Frere Jacques variations (with felts)

There are so many variations on Frere Jacques that I split these two felt-adapted songs into their own post. If you have clip-art or felt images that fit the descriptors, I Am Hungry can be nicely participatory, and encourage some discussion around foods we eat. I’m hoping to add more options to this set over time.

This translation and transliteration of Two Tigers is via Embracing Diversity, the Burnaby Public Library’s fantastic multilingual song and rhyme repository. I practiced singing the Mandarin words for over a week so I could attempt a semi-reasonable pronunciation, and posted the words in both languages at storytime so the grown-ups in attendance could sing along with me. Listen to it here

For felters, this free colouring sheet is the pattern for my tigers.  And  for beginner players, remember you can ignore the chords here entirely and just strum away on C the whole way through.


IMG_4255
I Am Hungry
C  G7 C         G7  C

I am hungry! (I am hungry)
      G7      C           G7      C

What should I eat? (What should I eat?)
           G7         C                G7         C

Think I’ll have some pizza (Think I’ll have some pizza)
        G7   C            G7   C

Without any meat (Without any meat)

Verses
Borscht... with purple beets
Cocoa... with lots of heat
Fresh Fruit... for a treat
Ice Cream... cold and sweet
Sandwich... on whole wheat
___________(any food)... that sounds neat



Two Tigers
Liăng Zhī Lăo Hŭ / Two Tigers
C     G7   C            G7   C

Liăng zhī lăo hŭ, liăng zhī lăo hŭ
    G7  C        G7  C

Păo de kuài, păo de kuài
       G7      C              G7      C

Yì zhī méi yŏu ěr duo, yì zhī méi yŏu yĭ ba
     G7  C         G7  C

Zhēn qí guài, zhēn qí guài!

C G7 C        G7 C

Two tigers, two tigers
  G7 C      G7 C

Run fast, run fast
        G7   C            G7    C

One without ears, one without a tail
   G7 C        G7 C

How strange, how strange!

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Frere Jacques (and variations)

There are dozens of songs based on Frere Jacques, and these are the ones I’d be most likely to use at storytime. Click the titles to see my sources, and stay tuned for a couple related felt stories next post.

Some of my favourite variations are better with hand gestures (Roly Poly, Fruit Salad), actions (Walking, Walking), shakers (Popcorn Kernels), scarves (Make a Circle), or felts (Two Tigers, I Am Hungry), so I’d be inclined to introduce many of these without the ukulele the first time we sing them in a storytime series.

Note that while this version includes a lot of transitions, you can also play the entire song strumming a single chord.  It’s the easiest song ever.  Try it with C.


Frere Jacques
C  G7  C          G7  C

Frere Jacques, Frere Jacques
    G7  C        G7  C

Dormez-vous? Dormez-vous?
       G7      C            G7    C
Sonnez les matines, sonnez les matines
     G7    C          G7   C

Ding dang dong, ding dang dong



Bear is Sleeping
C    G7  C             G7 C

Bear is sleeping, bear is sleeping
      G7   C           G7   C

Bird flew south, bird flew south
             G7      C                   G7      C

Squirrel is storing acorns, squirrel is storing acorns
   G7  C         G7  C

In her mouth, in her mouth



I Hear Thunder
C  G7   C         G7   C

I hear thunder, I hear thunder
      G7    C         G7    C

Hark don’t you? Hark don’t you?
        G7     C                 G7     C

Pitter patter raindrops, pitter patter raindrops
    G7   C          G7  C

I’m wet through, so are you!

C  G7  C            G7   C

I see blue skies, I see blue skies
    G7  C        G7  C

Way up high, way up high
      G7     C               G7     C

Hurry up the sunshine, hurry up the sunshine
       G7   C          G7   C

We’ll soon dry, we’ll soon dry



Peek-A-Boo
C   G7  C       G7  C

Peek-a-boo, peek-a-boo
   G7  C      G7  C

I see you! I see you!
            G7     C                G7   C

I see your button nose, I see your tiny toes!
    G7  C     G7   C

Peek-a-boo! I see you!



Popcorn Kernels
C  G7   C            G7   C

Popcorn kernels, popcorn kernels
   G7   C      G7   C

In the pot, in the pot
            G7           C

Shake them, shake them, shake them
             G7           C
Shake them, shake them, shake them
      G7   C         G7   C

Till they pop! Till they pop!



Roly Poly
C G7  C      G7 C

Roly poly, roly poly
   G7 C      G7 C

Up up up, up up up
      G7   C          G7   C

Roly roly poly, roly roly poly
      G7   C          G7   C

Down down down, down down down

Verses
In/Out...
Fast/Slow...
Left/Right...



