Baby Beluga

Baby Beluga is lyrically complex and fairly long, so if I sing it at storytime I’ll try to print out song sheets. Though it’s such a beloved children’s song (dating to parents’ childhoods now), that there are always a handful of folks who don’t need it.

I’m only including the first verse and last line, so if you need a refresher, head over to Raffi’s website where he’s kindly shared the full lyrics and his own musical arrangement. The chords below are slightly simplified from the songbook of the Vancouver Ukulele Circle. And yes, I posted this once before, but my computer ate it, so here it is again:


Baby Beluga
C

Baby beluga in the deep blue sea
                     G7
Swim so wild and you swim so free
G7

Heaven above, and the sea below
                                C

And a little white whale on the go


F            C            D

Baby beluga, baby beluga, is the water warm?
                       G7

Is your mama home with you, so happy


Verse 2: Way down yonder where the dolphins play...

Verse 3: When it's dark, you're home and fed...

Conclusion: Repeat first four lines, then:


C              F           G7           C
You're just a little white whale on the go

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Take Me Out to the Ball Game (and variations)

I’d never thought of Take Me Out to the Ball Game as a storytime song, but colleagues of mine have convinced me otherwise. As only the chorus is well known, that’s all I’ve included here. Song credits belong to Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer from 1908.

I learned These are the Toes of My Baby way back in library school, and have sung it at many happy baby and toddler storytimes. It’s tickly and playful, and makes everyone smile. Jbrary has it too, if you’d like a little inspiration. Take Me out of the Bathtub is from one of Alan Katz’ books of humorous piggyback songs. The complete song is longer than I would use at storytime so this is just the first verse, but you can listen to it all here.

These chords are slightly simplified from the Bytown Ukulele songbook. You can also play in A or C, or ignore the 7s if you prefer standard chords.


Take Me Out to the Ball Game
G                   D7
Take me out to the ball game
G                     D7
Take me out with the crowd
E7                       A7
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack
                   D7
I don't care if I never get back
        G                       D7
Let me root, root, root for the home team
    G                      C
If they don't win, it's a shame
                          G7
For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out
        A7  D7   G
At the old ball game



These are the Toes of My Baby
G                        D7
These are the toes of my baby
G                         D7
These are the toes of my guy/gal/child*
E7                              A7
These are their feet and their tiny knees
                       D7
I can’t help it, I’ll give them a squeeze
            G                     D7
And they've got two arms just for hugging
     G                   C
And hands that clap and wave
                            G
But it’s their eyes, ears, nose and their chin
      A7     D7      G
That really draws me in

*vary pronouns as appropriate, male, female, or neutral


Take Me Out of the Bathtub!
G                   D7
Take me out of the bathtub
G                   D7
Take me out of the suds
E7                            A7
I've been here soaking since half past two
                     D7
I feel so sudsy and wrinkle-y too
      G                  D7
Oh, I washed all over my body
   G                   C
My head, my toes, in between
                  G
I used one, two, three bars of soap
        A7      D7  G
Take me out... I'm clean!



Other Variations Include
Take Me Out to the Barnyard by Judy Hall
Take Me Out to the Ocean

You’ll Sing a Song and I’ll Sing a Song

My wonderful colleague Els reintroduced me to this classic Ella Jenkins song.  It’s quick to learn, participatory, highly adaptable and very catchy. Perfect for storytime. You can listen to a sample of it here. Or check your library collections. Everyone should have some Ella Jenkins; she’s an institution.

You can sing this as an action song, a daily activity song, an opening/closing song, or whatever else you might come up with.

Els worked out these chords in C. I’m including a 3-chord F version as well for those (like me) whose vocal range is reduced by endless winter colds. It sounds better with that 4th chord, but I can’t bear to fumble with a B during storytime.


You’ll Sing a Song and I’ll Sing a Song (C)
C

You'll sing a song
    Am

And I'll sing a song
    F                   G7

And we'll sing a song together
C
You'll sing a song
    Am
And I'll sing a song
   G7              C
In warm or wintry weather



You’ll Sing a Song and I’ll Sing a Song (F)
F

You'll sing a song
    Dm

And I'll sing a song
    F                   C7

And we'll sing a song together
F
You'll sing a song
    Dm
And I'll sing a song
   C7             F
In warm or wintry weather


Variations Include:
Actions: You dance around… / You wave your scarf…
Babytime: You peek-a-boo… / You roll your hands…
Daily Activities: You wash your hands… / You put on socks…
Musical: You hum along… / You snap your fingers…
Opening/Closing: You say hello… / You wave goodbye…

Love Me Tender (and variations)

Love Me Tender isn’t one of my usual storytime songs, but it would be a fun one to try. And I do have two sweet variations on the tune. Dennis Lee‘s Rock Me Easy is one of my favourite lullabies for babytime. When I sing it, it soothes me too.

