Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Peter Yarrow

I was musing about WHEN I HEARD THE LEARN’D ASTRONOMER and made a mental connection with PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON.  I decided to sing the two songs together as a set since they both seem to be driven by the same underlying philosophy.

I brought the two books into a class two weeks ago and tried to simply and clearly articulate why these two songs go together, when a child raised her hand and said,

“They both mean DON’T LOSE THE MAGIC.”

A kindergartner managed to sum up, simply and clearly what I was trying to say.  I was so struck by it, that I let it slip which child said it.  I hope she reminds me sometime that it was her so that I can properly give credit where credit is due.

These two songs made a terrific complimentary song set. WHEN I HEARD THE LEARN’D ASTRONOMER is an American Art Song with words by a great 19th c. American Poet with music by a contemporary Art Song composer.  PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON is a beloved folk song by Peter Yarrow and famously sung by Peter Paul & Mary, written during the great folk music revival of the 1960′s.  Talk about how both mean of the songs mean DON’T LOSE THE MAGIC.

I’ve not made a definitive choice yet about order, but I’ve been singing WHEN I HEARD THE LEARN’D ASTRONOMER first and PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON second.

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when i heard the learn'd astonomer loren long
When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer
Words by Walt Whitman
Music by Various Artists
Pictures by Loren Long

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Puff the Magic Dragon
Words and Music by Peter Yarrow and Lenny Lipton
Illustrated by Eric Puybaret

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Related Posts

 

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POETRY SINGABLE POETRY IN COMPILATIONS

An list of  singable poems from compilations of poetry for children
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/singable-poetry-a-list-of-poems-that-can-be-sung-from-illustrated-compilations-of-poetry-and-singable-picture-books/

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POETRY, SINGABLE POETRY IN INDIVIDUALLY ILLUSTRATED SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS
A list of individually illustrated poems that have been set to music and can be sung
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/04/20/poems-individually-illustrated-spb/

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Peter Yarrow and “The Folk Process”

http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2009/12/03/the-folk-process/

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Two Books Participating in “The Folk Process”

http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2009/12/04/two-books-participating-in-the-folk-process/

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ILLUSTRATED COLLECTIONS OF CHILDREN’S SONGS WITH MUSIC
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/illustrated-collections-of-childrens-songs-with-music/

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Greenwich Village (music that defined a generation), a terrific, inspiring documentary
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/greenwich-village-music-that-defined-a-generation-a-terrific-inspiring-documentary/

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PETER YARROW SONGBOOK SERIES

A list of the Singable Picture Books from the Peter Yarrow Songbook series:
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/the-case-for-singing-with-children-from-peter-yarrow/

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PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON, A SINGABLE PICTURE BOOK
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/puff-the-magic-dragon-a-singable-picture-book/

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WHEN I HEARD THE LEARN’D ASTRONOMER, A SINGABLE PICTURE BOOK
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/when-i-heard-the-learnd-astronomer-a-singable-poem-by-walt-whitman/

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ILLUSTRATED SONG/BOOK SETS
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/songbook-sets/

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PUFF AND THE ASTRONOMER: DON’T LOSE THE MAGIC
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/04/23/puff-and-the-astronomer-dont-lose-the-magic/

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Sleepytime Songs

Compiled by Peter Yarrow
Illustrated by Terry Widener
Collection of lullabies, illustrated from the:
The Peter Yarrow Songbook Series

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This book features lyrics, illustrations, guitar chords, historical information, and a music track for each of the following songs:

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Related Posts

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Peter Yarrow and “The Folk Process”

http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2009/12/03/the-folk-process/

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Two Books Participating in “The Folk Process”

http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2009/12/04/two-books-participating-in-the-folk-process/

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ILLUSTRATED COLLECTIONS OF CHILDREN’S SONGS WITH MUSIC
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/illustrated-collections-of-childrens-songs-with-music/

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Greenwich Village (music that defined a generation), a terrific, inspiring documentary
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/greenwich-village-music-that-defined-a-generation-a-terrific-inspiring-documentary/

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PETER YARROW SONGBOOK SERIES

A list of the Singable Picture Books from the Peter Yarrow Songbook series:
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/the-case-for-singing-with-children-from-peter-yarrow/

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SLEEPYTIME SONGS
A Singable Picture Book in the Peter Yarrow Songbook Series
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/sleepytime-songs-the-peter-yarrow-songbook-a-singable-picture-book/

This is a beautiful and important song.   Don’t Laugh at Me  is an emotionally stirring song about how we treat each other.

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don't laugh at me - glin dibley
Don’t Laugh at Me

Words and Music by Steve Seskin and Allen Shamblin
Afterword by Peter Yarrow
Illustrated by Glin Dibley
This book features printed music and a sing-along CD.

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Thoughts 2/27/2013

Each time I sing the song Don’t Laugh at MeI am more and more convinced about the importance, relevance and vitality of its message and I am inspired by the beautiful way it is constructed.  The song conveys it’s meaning not just in the words, but the sound of the music and the feelings that combination inspires.  I can see it on the faces of the children as I sing to them.  Some of the older children, I have noticed, resist the message at first, but it is interesting to watch the music break through the resistance.  Younger children seem to plug into the music immediately.  It is amazing to watch empathy and compassion kick in.

