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What did we sing in school?

(104 Posts)
JessM Thu 21-May-15 10:26:53

When I was in primary school in the 1950s we used to do singing in the hall every week. Most teachers in those days seemed to be competent pianists. I've been trying to remember the songs that we sang and can only come up with:
Green Grow the Rushes Oh
A frog he would a wooing gob(Hey-ho said Roly).
But there were lots more. And didn't they come out of a standard collection that was used in schools across the land?

Ana Thu 21-May-15 10:32:05

On Yonder Hill there stands a Maiden
(Oh, no John, no John, no John no!)

AshTree Thu 21-May-15 10:37:27

Oh there was a little drummer and he loved a one-eyed cook....with her one eye on the pot and the other up the chimney, with a bow wow wow......
The oak and the ash (and the bonny ivy tree)
Cockles and Muscles (alive alive oh!)

Lilygran Thu 21-May-15 10:42:48

The Minstrel Boy. Early One Morning. Lots of sea shanties, many very un PC. We had a book of folk songs but I don't remember the title. D'ye ken John Peel. Over the sea to Skye. Thank you, JessM.

AshTree Thu 21-May-15 10:45:45

The Cuckoo is a pretty bird (she singeth as she flies)
Bobby Shaftoe's gone to sea, silver buckles on his knee
When sweet Polly Oliver lay musing in bed...
The Wraggle Taggle Gypsies O (I loved this one!)

annodomini Thu 21-May-15 10:51:02

Lots of Scottish songs - Ye Banks and Braes, Loch Lomond, Red, Red Rose. Others such as The Ash Grove. Mostly I kept quiet as the teachers didn't think much of my voice.

Marmight Thu 21-May-15 10:53:15

These are all so familiar. We used to sing along with a BBC programme on the radio wireless. I still have quite a few of the books which were issued. Does anyone remember doing this?

Greenfinch Thu 21-May-15 10:54:11

Marianina,Marianina. Does anyone know this one?

AshTree Thu 21-May-15 10:54:36

I seem to remember singing all of those too anno, in the deep south of England grin. I loved Loch Lomond, always had an imaginary picture of two men walking along two parallel roads, one of which was about 6 feet higher than the other, up a bank grin. The literal minds of children!!!

Ana Thu 21-May-15 10:55:43

Oh yes, Ye Banks and Braes! The title in the song book had usually been changed to 'Ye Pants and Bras'...hmm

Ana Thu 21-May-15 10:57:12

(Actually, that was at the Grammar School...!)

henetha Thu 21-May-15 11:00:55

Nymphs and shepherds come away, come away, come away..... etc.
I can still remember the tune... singing it right now!

And a beautiful song called Linden Lea. But I suspect that was later at Grammar School. We also did Handel's Massiah and it was broadcast on BBC radio.

nannieroz111 Thu 21-May-15 11:01:15

Me too anno. I was a member of school/church choirs all my early life. I used to sing second harmony to Over the sea to Skye. To this day, (50 years later) I still harmonise whenever I hear this song.

TriciaF Thu 21-May-15 11:13:38

I remember a funny one from age 12 or so - Riding Down from Bangor.
Otherwise all those mentioned by others. I have a book of them. Also 4 books of Geordie songs, some of which we sang at school.

gillybob Thu 21-May-15 11:27:47

I remember a couple of songs from junior school. (1969-73)

One used to make me cry and went something like.... (can't remember all the words).

Over the sea there are some little brown children
mother and father and babies dear..........
They have not heard of the father in heaven....

Another one was silly and went something like..........

Oh witch oh witch she lives in a ditch and combs her hair with a hicory switch
she dines on snails and whales and pies and if you go near her she'll wobble her eyes
Yayyyy if you go near her she'll wobble her eyes confused

NanaDenise Thu 21-May-15 11:50:33

We also sang at school, mostly folk-based songs. We learned to play the recorder and to read music. Once at grammar school, I joined the assembly choir in year 4. Our school assembly was an 'daily act of worship' and we sang a hymn in four parts - sopranos, altos, tenors and basses - and were accompanied on the school grand piano. The school choir put on an annual concert ranging from Messiah to Walton. At Christmas, the assembly choir sang carols as we walked around the school.

JackyB Thu 21-May-15 12:29:16

There was "Time and Tune" on the radio for the younger ones and "Rhythm and Melody" for the older ones. Nearly all of the songs mentioned above were included in those, and loads more.

Of course, we had to listen at the exact time the programmes were broadcast - no recording or downloading for later listening!

JackyB Thu 21-May-15 12:35:12

So there were three kinds of songs

- the silly ones we sang in the playground
- the hymns sung in assembly
- the songs sung in music and singing lessons

- those who sang in a choir will have covered classical and possibly jazz

I was in the choir and was amazed to find myself singing exactly the same things some 45 years later in a choir here in Germany. Gospel songs "Deep River" and "Moon River" - we even sang the same arrangements!

Ana Thu 21-May-15 12:47:15

Barbara Allen was another one we sang - bit of a dirge as I recall.

Iam64 Thu 21-May-15 13:11:38

All the above, plus lots of others. I loved singing in the hall or at church and the head teacher at our high school encouraged both choral singing and choral speaking which I enjoyed.
Men of Harlech, Green Green the Rushes oh. Like AshTree I loved the Raggle Taggle Gypsies oh. Yes, we sang along to the wireless as well.

We also did music and movement to the wireless in the hall.

AshTree Thu 21-May-15 13:18:32

gillybob, I found it online:

Over the sea there are little brown children
Fathers and mothers and babies dear
They do not know of the little Lord Jesus
They do not know that God is near
Swift let the message fly over the water
Swift let the message fly over the sea
Swift let the message fly over the water
Telling the children that God is near.

It would probably be banned these days!

rubysong Thu 21-May-15 13:23:24

We used to have Singing Together on the wireless and I think that is where my interest in folk song came from. I have tea with three friends every month and we tried to get original books but couldn't so we got the nearest we were able and end our tea parties with a sing along.
Some favourites are: Trelawney (we are in Cornwall), A Roving, the British Grenadiers, Down in Demerara, Shenandoah, and the Lincolnshire Poacher.

hildajenniJ Thu 21-May-15 14:17:07

I remember singing a song with lyrics taken from "A Shropshire Lad", I can only recall two lines from it (and probably not correctly). " Up lad, up lad thews and cumber, sunlit pallets never thrive. Morns abed and daylight slumber, were not meant for man alive". These lines often pop into my head if I think I've overslept! We sang the old folk songs, but my favourite was "Blow the wind southerly".

JackyB Thu 21-May-15 14:32:09

I think I may have a copy of Book 1 or 2 of "Singing Together". We used to sing from the book, but not with the radio. If I find it, I will scan it and send you a link, ruby.

PRINTMISS Thu 21-May-15 15:21:16

There is certainly something about children singing, and I can remember quite a lot of the songs/tunes mentioned "within the woodland flowery gladed, by the oak trees mossy moot" conjured up a lovely picture (hope I have the words right). When I worked at a school, I shared an office with the welfare officer, and if it was a summer's afternoon, the windows would be open and the sound of children singing would make us both sigh. Lovely. Pity schools no longer seem to have the assembly with hymns first thing in the morning.