Tag Archives: make up your own words

Roo-by, Ruby, Roo (or, A Song About a Dog)

9 Oct


Today in class, a mom shared with me that she and her almost-three-year-old son have been singing their own version of the song “Sweet Potato” — about a dog named Ruby. “Roo-by, Ruby, Roo / Sing rooooo-by, ruby, roo-oo,” goes the chorus of the song, and during the verse they sing about what Ruby does. “Soon as Ruby eats all her dinner, all her dinner, all her dinner / Soon as Ruby eats all her dinner, she lies down on her bed.” Sometimes the mom makes up the words, and sometimes her son takes over. “I need to start writing down all the verses he invents,” she said. For now, they’re just having fun singing about Ruby and what she does and what she might be thinking. What a lucky dog.


You don’t have to have a Ruby in your life to make up your own words to this song. The verse on the CD is all about making and eating supper, but you could sing about going to the supermarket or brushing teeth, instead. “Soon as Mama buys eggs and sugar, eggs and sugar, eggs and sugar / Soon as Mama buys eggs and sugar, we can bake our cake!”  Or: “Soon as Molly gets out her toothbrush, out her toothbrush, out her toothbrush / Soon as Molly gets out her toothbrush, she can brush her teeth.” Let me know what you sing about at home!


“Row, row, row your goat / Gently up the tree…”

17 Jan

Changing the words to songs, or making up entirely new words altogether, is a fantastic way to play with music: It’s easy, it’s fun, it’s goofy, and kids LOVE it. Young children learn through play (so the more we play with music, the more about music they learn), and when we play with changing or inventing lyrics, one aspect of music-making they are learning is, believe it or not, composing. Composing! Isn’t that something that only musical geniuses do? People like Mozart, Bach and Beethoven? Nope. Everyone can make up music (not as scary as “compose”), and won’t it be wonderful for our children to grow up knowing, as a matter of fact, that they can create (compose) their own music? By singing/chanting our own words to songs/chants, we’re giving our children the clear message that composing our own music is just something we do, like brushing our teeth before we go to bed or looking both ways before crossing the street.

So, go ahead and row that goat right on up that tree. You’ll take your kids on a wild ride that will help them develop their unique musicality and creative freedom. It’ll be fun to see how you and your kids get that goat down from up there…

Goat clipart courtesy www.Clker.com.