I’ve only just begun singing this song in the last couple of days.  I got teary and choked up in the first class, but have been able to find a place where it is possible to sing the song and experience and share the emotion at the same time.  Finding that line of emotional involvement and detachment while simultaneously sharing the message is the central challenge of this beautiful song.

I start out by telling the children that there are different ways to classify and experience the songs we sing.  I sincerely hope all the songs are  equally enjoyable, but we sing some of the songs just because they are great songs that are fun to sing.  Some of the songs have historical or factual information in them that can help us learn and remember.  Some songs represent a particular time in history or an aspect of our artistic culture.  And some songs are important because they help us understand each other in ways that may otherwise be difficult to articulate.

Don’t Laugh at Me is one of those important songs.  Don’t Laugh at Me is an important song because it reminds us to remember the feelings and dignity of others, not matter what.  It reminds us that empathy and compassion for others is one of the most important aspects of a civilized society.

Personally, I feel that each person has a mission to fulfill in this life and, no matter what that mission is, that mission cannot be fully achieved without embracing empathy and compassion for others.  Don’t Laugh at Me embodies those profound ideas is such a simple, sweet and lovely way.  The song is accessible and beautiful and I am so glad to be able to share it with anyone who will listen.

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Wiki with info about DON’T LAUGH AT ME:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don’t_Laugh_at_Me

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DON’T LAUGH AT ME is said to have inspired Peter Yarrow to create the organization OPERATION RESPECT.
More info, here:
http://www.operationrespect.org/index2.php

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A page of info, music, activities, curriculum ideas and resources for songs, including DON’T LAUGH AT ME
http://www.operationrespect.org/curricula/index.php

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DON’T LAUGH AT ME curriculum guide PDF for grades 2-5, here:
http://www.operationrespect.org/pdf/guide.pdf

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This is the songwriter’s video of the released recording of the song.  It has a slightly different set of lyrics and musical arrangement than in the book.  The book is more appropriate for children, but this recording is certainly wonderful.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVjbo8dW9c8

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Song video with book illustrations
This video has an intro that might make you think the video is over before the song begins…keep listening!  The song is beautiful and heartfelt and the illustrations (same as in the book) are terrific.  The message of compassion and empathy could not be more important.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTNVXlirF4Y

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Peter Yarrow sings the song accompanying himself with acoustic guitar:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jNV6dn3YvQ

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DON’T LAUGH AT ME
Words and Music by Steve Seskin and Allen Shamblin
(These are the set of lyrics published in the book)

I’m a little boy with glasses
The one they call a geek
A little girl who never smiles
‘Cause I have braces on my teeth
And I know how it feels to cry myself to sleep.

I’m that kid on every playground
Who’s always chosen last
I’m the one who’s slower
Than the others in my class
You don’t have to be my friend
But is it too much to ask?

Don’t laugh at me
Don’t call me names
Don’t get your pleasure from my pain
In God’s eyes we’re all the same
Someday we’ll all have perfect wings
Don’t laugh at me.

I’m the beggar on the corner
You’ve passed me on the street
I wouldn’t be out here beggin’
If I had enough to eat
And don’t think I don’t notice
That our eyes never meet.

I was born a little different
I do my dreaming from this chair
I pretend it doesn’t hurt me
When people point and stare
There’s a simple way to show me
Just how much you care -

Don’t laugh at me
Don’t call me names
Don’t get your pleasure from my pain
In God’s eyes we’re all the same
Someday we’ll all have perfect wings
Don’t laugh at me.

I’m fat, I’m thin,
I’m short, I’m tall
I’m deaf, I’m blind
Hey aren’t we all?

Don’t laugh at me
Don’t call me names
Don’t get your pleasure from my pain
In God’s eyes we’re all the same
Someday we’ll all have perfect wings
Don’t laugh at me.

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Addendum, 1/19/2014

I deeply enjoyed:

greenwich village music that defined a generation
Greenwich Village (Music that Defined a Generation)

I watched this documentary on the edge of my seat.  I had to write down a few of the things the performers (many of them genuine musical heroes) said.

Here’ something Peter Yarrow said:

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“The whole DON’T LAUGH AT ME program is kind of a legacy of Pete [Seeger]…because we’re using music in the context of feeling valuable because we’re helping each other…the music brings the people together and opens their heart…”
Peter Yarrow

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Related Posts

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EDUCATIONAL CONTENT

A list of SPBs with fun and sneakily educational content.  The kids won’t even know they’re learning!
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/singable-picture-books-with-sneaky-educational-content/

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PETER YARROW SONGBOOK

A list of the Singable Picture Books from the Peter Yarrow Songbook series:
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/the-case-for-singing-with-children-from-peter-yarrow/

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THOUGHTS ON THE SONG “DON’T LAUGH AT ME”
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/thoughts-about-the-song-dont-laugh-at-me/

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Greenwich Village (music that defined a generation), a terrific, inspiring documentary
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/greenwich-village-music-that-defined-a-generation-a-terrific-inspiring-documentary/

O is for Octopus!

