Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

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London Bridge is Falling Down (The Song and the Game illustrated by Ed Emberley)
Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Ed Emberley
An Illustrated Rendition of the Song LONDON BRIDGE

Ed Emberley’s illustration of London Bridge was first published in 1967.  I absolutely love the pictures he made for LONDON BRIDGE. The game that children play while singing the song is the focus of this book.  Unlike Peter Spier’s illustration, the lyrics are not completely written out.  And, these, like what happens with many nursery rhymes and folks songs, uses very much the same, but often different words.  This rendition also uses fewer verses.

A wonderful thing about Ed Emberley’s illustrations is his sense of humor.  His pictures are funny, and there are many jovial details here.  For example the dog, the watchman smoking his pipe, the judge, and pictures of grownups playing the game are all whimsical and witty.

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Ed Emberley gives some interesting background about the song on the inside flap of the cover:

london-bridge-emberley-cover-flap-game-info

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Essay at the back of Emberley’s book which gives a brief history of London Bridge:
london-bridge-history-emberley-copy-2

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LYRICS FOR ED EMBERLEY’S ILLUSTRATION
Ed Emberley’s illustration focuses on the song’s playground game, so it has a different set of lyrics than Peter Spier’s illustration.  Both illustrations are marvelous, full of detail and beautiful to look at. Peter Spier’s illustration (and lyrics) are more historically accurate.  Definitely, Ed Emberley’s is more whimsical.

Here are the lyrics you can sing when playing the playground game.  This book does not reprint the repeated phrases, so you’ll have to fill those in yourself as you move through the book. For the record, that is one one of my quabbles with the book.  I wish they’d just gone ahead and printed the words as the words are to be sung.

LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN
Traditional Words and Tune (as they are printed in Ed Emberley’s illustration)

London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down.
London Bridge is falling down, my fair lady.

How shall we build it up again?

Build it up with wood and clay.

Wood and clay will wash away.

Build it up with iron bars.

Iron bars will bend and break.

Build it up with gold and silver.

Gold and silver will be stolen away.

Get a guard to watch all night.

Suppose the guard should fall asleep?

Get him a pipe to smoke all night.

Suppose the pipe should fall and break?

Get a dog to bark all night.

Suppose the dog should fall asleep?

Get a cock to crow all night.

Suppose the cock should fly away?

What has this poor prisoner done?

He broke my watch and sole my keys.

A hundred pounds will set him free.

A hundred pounds he has not got.

Then off to prison he must go,
He must go, he must go
Then off ot prison he must go,
My fair lady.

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INSTRUCTIONS for how to play THE GAME

london-bridge-emberley-game-1-copy-copy

london-bridge-emberley-game-2-copy-copy

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Related Posts

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LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN, IN ILLUSTRATED SONG
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2017/01/08/london-bridge-is-falling-down-an-illustrated-song/

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EMBERLEYS

Singable Picture Books by the Emberleys (Ed, Barbara, Rebecca)
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/singable-picture-books-by-the-emberleys/

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PETER SPIER
The Singable Picture Books of Peter Spier
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/singable-picture-books-of-peter-spier/

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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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MOVEMENTS, FINGER PLAYS AND DANCES (ACTION SONGS)
Get Movin’!  MOVEMENTS, FINGER PLAYS AND DANCES in Singable Picture Books
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/get-movin-movements-finger-plays-and-dances-in-singable-picture-books/

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

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london-bridge-is-falling-down-spier
London Bridge is Falling Down (The Mother Goose Library, Peter Spier)
Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Peter Spier
An Illustrated Rendition of the Song LONDON BRIDGE

Peter Spier’s illustrations have no peer.  They are brilliantly detailed, beautiful, and engaging.

His illustration of LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN (for The Mother Goose Library) is no exception.  This amazing illustration includes an essay (at the end of the book) detailing the history of The London Bridge.  Since the book was published in 1967, the essay covers the history only until the.  For the full history, try this wiki article.

The book also features printed music (complete with guitar chords, easy ones, just C and G7) and lyrics for 18 verses printed in the book.  Fantastic!!

The song’s lyrics, which can also be a singing game, loosely tells the history of the London Bridges that spanned the Thames River.

