As a children’s librarian, I learned to love him even more. He wrote some of my favourite bounces and tickles with Pizza Pickle Pumpernickel, Dickery Dean, and The Bear and the Bees (aka Wiggle Waggle Went the Bear), as well as the sweet lullaby Rock Me Easy.
His name-play rhyme Willoughby Wallaby Woo is featured in his iconic poetry collection Alligator Pie. In 1976 Raffi included a version he and Larry Miyata adapted on the record Singable Songs for the Very Young, and they’ve been kind enough to share their chords and lyrics on Raffi’s website. My ending is slightly different than Raffis; I must have picked up the alternate version from another storytimer over the years.
Raffi’s chords are G/A/D. I’ve transposed to C/D/G7, but if your voice goes a little higher than mine, you can play with our favourite easy storytime chords, F/G7/C.
Willoughby Wallaby Woo
Willoughby wallaby wee, an elephant sat on me
Willoughby wallaby woo, an elephant sat on you
Willoughby wallaby wames, an elephant sat on James
Willoughby wallaby wemma, an elephant sat on Emma
Willoughby wallaby winn, an elephant sat on Quinn
Oh willoughby wallaby, willoughby wallaby, willoughby wallaby woo