Sing the words of the song for the letter O to the tune of “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean.”


Read, Sing, Play ABC Sing-Along
Words Adapted by Teddy Slater
Illustrated by Liisa Chauncy Guida

An Octopus Swam in the Ocean
(Lyrics by Teddy Slater, from book “ABC Sing-Along,” sing to the tune of “The Old Gray Mare”)
An octopus swam in the ocean,
swam over the waves in the sea.
It raised its arms out of the water,
and waved eight times to me.
Oh, me! Oh, my!
There it goes, swimming by.
Oh, me! Oh, my!
That octopus just waved “bye-bye!”

The original lyrics, here:

My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean
Traditional Words and Tune
My Bonnie lies over the ocean
My Bonnie lies over the sea
My Bonnie lies over the ocean
Oh bring back my Bonnie to me

Bring back, bring back
Bring back my Bonnie to me, to me
Bring back, bring back
Bring back my Bonnie to me

The winds will blow over the ocean
The winds will blow over the sea
The winds will blow over the ocean
To bring back my Bonnie to me

Bring back, bring back
Bring back my Bonnie to me, to me
Bring back, bring back
Bring back my Bonnie to me

Bring back, bring back
Oh, bring back my Bonnie to me

This link features historical information about “My Bonnie Lie’s Over the Ocean,” plus a midi file to hear the tune and PDF sheet music!
http://www.flutetunes.com/tunes.php?id=5

Find “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean” in the following books:


Let’s Sing Together
The Peter Yarrow Songbook
Illustrated by Terry Widener
(The lyrics and illustration for “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean” are printed on p. 19, the printed music is found on p. 38.  The last pages of the book feature some historical information about each song.)


A Treasury of Children’s Songs: Forty Favorites to Sing and Play
Illustrated with Art from the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City
Music Arranged and Edited by Dan Fox
(“My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean” is printed on page 60)

I read in more than one place that “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean” is one of the most parodied of songs.  You’ll fund a funny parody of “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean,” here:


Take Me Out of the Bathtub (and Other Silly Dilly Songs)
Traditional Tunes
Words Adapted by Alan Katz
Illustrated by David Catrow
(The parody “The Yogurt Flies Straight From My Brother,”  is printed and illustrated on page 3)

When my children were very young, it was a natural thing for me to sing book that were made from songs, but the  idea of “Singable Picture Books” as a special genre worth exploring did not occur to me until this book magically presented itself a couple of years ago,


Puff the Magic Dragon
Words and Music by Peter Yarrow and Lenny Lipton
Illustrated by Eric Puybaret

When I first started singing books to kids, “Puff the Magic Dragon” was ALWAYS on the list.  It was always a favorite and it was one of the few that I knew by heart without having to make an effort to learn it.

At the time, I was singing every week in my son’s first grade class.  One week I had discovered a few new books to try out, so “Puff” did not make the trip to the school.  A very cute and spunky girl in the class asked, “Aren’t you going to sing ‘Puff?’”  I said, “Well, I thought maybe after so many weeks that you’d had enough of ‘Puff’ for a while.”  She said, “Mrs. G,” the kids at the school call me Mrs. G (as my married name is Gleichenhaus!), “you can never have enough ‘Puff!’”

So cute!  Whenever I see the book (or the little girl named Sophie), I think, “You can NEVER have enough ‘Puff!’”

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PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON
Words and Music by Peter Yarrow and Lenny Lipton

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee

Little Jackie Paper loved that rascal Puff,
and brought him strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff.

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee

Together they would travel on a boat with billowed sail
Jackie kept a lookout perched on Puff’s gigantic tail,

Noble kings and princes would bow whene’er they came,
Pirate ships would lower their flags when Puff roared out his name.

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee

A dragon lives forever but not so little boys
Painted wings and giant rings make way for other toys.

One grey night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more
And Puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar.

His head was bent in sorrow, green scales fell like rain,
Puff no longer went to play along the cherry lane.

Without his life-long friend, Puff could not be brave,
So Puff that mighty dragon sadly slipped into his cave.

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee

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“Puff (the Magic Dragon)” was first released by Peter, Paul & Mary on their 1962 album “Moving” (Song 5),

Link to the original recording here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001PIF9MU/ref=dm_mu_dp_trk5

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Read an interesting wiki article about “Puff the Magic Dragon” here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puff,_the_Magic_Dragon

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The book comes with a CD of Peter Yarrow singing the song with his daughter Bethany, and it is a sweet addition to the book.  The CD, and I LOVE it when Singable Picture Books offer this option, also has an instrumental track so you can sing-along solo.  This particular track, however, is VERY slow (taking 4 minutes to sing the song).  If you don’t mind singing the song at a slow tempo, the sing-along track that comes with the book is great.