PS:  Peter Spier’s book, marvelous and detailed includes a looooooong list of verses.  When we sing this in classrooms, I’m going to skip pages.  That way, it won’t be too long for the kids and it’ll come out a little differently every time (which will also add to the fun).

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SONG SHEET WITH GUITAR CHORDS

I created this song sheet to facilitate playing guitar while singing the song with Peter Spier’s amazing illustration.  I used the same guitar chords from the little musical chart printed at the end of the book and numbered the verses accordingly.  I numbered the the verses through the book as well.  While I play the guitar, I will plan for someone to hold the book for the children and turn pages as we move through the song.  It would be fine to choose verses and random (calling out the numbers), but I think these verses tell the story pretty well:  1-6, 9-11, 18.

london-bridge-w-chords
LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN
Song sheet arranged by ELEG for SBWE
To be sung with Peter Spier’s illustration
To view or print this page, click here:
london-bridge-w-chords

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LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN
Traditional Words and Tune (as they are printed in Peter Spier’s Illustration)

London Bridge is falling down
Falling down, falling down,
London Bridge is falling down
My fair lady.

How shall we build it up again?
Up again, up again?
How shall we build it up again?
My fair lady.

Build it up with wood and clay,
Wood and clay, wood and clay,
Build it up with wood and clay,
My fair lady.

Wood and clay will wash away
Wash away, wash away,
Wood and clay will wash away,
My fair lady.

Build it up with iron and steel,
Iron and steel, iron and steel,
Build it up with iron and steel,
My fair lady.

Iron and steel will bend and bow,
Bend and bow, bend and bow,
Iron and steel will bend and bow,
My fair lady.

Build it up with gravel and stone,
Gravel and stone, gravel and stone,
Build it up with gravel and stone,
My fair lady.

Gravel and stone will fall away,
Fall away, fall away,
Gravel and stone will fall away,
My fair lady.

Build it up with silver and gold,
Silver and gold, silver and gold,
Build it up with silver and gold,
My fair lady.

Silver and gold will be stolen away,
Stolen away, stolen away,
Silver and gold will be stolen away,
MY fair lady.

Then we must set a man to watch,
Man to watch, man to watch,
Then we must set a man to watch,
My fair lady.

Suppose that man should fall asleep,
Fall asleep, fall asleep,
Suppose the man should fall asleep,
My fair lady.

Give him a pipe to smoke all night,
Smoke all night, smoke all night,
Give him a pipe to smoke all night,
My fair lady.

Suppose the pipe should fall and break,
Fall and break, fall and break,
Suppose the pipe should fall and break,
My fair lady.

The we will set a dog to watch,
Dog to watch, dog to watch,
Then we will set a dog to watch,
My fair lady.

Suppose the dog should run away,
Run away, run away,
Suppose the dog should run away,
My fair lady.

Then we shall chain him to a post,
To a post, to a post,
Then we shall chain him to a post,
My fair lady.
(I’m not singing the verse above)

London Bridge is falling down
Falling down, falling down,
London Bridge is falling down
My fair lady.

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Related Posts

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LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN, IN ILLUSTRATED SONG
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2017/01/08/london-bridge-is-falling-down-an-illustrated-song/

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EMBERLEYS

Singable Picture Books by the Emberleys (Ed, Barbara, Rebecca)
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/singable-picture-books-by-the-emberleys/

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PETER SPIER
The Singable Picture Books of Peter Spier
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/singable-picture-books-of-peter-spier/

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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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MOVEMENTS, FINGER PLAYS AND DANCES (ACTION SONGS)
Get Movin’!  MOVEMENTS, FINGER PLAYS AND DANCES in Singable Picture Books
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/get-movin-movements-finger-plays-and-dances-in-singable-picture-books/

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

LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN is a Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme that we all grew up with.  But I never knew, until researching Peter Spier’s illustration, that there is a lot of fascinating history about the the real bridge woven into the lyrics.

Peter Spier’s illustration (which includes detailed pictures depicting the bridge’s history) and Ed Emberley’s illustration (which delightfully depicts the playground game children play while singing the song) are particularly notable (wonderful pictures!) and they both get their own posts.

