Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

Useful Tunes in the Public Domain

Posted on: July 15, 2012

Lots of tunes “in the public domain” can be very useful for educational purposes and setting your own lyrics to them.  These public domain tunes can include nursery rhymes, folks song, hymns, lullabies, campfire songs, and many other commonly recognized songs that no longer (or never did) command a copyright.

The purpose of this post is to begin consolidating all the research I’ve done so far in compilations of USEFUL TUNES in Singable Picture Books that have used these useful tunes to create parodies or educational content.

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ABC SONG
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2009/12/17/abc-twinkle-star-baa-blacksheep-singable-books-and-all-the-fix-ins-and-a-youre-adorable-too/

Same As/Used For

***********
A-MY NAME IS ALICE

Same As/Used For

  • LADY WITH THE ALLIGATOR PURSE
  • MISS LUCY HAD A BABY
  • MISS SUSIE HAD A STEAMBOAT
  • MISS SUSIE HAD A TUGBOAT

***********
THE BEAR

Same As/Used For

  • SIPPING SPIDERS THROUGH A STRAW

***********
CLEMENTINE

Same As/Used For

  • FOUND A PEANUT

***********
FARMER IN THE DELL

Same As/Used For

***********
FIVE LITTLE DUCKS
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/five-little-ducks-a-singable-picture-book-and-a-useful-tune/

Same As/Used For

  • HEY, LITTLE ANT
  • FIVE LITTLE GEFITLES
  • FIVE ELEPHANTS

***********
GOOD KING WENCESLAS

Same As/Used For

  • FLOWER CAROL (printed in Oscar Brand’s Singing Holidays)

***********
GREEN GRASS GREW ALL AROUND

Same As/Use For

  • Rainforest Grew All Around
  • Tree in the Wood
  • Tweedle Dee Dee

***********
GREENSLEEVES

Same As/Used For

  • WHAT CHILD IS THIS
  • STOPPING BY WOODS ON A SNOWY EVENING
  • A HAPPY NEW YEAR (printed in Oscar Brand’s Singing Holidays)
  • OLD YEAR NOW AWAY IS FLED (printed in Tomi Ungerer’s The Great Song Book)

***********
HEY DIDDLE DIDDLE

Same As/Used For

  • OLD MOTHER HUBBARD

***********
HICKORY DICKORY DOCK

Same As/Used For

  • HIGGLETY PIGGLETY POP

***********
IF YOU’RE HAPPY AND YOU KNOW IT

Same As/Used For

  • (Many Adaptations)
  • SPIDER ON THE FLOOR
  • PUT YOUR FINGER IN THE AIR

***********
JOHNNY COMES MARCHING HOME

Same As/Used For

  • ANTS GO MARCHING
  • ANIMALS MARCHING TWO BY TWO

***********
LILLIBULLERO

Same As/Used For

  • THERE WAS AN OLD WOMAN TOSSED UP IN A BASKET (although, Sing Books with Emily sings this rhyme with guitar chords Emily wrote)

***********
LITTLE MISS MUFFET

Same As/Used For

  • Little Jack Horner
  • Old Mother Hubbard
  • Simple Simon (except for the additional bridge)

***********
LONDON BRIDGE

***********
OLD MOTHER HUBBARD

Same As/Used For

  • HEY DIDDLE DIDDLE
  • LITTLE JACK HORNER
  • LITTLE MISS MUFFET

***********
ODE TO JOY

Same As/Used For

***********
ONE LITTLE, TWO LITTLE

A more complete exploration of this tune, here:
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2017/03/14/one-little-two-little-a-useful-tune/

Same As/Used For

***********

***********
OVER IN THE MEADOW
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/over-in-the-meadow-a-singable-picture-book/