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If you’d like a more snappy tempo (this one clocks in at less than 3.5 minutes), try this sing-along karaoke track (that exactly matches with the book’s lyrics):
http://www.amazon.com/Karaoke-Puff-The-Magic-Dragon/dp/B000V2DG0S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1272833377&sr=1-1

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An even snappier tempo is offered on the CD which somes with,

Solos for Kids (Vocal Collection)
Compiled by Louise Lerch
(The printed sheet music for “Puff the Magic Dragon” is on pages 23-31.  The instrumental sing-along is Track 17 on the CD with vocal demo on Track 6.  This book and CD also contains Singable Picture Book favorites, “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah,” “How Much is that Doggie in the Window,” “On Top of Spaghetti,” and “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” A terrific book!)

The track for “Puff the Magic Dragon,” fits the book exactly and is zippy enough to sing the whole song in 3 minutes!  No kid will fall asleep with this one!

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The last page of Eric Puybaret’s illustration features notes from the Peter Yarrow and Lenny Lipton.  Mr. Lipton writes that it wasn’t until AFTER he wrote the poem (it’s a great story how the song came to be written, which you get a little bit of in his note and more in the wiki article, linked below) that he learned that there really is a place called “Hanalei Bay” which features a lava cave fit for a dragon, resting on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.  WOW!!


Hanalei Bay, Kauai Island, Hawaii

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PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON
is featured in:

Sleepytime Songs

Compiled by Peter Yarrow
Illustrated by Terry Widener
Collection of lullabies, illustrated from the:
The Peter Yarrow Songbook Series

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www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IDZEa7jSt8

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Just a comment on how special books can be.  I have two copies of this book.  The first was found on the bookstore shelf and it is special to me as it was the first one I used for singing with gatherings of children.  The second copy was a gift from my friend Cindy.  She inscribed it to me.  I opened it the other day (which inspired me to write this post) and it was a wonderful sweet surprise to read her writing there, a gift all over again.  It is amazing to be able to share the special gift of the melody, the words, the pictures, and the kind thoughts of a friend in Singable Picture Books.  I hope that everyone who reads this will pick up a Singable Picture Book and do the same…share, give, sing, enjoy.

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Addendum 4/23/2014

PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON pairs beautifully with  WHEN I HEARD THE LEARN’D ASTRONOMER.

Both song say,

“DON’T LOSE THE MAGIC.”

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PUFF AND THE ASTRONOMER: DON’T LOSE THE MAGIC
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/04/23/puff-and-the-astronomer-dont-lose-the-magic/

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Related Posts

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Peter Yarrow and “The Folk Process”

http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2009/12/03/the-folk-process/

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Two Books Participating in “The Folk Process”

http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2009/12/04/two-books-participating-in-the-folk-process/

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ILLUSTRATED COLLECTIONS OF CHILDREN’S SONGS WITH MUSIC
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/illustrated-collections-of-childrens-songs-with-music/

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Greenwich Village (music that defined a generation), a terrific, inspiring documentary
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/greenwich-village-music-that-defined-a-generation-a-terrific-inspiring-documentary/

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PETER YARROW SONGBOOK SERIES

A list of the Singable Picture Books from the Peter Yarrow Songbook series:
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/the-case-for-singing-with-children-from-peter-yarrow/

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SLEEPYTIME SONGS
A Singable Picture Book in the Peter Yarrow Songbook Series
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/sleepytime-songs-the-peter-yarrow-songbook-a-singable-picture-book/

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ILLUSTRATED SONG/BOOK SETS
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/songbook-sets/

Most people know the folk song and lullaby ”Hush Little Baby.”

There are many illustrations of “Hush, Little Baby” but one of my favorite Singable Book versions is illustrated by Marla Frazee.

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Hush, Little Baby
Traditional Word and Tune
Illustrated by Marla Frazee

As you sing the song, you can enjoy the book’s story in pictures of a little girl who jealously wakes her sleeping baby sibling and incurs the wrath of the baby’s cries and the family’s attempts to quench the storm with gifts from the travelling junk man.

Marla Frazee’s illustration uses “Papa,” but you can sing “Hush Little Baby” with “Mama” or “Papa.”

Another nice rendition of the song has lyric adaptations and illustrations by Sylvia Long.

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Hush Little Baby
Words adapted by Sylvia Long
Traditional tune
Illustrated by Sylvia Long

At a “Sing Books with Emily” gathering, one of the moms told me about this version of “Hush Little Baby.”  This is a special rendering of the song because everything Mama gives Baby are magical non-material moments between a mother and her child. For example, “Hush little baby, don’t say a word, Mama’s going to show you a hummingbird.”  I can think of many special moments like that with my parents, gifts that last longer than any toy.

