Songs for Remembrance Assembly

Songs for our Remembrance Assembly The students at Kent Elementary have been learning two beautiful folk songs, both in Hebrew, to sing at the Remembrance Assembly on Tuesday Nov. 10th at 10:30. Adults tend to be apprehensive about speaking new languages, but children seem to “soak it up like sponges”. Even the Kindergarten students can be found singing the songs as they skip down the hallway! Bashana Haba ‘ah   is a song of hope that someday things will be better. It was written by an Israeli woman, Nurit Hirsh, during a period of bombardment, when it wasn’t safe to be outside. The translation of the Hebrew text is: Next year, when peace will come, we will return to the simple pleasures of life. We will sit on the porch and count the birds flying overhead. We will see children playing tag between the houses and in the fields. You will see, you will see, how good it will be, in the days to come. Al Shlosha D’varim takes its text from an old Jewish maxim, or rule to live by. It means – the world is sustained by 3 things: by truth, by justice and by peace. This song is written in the form of a partner song, with the primary students singing the first section then the intermediate students singing the second part.

There are some recordings on YouTube that could be used in practicing the songs.  For Al Shlo Sha:   &      

For Bashana:  – is the arrangement we are singing, but the next 2 are worthwhile viewing:   &  (faster and joyful)

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Primary Choir Lyrics- CANADA SINGS – Spring 2017

Listed below are the lyrics for songs that the Primary Choir will sing for their annual spring concert – Wednesday May 10th, during the school day (1:00 p.m.), plus Thursday May 11th, early evening (6:00 p.m.).

HERE IS THE REVISED PLAN for which songs we will be singing. Note which songs for which grades.  There are some songs that are now open for solos or small groups:  auditions Monday April 10th and Tuesday April 11th.  

I have sent a copy of the lyrics home with each singer to practice the lyrics – with help from adults for non-readers and early- readers.  Extra copies will have to printed at home, or viewed on this website if the original home copy is misplaced.  **NOTE:  we will try to memorize as much as possible, but if not, those who can read will have the words on chart paper to follow during the concert.**

I am grateful to Mr. Turner and his wife, Susan, for their assistance for converting the practice CD selections onto MP3 files.  (I am not technically talented at all!!) Mrs. Stanway has put the files onto the school website:

When recording the rehearsal CDs, I try to make each song as accurate as possible in both melody and rhythm – but when an error is made I have to start all over (and over)…..hence my voice isn’t always in tip-top condition as I sing for 2 days straight!

CHILDREN’S BLESSING SONG – Sherryl Sewepagaham   (AND sung by her)  – ALL STUDENTS  (K- 3)

Ya ha wey—ah, wey—ah—wey ah——.  Ya ha wey—ah, wey—ah—wey—ah.

Ya ha  wey—ah—wey—ah—wey  ah  wey  oh

Wey  oh  wey  hey.  Wey  oh   wey  oh wey  hey.  Wey oh  wey  oh wey hey

Ya ha wey  ah  wey  ah wey  ah.  Ya  ha  wey  ah wey  ah wey  ah.  Ya  ha wey  ah  wey ah wey ah wey oh.   Wey oh, wey oh—— wey oh wey oh wey hey.  Wey oh wey oh  wey hey.


KLONDIKE  – composer unknown.  Originated in England  – BOYS SOLO/SMALL GROUP……

Oh come to the place where they struck it rich.  Come where the treasure lies hid.  Where your hat full of mud is a five pound note, and a clod on your heel is a quid.

Klondike, Klondike. Oh label your luggage for Klondike.  Oh there ain’t no luck in the town         today, there ain’t no work down Moodyville way.  So pack up your traps and be off, I say, off and away to the Klondike.

Oh they scratches thee earth and it tumbles out, more than your hands can hold.  For the hills above and the plains beneath are crackin’ and bustin’ with gold.

INUIT LULLABY  – from Cape Dorset (southern coast of Baffin Island)  – KINDERGARTEN ONLY

Still, now and hear my singing——Sleep through the night, my darling.                                                               We have a tiny daughter, thanks be to God who sent her.                                                                                     Through she as yet knows nothing, she is so sweet, I’m singing.

