Songs for the Christmas season (inc Thanksgiving) O-R

 

Old man of the woods

Once the was a turkey

One Father Christmas

One little, two little, three little stars

Orientis partibus

Over there

Past three o’clock

Pat-a-pan

Plums in winter

Proud turkeys

Reindeer go

Reindeer hokey pokey

Ring, ring, ring the bells

Robin-a bobbin’s Christmas present

Rocking carol

Round red postbox

Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer

Also: Mister Turkey and Mister Duck

Christmas songs: A-E 📦 🔔 F-N 🔔 T-Z 🎅

 

Last updated: 12/19/2020 8:09 AM

The songs below are part ofAway we gocompiled, 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.


 

Old man of the woods O

 

 


This song for Christmas time comes from ‘Thirty folk settings for children’ words by Anne Mendoza to a Welsh folk tune which I found recently in an Oxfam book shop. It can also be found in the BBC Publication Singing Together, Autumn 1970.

 

Mime swinging an axe with a strong rhythm as the song is sung.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Chopping trees and cutting branches;

In the wood there is an old man.

In the wood there is an old man,

Chopping trees and cutting branches.

 

Trees for Christmas tall or short ones,

In the wood the old man's chopping,

In the wood the old man's chopping,

Trees for Christmas tall or short ones.

 

Come and buy now all good people

From the old man in the wood,

From the old man in the wood,

Come and buy now all good people.


 

 

Once there was a turkey 🔊

 

 


From ‘This is Music 4’ published in 1968. The words are by Anonymous and the music is by Wallace E. De Pue and the girls and boys of Leetonia, Ohio; the tune has been arranged here by Dany Rosevear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Mister Turkey Gobbler thought he was so grand,

He strutted round the barnyard like a king of all the land.

With feathers spread and beak held high, its very plain to see

Why all the barnyard fowls thought him conceited as can be.

 

“Gobble gobble,” said the turkey,

I’m the fairest of the fair,

“Gobble gobble,” said the turkey,

I am wanted everywhere.

Only this morning Mister Farmer came to say,

I’m invited to his dinner on Thanksgiving Day.

 


 

 

One Father Christmas 🔊

 

 


A festive number finger play. From ‘Round about the seasons’ by Monica Shelton.

Music by Dany Rosevear.

 

Each time raise fingers to show number. 1. Curve hands with palms facing. 2. Make fingers ‘twinkle’. 3. Use fists to show sacks. 4. Gallop fist on hand. 5. Clap five times gradually getting louder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


One Father Christmas all merry and bright,

Two little stars a-twinkling in the night,

Three fat sacks in the big brown sleigh,

Four strong reindeer galloping away!

Five Christmas presents for you and you and you and you and me!

Hurray!

 


 

 

One little, two little, three little stars 🔊

 

 


A festive number hand play. Music and words slightly adapted by Dany Rosevear.

 

Each time raise fingers to show numbers. 1. Open and close hands. 2. Make fingers ‘twinkle’. 3. Make any action suggested by the words.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


One little, two little,

Three little stars,

Four little, five little,

Six little stars,

Seven little, eight little,

Nine little stars,

Twinkling in the Christmas sky.

Twinkling in the Christmas sky.

 

One little, two little,

Three little bells…

Ring-a-ding on Christmas night.

Ring-a-ding on Christmas night.

 

One little, two little,

Three little stockings…

Hanging from the mantlepiece.

Hanging from the mantlepiece.

 

One little, two little,

Three little elves…

Making toys for Christmas Day.

Making toys for Christmas Day.

 

One little, two little,

Three little lights…

Shining on the Christmas tree.

Shining on the Christmas tree.

 


 

 

Orientus partibus 🔊

 

 


A sense of humour has been around for a very long time. The Feast of the Ass was a medieval, Christian feast observed on January 14th, celebrating the Flight into Egypt. Celebrated mostly in France, it was a part of the Feast of Fools commemorating donkey-related Bible stories, especially the one where donkey takes the Holy Family into Egypt after the birth of Jesus.

In the festival a donkey would be led through town to the church, where the donkey would stand beside the altar during the sermon, and the congregation would "hee-haw" their responses to the priest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Orientis partibus

adventavit asinus,

pulcher et fortissimus,

Sarcinis aptissimus.

Hez, hez, Hez, Sir Asnes, hez!

Hez, hez, Hez, Sir Asnes, hez!

 

From the East the donkey came,

Stout and strong as twenty men;

Ears like wings and eyes like flame,

Striding into Bethlehem.

Heh! Heh! Heh! Sir Donkey, Heh!

Heh! Heh! Heh! Sir Donkey, Heh!