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HUSH LITTLE BABY
Traditional Words and Tune

Hush little baby don’t say a word
Mama’s gonna buy you a mockingbird
And if that mockingbird won’t sing
Mama’s gonna buy you a diamond ring
And if that diamond ring turns brass
Mama’s gonna buy you a looking glass
And if that looking glass gets broke
Mama’s gonna buy you a billy goat
And if that billy goat won’t pull
Mama’s gonna buy you a cart and bull
And if that cart and bull turn over
Mama’s going to buy you a dog named Rover
And if that dog named Rover won’t bark
Mama’s going to buy you a horse and cart
And if that horse and cart fall down
You’ll still be the sweetest little baby in town

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The book “Jim along Josie” collected and compiled by Nancy and John Langstaff, has these lyrics for “The Mockingbird Song (Hush up, Baby)” and sites that “The Mocking Bird” is “From ‘English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians,’”

Hush up, baby, don’t say a word
Papa’s gonna buy you a mockingbird.
If it can’t whistle, and it can’t sing,
Papa’s gonna buy you a diamond ring.
If that diamond turns brass,
Papa’s gonna buy you a looking glass.
If that looking glass gets broke,
Papa’s gonna buy you a Billy goat.
If that Billy goat runs away,
Papa’s gonna buy you another day.

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The book “I Hear America Singing,”  collected and arranged by Kathleen Krull, calls the song “The Mockingbird Song or, Hush, Little Baby”  The citation is for “Appalachia/Alabama” and also says “Popular in the South in Pioneer days, this descends from an old English nursery rhyme.”

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Peter Yarrow, in his note about “Hush, Little Baby” in his book of SLEEPYTIME SONGS suggests that the appeal of this song is the deep sense of comfort in knowing that no matter what happens, no matter what goes wrong, the child will be loved and cared for.

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I read in a number of places online, that one indication that the song lyrics are American, is that Mockingbirds are native to the American Continent.  The author, composer, and origin of this song are unknown.

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Lyrics to traditional songs evolve vastly over time, as suits the people in the times that they sing them.  If you are not singing along with the book, it is perfectly valid to make up your own lyrics and rhymes to the tune and sing those to your children.  Your children will know them and sing those words to their children.  And on it goes…  It is a sweet and gentle way to send something of yourself into the future.

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“Hush Little Baby” is easily sung a capella.  But, if you would like to sing along with music, most music download sites have a number of good options.

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A nice instrumental track is found on “Lullaby Magic” by Joanie Bartles:
http://www.amazon.com/Hush-Little-Baby-Instrumental/dp/B001N0P146/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dmusic&qid=1294771868&sr=8-1-spell
She has two tracks for each song, one with her singing and the other instrumental, including “Hush Little Baby.”  The melody line is played out on the instrumental track, making it easy for anybody to sing along.  I like the “Hush Little Baby” from this one because it is not too slow or sappy, although a tad “idealized.”  Sweetness is fine, but this song can be more fun if it is a little sassy.

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My favorite vocal versions are from the King’s Singer’s album NEW DAY and from the album HUSH by Bobby McFerrin and YoYo Ma


Preview Yo-Yo and Bobby McFerrin’s “Hush,” here:
http://www.amazon.com/Hush-Little-Baby-Vocal/dp/B0036YI270/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=dmusic&qid=1294770513&sr=1-8

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Preview the King’s Singers, “Hush,” here:
http://www.amazon.com/Hush-little-baby-dont-word/dp/B000TD98PG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dmusic&qid=1294770552&sr=1-1

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Nina Simone’s version of “Hush Little Baby” (recorded at Carnegie Hall in May of 1963) from her album “Folksy Nina” is hauntingly beautiful.  She combines “Hush Little Baby” with “Mighty Lak a Rose.”  Although the medley makes singing with the book difficult, her interpretation is enlightening.


Click here to preview:
http://www.amazon.com/Hush-Little-Baby-LP-Version/dp/B0012449BE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dmusic&qid=1294770409&sr=8-1

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The Scholastic Vidoe Collection’s video features a video of Aliki Brandenburg’s illustration of “Hush Little Baby,” with lovely female vocals.

*

Swimmy…and more classic Leo Lionni stories,

***********************

Singable Picture Book illustrations of the song include:

*

Hush, Little Baby
Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Aliki Brandenburg

An activity, educational worksheet to go with Aliki Brandenburg’s Scholastic/Weston Woods Video, here:
http://www.nhptv.org/kn/itv/guides/songMusic_hush_little_baby.pdf

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Hush, Little Baby
Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Brian Pinkney

*

Hush, Little Baby

Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Jeanette Winter

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Illustrated Singable Picture Book adaptations of the song include:

*

Hush, Little Dragon
Traditional Words and Tune (Sing to the tune of “Hush Little Baby”)
Words Adapted by Boni Ashburn
Illustrated by Kelly Murphy

*

Hush, Little Puppy
Traditional Words and Tune (Sing to the tune of “Hush Little Baby”)
Words Adapted by April Pulley Sayre
Illustrated by Susan Winter

*

Hush, Little Horsie
Traditional Tune (Sing to the tune of, “Hush Little Baby“)
Words by Jane Yolen
Illustrated by Ruth Sanderson

*

Hush Little Polar Bear
Traditional Words and Tune (Sing to the tune of “Hush Little Baby”)
Words Adapted by Jeff Mack
Illustrated by Jeff Mack

*

Hush, Baby Ghostling
Traditional Words and Tune (Sing to the tune of “Hush Little Baby”)
Words Adapted by Andrea Beaty and Pascal Lemaitre
Illustrated by Pascal Lemaitre