I’ve only recently learned You’re My Rainbow from my colleague Kelly, and I patterned most of my felt story on hers (which she in turn received from another children’s librarian [thanks Tess!]). The pie and rainbow are the exceptions, based on Open Clipart images.

Love Me Tender is by Elvis Presley and Ken Darby (who is sometimes credited as Vera Matson), and I’ve found the chords in a number of different keys. C was the easiest for me this time, and although I’ve simplified it slightly it’s still a little trickier than most of the songs I post here due to the key change in the middle. If you don’t like that E7, you might want to try playing in F (as posted on Doctor Uke).


Love Me Tender
C                D7

Love me tender, love me sweet
G7           C

Never let me go
C                 D7

You have made my life complete
G7             C

and I love you so

E7              C

Love me tender love me true
F              C

All my dreams fulfilled
            D7

For my darling I love you
G7           C

And I always will



Rock Me Easy
C             D7
Rock me easy, rock me slow
G7                 C

Rock me where the robins go
                    D7

Rock the branch and rock the bough
G7             C

Rock the baby robins now
E7              C

Rock me up and rock me down
F               C

Rock me off to sleepy town
               D7

Rock me gently up the stairs
   G7              C

To snuggle with my teddy bears
               D7

Rock me easy, rock me slow
G7                C

Rock me where the robins go



You're My Rainbow

You’re My Rainbow
C                  D7

You’re my rainbow, you’re my star
G7                    C

You’re my bright red cookie jar
                     D7

You’re my goldfish, you’re my pie
G7                C

You’re the apple of my eye

E7                  C

You’re my rainbow, you’re my star
F                     C

You’re my bright red cookie jar
                  D7

You’re my daisy, you’re my vine
G7                  C

You’re my own true Valentine



Ukulele Love Songs
This is the third in a series of love-the-littles songs.

Jingle Bells

If you only sing one holiday song at your storytime, it’s likely to be Jingle Bells, so here’s a nice simple version that I expect will be getting a lot of play in my own programs this month. If you prefer to play your songs with 3 chords or less, you can skip the D7. I assure you, the kids won’t notice.

And if you’re feeling playful, try Walter Minkel’s delightfully silly Jungle Bells. I’ve been meaning to play this one at my own storytimes for ages, and this might just be the year for it.

Jingle Bells is such a perennial favourite that we often forget to credit it, but I’d like to note that this was written in the 1850’s by James Lord Pierpont.


Jingle Bells
C                                              F
Dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh
                   G7                   C

O'er the fields we go laughing all the way
                                        F

Bells on bob tails ring making spirits bright
                   G7                                 C

What fun it is to laugh and sing a sleighing song tonight

G7   C                                      

Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells jingle all the way
F               C              (D7)              G7

Oh, what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh
C                                          

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way
F                C               G7              C

Oh, what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh



Jungle Bells
C                                         F
Dashing down the river, dashing down the Nile
                   G7                           C

Dashing down that river, on the back of a crocodile
                                   F

Hear hyenas laugh, hearing lions roar
                                G7                                  C

When you ride for a while on a crocodile, you’ll want to ride some more

G7    C                                       

Oh,  Jungle bells, jungle bells, jungle all the way
F               C               (D7)        G7

Oh, what fun it is to ride on a crocodile today (hey!)
C                                          

Jungle bells, jungle bells, jungle all the way
F              C                G7          C

Oh what fun it is to ride on a crocodile today

Freight Train

This beauty of a folk song was written by Elizabeth Cotten and first recorded in the 1950s. There are plenty of different version and verses, my favourite being the Elizabeth Mitchell cover. I love how she invites destination requests from her audience. I tried this at my own storytimes this week, and the kids wanted to visit China, America, Africa, and “The City.” In the end, our only “problem” was too many places to see. I guess we’ll just have to play it again next week.

At home with my own two-year-old, we also sing about the different types of public transit we take (skytrain, sea bus, trolley bus etc), and he loves it so much he’s started to make up his own verses.


Freight Train
C                              G7

Freight train, freight train, going so fast,
                               C

Freight train, freight train, going so fast,
E7                     F

Please don't say what train I'm on,
         C         G7         C

So they won't know where I've gone.


Verses
1. Destinations: Going to _______, going so fast...
2. Vehicles: Subway / Trolley Bus / Airplane...