Sally and Erika's Storytelling Programs for Young Children

It’s Spring, Let’s Sing

By on Mar 19, 2021 | 0 comments

Hyacinths sing of spring, and these Dutch beauties were shared by my friend Tamiko from her shop @fleurrisant.market.ottawa on an Instagram post in February.

One of my favorite songs to celebrate the first day of spring is Pussy got the Measles on the First Day of Spring. It’s a good practice to know the source of your material, so I searched the internet as I was writing this, using the method someone shared with me a while ago: use quotation marks around the first few words of the song. I often have success.

In the case of this song, until I read the Cool Cat Blog from Franklin Township Library I hadn’t known of the song’s beginnings as an old traditional Irish folk song, originally only one verse long.

Here are the traditional words of the first verse:

Pussy got the measles on the first day of spring,
The first day of spring, the first day of spring.
Pussy got the measles on the first day of spring,
The poor, the poor, the poor wee thing.

American Folksinger Jean Ritchie added a few more verses and you can listen to them on YouTube on the album Marching Across the Green Grass and Other American Children Game Songs (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings).

Here are the words for Jean Ritchie’s verses that make this a perfect lullaby for a little one who isn’t feeling well. It’s a perfect song for rocking and singing, as the words suggest, along with some other remedies.  Why not try it at naptime or bedtime today?  Print the words out in big print and post on the wall where you rock your little one.  You will be able to rock and sing, hands free and soon you will learn the lullaby by heart.

We’ll send for the doctor with his pills and things,
Pills and things, pills and things,
We’ll send for the doctor with his pills and things,
The poor, the poor, the poor wee thing.

We’ll make her some soup on a chicken’s wing,
A chicken’s wing, a chicken’s wing,
We’ll make her some soup on a chicken’s wing,
The poor, the poor, the poor wee thing.

And all night long we will rock and sing,
Rock and sing, rock and sing,
And all night long we will rock and sing,
The poor, the poor, the poor wee thing

Sing it softly, and it may be just what the doctor ordered.

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