that ever lived was Jack the Giant-killer.


Old Noah was a mighty man, he built a mighty ark,

And got all the critters in just before the dark.


Along come the elephant, Noah, says he, "You're drunk." "Oh, no sir," said the elephant. "I've stopped to pack my trunk."




Sun and stars 🔊




From ‘New elementary music’ by Charles A. Fullerton, published 1925.















Sun wakes up at morning,

And goes to bed at evening.

Sun wakes up at morning,

And brings us light.


Stars wake up at evening,

And go to bed at morning.

Stars wake up at evening,

And play all night.




Susie, little Susie O


This German folk song is a cradle song from the 17th century from Lower Saxony ‘Suse, liebe Suse’ and is about desperation and poverty of the times. It later became familiar as a children’s song in the USA. Probably bought over by German settlers. This version is taken from this source.

Humperdink used it in 1893 at the beginning of his opera Hansel and Gretel.

I also came across a version ‘Susy little Susy’ in BBC radio’s Time and Tune; Spring 1966.




















Susie, little Susie, now what is the news?

The geese are going barefoot because they've no shoes.

The gander can’t pay, so the cobblers refuse,

Pity little goslings that can’t afford shoes.


Susie, little Susie, some pennies I pray,

To buy a little supper of sugar and whey,

I'll sell my nice bed and go sleep on the straw,

Where feathers do not tickle and mice do not gnaw.


Eia-popeia, what is to be done?

Who'll give me milk and eggs, for bread I have none?

I'll go back to bed and I'll lie there all day,

If there's nothing for to eat then there’s nothing to pay.



Sweet potatoes 🔊




A Creole Folk tune with a counter melody by Hector Spalding; it was first published in 1919 in ‘Twice 55 The New Brown Book’, Sunny-Birchard Company, Illinois.

The version below was broadcast on BBC’s School’s Music Time in 1970. You can see a video of The Spinners singing it brilliantly along with a group of young eight year olds who sing the counter melody at an end of term concert:



















Soon as we all bake sweet potatoes,

Sweet potatoes, sweet potatoes,

Soon as we all bake sweet potatoes,

Eat them up right quick!


Counter melody or chorus:

Roo, roo, roo, roo, hoo roo,

Sing hode dinkum!

Roo, roo, roo, roo, hoo roo, hoo roo.


Soon as supper's done, mammy hollers,

Mammy hollers, mammy hollers,

Soon as supper's done, mammy hollers,

Time to go to bed.


Soon as all our heads touch the pillow,

Touch the pillow, touch the pillow,

Soon as all our heads touch the pillow,

Time go to sleep.


When the rooster crows in the morning,

In the morning, in the morning,

When the rooster crows in the morning,

Time we all got up.




Swim on, swim on 🔊




A wish for a better world.

What are you doing to help keep our oceans fit for the future? A song to encourage a discussion of how we, in our small way, can make a difference to the survival of the creatures and species we love.























Swim, swim through the waters,

Little fish of the sea,

Through the clear, salty waters,

Swim on merrily.

With no more pollution

And no microbeads,

Swim on, swim on,

So wild and so free.


Plough on through the oceans,

Great whales of the sea,

May your journeys be long

And your passage be free,

From waters polluted

With the plastic bags gone,

Plough on, plough on,

Sing your beautiful songs.


Our wish is for the future

Of our natural world,

With no waste, noise or garbage

That will never grow old.

Please think what you are doing,

Keep our water’s alive,

Think on, think on,

So our oceans can thrive.




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