Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

Who Built the Ark, an Illustrated Song

Posted on: January 15, 2016

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Who Built the Ark? (Based on an African-American Spiritual)
Traditional Words and Music
Illustrated by Pam Paparone

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who built the ark rick brown
Who Built the Ark?
Traditional Words and Music
Illustrated by Rick Brown

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WHO BUILT THE ARK
Traditional Words and Tune

Who built the ark?
Noah!  Noah!
Who built the ark?
Brother Noah built the ark.

Old man Noah built the ark.
He built it out of hickory bark.
He built it long, both wide and tall,
With plenty of room for the large and small.

Who built the ark?
Noah!  Noah!
Who built the ark?
Brother Noah built the ark.

He got him an ax and a hammer, too.
Began to cut and began to hew.
Ev’ry time that hammer ring
Old man Noah shouted and began to sing.

Who built the ark?
Noah!  Noah!
Who built the ark?
Brother Noah built the ark.

In come the animals one by one:
Little dog said, “I’m gonna have fun.”
In come the animals two by two:
Hippopotamus and Kangaroo.

In come the animals three by three:
Two big cats and a bumblebee.
In come the animals four by four:
Horse shouted out, “There’s room for more.”

In come the animals five by five:
Four little sparrows and a red bird’s wife.
In come the animals six by six:
Elephant laughed at the monkey’s tricks.

Who built the ark?
Noah!  Noah!
Who built the ark?
Brother Noah built the ark

In come the animals seven by seven:
Duck and her little ones – nine, ten, eleven.
In come the animals eight by eight:
Cottontail rabbit and her mate.

In come the animals nine by nine:
Cow was a laughin’ and the bull was cryin’
In come the animals ten by ten:
Five black roosters and five white hens.

Who built the ark?
Noah!  Noah!
Who built the ark?
Brother Noah built the ark

Noah said, “Go shut the door.
The rain’s started fallin’ and we can’t take more.”
Lightning flashed and thunder rolled.
The animals were save within the hold.

Who built the ark?
Noah!  Noah!
Who built the ark?
Brother Noah built the ark

Who built the ark?
Noah!  Noah!
Who built the ark?
Brother Noah built the ark

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Like so many of its folk song brothers and sisters, the lyrics and the melody to this song will vary from place to place.

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There is a study of  some about this song and it’s origins, including variations and recordings in the Folklife section of the Library of Congress online:
https://blogs.loc.gov/folklife/2014/04/a-boatload-of-songs-about-noahs-ark/

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A video to give you an idea of the melody from the wonderful Raffi:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGNMW6WRvLs

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Related Posts

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AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSIC IN ILLUSTRATED SONG

Singable Picture Books Celebrating African American History Month with Songs, Poems and Illustrations by Prominent African American Artists as well as Musical Picture Books Celebrating Important African American Musical Artists
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/singable-picture-books-celebrating-african-american-history-month/

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AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSIC IN ILLUSTRATED SONGS – Emily’s Repertoire
Emily’s Repertoire Selections for Performance to Celebrate African American Music in Illustrated Song During Tinner Blues Festival at Mary Riley Styles Library, Saturday, June 11, 2016 from 11 am – 11:45 am
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/emilys-repertoire-selections-for-library-visit-to-celebrate-african-american-music-in-illustrated-song-during-tinner-blues-festival-at-mary-riley-styles-library-june-11-2016/

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https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/sunday-school-songs-in-singable-picture-books/

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https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/singable-picture-books-with-a-green-theme/

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NOAH’S ARK

A List of Singable Picture Book Songs about Noah’s Journey with an Ark Full of Animals
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/07/09/noahs-ark-in-singable-picture-books

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