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Hush, Little Alien
Traditional Words and Tune (Sing to the tune of “Hush Little Baby”)
Words Adapted by Daniel Kirk
Illustrate dby Daniel Kirk

*

Hush Little Digger
Traditional Words and Tune (Sing to the tune of “Hush Little Baby”)
Words Adapted by Ellen Olson-Brown
Illustrated by Lee White

*

Mockingbird
Traditional Words and Tune (Sing to the tune of “Hush Little Baby”)
Words Adapted by Allan Ahlberg
Illustrated by Paul Howard

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*
“Hush Little Baby” is illustrated by Maurice Sendak with musical arrangement and printed music by Alec Wilder in,
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Lullabies and Night Songs
Words by Various Artists
Music and Arrangements by Alec Wilder
Pictures by Maurice Sendak
Edited by William Engvick
LOC Catalog Card Number: 65-22880

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HUSH LITTLE BABY is featured in:

Sleepytime Songs

Compiled by Peter Yarrow
Illustrated by Terry Widener
Collection of lullabies, illustrated from the:
The Peter Yarrow Songbook Series

***********************

*
A YouTube video with beautiful vocal by Anne Murray from the movie “The Rescuers,”

www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG-PpAZV35A

*
I have always loved James Taylor and Carly Simon.  Here they are together singing their own “Mockingbird” song:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGfvg4SH_4M

*
Here are Yo-Yo and Bobby with an amazing rendition of “Hush Little Baby”

www.youtube.com/watch?v=GczSTQ2nv94

*
For the REAL Mocking bird song, listen up:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNNX3f3_svo

***********************
Related Posts

*
PETER YARROW SONGBOOK SERIES

A list of the Singable Picture Books from the Peter Yarrow Songbook series:
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/the-case-for-singing-with-children-from-peter-yarrow/

*
SLEEPYTIME SONGS
A Singable Picture Book in the Peter Yarrow Songbook Series
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/sleepytime-songs-the-peter-yarrow-songbook-a-singable-picture-book/

*
ILLUSTRATED COLLECTIONS OF CHILDREN’S SONGS WITH MUSIC
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/illustrated-collections-of-childrens-songs-with-music/

*
HUSH LITTLE BABY IN SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2009/12/09/hush-little-baby-a-singable-book-lyrics-song-history-etc/

*
LULLABIES IN SINGLE SONG SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/03/20/illustrated-lullabies-in-single-singable-picture-books/

*
LULLABIES: ILLUSTRATED LULLABIES IN COMPILATIONS
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/illustrated-lullabies-in-compilations/

In a previous post, I featured a quote from Peter Yarrow about “The Folk Process,”  that making changes to the lyrics or music of a folk song is “not only allowed, it’s expected and admired as a part of a music that celebrates the gifts of each individual to interpret the music as he or she sees fit.”

Many Singable Books, illustrated for children, have made fun use of this process.  Here are two:


Hush, Little Dragon

Words by Boni Ashburn
Illustrated by Kelly Murphy

Most parents have suffered the torture of an inconsolable crying baby will attest that he or she would be willing to do for or give that baby ANYTHING, if only baby will STOP that most agonizing of sounds.

This book cleverly captures (in funny lyrics and deep hued illustrations) a mom dragon doing whatever she can to appease the baby, bringing it everything from kings to musketeers and you can sing it all to the traditional tune!

If a capella isn’t your style, or if the tune escapes you, try the “Hush, Little Baby” tracks “Lullaby Magic” by Joanie Bartle or the instrumental on “All time Favorite Children’s Songs” found on itunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/all-time-favorite-childrens-songs/id292531502


Sleep, Baby Sleep
Traditional Tune
Words by Maryann Cusimano Love
Illustrated by Maria van Lieshout

This book makes use of the traditional lullaby and Mother Goose rhyme to create a whole new song that not only lulls a child to sleep, but gently shares life lessons through the journey of a day.  The pictures are whimsical pen and water color that lighten the mood and are refreshingly straightforward, thankfully missing the pitfall of many illustrated lullabies which are sickeningly sappy.  This one feels open and fresh.

The song is named for the traditional rhyme, for which many tracks have been recorded.  I like the vocal track (although a high key for easily singing along) on “Lullabies, A Songbook Companion”

For an instrumental track, the “Sleep, Baby Sleep” from the CD packaged with the book “Baby’s First Lullbies” is a good one for getting the tune and singing along.


Baby’s First Lullabies

Illustrated by Sophie Keen
(Lullabies are illustrated in the book with a CD that has vocal and instrumental tracks: Twinkle Twinkle, Sleep Baby Sleep, Rock-A-Bye-Baby, Golden Slumbers, Go To Sleep My Baby, Brahams Lullaby, All Through The Night, All The Pretty Horses)

**********************
Related Posts

*
LULLABIES IN SINGLE SONG SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/03/20/illustrated-lullabies-in-single-singable-picture-books/

*
LULLABIES: ILLUSTRATED LULLABIES IN COMPILATIONS
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/illustrated-lullabies-in-compilations/

*
PETER YARROW SONGBOOK SERIES

A list of the Singable Picture Books from the Peter Yarrow Songbook series:
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/the-case-for-singing-with-children-from-peter-yarrow/

In the Peter Yarrow Songbook’s NOTE TO FELLOW PICKERS, Peter Yarrow talks about making changes to the words and music in folk songs,
“In folk music, making these changes is not only allowed, it’s expected and admired as a part of a music that celebrates the gifts of each individual to interpret the music as he or she sees fit.  Making changes to a folk song is called ‘the folk process,’ which means that new players change the song’s lyrics, melody, rhythmic feel, and accompaniment to suit themselves and make the songs feel right and relevant in their own times.”