Same As/Used For

***********
REUBEN REUBEN
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/09/09/reuben-reuben-a-useful-tune/

Same As/Used For

  • ZIN! ZIN! ZIN! A VIOLIN
  • DANGEROUS ALPHABET

***********
SHE’LL BE COMIN’ ROUND THE MOUNTAIN

Same As/Used For

  •  I WAS BORN ABOUT 10,000 YEARS AGO

***********
SIPPING SPIDERS THROUGH A STRAW

Same As/Used For

  • THE BEAR

***********
SING A SONG OF SIXPENCE

Same As/Used For

  • SING A SONG OF PEOPLE

***********
SMILE SONG

Same As/Used For

  • 99 Bottles

***********
THIS OLD MAN

  • THIS JAZZ MAN
  • THIS OLD VAN
  • KNICK KNACK

**********

TURKEY IN THE STRAW

Same As/Used For

  • UNITED STATES STATE CAPITALS SONG
  • DO YOUR EARS HANG LOW

***********
TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/twinkle-little-star-the-song-the-list/

Same As/Used For

***********
WHEELS ON THE BUS

Same As/Used For

***********
WHEN JOHNNY COMES MARCHING HOME

Same As/Used For

  • ANTS GO MARCHING
  • OUR MARCHING BAND (By Lloyd Moss)

***********
YANKEE DOODLE

Same As/Used For

  • Almost any Mother Goose or Nursery Rhyme can be sung to the tune of Yankee Doodle
  • LUCY LOCKET
  • SONG OF THE PRESIDENTS (By Oscar Brand)
  • KEEP ON SEWING BETSY ROSS

**********************
SONG COMPILATIONS THAT USE USEFUL TUNES TO MAKE NEW SONGS

These books compile parodies of many useful tunes.  Just click on the titles to find out what these books have to offer.

*
All the books in this post of compilations by Katz & Catrow make use of Useful Tunes to create song parodies:
ALAN KATZ AND DAVID CATROW
THE HILARIOUS SONG PARODY SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS OF WRITER ALAN KATZ AND ILLUSTRATOR DAVID CATROW
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/11/05/the-song-parody-singable-picture-books-of-alan-katz-and-david-catrow/

*
Virtually every song parody in this book uses a “Useful Tune.”

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

*

Sipping Spiders Through a Straw (Campfire Songs For Monsters)

Traditional Words and Tunes
Words Adapted by Kelly Dipucchio
Illustrated by Gris Grimly

**********************
USEFUL SITES FOR PUBLIC DOMAIN SONGS ONLINE

*
Public Domain Information Project
(a searchable database for songs in the public domain)
http://www.pdinfo.com/

*
SONGS WE SING: 70 Silly Songs Kids Love to Sing
https://thesongswesing.wordpress.com/2009/03/11/silly-songs-kids-love-to-sing-lyrics/

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

*
USEFUL TUNES IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/07/15/useful-tunes-in-the-public-domain/

*
ALAN KATZ AND DAVID CATROW
THE HILARIOUS SONG PARODY SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS OF WRITER ALAN KATZ AND ILLUSTRATOR DAVID CATROW
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/11/05/the-song-parody-singable-picture-books-of-alan-katz-and-david-catrow/

*
PETER YARROW SONGBOOK

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

*
Peter Yarrow and “The Folk Process”

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

*
Two Books Participating in “The Folk Process”

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

*
ILLUSTRATED SONGBOOKS AND COLLECTIONS (COMPILATIONS) OF CHILDREN’S SONGS WITH MUSIC
This list is populated by books that compile printed music and illustrations for children’s songs

https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/illustrated-collections-of-childrens-songs-with-music/

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

*
MOTHER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES FOR SBWE
A compilation of Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme titles linked to posts about the rhymes so you can learn more and sing along
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/nursery-rhymes-and-mother-goose-for-sbwe/

*
MOTHER GOOSE AND NURSERY RHYMES – INDIVIDUALLY ILLUSTRATED
Mother Goose and Nursery Rhymes with Individually Illustrated Singable Picture Books
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/mother-goose-and-nursery-rhymes-with-individually-illustrated-singable-picture-books/

*
MOTHER GOOSE AND NURSERY RHYME COMPILATIONS

A list containing compilations of Mother Goose and Nursery Rhyme Singable Picture Books, including links and resources for learning, singing, and playing the tunes
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/mother-goose-singable-picture-books-rhymes-and-songs-in-compilations/

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