Songs to click and play one phrase at a time
The Noble Duke of York
(AKA Grand Old Duke)
Birthday greetings at the mercy of a struggling beginner piano player
(Don't worry; Grandma was
a beginner too once.)
Birthday Mouse Ballet
(Same piano player
after much more practice)
Words to the songs on this page:
you sleeping? Are you sleeping,
Jacques, Frère Jacques,
re mi do, do re mi do
This song is copyrighted, or at least someone would like to think it is, but here's a trick: it's almost an exact copy of a turn-of-the-century song called "Good Morning to You." The only difference in the notes is that you need two notes to play "happy" and only one to play "good."
The Good Morning song is NOT copywrited, and the words are below, and all you have to do is substitute happy birthday for good morning:
morning to you, good morning to you.
sol la sol do ti, sol la sol re do
the noble duke of York, he had ten thousand men;
when you're up, your'e up,
The Duke in solfege
re do sol mi sol do, do re re re re re,
The Noble duke of York exists with so many variations of the tune, it's hard to guess which is the original. One way that kids love to do it is to stand and sit on the words "up" and "down," and squat at "halfway up." Then the game is to sing it faster and faster to increase the challenge of keeping up with both the words and the actions.
Notes on the historical background of this song are at http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Grand-old-Duke-of-York
were five in the bed, and the little one said,
There were four in the bed.... [etc.]
•Five in the Bed in solfege•
sol do do do do, sol sol do do do do,
And how do you end this song? There must be as many solutions to that one as there are kids. There are several variants of the tune, but the differences are minor. If you have a Flash player and play my Flash version, you will see that the tune is simple enough to offer endless possibities for variation
diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle,
•Hey, Diddle Diddle in solfege•
mi mi mi fa, sol re re re re do,
Mother Goose .Back to top of page
Row, row, row your boat
gently down the stream.
•Row Row Row in solfege•
Do, do, do re mi mi re mi fa sol.
you do is paste the song's URL into your email,
and it will be an underlined, clickable link. The
URLs for the songs on this page are in the list below, under the song
The song, "Good Morning to All" appeared in the book, Song Stories for the Kindergarten, pub. 1893. There is a lot of discussion on the web about the Public Domain status of a 90% similar tune many know as "Happy Birthday." One piece of that discussion, at http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2003/7/5/112441/6280, seems well stated to me (definitely not a lawyer) by J Byron. The difference between the two tunes is that pair of eighth notes (instead of one quarter note) every time the word "happy" occurs. There are folks who maintain that that difference is enough to merit a 1935 copyright for "Happy Birthday." Many disagree, but to be safe, I've simply used the "Good Morning to All" song instead. Plucky singers or players can figure it out.
What do they mean by URL?
Grandma gets a lot of hits wondering "how to find a
song's URL." I hope the paragraph below helps.
URL stands for Universal Resource Locator, and it's another name for "web address," the one that appears in your browser's address window (usually at the top) and pops you to a web page. You can copy the address for any page you're looking at by putting your cursor in the address window and highlighting the whole address in that window.
If you miss the beginning (http) or leave off the end (things like .html or .swf or .pdf) the computer won't recognize it as an address, and you'll get an error message.