I’SE THE B’Y – traditional Newfoundland folksong, arr. by Nancy Telfer  – ALL (K-3) but Ks just on chorus

I’se the b’ye I’se the b’y that builds the boat       I’se the b’y that sails her
I’s the b’y that catches the fish,       And takes ‘em home to Lizer.

                Hip your partner Sally Tibbo              Hip your partner Sally Brown
Fogo, Twillingate, Morton’s Harbour,              All around the circle.

Sods and rinds to cover yer  flake,   Cake and tea for supper,
Codfish in the spring o’ the year,      Fried in maggoty butter!

I don’t want your maggoty fish,        That’s no good for winter,
I could buy as good as that ,              Down in Bonavista.

I took Lizer to a dance,                     And faith, but she could travel!
And ev’ry step that she did take      Was up to her knees in gravel.

Susan White, she’s out of sight,        Her petticoat wants a border,
Old Sam Oliver in the dark               He kissed her in the corner.

ANNE OF GREEN GABLES – music by N. Campbell, lyrics by D. Harron & E. Campbell – GIRLS SOLO….

Anne of Green Gables, never change.  I like you just this way.  Anne of Green Gables, sweet and strange, stay as you are today.  Though blossoms fade and friends must part, old grows the songs we’ve sung.  Anne of Green Gables, in my heart, you are forever young.

Young as the springtime, fresh as the rain.  Light as the laughter, that gives me hope again

(REPEAT 1st 3 lines – above)

LESTER THE LOBSTER  – Stevedore Steve  (gr 1-3)

I’m Lester the Lobster from PEI.  An ugly little bug with beady little eyes.  But I can tackle anything up to twice my size.  I’m Lester the Lobster from PEI.

Now some people hold to the silly little notion, that ev’ry single lobster in the big wide ocean, is as green as can be until they’re boiled, but I’m as red as Prince Edward Island soil.

An amazing crustacean, that’s what I am, it’s plain.  The first little lobster to bring thee island fame.  I was hatched on the shores in the PEI mud, and the colour of thee island soil has gotten in my blood.

Well I’m grown up now and looking for a mate.  A quaint and dainty lobster who could cohabitate, with a great red lobster from the shores of PEI, but my little lobster Miss would have to be as red as I

Well I’d like to send a message to the people of the world.  If anyone should come across a little lobster girl, who’s as red as Prince Edward Island sittin’ in the sea, just crate her up and ship her here and send her C.O.D.

CARRION CROW – traditional English folksong  – SOLO

A carrion crow sat on an oak.  Hey derry down derry die-doh.  Watching a tailor mending his cloak. Caw.  Caw.  The carrion crow.  Hey derry down derry die-do


Bring me my arrow and my bow, to my inkum kiddy kum ki mo, ‘Til I go shoot that kangaroo, to my inkum kiddy kum ki mo.

Ki me nee ro kiddy kum kee ro, ki mi nee ro ki mo, ba ba ba ba billy illy inkum, inkum kiddy kum ki mo

Thee old man fired, he missed his mark, to my inkum kiddy kum ki mo.  He shot thee old sow through the heart, to my inkum kiddy kum ki mo

Ki me nee ro kiddy kum kee ro, ki mi nee ro ki mo, ba ba ba ba billy illy inkum, inkum kiddy kum ki mo

THEE OLD CARRION CROW – Nova Scotia folksong, adapted from original English – GRADE 2 & 3

Oh bring me some ‘lasses in a spoon,  Fol the riddle, all the riddle, hey ding doh. ‘Til I go heal that old sow’s wound, Sing he, sing ho, thee old carrion crow.     Fol the riddle, all the riddle, hey ding doh.                            Kie me lea ro, kill my kea ro.  Kie me lea ro kie mo    to me bump bump bump jump, polly wolly lee,  link o killy cum kie mo.

 Oh now thee old sow’s dead and gone, Fol the riddle, all the riddle, hey ding doh.   Her little ones go waddling on, Sing he, sing ho, thee old carrion crow. Fol the riddle, all the riddle, hey ding doh.                                    Kie me lea ro, kill my kea ro.  Kie me lea ro kie mo     to me bump bump bump jump, polly wolly lee,  link o killy cum kie mo.

