Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

Fifty Nifty States, a Singable Picture Book

Posted on: August 19, 2011

It is so much fun when an idea comes to life!  I’m excited to share a project I’ve been thinking about and working on for a long time.


Fifty Nifty States
Words and Music by Ray Charles
Book Assembled by Emily Leatha Everson Gleichenhaus

This item is for classroom, home, or library use only.

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This performance won’t win a Grammy, but I sang Fifty Nifty States into my little digital recorder to help friends learn the song by hearing how the melody fits the accompaniment.

Sing Fifty Nifty States along with me, here:

http://soundcloud.com/singbookswithemily/fifty-nifty-eleg-vocals

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November 2011

Last summer, I was sitting at the pool talking to a fellow mom as we watched our kids swim and couldn’t help myself but to yammer on about Sing Books with Emily (what can a girl do?).  She told me about a song she learned as a kid, “Fifty Nifty States,” and that the lyrics of the song rattle off the name of each state in the United States in alphabetical order.

I went home and looked it up and found that it was written by Ray Charles!  This led me on a wild goose chase, because, turns out, this is not the Ray Charles who probably immediately springs to mind.  The Ray Charles who wrote this song is the Ray Charles of the Ray Charles Singers and is a prominent composer, choir leader and arranger.

I made a book to go with the song and have acquired a terrific sing-along track and cannot wait to sing the song to kids so they, too, can learn the names of all of the FIFTY NIFTY STATES!

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Fifty Nifty States
Words and Music by Ray Charles

Fifty Nifty United States from thirteen original colonies;
Fifty Nifty stars in the flag that billows so beautifully in the breeze.
Each individual state contributes a quality that is great.
Each individual state deserves a bow, We salute them now.

Fifty Nifty United States from thirteen original colonies.
Shout ’em, scout ’em, Tell all about ’em,
One by one, til we’ve given a day to every state in the USA.

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut,
Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana,
Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine,
Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan,
Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana,
Nebraska, Nevada,
New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York,
North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio,
Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina,
South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas,
Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

North, South, East, West in our calm, objective opinion (Name of favorite State)
Is the Best of the Fifty Nifty United States from thirteen original colonies
Shout ’em, scout ’em, tell all about ’em
One by One, till we’ve given a day to every state in the good old U.S.A.

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An informative wiki article about “the other” Ray Charles:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Charles_(composer)

A YouTube someone else made to go with the song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_HeLofy7IE

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Fifty (50) United States (One Page for Each State and a Few Interesting Facts)
Book Assembled by Emily Leatha Everson Gleichenhaus

I do not have the publising rights to sell a book containing “Fifty Nifty States” lyrics (as written by Ray Charles).  But I’ve created this book with a page for each state, in alphabetical order, which you can use to sing the song, after the intoduction.

If you are interested in a copy of this book, please email: SingBooksWithEmily.att.net, or leave a comment to this post.

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Informative Websites

50 States.com:
http://www.50states.com/

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PREAMBLE, BY MIKE WILKINS, SINGABLE ART AT SMITHSONIAN AMERICAN ART MUSEUM 



Preamble
Art by Mike Wilkins (1987)
Smithsonian American Art Museum
http://americanart.si.edu
Sing this ART with “The Preamble Song” from “School House Rock”  (andFifty Nifty States, too!)

I have really been enjoying singing the School House Rock Preamble Song with kids at schools, pointing to the words as spelled out in Mike Wilkin’s wonderful work of art called “Preamble.”

I wondered out loud the other day of there was a licence plate for each state in this picture.  I just counted them up and found that, indeed, there are 51.  51?  Sure enough, there’s a license plate for each state and the extra one is for the District of Columbia.

Closer inspection reveals that not only is there a plate for each state, but the plates are in alphabetical order!  This means to me that not only can one look at “Preamble” to sing “The Preamble Song,” but you can sing it with “Fifty Nifty States, too!”

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SCOUT THE  FIFTY NIFTY STATES

I altered a PowerPoint map I purchased to better suit the purpose of singing the song Fifty Nifty States.

Just print the map and locate the states as you sing the song.

It’s a challenge, but lots of fun.

Plus, it’s a helpful skill to know the locations of the states especially in and election year like this one (2012)!

The Fifty Nifty United States Map (by ELEG for Sing Books with Emily)
Map Colorized by Emily Leatha Everson Gleichenhaus
Words and Music by Ray Charles
To view or print this map, click here:
usa map by eleg

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FIFTY NIFTY STATES LYRIC SHEET

After we sang Fifty Nifty States not long agoone of the children asked how they could sing it at home over winter break.  I promised to provide lyric sheets for each child during next visit and to upload the sing-along to sound cloud.

Just to facilitate the fun and make the materials more easily available,


Click here for printable lyric sheet for Fifty Nifty States:
fifty nifty states portrait lyric sheet only 

As promised, the sing-along melody track is on my Sing Books with Emily SoundCloud Page.  You’ll find other songs I’ve written and/or recorded (with the help wonderfully talented friends who arranged, played, mixed sound and directed) from the Sing Books repertoire.  But for just the “50 Nifty” melody track, click here:

http://soundcloud.com/singbookswithemily/melody-for-50-states-song

I’m so excited that the kids wanted to sing this over the holiday!