This post contains images of those and other illustrations, song origin information, guitar chords, and a host of other goodies to help you know, understand, and enjoy the song.

As time goes on, and I gather more info and learn more, I will add to this post.

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london-bridge-is-falling-down-spier
London Bridge is Falling Down (The Mother Goose Library, Peter Spier)
Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Peter Spier
An Illustrated Rendition of the Song LONDON BRIDGE

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London Bridge is Falling Down (The Song and the Game illustrated by Ed Emberley)
Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Ed Emberley
An Illustrated Rendition of the Song LONDON BRIDGE

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SONG ORIGINS

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LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN wiki
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Bridge_Is_Falling_Down

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LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN
Lyrics with easy guitar chords
Traditional Words and Tune
First Note = G

C   1
London Bridge is falling down

G7                  C
Falling down, falling down,

London Bridge is falling down

G7        C
My fair lady.

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OTHER ILLUSTRATIONS

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london-bridge-michael-allen-austin
London Bridge is Falling Down
Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Michael Allen Austin

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ILLUSTRATED SONGS THAT USE THE SAME TUNE

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leaves on the trees, wiley day
The Leaves on the Trees
Sing to the Tune of LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN or WHEELS ON THE BUS
Words by Thom Wiley
Illustrated by Andrew Day

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Addendum, 1/13/2017

I sang LONDON BRIDGE (playing guitar while a teacher held Peter Spier’s illustration and turned the pages) the other day in a Kindergarten class.  This class has a little boy, who is particularly precocious and who is clearly gifted with lots of smarts.  He told me that one of his favorite MAGIC TREE HOUSE books (written by Mary Pope Osborne) has the LONDON BRIDGE in it and talks about the shops and taverns that lined either side of the bridge when Shakespeare lived in London while writing his plays.

He told me the book was STAGE FRIGHT ON A SUMMER NIGHT:

stage-fright-magic-tree-house

I told him I would make a point of finding the book and reading (since I really am interested). He suggested that I start with the first of the MAGIC TREE HOUSE books and work my way up to that one.  I said, that I am really working on learning about this one thing at the moment, but was really looking forward to reading this one that has Shakespeare and London Bridge in it.  He said, “That’s really too bad, because you’ll miss out on some of my favorite stories in those books.”  This kid is FIVE!

I count my lucky stars every day getting to have these sorts of conversations with kids.  Wonderful, too, that we can share the music which leads us into talking about interesting subject, history, and experiences.

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Related Posts

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LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN, IN ILLUSTRATED SONG
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2017/01/08/london-bridge-is-falling-down-an-illustrated-song/

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EMBERLEYS

Singable Picture Books by the Emberleys (Ed, Barbara, Rebecca)
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/singable-picture-books-by-the-emberleys/

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PETER SPIER
The Singable Picture Books of Peter Spier
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/singable-picture-books-of-peter-spier/

*
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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MOVEMENTS, FINGER PLAYS AND DANCES (ACTION SONGS)
Get Movin’!  MOVEMENTS, FINGER PLAYS AND DANCES in Singable Picture Books
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/get-movin-movements-finger-plays-and-dances-in-singable-picture-books/

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

 

112.
Lumbering in the freezing cold
Suffering to myself
About stinging fingertips
When I see
There is moss in a chink
Of an old stone wall
A tiny patch of brilliant green
Luxuriant like velour
Amid the craggy drab

In the moment before
Everything felt hard and raw
But like what Dorothy saw
Peeking out of her fallen house
This technicolor fuzziness
Reminds me that
Miracles happen
And the exuberance for life
Will always find a way

111.
Haiku are jewels
Wee, focused contemplations
Where small things are big

110.
A house is a shell
Empty ’til what you put in
Will make it a home

Or is a home more
Than just a shell for your stuff
It’s where you belong

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Related Posts

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IMPRESSIONS WHILE WALKING
Taking walks, noticing the world around me, and writing down what I see
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2016/09/03/impressions-while-walking/

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SONG BY EMILY: A JUBILEE OF JINGLES
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/songs-by-emily/

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INFO AND THINKING ABOUT SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/resources-for-inspiration-and-information/

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Singable Picture Book Lists for Special Occasions & Interests
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/song-book-lists-for-all-occasions/

