Carpenters' Hall

Colonial Children's Songs

GRADE LEVEL: Pre-K, Kindergarten
SUGGESTED TIME: 1-2 hours

Frere Jacques

Movements: Children act like they are sleeping. Children start to wake up, yawning, stretching, rubbing their eyes.

Frere Jacques, Frere Jacques
Dormez-vous, Dormez-vous?
Sonnez le matines, sonnez le matines
Din, din, don
Din, din, don

Are you sleeping, are you sleeping?
Brother John, Brother John?
Morning bells are ringing, morning
bells are ringing
Ding, ding, dong
Ding, ding, dong

London Bridge

Movements: Two people form a bridge by facing each other and clasping their hands with each other's hands. Hold the hands high in the air enough for children to pass underneath. During the beginning of each verse all children dance, one by one, underneath the bridge. At "My fair lady," the bridge arms come down around one child. The second verse is sung with the child inside the bridge. Prior to the third verse the captured child can go sit down, or rejoin the game, at the teachers discretion. Every two verses after proceed in a similar manner with a different child caught each time. When the class runs out of verses, it starts again.

London Bridge is falling down,
Falling down, falling down,
London Bridge is falling down,
My fair lady

Off to prison you must go,
You must go, you must go,
Off to prison you must go,
My fair lady

Build it up with bricks and stones,
Bricks and stones, bricks and stones,
Build it up with bricks and stones,
My fair lady

Bricks and stones will wash away,
Wash away, wash away,
Bricks and stones will wash away,
My fair lady.

Build it up with silver and gold,
Silver and gold, silver and gold,
Build it up with silver and gold,
My fair lady

Theives will steal the silver and gold,
Silver and gold, silver and gold,
Thieves will steal the silver and gold,
My fair lady

Three Blind Mice

Movements: Using three children as mice, and one child as the farmer's wife, act out the verse of the song as a type of theatrical play.

Three blind mice, three blind mice,
See how they run, see how they run.
They all ran after the farmer's wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife.
Did you ever see such a sight in your life,
As three blind mice?

Did You Ever See a Lassie (Laddie)?

Movements: The children can form a circle. When they sing "this way and that way," one player is chosen to act out a motion as the other imitate. Show the children some "old fashion" actions, such as curstying, bowing, "powdering," and shaving. Then ask them to think of actions they might choose if they sang this song among their friends today.

Did you ever see a lassie (laddie),
A lassie (laddie), a lassie (laddie)?
Did you ever see a lassie (laddie)
Do this way and that?
Do this way and that way
and this way and that way?
Did you ever see a lassie (laddie)
Do this way and that?

Carpenters' Hall, 320 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Open free to the public daily, except Mondays (and Tuesdays in Jan. and Feb.), from 10am-4pm

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a nonprofit organization in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, founded in 1942.
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