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To enrich the experience of singing Fifty Nifty States and to help kids enjoy knowing where each of the states resides in this vast, great country of ours, sing the song and then color and label the states on the map!

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Fifty Nifty States Map Coloring Page
To view or print the coloring page, click here:
fifty nifty states map coloring page

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January 2012

ELECTRONIC SUPERHIGHWAY, BY NAM JUNE PAIK, SINGABLE ART AT SMITHSONIAN’S AMERICAN ART MUSEUM



Electronic Superhighway (1995)
Artist: Nam June Paik
Smithsonian American Art Museum 

Tuckahoe Elementary School’s second grade took a trip to Chinatown DC in observance of the Chinese New Year.  I went to chaperone my daughter and a friend.  When the Chinatown activities were over, including a delicious lunch, we had time to visit the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery and American Art museum, both museums are housed in one building (formerly the Patent Office Building) which just happens to be steps away from the Chinatown arch.

We first visited Mike Wilkin’s license plate art called, Preamble.  We stood there to enjoy the art and then sang “The Preamble Song” and “Fifty Nifty States.”

Then we went to visit another work of singable art:


Electronic Superhighway (1995)
Artist: Nam June Paik
Smithsonian American Art Museum


“Alaska and Hawaii,” detail from
Electronic Superhighway (1995)
Artist: Nam June Paik
Smithsonian American Art Museum


Electronic Superhighway (1995)
Artist: Nam June Paik
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Electronic Superhighway (1995)
Artist: Nam June Paik
Smithsonian American Art Museum

Sing “Fifty Nifty States” with this art!  But it’ll be a challenge, you have to recognize the states by their location and shape alone.

Click here for the Smithsonian’s webpage about this mammoth work of art:
http://americanart.si.edu/collections/search/artwork/?id=71478

More information on a separate Smithsonian webpage, here:
http://americanart.si.edu/education/rs/artwork/
This link  allows you to explore the work of art up-close, with the ability to click on the picture and zoom in and out to view every aspect of the piece.

Information about the artist, here:
http://americanart.si.edu/education/rs/artwork/artist.cfm

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January 2012
FIFTY KNIFTY STATES

Though not a sophisticated knitter, I love to knit, so this wonderful knitted map of the Fifty Knifty States caught my imagination by the tail:

From Lion Brand yard website:
Lion Country Afghan

Lion Brand yarn company offers a free pattern (you’ve got to sign up with the website to get the free pattern, though).  To get the pattern, just click here:
Lion Country Afghan

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11/7/2012

The NBC USA 2012 election map at Rockefeller Center makes a great visual for singing Fifty Nifty States and United States State Capitals Song.

It looked so great on TV, I just hope that NBC will put out a terrific picture of the empty map.  I would love to have been there to see the rink graphic in person and sing the songs loud and proud!

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Rockefeller Center Building Web Page for Democracy Plaza 2012:
http://www.rockefellercenter.com/events/2012/10/30/democracy-plaza/

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Rockefeller Center Building Web Page Describing Democracy Plaza 2012
http://www.rockefellercenter.com/events/2012/11/

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SINGABLE PLACEMATS

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Fifty Nifty States
Words and Music by Ray Charles
Illustrated by PAINLESS LEARNING PLACEMATS

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Fifty Nifty States
Words and Music by Ray Charles
Illustrated by PAINLESS LEARNING PLACEMATS

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Fifty Nifty States  can also be sung with virtually everything associated with the United States State Capitals Song (and visa-versa):

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United States State Capitals Song
Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Emily Leatha Everson Gleichenhaus

If you are interested in a copy of this book, please email: SingBooksWithEmily.att.net, or lave a comment to this post.

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The Train of States
Written and Illustrated by Peter Sis
Though not singable, this book is an excellent companion to both Fifty Nifty States  and United States State Capitals Song. The states, each depicted as a train car are assembled in the order in which they were ratified. 

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Addendum, 12/5/2013

Mr. Printables Website offers free PDF printable maps (blank and with state and capitals names),
http://www.mrprintables.com/printable-map-of-the-united-states.html

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Addendum, 9/27/2014

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smart about the fifty states
Smart About the Fifty States (a Class Report)
Written and Illustrated by John Buller, Susan Schade, Maryann Cocca-Leffler, Joan Holub, True Kennedy and Dana Regan
Not singable, but this book makes a terrific compliment to the song Fifty Nifty States

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Related Posts

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FIFTY NIFTY STATES, 9/01/2015
SONG OF THE DAY
Sing Books with Emily (SBWE), Illustrated Songs of the Day:
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2015/07/31/sbwe-songs-of-the-day/

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United States STATE CAPITALS Song
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/06/24/usa-state-capitals-song/

