Monday, February 17, 2020

Chicken and Foxes Singing Game

I am so excited to debut some new singing games this November at the National AOSA conference with two sessions on clapping games and singing games! I just found out today that both of my proposals were accepted so I will be presenting again at National conference - which is thrilling and terrifying all at the same time!  I haven't done my Singing Games session at conference yet and can't wait to share some of my favorites with students!
One of my favorite games used to be Chicken on a Fencepost, AKA Can't Dance Josey. I use the past tense because I will no longer be using that song. Last fall a fellow music teacher friend in the Orff world discovered the original field recording contained racist lyrics "n... gonna die" and "n... on a woodpile.  The recording was on the Holy Names University Kodaly Center American Folk Song Database (which is an amazing resource).  I listened to it several times to be sure what I was hearing and what others said were matching up. The lyrics had been transcribed by an individual (their name was included) but the racist lyrics were omitted. I sent an email to Holy Names and heard back within 48 hours. They apologized and removed the song from their collection while they, like many of us, decide what to do with this kind of song literature. I can't unhear what I heard and have decided to no longer use the song in my classroom. BUT, my students LOVE the game! So I wrote a new song with completely different lyrics, melody, and kept the sixteenth note rhythms in the song as this was the song I used to introduce the concept of sixteenth notes. I wrote a couple versions - I personally have used Version 1 more than 2 and like it better but some teachers have liked Version 2. Use what you want and enjoy!