Children’s Folk Songs (Day Twenty-Seven of Homemade Music)

Welcome to 31 Days of Homemade Music! This month we are exploring how and why everyone can benefit from being an active participant in music making. To read more posts in this series, click here.

Children’s folk songs have perhaps been among the most enduring cultural songs. Who hasn’t heard Skip to My Lou or Hush Little Baby, for example? Today, I wanted to share some delightful (and perhaps less well-known) children’s songs that deserve our attention.

In my prep time, however, I was slightly disturbed by the lack of reliable chord sources for these songs. Most links that I found had either poorly written tab, over-popularized and stylized remake versions, or incorrect notation. And so I must apologize. I don’t want to lead you astray with these sites, so I simply didn’t include them. We have our own children’s music books at home, but I was hoping to be able to pass on a free resource to those who don’t.

Also, I must apologize for the cheesy and obnoxious kids’ animation videos. I don’t usually go for these types of videos. I prefer to keep to tasteful or simple videos for the sake of developing a more beautiful sense of aesthetics in my kids. However, I was having a difficult time finding videos that were not either shallow animations or overly-stylized band versions of these traditional songs.

And-last apology, I promise!- there are so many good kid’s songs to sing, but I only have posted three here because of the ridiculous amount of time I took searching for accurate chords and decent videos of other songs that didn’t make it to this post. Tomorrow I will be sure to post further resources for folk and children’s music so you can find where to go from here!

Regardless, I still think these are worthwhile, so I will include whatever elements I can find for helping you learn the songs. Even the videos and lyrics, for example, will be enough to get you singing these with your kids. (I think I see a need here to record some of these songs!)

First up, Old Molly Hare– Here’s a kid’s video version- again, not my favorite style, but very easy to learn the tune and words from. If you want to hear an old-timey version from the early 1900s, try this one instead. Click here for yet another different version with chords.

Here’s one called Little Nut Tree, a traditional English nursery rhyme. It’s a pretty little tune with humorous text. You can find additional lyrics here.

How about Go Tell Aunt Rhody?  (Or, alternatively, The Old Grey Goose.) The name of the Aunt varies by the region the sung is sung. You can watch a short video tutorial here that includes chords and lyrics. Here’s a version by the Weavers:

The fun part about these songs is that even if you’re not really musically inclined, you can still sing-chant them together with your kids. It doesn’t need to be perfect to enjoy it! What’s your little one’s favorite tune?

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