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PICTURES IN PAVEMENT AS SEEN BY EMILY
Emily’s collection of photographs of images formed by pavement cracks
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10205709327003243.1073741841.1557301052&type=1&l=a

109.
Cooking in the kitchen
With three burners blazing
I’m just making pasta
But pretend I’m amazing

Like a chef whose cuisine
Is delectable, sublime
I’m whipping up dishes
You’ll think are divine

Try my rice, for example
It’s brown and nutritious
My chicken legs, roasted
Are juicy, delicious

I can slice up an apple
Just like Julia Child
And serve it with P.B.
It’ll drive you just wild

Green beans from a can?
Organic! A treat!
Avec tomato pesto?
Please, take a seat

Taste my grilled cheese
My noodles with meat sauce
Or my pie of spiced pumpkin
Would tantalize Cake Boss

Though I like to fancy
About what comes from my stove
It’s all really quite simple
Concocted with love

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Related Posts

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IMPRESSIONS WHILE WALKING
Taking walks, noticing the world around me, and writing down what I see
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2016/09/03/impressions-while-walking/

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SONG BY EMILY: A JUBILEE OF JINGLES
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/songs-by-emily/

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INFO AND THINKING ABOUT SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/resources-for-inspiration-and-information/

*
Singable Picture Book Lists for Special Occasions & Interests
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/song-book-lists-for-all-occasions/

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PICTURES IN PAVEMENT AS SEEN BY EMILY
Emily’s collection of photographs of images formed by pavement cracks
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10205709327003243.1073741841.1557301052&type=1&l=a

108.
It is morning in winter
A teal blue sky
Luminous as the sun prepares its rise
I am standing in a park
Inhabiting the brittle silence of the cold air
The bare trees silhouetted against
The blue glow
Like upturned brooms of witches and warlocks
You can see Nature’s design and chaos
Simultaneously thriving
In the branches of
Each leafless tree
Nature’s recipe
Subjected to the forces of wind and rain
Producing the wonders of life I’m looking at now
They are impossibly beautiful
Their arms outstretched to the heavens
Begging for rain
Worshiping the sun
Beckoning visitors
In need of shelter or home
This might be the image
My mind’s eye sees the moment I die
These trees etched against the sky
Mean everything all at once

(1/5/2017)

107.
Horizon this morn
Cracked its shell like an oyster
Showing off its pearl

(1/5/2017)

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Related Posts

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IMPRESSIONS WHILE WALKING
Taking walks, noticing the world around me, and writing down what I see
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2016/09/03/impressions-while-walking/

*
SONG BY EMILY: A JUBILEE OF JINGLES
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/songs-by-emily/

*
INFO AND THINKING ABOUT SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/resources-for-inspiration-and-information/

*
Singable Picture Book Lists for Special Occasions & Interests
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/song-book-lists-for-all-occasions/

*
PICTURES IN PAVEMENT AS SEEN BY EMILY
Emily’s collection of photographs of images formed by pavement cracks
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10205709327003243.1073741841.1557301052&type=1&l=a

I loved singing Cumbaya when I was a kid.  It was almost hypnotic, like a meditation and it always helped me to feel enlightened and more plugged into the world around me.  The song recognizes the thoughts, feelings and emotions of the people around us.  We need songs like this. Songs like this should be treasured and cared for.  It the song of someone in need calling to God (“Come by here!”) for help and comfort.  I hold this song in my heart and I hope you will, too.

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cumbayah-floyd-cooper
Cumbayah

Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Floyd Cooper

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Informative wiki article, here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumbaya

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Here is a link to a page with guitar chords:
http://www.songdrops.com/classic-childrens-songs-lyrics-guitar-chords/kumbaya-guitar-chords-and-lyrics-to-the-old-classic-children%E2%80%99s-song.html

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Related Posts

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SUNDAY SCHOOL SONGS AND SPIRITUALS
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/sunday-school-songs-in-singable-picture-books/

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TOLERANCE, KINDNESS AND COMPASSION
Singable Picture Books Celebrating Tolerance and Compassion (another list inspired by Nikki)
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/singable-picture-books-celebrating-tolerance-and-compassion-another-list-inspired-by-nikki/

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