Thursday, June 21, 2007

Song of the Week: Hop Up Ladies

At the moment, I'm fresh out of ideas for Children's Books That Never Were. Horn Book might possibly be interested in one of my submissions for their Cadenza page, but it would have to be previously unpublished. I entreat you to send me ideas. I will write a heroic couplet for everyone who submits an idea that I actually use. I will give profuse thanks to those whose ideas I don't use, but who deserve gratitude for bothering to help me out. Please submit ideas in the comments section or email me directly.

That said, I'm going to try out a new blog feature: song of the week. I'll present a simple song with lyrics, a sound-sample when possible, guitar chords, and ideas for how you can use the song in your storytimes.

This week's song is one that Lucia was singing repeatly after listening to The Nields' album All Together Singing in the Kitchen. It's an American folk song from Virginia called "Hop Up Ladies." Lucia calls it "Uncle Joe, Uncle Joe."

The lyrics:

Did you ever go to meeting, Uncle Joe, Uncle Joe
Did you ever go to meeting, Uncle Joe?
Did you ever go to meeting Uncle Joe, Uncle Joe?
Don't mind the weather when the wind don't blow!


Hop up, my ladies, three in a row
Hop up, my ladies, three in a row
Hop up, my ladies, three in a row
Don't mind the weather when the wind don't blow!

Will your horse carry double …

Is your horse a single footer…

Would you rather own a pacer…

Say don't you want to gallop…

There are specific directions for dancing to this song in the Wee Sing Fun 'n' Folk booklet, but I plan to keep it simple. For storytimes in which grownups participate, I'll have everyone join hands to step into a circle and out with each line, then have them jump up during the chorus. If the audience is in a space where a circle game is not appropriate, I'll direct them to sit down and clap during the verses, then "hop up" during the chorus. For toddlers, caregivers can have their children on their laps and bounce along as if the children were riding horses, with special emphasis on "hop up" of course. I wonder if this is a good way to determine who will actually enjoy roller coaster rides later on.

10/10/07 Update: These days, I have the children sit down and pat their hands on their thighs to imitate rhythmic clip-clopping sounds, then have them jump up for the "hop up" parts. They're perfectly happy just to bop up and down for the choruses, then sit down for the verses.

Guitar chords link (Ignore the B7 if you feel like it. It sounds fine.)

Song sample (from House Party Time! by Dan Zanes)


Lady K said...

You always find the best songs to make people smile. ;-)

xxxxxx said...

I am terrible at this (making up names for Children's books That Never Were)

How about...

The Color-Blind Kittens?

(the original book is adorable! one of my favorites since birth!)Don't ban me if its lame!

Vivian Mahoney said...

How about a spoof on Cinderella?

I'm having a Mr. Linky thing up so people can link in their favorite posts. Stop by!

Saints and Spinners said...

Diana--What is the original title for The Color-Blind Kittens? I confess I have no idea.

HWM--A spoof on Cinderella is a good idea. However, there are so many satires of fairy tales out there that I'm stumped as to how I would put a particular spin on the spoof. Of course, The Egyptian Cinderella is ripe for derision.

Lady K--Thank you! Let me know how you like it if you play it.

xxxxxx said...

The original title is The Color Kittens by Margaret Wise Brown. It is written in verse.It's a fantastic book!
One part goes (from memory)
And in all that brown the sun went down... it was evening and the kittens fell asleep in the warm dark night with all their colors out of sight and as they slept they dreamed their dream, a wonderful dream of a red rose tree that turned all white when you counted three, one two three....
The Provensen illustrations are wonderful! Golden books recently reprinted the whole story (it had been shorted during the 70's).

Saints and Spinners said...

Diana: It's ringing a bell, now (the title at least). I'll look it up. By the way, I recently purchased a book for Lucia called Zinnia's Flower Garden, by Monica Wellington. I know how hard it is for all of us to wait for our seedlings to grow, and thought the book would help. (I also put up little signs with pictures of the plants that are supposed to grow.) Speaking of plants... my cucumber seeds wouldn't grow, and they wouldn't grow, so I bought some starts. Now, the original seeds are starting to grow. Um.... do you need any cucumber starts?

Vivian Mahoney said...

I forgot about all the international versions of Cinderella. Yes, this would be hard. Hmmmm.

How about Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, no Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Voirst?

xxxxxx said...

Hi Alkelda,
Ummm, only if you take some tomato plants that have taken over the veggie garden!!!(I'll throw in some dill as well!)

Saints and Spinners said...

HWM: Now you're talking!

Diana: Gladly. I tried planting dill TWICE this spring, and nothing happened. Is it any wonder with all the seeds that didn't come up that I doubted the cucumbers? Bede says I'm the opposite of the boy in The Carrot Seed: everyone tells me the seeds will come up, and I'm filled with doubt.

xxxxxx said...

I planted dill once and it was shabby the first year, slow to get going. At the end of the season they were maybe 10 inches tall. Since they are annuals in my climate I forgot about them. The next year though they came back, reseeded and then for some reason they did VERY well, 3 feet tall. They seem to like things on the dry side.

Lone Star Ma said...


I will suggest books to funnify (not bad ones, but I could see them made funny):

Madeline and the Bad Hat
First Grade Takes A Test
More, More, More said The Baby
The Napping House

Anonymous said...

This is awesome. I love Dan Zanes' version of this on the new CD.

Jules from 7Imp (trying to get caught up on blog-reading after the SBBT)

Saints and Spinners said...

LSM: Good suggestions! Thanks.

Jules: I'm glad you like it. I'm thinking, by the way, of doing the iTunes affilates program for the blog. I've signed up, and I'll see if I actually go through with it.