Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

Little Orphant Annie, (Scary Halloween-y Poem) Singable Picture Books

Posted on: August 3, 2011

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Little Orphant Annie
Poem by James Whitcomb Riley
Illustrated by Diane Stanley
Musical Settings by Various Artists

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The Gobble-us’ll Git You Ef You Don’t Watch Out (James Whitcomb Riley’s Little Orphant Annie)
Poem by James Whitcomb Riley
Illustrated by Joel Schick
Musical Settings by Various Artists

I found a few terrific settings for this scary Halloween poem!  It will be fun to pick one and learn it:

I think my favorite is this banjo/bluegrass setting by Anne Hills…the spare banjo enhances the scary Halloween-y tone of the poem and song.  You’ll find it on Track 2 of:

If You Don’t Watch Out
Annie Hills Sings the Poems of James Whitcomb Riley
This album is available on iTunes and from her website: http://www.annehills.com/annedisc.html#riley

I like Deborah Greenblatt’s setting, Track 7 on:

James Whitcomb Riley (the Fiddling Children’s Poet)
Songs by Deborah Greenblatt
You can find this one on iTunes, but not on Amazon

Molly Watson sings a soprano-y version on her album “Bird in a Gilded Cage,” and remember one can always change a key.  This one might be a good choice of setting for not scaring the little ‘uns too much:

Molly Watson’s Bird in a Gilded Cage, “Little Orphant Annie” on Track 5:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000V8PUF6/ref=dm_dp_trk5?ie=UTF8&qid=1312134922&sr=8-11

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Anne Hills wrote a tune for the James Whitcomb Riley poem “Little Orphant Annie,” a Singable Picture Book for which I recently wrote a post.
Here’s Anne Hill’s version, called “If You Don’t Watch Out”:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUPbC44EYO0

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LITTLE ORPHANT ANNIE
James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916)

To all the little children: — The happy ones; and sad ones;
The sober and the silent ones; the boisterous and glad ones;
The good ones — Yes, the good ones, too; and all the lovely bad ones.

Little Orphant Annie’s come to our house to stay,
An’ wash the cups an’ saucers up, an’ brush the crumbs away,
An’ shoo the chickens off the porch, an’ dust the hearth, an’ sweep,
An’ make the fire, an’ bake the bread, an’ earn her board-an’-keep;
An’ all us other childern, when the supper-things is done,
We set around the kitchen fire an’ has the mostest fun
A-list’nin’ to the witch-tales ‘at Annie tells about,
An’ the Gobble-uns ‘at gits you
Ef you
Don’t
Watch
Out!

Wunst they wuz a little boy wouldn’t say his prayers,–
An’ when he went to bed at night, away up-stairs,
His Mammy heerd him holler, an’ his Daddy heerd him bawl,
An’ when they turn’t the kivvers down, he wuzn’t there at all!
An’ they seeked him in the rafter-room, an’ cubby-hole, an’ press,
An’ seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an’ ever’-wheres, I guess;
But all they ever found wuz thist his pants an’ roundabout:–
An’ the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you
Ef you
Don’t
Watch
Out!

An’ one time a little girl ‘ud allus laugh an’ grin,
An’ make fun of ever’ one, an’ all her blood-an’-kin;
An’ wunst, when they was “company,” an’ ole folks wuz there,
She mocked ’em an’ shocked ’em, an’ said she didn’t care!
An’ thist as she kicked her heels, an’ turn’t to run an’ hide,
They wuz two great big Black Things a-standin’ by her side,
An’ they snatched her through the ceilin’ ‘fore she knowed what she’s about!
An’ the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you
Ef you
Don’t
Watch
Out!

An’ little Orphant Annie says, when the blaze is blue,
An’ the lamp-wick sputters, an’ the wind goes woo-oo!
An’ you hear the crickets quit, an’ the moon is gray,
An’ the lightnin’-bugs in dew is all squenched away,–
You better mind yer parunts, an’ yer teachurs fond an’ dear,
An’ churish them ‘at loves you, an’ dry the orphant’s tear,
An’ he’p the pore an’ needy ones ‘at clusters all about,
Er the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you
Ef you
Don’t
Watch
Out!

“Little Orphant Annie”
Complete Works, James Whitcomb Riley
Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1916

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An informative wiki article about James Whitcomb Riley, here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Whitcomb_Riley

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Related Articles

WHEN THE FROST IS ON THE PUNKIN, A SINGABLE PICTURE BOOK
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/08/01/when-the-frost-in-on-the-punkin-a-singable-picture-book/

HALLOWEEN
A list of spooky, fun, funny and evocative songs for our favorite October Holiday
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/10/30/halloween-singable-picture-books-ooooooooeeeeeeeee/

SINGABLE POETRY
An ever-expanding list of  singable poems from compilations or singable poems creating individual Singable Picture Books
https://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/

DREAMCATHCER, A SINGABLE PICTURE BOOK BY ANNE HILLS (ILLUSTRATED BY LIZ PAXSON)

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