Walking Through the Forest
C        G7          C               G7          C

Walking through the forest, walking through the forest
     G7    C         G7    C

What do I hear? What do I hear? (hiss)
          G7     C                 G7      C

I think I heard a snake, I think I heard a snake
      G7   C          G7   C

Hiss hiss hiss, hiss hiss hiss

Verses
Other animals and their sounds



Walking Walking
C  G7   C            G7   C

Walking walking, walking walking
    G7   C       G7   C

Hop hop hop, hop hop hop
         G7      C                G7      C

Running running running, running running running
    G7  C        G7  C

Now we stop, now we stop

Similar: Run run run


Where is the Letter
C     G7  C         G7  C

Where is “A?” Where is “A?”
      G7 C         G7  C

There it is, there it is
           G7          C                     G7         C

What’s the sound that “A” makes? What’s the sound that “A” makes?
    G7  C        G7  C

Aah aah aah, aah aah aah

Verses
Other letters and their sounds



Where is Baby
C     G7  C            G7  C

Where is ______? Where is ______?
       G7    C          G7    C

There she/he is! There she/he is!
          G7      C                 G7     C

We’re so glad to see you! We’re so glad to see you!
    G7 C        G7 C

Peek-a-boo! Peek-a-boo!



Where is Thumbkin
C     G7  C              G7  C

Where is thumbkin? Where is thumbkin?
    G7 C       G7 C

Here I am, here I am
        G7     C             G7      C

How are you today sir? Very well, I thank you
    G7 C      G7 C

Run away, run away



Other Variations Include
Fruit Salad
Leaves are Twirling
Tops and Bottoms Handwashing Song
I Am Popcorn
Let’s Go Riding
Make a Circle
Shapes
Snowflakes Falling
Where is Puppet

Los Pollitos (The Little Chicks)

It’s the time of year when I’m likely to include chicks in my storytimes, so I’ve been learning to play Los Pollitos. I’ve borrowed an English translation from Elizabeth Mitchell’s You are My Little Bird, and found these simple chords from Ukulele Rocks. The song also sounds great in the key of G (which you can see in the You Are My Little Bird songbook). There are many other versions and translations out there, so sing whatever words you know or love best.


Los Pollitos
C                  F       C

Los pollitos dicen pio pio pio
F              C        G7            C

Cuando tienen hambre, cuando tienen frio
C                  F          C

La gallina busca el maiz y el trigo
F            C    G7            C

Les da la comida y les busca abrigo
C                 F           C

Bajo de sus alas sestn quietecitos
F              C   G7            C

Hasta el otro dia duermen los pollitos



The Little Chicks
C                           F       C

All the little chicks say, pio pio pio
F              C       G7            C

When they are hungry, when they are cold
C                       F            C

Mama chicken looks for corn and some wheat
F                    C       G7                  C

That will give them dinner, that will give them heat
C                   F            C

Under her wing the chicks she’ll keep
F          C           G7              C

Until the morning the little chickies sleep

Yo Te Amo

I learned this gentle lullaby from a beloved mentor/instructor back when I was in library school. I love asking my storytime group how they say “I Love You” in their myriad home languages and then singing them all together. It’s a wonderful way to get to know each other, and glimpse the diversity in our communities. And of course, it offers a moment to reinforce what a gift it is to speak and sing to a child in their home language.

I used to write our group’s “I Love Yous” on a flipchart or white board, but I’ve just made some reversible felt hearts to put up while we sing. I’ve made a few extra blanks so I can keep up with new languages and phrases that the families volunteer.

This song doesn’t seem to be too well known but one of my colleagues recorded it at a rhyme-sharing workshop, and you can listen to it here.

Update: You can now see my friends at Jbrary singing this as well. Thanks Dana & Lindsey! Also, I’ve learned the song origin, and can finally credit Uncle Ruthie Buell. It’s from her album Take a Little Step.


Yo Te Amo
C
Yo te amo, yo te amo
G7                        C

All day long I sing this little song to you
C

Yo te amo, yo te amo
G7             C

Darling I love you


Verses
Wo ai ni... (Mandarin Chinese)
Je t’aime... (French)
Mahal kita... (Tagalog)
Ich liebe dich... (German)
Sarang hae... (Korean)
Daisuki... (Japanese)

Yo Te Amo Yo Te Amo

We’re participating in Flannel Friday again, so check out this week’s roundup at What Is Bridget Reading?

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