 

Faster than the deer he leapt,

With his burden on his back;

Though all other creatures slept,

Still the ass kept on his track. Heh! …

 

Still he draws his heavy load,

Fed on barley and rough hay;

Pulling on along the road -

Donkey, pull our sins away! Heh! …

 

Wrap him now in cloth of gold;

All rejoice who see him pass;

Mirth inhabit young and old

On this feast day of the ass. Heh! …

 


 

 

Over there 🔊

 

 


This light-hearted American version is an anomaly as it is sung as a Christmas carol but is based on the traditional Irish famine song “The praties they grow small”.

It can be found in the ‘This is music 4’ a schools songbook from North America published in 1968 which notes it is an early American song from 1844.

To find out more visit: https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=13830 .

The tune is arranged by Dany Rosevear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Oh, potatoes they grow small over there,

Oh, potatoes they grow small over there,

Oh, potatoes they grow small, 'cause they plant 'em in the fall,

And then eats 'em tops and all, over there, over there.

 

Oh, the candles they are small over there,

Oh, the candles they are small over there,

Oh, the candles they are small, for they dips 'em lean and tall,

And then burns 'em sticks and all, over there, over there.

 

Oh, I wish that we were geese, night and morn,

Oh, I wish that we were geese, night and morn,

Oh, I wish that we were geese and could live our lives in peace

And accumulate much grease eating corn, eating corn.

 


 

 

 

Past three o’clock 🔊

 

 


A lovely Christmas song but the traditional verses are rather challenging for little ones so I have added a simple couplet to complement the chorus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Past three o’clock,

And a cold frosty morning,

Past three o’clock,

Good morrow masters all!

 

Softly sleeping, warm in your cradle,

Tiny babe sleep till dawn peeps through the sky.

 


 

Pat-a-pan O

 

 


Pat-a-pan is a French Burgundian carol that dates back to the 17th C.

There are many loose translations of this song but this version felt right for young children.

By its very nature it is a perfect Christmas song to accompany with percussion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


William bring your little drum,

Robin, bring your flute and come;

We will listen as you play,

Tu-re-lu-re-lu,

Pat-a-pat-a-pan,

Flute and drum together play,

On a happy Christmas Day.

 

Children bring your flute and drum,

For it’s time to have some fun!

We’ll be merry as you play,

Tu-re-lu-re-lu, pat-a-pat-a-pan,

Listen to the lovely sound’

Sing and dance and jump around!

 

Children bring your flute and drum,

For the festive time has come!

We’ll be merry as you play,

Tu-re-lu-re-lu, pat-a-pat-a-pan,

We’ll be merry as you play,

Sing and dance this Christmas Day!


 

 

Plums in winter 🔊

 

 


From ‘Songs of a little child’s day’ by Emilie Poulson and Eleanor Smith published 1910.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Cherries in Summer,

Nuts in the Fall;

Winter, do you bring

No fruit at all?

"Plenty," says Winter;

"When Christmas comes,

Christmas trees will surely

Bear sugar plums!"


 

 

Proud turkeys 🔊

 

 


A simple Thanksgiving hand play.

1. Hold up hand to form turkey head. 2. Link thumbs and fan hands to make tail. 3. Make head as before, open and close thumb and fingers. 4. Move head from side to side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Proud turkeys stretch their necks and strut,

Spread their feathers wide.

All they say is, “Gobble, gobble, gobble!”

As they wobble from side to side.


 

 

Reindeer go 🔊

 

 


A nursery knee jogging rhyme translated from the Norwegian.

Tune by Dany Rosevear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Reindeer go, over the snow,

Fast, fast and never slow;

Up and down, through the town,

Go, reindeer, go, go, go!

Go, reindeer, go, go, go!

 

Reindeer fly, way up in the sky,

Where the stars are twinkling high;

Over the hills, smooth and still,

Fly, reindeer, fly, fly, fly!

Fly, reindeer, fly, fly, fly!


 

 

Reindeer hokey pokey 🔊

 

 


A Christmas circle game. Learn to differentiate between left and right.

Adapted and arranged by Dany Rosevear.

 

Stand in a circle. Verse 1. Put head in then out and in again, then shake them. Turn around. Hold hands and on each ‘oh!’ move towards the centre of the circle and back out again. Turn around. For each subsequent verse follow the same sequence but move the relevant body part.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


You put your antlers in, you take your antlers out,

You put your antlers in and you shake them all about.

You do the Reindeer Pokey and you turn yourself around.

That's what it's all about!

Chorus

Oh! Reindeer hokey pokey,

Oh! Reindeer hokey pokey,

Oh! Reindeer hokey pokey,

That's what it's all about!

 

You put your right hoof in....

You put your left hoof in....

You put your red nose in....

You put your little tail in...

