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08 September 2014

New Folksong: Johnny Appleseed

Our first folksong was Polly Wolly Doodle, and now I've got all my kids singing it. It was easy to teach; I just sang it around the house. It's a fun one, and soon the kids were singing it too. We worked on it for several weeks, and by the end of the time, Hero(7) had asked me to write it down for him to play on the violin. I'm really looking forward to seeing what his teacher thinks when she hears it!

For our new song, I want to do this Johnny Appleseed song. It's so pretty, and it's got a lovely message. I'm thinking that we'll do this one just a little bit more formally, and so I've picked out a YouTube to show the kids. The lyrics are just a little bit different from the ones that I printed out, and this I'm pleased about. It's going to give me a chance to chat with them about how there are often many verses and versions of a folk song, and that's ok.

I've deliberately picked a song that's done by just a regular guy, and not a professional recording. So many times, people say, "Oh, I can't sing," because they compare themselves to purchased recordings, and they never realize that those recordings have had heavy "photoshopping" done to them; they're no more real than the pictures in magazines. Nobody sounds like that - not even the famous artists we pay for their music! I want my kids to have exposure to regular music from regular people, so they are used to the sound of it, and not afraid to let people hear them make their music. And this recording is so pleasant.

Want to include some folk songs in your school, but not sure where to start? I enjoyed looking through Ambleside's folk song suggestions. Down toward the bottom of the page they also have a nice discussion of why you might choose to include this kind of music in your children's education. There's some good thoughts there.


Angelic Scalliwags said...

What a great idea to include folk songs. I wouldn't have thought of that. I don't even know if there are any British folk songs? I imagine there must be, but I've never heard of them! Must go and find out!

Ritsumei said...

I'm certain there are. I have a whole list of Welsh songs in my favorites, as we've got some Welsh ancestry and I'm working on learning Welsh. I was pleasantly surprised to find "Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah" on the list. One of my personal goals is to learn a couple of those, in Welsh, to help my language efforts. The kids can play or not on that one. I'm sure that there are pages out there for British folk songs. (Does that include Welsh, or is it only English? I'm sadly fuzzy on what, precisely, "British" means, now that I've learned how many groups are part of the UK!)


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