Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

As I Went Over the Water, an Illustrated and Singable Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme

Posted on: September 14, 2016

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As I Went Over (cover only)
As I Went Over the Water (SBWE)
Traditional Rhyme, Adapted by ELEG for SBWE
Tune and Chords by ELEG for SBWE

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as-i-went-over-the-water-eleg-sbwe-2

As I Went Over the Water (SBWE w chords)
Traditional Rhyme, Adapted by ELEG for SBWE
Tune and Chords by ELEG for SBWE
To view or print this page, click here:
as-i-went-over-the-water-eleg-sbwe-2

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as i went over the water eleg sbwe 2 (no chords)

As I Went Over the Water (SBWE no chords)
Traditional Rhyme, Adapted by ELEG for SBWE
Tune and Chords by ELEG for SBWE
To view or print this page, click here:
as i went over the water eleg sbwe 2 (no chords)

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ORIGINAL RHYME

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as-i-went-over-the-water-eleg-sbwe
As I Went Over the Water (Original w chords)
Traditional Rhyme
Tune and Chords by ELEG for SBWE
To view or print this page, click here:
as-i-went-over-the-water-eleg-sbwe

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Sing AS I WENT OVER THE WATER with Emily:

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as-i-went-over-the-water-sendak-image-copy
An image from AS I WENT OVER THE WATER as illustrated by Maurice Sendak.  I was going to scan one myself, but a blog post by VINTAGE KIDS BOOKS MY KID LOVES had such perfectly beautiful images already that I “borrowed” one (thank you!).  The rhyme is documented in Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, so the words have been around a long time, but so far I’ve been unable to find any illustrations of the rhyme except those by Mr. Sendak.

AS I WENT OVER THE WATER is a rhyme with such mischief in it (a hilarious double cross at the end), that I fell in love.  It’s not really very nice (which might explain its dearth of illustration), but it is funny, and holds in it the secret desires of every nice person who wants to retaliate against injustices (perceived or real).  It seems right that Maurice Sendak, who remembered the darkness of a child’s heart (the dark desires of our inner children, too), would make pictures for it.  I’m glad he did.

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I decided almost immediately that I shouldn’t share the original of this rhyme in classes of little ones, as I’m not one to condone people hitting each other. But I thought the basics of the rhyme so funny, that a tune came to mind for it.  It was easy to pair the tune with chords and then I sang it into my beloved little brown Olympus recorder:

AS I WENT OVER THE WATER
Traditional Rhyme
Tune and Chords by ELEG for SBWE

C
As I went over the water

Am                         G
The water went over me

C
I saw two little black birds

Am                 G
Sitting on a tree

C                              Am
One called me a rascal

C                              Am
One called me a thief

C                               Am
So I took up my little black stick

G                                       C
And knocked out all their teeth

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Sing AS I WENT OVER THE WATER with Emily:

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AS I WENT OVER THE WATER is featured in:

Hector Protector and As I Went over the Water
(Two Nursery Rhymes with Pictures)

Traditional Words and Tunes
Illustrated by Maurice Sendak
A post for: HECTOR PROTECTOR
A post for: AS I WENT OVER THE WATER

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The great illustrations by Maruice Sendak for this rhyme are featured in post from the blog VINTAGE KIDS’ BOOKS MY KID LOVES:
http://www.vintagechildrensbooksmykidloves.com/2012/09/hector-protector-and-as-i-went-over.html

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AS I WENT OVER THE WATER is rhyme #244 explored in:

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oxford dictionary of nursery rhymes new edition
Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (New Edition, Second Edition, 1997)
Exploring Over 500 Rhymes, Songs and Riddles
Edited by Iona and Peter Opie
Published by Oxford University Press, 1997
Exploring Over 500 Rhymes, Songs and Riddles
Edited by Iona and Peter Opie
Published by Oxford University Press, 1997

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Addendum, 10/3/2016

Well, darn it, I liked this rhyme so much (and it’s little tune from my own little brain) that I decided to adapt the words just a teeeny tiny bit so that I could feel just fine about singing the rhyme to kids in school.  I know this is risky, since the whole point of the original rhyme is mischeif, subversion, and to give a nod to a child’s baser instincts (and desire for Hammurabi justice) to abuse the abuser.  But I just didn’t feel right singing about a violent physical response (even if, on some level, it would be justified, considering the circumstances put forth in the rhyme) in classrooms.  My small alteration, I think, leaves some to the imagination, gives us a chance to open up a conversation about the unkindness of name calling, and what appropriate responses might be.  Also, if kids and their parents DO want to dig a little deeper to find the original mischief, it’s here, hidden in plain sight!

AS I WENT OVER THE WATER
Traditional Rhyme, Adapted by ELEG for SBWE
Tune and Chords by ELEG for SBWE

C
As I went over the water

Am                         G
The water went over me

C
I saw two little black birds

Am                 G
Sitting on a tree

C                              Am
One called me a rascal

C                              Am
One called me a thief

C                                                 Am
So I told them, “Pack your bags”

G                                       C
And sent them out to sea

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Related Posts

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MOTHER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES: SING BOOKS WITH EMILY SONGBOOK SERIES (SBWE SBS)
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2015/11/21/sing-books-with-emily-songbook-series-mother-goose-nursery-rhymes/

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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/

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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/

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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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SONGS BY EMILY
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/songs-by-emily/

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