You put your whole reindeer in…


 

 

 

Ring, ring, ring the bells 🔊

 

 


This song can be sung as a round or played as a game like ‘Row your boat’. For the second verse try holding hands with a partner standing up and alternatively move up and down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Ring, ring, ring the bells,

Ring them loud and clear,

To tell the children everywhere

That Christmastime is here!

 

Ring, ring, ring the bells,

Ring them up and down.

Christmas bells are here again,

All about the town.

 

 


 

 

Robin-a-bobbin’s Christmas present 🔊

 

 


A perfect present for a robin. A hand play.

 

Verse 1. With thumb and forefinger together ‘nod’ hand. Hands to cheek. Make bed with thumbs and forfingers. Put hand to forehead. Cup hands, Put up two fingers on each hand for antlers. Make hand sail across the sky. 2. Throw out hands, circle thumsb and forefingers. Thumb points to back, point to watch. Fold arms. Raise thumb, wiggle three fingers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Robin-a-bobbin is noddin’ his head,

The whole world is sleepng,

The children are in bed.

Robin-a-bobbin looks up, up in the sky,

Sees Santa, the reindeer and sleigh, sailing by!

Sees Santa, the reindeer and sleigh, sailing by!

 

“Where are you going way past the clouds and moon?”

“I’ve presents to deliver, I’ll come back very soon.”

Little robin waited for Santa to return,

He came back with a “Ho, ho, ho!” and three little worms!

He came back with a “Ho, ho, ho!” and three little worms!

 

 


 

 

Rocking carol 🔊

 

 


A beautiful traditional Czech carol translated by Percy Dearmer from the Czech in 1928 as a lullaby to the baby Jesus. It is sung in both Britain and Ireland, but is less familiar to those on the North American continent. I remember this song fondly as a child; especially when the, invariably, little boys rocked their arms vigorously much to the displeasure of their teachers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Little Jesus, sweetly sleep, do not stir;

We will lend a coat of fur,

We will rock you, rock you, rock you,

We will rock you, rock you, rock you:

See the fur to keep you warm,

Snugly round your tiny form.

 

Mary's little baby, sleep, sweetly sleep,

Sleep in comfort, slumber deep;

We will rock you, rock you, rock you,

We will rock you, rock you, rock you:

We will serve you all we can,

Darling, darling little man.

 


 

 

Rocky, rocky road 🔊

 

 


Sing your hearts out at Christmas with this traditional West Indies spiritual, additional text by Louise Dobbs. For nostalgia buffs this comes from BBC School Radio ‘Singing together’ Autumn term 1979, 1986.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Wrapped in swaddlin’ clothes, the babe is lyin’,

In his mother's arms, there'll be no cryin’,

Shepherds from afar, they do come nigh him,

Rocky road-um, Hey, a Rocky road-um.

 

Rocky, rocky road, a rocky road-um,

Rocky, rocky road, a rocky road-um,

Rocky, rocky road, a rocky road-um,

Rocky road-um, Hey, a Rocky road-um.

 

Ox and the ram, bow down before him,

Shepherds in the field, how they adore him,

Angels up above are watchin’ o’er him,

Rocky road-um, Hey, a Rocky road-um.

 

Can you sound a note to greet the angels,

Can you sound a note to greet the angels,

Can you sound a note to greet the angels,

Can you sound a note ‘ta-ta’ to greet the angels?

 

Listen to the bells, how they are ringing,

Hear the trumpet sound, the people singing,

Music is the gift that we are bringing,

Rocky road-um, Hey, a Rocky road-um.

 


 

 

Round red postbox 🔊

 

 


A Christmas counting game. Can be adapted to count in other number strings, 10, 20, 30…

Words and music by Dany Rosevear.

Leader holds a bagful of numbers. Children stand still in a space. Hop in and out of each other. Stop, rub tummy then then make a letter box with thumbs and fingers. Leader pulls out a number. Children clap hands or stamp feet and count.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Round red postbox

Stands in the snow,

Along comes robin redbreast

Hopping to and fro;

“You’re looking rather hungry

For your mouth is open wide,

Here’s lots of Christmas cards to count,

As each one drops inside!”

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6….

 


 

 

 

Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer 🔊

 

 


A Christmas classic. Words by Robert L. May and music by Johnny Marks published in 1947. Find out more at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolph_the_Red-Nosed_Reindeer_(song)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer,

Had a very shiny nose,

And if you ever saw it,

You would even say it glows.

 

All of the other reindeer,

Used to laugh and call him names,

They never let poor Rudolph,

Join in any reindeer games.

 

Then one foggy Christmas Eve,

Santa came to say,

“Rudolph with your nose so bright,

Won't you guide my sleigh tonight?”

 

Then how the reindeer loved him,

As they shouted out with glee,

“Rudolph the red-nose reindeer,

You'll go down in history!”

 


 

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