As a cabaret artist, I am always working to make a song my own, to tell my personal story, and avoid copying someone else’s work!  You can do this with the songs you sing from books, too.

You and a young one can begin knowing and enjoying a folk song  from a book, but with repetition you will be able to sing the song on your own.  The music you sing will become part of your personal soundtrack.  You and your favorite young ones can make the song your own!  Make up verses, change the melody, change the rhythm.  Use the song as a framework to celebrate and express what is happening in your life right now.

The kids can even make up illustrations for the new lyrics.  You will participate in “The Folk Process.”  And, your children will pass it along.

**********************
Peter Yarrow, in his introduction to one of the books in the “Peter Yarrow Songbook” series, writes about “The Folk Process” which is basically the process by which singers take folk songs and change them, make them new.  Each artist makes the song his/her own.  “Blowin’ in the Wind” is an example of Bob Dylan participating in the folk process, taking the melody from an existing African American Spiritual and adding his own, new lyric to it.  In the documentary “NO DIRECTION HOME,” Pete Seeger contributes an interesting comment about artists using this process at that time,

“The moment I became acquainted with the old songs, I realized people were always changing them.  Thing o fit as an age-old process that’s been going on for thousands of years.  People take old songs, change ‘em a little, add to them, and opt them for new people.  It happens in every other field.  Lawyer change old laws to fit new citizens.  So I’m one in this old chain and one of hundreds of other musicians.”

**********************
Books that embrace THE FOLK PROCESS and even make a case for the activity in author’s notes include:

*
billy boy richard chase glen rounds
Billy Boy
Traditional Words and Music
Verses Selected by Richard Chase
Illustrated by Glen Rounds

*

Blowin’ in the Wind
Words and Music by Bob Dylan
Illustrated by Jon Muth

*
catalina magdalena hoopensteiner
Catalina Magdalena Hoopensteiner Wallendiner Hogan Logan Bogan Was Her Name

Traditional Words and Tune
Words Adapted by Tedd Arnold
Illustrated by Tedd Arnold
This book includes an afterward note from the author with some info about the song and fun ideas for singing it.  The last pages also feature printed music.

*

I Was Born About 10,000 Years Ago
Traditional Words and Tune (same tune as ”She’ll Be Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain“)
Words Adapted by Steven Kellogg
Illustrated by Steven Kellogg
ISBN 0-688-13412-2

**********************
Related Articles

*
BILLY BOY IN SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/billy-boy-in-singable-picture-books/

*
Catalina Magdalena Hoopensteiner Wallendiner Hogan Logan Bogan, a Singable Picture Book
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/catalina-magdalena-hoopensteiner-wallendiner-hogan-logan-bogan-a-singable-picture-book/

*
BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND, A SINGABLE PICTURE BOOK

http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/11/14/blowin-in-the-wind-a-singable-picture-book/

*
T
HE SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS OF BOB DYLAN
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/11/15/the-singable-picture-books-of-bob-dylan/

*
Peter Yarrow and “The Folk Process”

http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2009/12/03/the-folk-process/

*
Two Books Participating in “The Folk Process”

http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2009/12/04/two-books-participating-in-the-folk-process/

*
Peter Yarrow Songbook Series

http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/the-case-for-singing-with-children-from-peter-yarrow/

*
ILLUSTRATED COLLECTIONS OF CHILDREN’S SONGS WITH MUSIC
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/illustrated-collections-of-childrens-songs-with-music/

Peter Yarrow has begun publishing The Peter Yarrow Songbook, so far a collection of three books all illustrated by Terry Widener: Favorite Folk Songs, Sleepytime Songs, and Let’s Sing Together.  Publishing these songs in the form of picture books allows a convenient vehicle for introducing and enjoying these songs with, not just young ones, but anybody who loves music.

*

Favorite Folk Songs
The Peter Yarrow Songbook
Illustrated by Terry Widener

*

Sleepytime Songs

Compiled by Peter Yarrow
Illustrated by Terry Widener
Collection of lullabies, illustrated from the:
The Peter Yarrow Songbook Series

*
lets sing together yarrow
Let’s Sing Together
Compiled by Peter Yarrow
Illustrated by Terry Widener
Collection of Folk Songs, Illustrated from the:
The Peter Yarrow Songbook Series

*

Songs For Little Folks
The Peter Yarrow Songbook
Illustrated by Terry Widener

In each introduction, he gives voice to the value of singing songs and sharing them with children.