BERCEUSE ACADIENNE – traditional Acadian/New Brunswick folksong  – Grade 2

BOLD = nasal   r= flipped

Doh, doh la pa  tee bee bee.  She  la boh ptee bee bee ah ma  meh.  Doh, doh, doh.  Doh, doh la bee bee ah ma meh.

Da meh see feh boh.  Doh  doh  doh.  Juhee- roh zoh grah peh-ra.  Doh doh doh doh (repeat line)

WILLOW TREE – traditional New Brunswick folksong  – Grade 3s

Willow, willow.  Shade my little one.  Weeping willow tree.  Spread your leaves above my little one.  Weeping willow tree.  (REPEAT)

When thee autumn comes, and the summer has gone, and the leaves all begin to fall.  They will fall upon my little one, under the willow tree.

The spring will surely come again, and all the world seems fresh again.  The birds will surely sing again, and life will seem to move again, will seem to move again.

But she will never move, my little one, under the will————-ow tree——–

HO HO WATANEY – Iroquois (Quebec) first nation folksong – Grade 1

Ho Ho wah tah nay.  Ho Ho wah tah nay.  Ho Ho wah tah nay. Kih yoh keh nah, Kih yoh keh nah.

(English)  Sleep, sleep little one (3 x)  Now go to sleep (2x)

(French)  Doh doh moh  peh tee (3x)  ay boh new ee (2x)

DONKEY RIDING – traditional Quebec folksong – Grade 1-3

Were you ever in Quebec, stowing timber on the deck?  Where there’s a king with a golden crown, riding on a donkey.

Hey, ho, away we go.  Donkey riding, donkey riding.  Hey, ho, away we go.  Riding on a     donkey.

Were you ever off the Horn, where it’s always fine and warm?  See the Lion, the Unicorn, riding on a donkey.

OH—-were you ever in Cardiff Bay, where the folks all shout “hooray”.  Here comes John with his 3 months pay.  Riding on a donkey.

A PLACE TO STAND – music by D. Claman, lyrics by R. Morris – Grade 2

Give us a place to stand, and a place to grow.  And call this land, Ontario.  A place to live for you and me, with hopes as high, as the tallest tree.  Give us a land of lakes, and a land of snow.  And we will build, Ontario.  A place to stand, a place to grow, Ontaree-air-ee-air-ee-oh

Give us a place to stand, and a place to grow.  And call this land, Ontario.  From western hills, to northern shore, to Niag’ra Falls, where the waters roar.  Give us a land of peace, where the free winds blow. And we will build, Ontario.  A place to stand, a place to grow, Ontaree-air-ee-air-ee-oh

LAND OF THE SILVER BIRCH –composer unknown, from Ontario  – Grade 1-3

Land of the silver birch, home of the beaver.  Where still the mighty moose wanders at will.  Blue lake and rocky shore, I will return once more.

Boom de de boom boom(3x) boom.

Down in the forest, deep in the lowlands.  My heart cries out to thee, hills of the north.

High on a rocky ledge, I’ll build my wigwam.  Close by the water’s edge, silent and still.

MY PADDLE– Grade 1-3

My paddle’s keen and bright, flashing with silver. Follow the wild goose flight, dip dip and swing.  Dip dip and swing her back, flashing with silver.  Swift as the wild goose flies, dip dip and swing.


Manitoba, Manitoba.  Fair thy fields of harvest stand.  Mellow light of early autumn, stealing down across the land.  Laughing up from far off meadows, comes the south wind bold and free.  Bending into rippling wavelets, all the tranquil golden sea.

Manitoba, Manitoba.  On thy prairies, yesterday the buffalo fed.  And the trembling plains re-echo, with the thunder of their tread.  Now they sleep in earth’s oblivion, and the golden harvest waves.  In its wealth of autumn splendour, o’er their long-forgotten graves.

FLUNKY JIM – Grade 1-3

I am the flunky of the house, they call me Flunky Jim.  You’ll find me knockin’ around the yard in my hat without a brim.  My overalls are shabby and I have no shirt at all.  But I’m going to get a new outfit with my gopher tails next fall.