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FOURTH OF JULY AND OTHER HOLIDAYS CELEBRATING THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND HER CITIZENS AND HISTORY
A list of Singable Picture Books celebrating the Fourth of July
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/06/22/a-patriotic-list-of-singable-books-for-july-4th/

*
EDUCATIONAL CONTENT

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

*
SINGALBE PICTURE BOOK LISTS FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS AND INSTERESTS

https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/song-book-lists-for-all-occasions/

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SING ALONG RESOURCES AND PRINTABLE MATERIALS:

https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/sing-along-resources-2/

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RHODE ISLAND IS FAMOUS FOR YOU, A SINGABLE PICTURE BOOK

https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/08/26/rhode-island-is-famous-for-you-a-singable-picture-book/

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Preamble (1987) by Mike Wilkins, Singable Art…and We The Kids, a Singable Picture Book

https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/02/15/preamble-1987-by-mike-wilkins-singable-art/

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Fifty Nifty States, a Singable Picture Book

https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/08/19/fifty-nifty-states-a-singable-picture-book/

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Schoolhouse Rock Singable Picture Books

https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/04/27/school-house-rock-singable-picture-books-but-just-a-few/

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Favorite States

https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/favorite-states/

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Electronic Superhighway, Singable Art at Smithsonian’s American Art Museum
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/electronic-superhighway-singable-art-at-smithsonians-american-art-museum/

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Fifty Knifty States

https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/fifty-knifty-knitted-states/

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SINGABLE PLACEMATS

https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/singable-placemats/

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NBC 2012 Ice Rink Election Map at Rockefeller Center / Democracy Plaza
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/11/07/nbc-2012-ice-rink-election-map-at-rockefeller-center-democracy-plaza/

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GEOGRAPHY SONGS IN SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/12/05/geography-songs-in-singable-picture-books/

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Smart About the Fifty States (a Class Report), a Terrific Compliment to FIFTY NIFTY
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/09/27/smart-about-the-fifty-states-a-class-report-a-terrific-compliment-to-fifty-nift


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I owe a huge debt of thanks to Susan for telling me about this song and to Paul (www.myrehearsalpianist.com) for making the music possible.

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FAVORITE STATES

I live in Virginia, so the book comes stocked with that state as the “favorite.”  But if VA isn’t YOUR favorite state, look below.  As I have the occasion to make them, “other” states will be added:

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DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FAVE

Click this link to view or print the District of Columbia page:
FIFTY NIFTY DC FAVE

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FLORIDA FAVE

Click this link to view or print the Florida page:
FIFTY NIFTY FLORIDA FAVE

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ILLINOIS FAVE
FIFTY NIFTY ILLINOIS FAVE
To view or print this page,click here:
FIFTY NIFTY ILLINOIS FAVE

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INDIANA FAVE

Click this link to view or print the Indiana page:
FIFTY NIFTY INDIANA FAVE

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MASSACHUSETTS FAVE

Click this link to view or print the Massachusetts page:
FIFTY NIFTY MASSACHUSETTS FAVE

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To view or print this page, click here:
FIFTY NIFTY NEW JERSEY FAVE

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13 Responses to "Fifty Nifty States, a Singable Picture Book"

Amazing amount of resources!!! I Was at the Smithsonian last summer and saw the displays that you included — very cool!!!! I would be very interested in a copy of your 50 Nifty Book. Thanks!!! Cathy

Please send a copy of your 50 nifty states book!

Hello Monica! Thank you for your comment! I have written you an email. Best wishes, Emily

Hi, would love to see your 50 nifty states book. Thanks for the resource!

Hello Ginny! I’ll write you an email with some sample pages and info. Best wishes, Emily G.

please send a copy of your fifty nifty states book!
thanks so much!
Vickie

Hello! On October 3, 2014, I sent a PDF of my Sing-Along book for this song to the email associated with the comment above, along with instructions for putting a binder together to make a book. Just wondering if the email I sent, with rather large attachments, got through or not. If not, please feel free to write me at SingBooksWithEmily@att.net and I’ll resend the email. Best wishes for Happy Holidays. Emily G.

Hi! 50 Nifty was one of my favorite songs as a kid. I would love to download your book!
Thank you. Sarah

Hi Sarah! Yes, I will be happy to send. I will send to the email associated with your comment.
Will you please let me know when/if you get the email from me (which I will forward in a couple minutes)? I send these pretty frequently, but never hear back from the people to whom I send the book. Could just be a lack of kind manners, but could be that the emails don’t get to the requesters. I’m trying to figure out what happens. Best wishes and thanks, Emily G.

Emily, I just came across your blog. I would love to check out a copy of your book! Thanks

Hello Katy! Are you a teacher? If so, I’d be very happy to email a PDF of the book to you. All you need to do is print it and put into sheet protectors to sing it with kids. Just let me know what email address to use for you. Often, email addresses that come with comments don’t work. You can write me at emleatha@att.net

Best wishes,
Emily Gleichenhaus

please send a copy of your book ! thanks,

HI Emily, I am an Elementary music teacher and would love to have a copy of your fifty nifty states book!
thanks so much!

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