In “Favorite Folk Songs,” he explains, “Singing these songs today allows us to experience the history and spirit of times past and also makes us feel closer to one another.”

In “Sleepytime Songs,” a book of lullabies, he writes, “In the sound of your voice they will hear your hopes, your dreams, and sense the depth of your love for them…They will never forget that you have cared enough to put the ordinary concerns of life aside to spend this special time with them.”

In “Let’s Sing Together” he explains that his first job was at a summer camp for sick children and that “When we sang together, magically, a sense of closeness emerged, as fear, teasing , and concern about the children’s illnesses melted away.”

In the “About the Author” section of each book is this thought from Mr. Yarrow, answering what would he most like to leave behind, “I would give them these songs that have helped me come to realized what, for me, is really important in life – people, love, work, and service to each other.  I believe that all children can be helped to discover what’s important to them in their lives, through these songs.  It’s magic, in a way, but it seems to happen every time!”

I have not yet learned what it is exactly, but something about singing lifts us up out of ourselves.  When the singing begins, something special happens. Our hearts open up, our spirits lift, and the quality of our lives improves.

I look forward to celebrating and exploring with you the reasons why the simple act of singing songs (or being sung to) is such a  joyous, important and meaningful activity.

**********************
Peter Yarrow’s name is also associated with some wonderful books published by Sterling Publishing, Imagine Publishing and others, including:

*

Day is Done
Words and Music by Peter Yarrow
Illustration by Melissa Sweet

*

Dinosaur Pet
Inspired by the Music and Lyrics of the Song “Calendar Girl” by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield
Children’s Lyrics by Marc Sedaka
Illustrated by Tim Bowers

*
don't laugh at me - glin dibley
Don’t Laugh at Me
Words and Music by Steve Seskin and Allen Shamblin
Afterword by Peter Yarrow
Illustrated by Glin Dibley
This book features printed music and a sing-along CD.

*

I’m in Love with a Big Blue Frog
Words and Music by Leslie Braunstein
Performed by Peter Paul & Mary
Illustrated by Joshua S. Brunet
ISBN 978-1-936140-37-4

*

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring 
Words and Music by Peter Paul and Mary
Illustrated by Christine Davenier
This book features a recording of Peter Paul & Mary’s performance of the song.

*

The Marvelous Toy
Words and Music by Tom Paxton
Illustrated by Steve Cox
(This book is a far and away favorite with the Kindergarten set. It comes with a wonderful CD that has Tom Paxton singing on one track with a separate instrumental track, including a clearly played melody line, so you can sing solo…a wonderful edition!)

*

The Night Before Christmas
Poem by Clement C. Moore
Performed by Peter, Paul and Mary
Solo Performance of Music Setting by Noel PAUL Stookey
Music by Noel Paul Stookey
Illustrated by Eric Puybaret
(This book comes packaged with a CD recording of Noel Paul Stookey’s performance of “Night Before Christmas” as well as a reading by Mary Travers, and Peter, Paul and Mary’s recording of “A’Soalin”)

*

Over the Rainbow

Words and Music by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg
Illustrated by Eric Puybaret

*

Puff and the Incredible Mr. Nobody
(Based on the Song by Peter Yarrow and Leonard Lipton)

Story by Romeo Muller
Words and Music by Peter Yarrow
Illustrations by Fred Wolf and Chuck Swenson (Based on the TV Special)

*

Puff the Magic Dragon
Words and Music by Peter Yarrow and Lenny Lipton
Illustrated by Eric Puybaret

*

Take Me Out to the Ball Game
Words by Jack Norworth
Music by Albert Von Tilzer
Illustrated by Amiko Hirao
Performed by Carly Simon
This edition gets a GOLD STAR for including the FULL song (both verses and chorus) and a fabulous recording of Carly Simon and her deligthful arrangement she made for Ken Burn’s documentary Baseball.

*

Waking Up is Hard to Do
Music and Lyrics by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield
Children’s Lyrics by Neil Sedaka
Illustrated by Daniel Miyares

*

When You Wish Upon a Star
Music by Ned Washington
Words by Leigh Harlaine
Illustrated by Eric Puybaret

**********************
Related Posts

*
Peter Yarrow and “The Folk Process”

http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2009/12/03/the-folk-process/

*
Two Books Participating in “The Folk Process”

http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2009/12/04/two-books-participating-in-the-folk-process/

*
ILLUSTRATED COLLECTIONS OF CHILDREN’S SONGS WITH MUSIC
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/illustrated-collections-of-childrens-songs-with-music/

*
Greenwich Village (music that defined a generation), a terrific, inspiring documentary
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/greenwich-village-music-that-defined-a-generation-a-terrific-inspiring-documentary/

*
PETER YARROW SONGBOOK

A list of the Singable Picture Books from the Peter Yarrow Songbook series:
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/the-case-for-singing-with-children-from-peter-yarrow/

*
SLEEPYTIME SONGS, A BOOK IN THE PETER YARROW SONGBOOK SERIES
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/sleepytime-songs-the-peter-yarrow-songbook-a-singable-picture-book/


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