Oh knockin’ around the yard, boys, knockin’ around the yard.  It isn’t any easy job, don’t fool yourself, old pard.  My overalls are shabby and I have no shirt at all.  But I’m going to get a new outfit with my gopher tails next fall.

At night when Pa comes from the field he calls for Flunky Jim.  He pats me on my curly head and my hat without a brim.  He’s apt to say “Oh Flunky Jim, your clothes are far too small”.  But I’m going to get a new outfit with my gopher tails next fall.

I counted all my gopher tails, I’ve almost got enough, to buy a hat, a fancy shirt, and pants that have a cuff.  And then I’ll hand my old ones down, they really are too small.  Oh I’ll be swell when once I sell my gopher tails next fall.

SASKATCHEWAN BLUES – Alison Pirot  – Grade 1-3

Saskatchewan, go on, go on.  Saskatchewan, go on home.  (REPEAT).  So cold in the winter, oh, I wanna go home.

So cold in the winter that I froze my nose.  So cold in the winter that I lost all my toes.  Winds just a-howlin’ and the snow’s just a-blowin’,  tried to ski to Moose Jaw but my eyes they froze!

Lots of bright warm sunshine and the bluest skies, lots of space for movin’ out to watch the sun rise. Wind, lightnin’, thunder and the sweet smell of grain. Long days and northern lights, oh how the time flies.

Saskatchewan, go on, go on.  Saskatchewan you’re my home.  Saskatchewan go on, go on. But Saskatchewan in the wintertime is so dog-gone cold. YEAH!

SIOUX LULLABY  -traditional prairie/Saskatchewan Sioux FN song  – Grade 1

Tah neh bah, neh sha nee aze.  Neh shah nee aze, neh shah nee aze.  Tah neh bah she, shah nee aze. Tah neh bah, tah neh bah.

(Go to sleep my little one, my little baby, my little one.  Go to sleep now, little one, little one, go to sleep, little one)

RED RIVER CART SONG – music by R. Hyslop, lyrics by L. Johnson  – Grade 1-3

The railhead was in Calgary back in those early days.  And ev’ryone a-goin’ north had to find a diff’rent way.  There were horses dragging travois, they had been there from the start.  But my father went to Edmonton in a Red River Cart

Rolling along the prairies, you great big wooden wheels.  Stir the dust and fill thee air with screeching and with squeals, oh!  Pitch and sway from side to side, the summer day is long, and make your way up north, singing the Red River Cart song.

Thee only road the prairies knew was called the Calg’ry Trail, for horses, mules and oxen and the men who carried mail. For fam’lies from thee east, who came for a new start.  And my fathr went to Edmonton in a Red River Cart

The fam’lies filled the prairies when the land was fresh and new.  The sky went on forever while the population grew.  They built cities and farms, those people did their part.  And my father went to Edmonton in a Red River Cart.

WE’RE ALL LOOKING FOR A DINOSAUR – Michael Mitchell – Grade 1-3

We’re all looking for a dinosaur.  Something we’ve never, ever seen before.

I wonder if they’re hiding here among the trees.  If they’re really brave or if they’re afraid of me.   Well if I find one, what’ll we do?  I guess we’ll shake its hand and say “how do you do!”

They’re pretty hard to find, does anybody know, just which way did the dinosaurs go?  I don’t know what they wear, hey, wouldn’t it be neat, to see a giant dinosaur with sneakers on its feet?

We’ll have to be careful, we’ll have to look around.  If one comes up behind us it could squash us in the ground.  I hate to have to tell you, but I guess that you should know.  The last of these guys disappeared //  a long— long—— time —–a— go———–

Dinosaurs are great, but if you want to see them, you’ll have to go down to a dinosaur museum.



KETTLE VALLEY – music by Ean Han, lyrics by Stanley G. Triggs – BOYS SMALL GROUP…..

I always ride up on the roof on the Kettle Valley Line (repeat). I always ride up on the roof, I could ride inside, but what’s the use, so I always ride up on the roof, on the Kettle Valley Line.

