Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

Mary Wore Her Red Dress, an Illustrated Song

Posted on: September 14, 2016

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Mary Wore Her Red Dress (and Henry Wore His Green Sneakers)
Traditional Words and Tune
Words Adapted by Merle Peek
Illustrated by Merle Peek

The back of the book offers printed music and lyrics and a note from the author.

Reading A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR gave me respect for the song, which, before reading it, I wondered what one would do with such a song:

MARY WORE HER RED DRESS is a folk song from Texas, and it lends itself well to improvisation.  Children can make up verses about themselves and their friends.  It doesn’t matter if the new things are too long to fit the music; just add the necessary number of beats to fit the syllables…

Besides singing about clothing and colors, the possibilities for other verses are endless.  Daily incidents can inspire them – outside it’s raining; the tulips are blooming; the dog is sleeping…

A guessing game is always fun.  The children might begin with, “Who’s got a bandaged finger, bandaged finger…?”…

The printed music makes a little crazy.  I like Raffi’s  simpler version of the melody better than what is printed in the book.  I assembled some very simple (and easy to play) guitar chords to sing this melody:

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mary-wore-her-red-dress-eleg-sbwe
Mary Wore Her Red Dress for SBWE
Traditional Words and Tune
Chords and Arrangement for SBWE
To view or print this page, click here:
mary-wore-her-red-dress-sbwe

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mary-wore-her-red-dress-eleg-sbwe-for-book
Mary Wore Her Red Dress (book lyrics w chords)
Traditional Words and Tune
Arrangement for SBWE
To view or print this page, click here:
mary-wore-her-red-dress-eleg-sbwe-for-book

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MARY WORE HER RED DRESS
Traditional Words and Tune
Guitar Chors by ELEG for SBWE

Instructions
As you continue with the song, substitute another name and another color and item of clothing where “[Mary]” and “[red dress]” appear in brackets below. You can keep going until you run out of time, energy, or items.

C                               C                  G7               C
[Mary] wore her [red dress, red dress, red dress]

G7
[Mary] wore her [red dress] all day long

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Notes and Research

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This is a nice song and book for preschoolers and emergent readers.  Kids can begin to notice details and objects in the world around them, improve vocabulary, and learn colors.  And, the repetitive nature of the words is good for emergent readers to gain confidence gain mastery in the words of a book.

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This can easily become a circle game in which, guided by teacher, kids pick one detail about each child in the circle and sing it in turn.

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Scholastic Publisher’s webpage for this book:
http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/book/mary-wore-her-red-dress-and-henry-wore-his-green-sneakers#cart/cleanup

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Scholastic also offers printables and activities associated with this song:
https://printables.scholastic.com/shop/prcontent/Mary-Wore-Her-Red-DressClothing-Names-Color-Words/9780439395120-002

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Mama Lisa’s website has an informational page for this song:
http://www.mamalisa.com/?t=es&p=2396&c=23

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Raffi sings MARY WORE HER RED DRESS

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Related Posts

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COLORS!  CELEBRATE COLOR IN ILLUSTRATED SONGS
The songs in this list extol the joys of color

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RAFFI
The Singable Picture Books of Raffi
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/the-singable-picture-books-of-raffi/

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

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SING-ALONG RESOURCES AND PRINTABLE MATERIALS
This is the place to find Print Materials Created by Emily
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/sing-along-resources-2/

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SING BOOKS WITH EMILY REPERTOIRE OF ILLUSTRATED SONG
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/the-sing-books-with-emily-repertoire-of-illustrated-song/

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