I order my meals through the ventilator on the Kettle Valley Line. (repeat).  I order my meals through the ventilator, they taste no worse, and save tippin’ the waiter, so I order my meals through the ventilator, on the Kettle Valley Line.

I buy a sandwich from the cook on the Kettle Valley Line (repeat).  I order a sandwich from the cook, and he pockets my money, the dirty crook, when I buy a sandwich from the cook, on the Kettle Valley Line.

The railway bulls are gentlemen on the Kettle Valley Line. (repeat).  The railway bulls are gentlemen, we’ll never see their likes again.  Yes, the railway bulls are gentlemen, on the Kettle Valley Line.

They tip their hats and they call you “Sir” on the Kettle Valley Line.  (repeat).  They tip their hats and call you “Sir”, then chuck you in the local stir.  But they tip their hats and they call you sir, on the Kettle Valley Line.

(repeat 1st verse)

LIL’WAT Song – words by Flora Wallace, music by Russell Wallace, Lillooet Nation, Mount Currie, BC  (sung by Sheryl Sewepagaham)  – Grade 1-3

1.Wey heyo ho, wey heyo ho, wey hey ho wey  wey hey ho zumac, wey hey ho wey

  1. (same, but za-wum)  3.  (same but wi-kum)  4.  (same but eech-lin)

MY HEART SOARS – poetry by Chief Dan George, music by Donna Otto – Grade 1-3

The beauty of the trees, the softness of thee air, the fragrance of the grass—- speaks to me.

The summit of the mountains, the thunder of the sky, the rhythm of the sea—- speaks to me.

The faintness of the stars, the freshness of the morning, the dewdrops on the flower—- speaks to me.

The strength of the fire, the taste of salmon, the trail of the sun—– and the life that never goes away. (Spoken) – “they speak to me”  (sung) – and my heart soars.



SOMETHING TO SING ABOUT – Oscar Brand  (AUDIENCE sing-along)?????

I have walked cross the sand by the Grand Banks of Newfoundland

Lazed on the ridge of the Miramichi

Seen the waves tear and roar on the stone coast of Labrador

Watched them roll back to the Great Northern Sea


From the Vancouver Island to the Alberta Highlands

‘Cross the Prairies, the lakes to Ontario’s towers

From the sound of Mount Royal’s chimes, out to the Maritimes

Something to sing about, this land of ours

I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan

Followed the sun to the Vancouver shore

Watched it climb shiny new up the snow peaks of Cariboo

Up to the clouds where the wild Rockies soar
I have heard the wild wind sing of  places that I have been

Bay Bull and Red Deer and Strait of Bells Isle

Names like Grand Mere and Silverstone

Moose Jaw and Marrowbone,

Trails of the pioneer, named with a smile
I have wandered my way to the wild wood of Hudson Bay

Treated my toes to Quebec’s morning dew

Where the sweet summer breeze kissed the leaves of the maple trees

Tell us the story I’m singing to you
Yes there’s something to sing about, tune up a string about

Call out in chorus or quietly hum

Of a country that’s young, with a ballad that’s still unsung

Sharing the promise of great things to come.



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FAMILY DANCE – Friday Nov. 6th, 7 – 9 p.m.

What is a family dance?  It is a chance for people – young and old(er)- to socialize through dancing.  When I was a kid growing up in rural Saskatchewan, my parents took us to family dances – complete with a live band & potluck meal (mostly perogies and cabbage rolls in the Ukrainian communities).  The children would giggle with delight as they danced with each other, and would beam with pride as they danced with their parents or older family members.  By the end of the evening, parents would carry their tired or already sleeping children to the car for the ride home. What fun!

It was at those community dances and at weddings that I learned to dance,  and later I learned much more as my parents became involved in pattern dancing.  When they retired, they travelled to schools to teach dancing, and later in their senior years, competed in the Seniors Games in different dance categories.  In the early 1990’s, I gave workshops both locally and provincially on folk and pattern dances.  I took up clogging around that same time, and with local ladies Heather Robertson (Mr. Watchorn’s wife), Phyllis Stenson (formerly of the HHS Festival of the Arts), and Marilee Jones (local musician), we entertained as the Bear Mountain Cloggers.  I am teaching students some of the basic clogging steps now (shuffle-step)- which they have really caught on to, and can be seen practicing as they go down the hallways.  

Our family dances will have folk and pattern dances as well as “do your own thing” dances.  I will demonstrate the steps & teach the dance, then everyone joins in.  Most of the dances the students have done before during music class, but some are new.  All are easy to learn.  

Half-way into the dance, we will stop to enjoy our snacks and refreshments.  Please come with something to share (crackers, chips, veggies, baking without nuts, etc.) and please bring your own water bottle.  

Students must come with an adult who is there to both supervise them and (hopefully) dance with them. It is such a joy to watch adults having fun with their children and the other children that are there.  Hope to see you Friday night!

Two more dances will be held during the school year:  Friday, January 29th, 2016 and Friday, March 4th, 2016.  

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Ukuleles and Guitars home for the holidays…

Students who have a signed permission slip from home (accepting responsibility for loss or damage) may take a ukulele (grades 3 & 4) or guitar (grades 5 & 6) home for the spring break.  Songs to practice will be sent along.  The instruments MUST be returned the first day back, MONDAY, March 31st.

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Calling Kent Choir Alumni!!!

As we approach the 22nd annual spring concert at Kent Elementary School, I’d like to add a new feature.  As this is the 24th spring that I’ve been teaching music at this school and am now teaching the next generation, I think it would be neat if former choir members from years gone by (even students in high school) could join forces to rehearse and perform a selection for this annual event.  What do you think?!  The songs I have in mind for this year’s theme of “What a Wonderful World” (first done in 2008) are “Build me a World” and “For the Children”.  

Spread the word, and let’s get together to see what we can do.  It would be great to see and to sing with “the old gang” again!

Contact me at

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Choirs preparing for Annual Spring Concert

In January our two choirs began learning a new set of songs for our 22nd annual spring concert, with the theme “What a Wonderful World”.  Students are singing songs about the sun, moon and stars, revisiting old critter and creature favourites, and learning many lovely ballads with a “let’s enjoy our planet and keep it healthy and happy” message.

Though there are several pieces the choirs sing on their own, their voices will join together for two powerful songs: Room to Grow and The Simplest Things.  There is a recording on Youtube of a children’s choir singing Room to Grow that you can listen to.  We will be singing it with more zip.  A full recording of The Simplest Things can be found at the  website.  On top right hand corner “search” box, type in: 15/2984H   The Primary choir is singing the melody while the intermediate choir is singing the harmony.

Besides opportunities for solos, we have, as in the past, a chance for audience participation.  We’d like you to join in singing “What a Wonderful World”.  Again, there are great recordings of this on Youtube, some even with lyrics posted.  AND….as a new feature I’d like to start, a chance for Kent Choir Alumni to sing!  (see “Calling Kent Choir Alumni” post for details)

I have found that students learn the melodies better and lyrics faster when I send home practice CDs for additional practice.  Recording the rehearsal master takes many hours and dubbing the over 100 discs takes longer.  This year I will provide discs for only the intermediate choir members, with a $2. fee charged for replacement discs.  The primary choir can access their songs through this website.  One set of lyrics will be sent home with members from both choirs, but additional copies can then be accessed through this website as well.

Mark the date WEDNESDAY May 7th p.m. and evening on your calendar!



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Recorders needed!


Soprano Recorder

Students grades 2-6 are playing recorders.  They started playing them at the end of October, and will need them at school on their music days for the rest of the year. Students may purchase a recorder from a music store (not a dollar store) or from the school – at a cost of $8.00.  If treated as an instrument and not as a toy, they should last a lifetime-   I still have the one I used when introduced to the recorder in Grade 5 in 1971!  I encourage students to take them home to practice, but to put them right back in their bookbag/knapsack/backpack when finished, so they have them ready to bring to school. Grade 2s are introduced to the instrument, and focus on correct hand position (LEFT hand on top!), and blowing (a GENTLE breath, like having a candle’s flame flicker). Grade 3s are focusing on learning all their left hand notes, Grade 4s are starting to play songs in harmony, while Grades 5s and 6s are starting to experience ensemble playing, using sopranino, soprano, alto and tenor recorders, each playing a different part.

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