Camp song book

These are the camp songs for 2019. Whenever possible, we’ve provided links to videos so you can learn the songs ahead of time if you want. Some of these songs are aimed at younger campers, and some have more difficult lyrics and are aimed at older campers — learn the ones you like best!
(Lyrics are provided here for educational purposes. Copyright remains with copyright holders.)

THE ADAPTATION SONG
Dan Harper

1. I’m an otter, I’m an otter, I am a Sea Otter,
Swim among the kelp and hunt sea urchins underwater,
I use rocks as tools to open up my shellfish fodder,
I’m an otter, I’m an otter, I am a Sea Otter.

Chorus:
Animals adapt to their environments
So they can meet all of life’s requirements.
What they eat and where they live and when they take a nap:
There are many ways that animals adapt.

2. I’m a fox, I’m a fox, yes, I’m a Gray Fox,
Make my den in caves or trees or in among rocks,
I am good at climbing trees and balancing on logs,
I’m a fox, I’m a fox, I am a Gray Fox.

3. I’m a falcon, I’m a falcon, I’m a Peregrine Falcon,
I’m the fastest animal, I hunt with my sharp talons,
I’m the one maintaining pigeon population balance,
I’m a falcon, I’m a falcon, I’m a Peregrine Falcon.

This song was written for our camp, so it has never been recorded. If you read sheet music:
Sheet music for the Adaptation Song

ALL GOD’S CRITTERS GOT A PLACE IN THE CHOIR
Bill Staines

1. Listen to the bass, it’s the one in the bottom
Where the bullfrog croaks and the hippopotamus
Moans and groans with a big to-do,
And the old cow just goes moo.

Dogs and cats, they take up the middle,
Where the honeybee hums and the crickets fiddle,
The donkey brays and the pony neighs,
The old coyote howls.

CHORUS:
All God’s critters got a place in the choir,
Some sing low, and some sing higher,
Some sing out loud on the telephone wire,
And some just clap their hands or paws, or anything they got, now.

2. Listen to the top where the little birds sing,
On the melody with their high notes ringing,
The hoot owl hollers over everything,
The jay bird disagrees.

Singing in the night time, singing in the day,
The little duck quacks and is on his way,
The possum ain’t got much to say,
The porcupine talks to himself.

3. It’s a simple song of living and it’s sung everywhere,
By the ox and the fox and the grizzly bear,
The grumpy alligator and the hawk above,
The sly raccoon, and the turtle dove.

Video of Annie Patterson and Peter Blood singing this song.

ARAGON MILL
Si Kahn
1. At the east end of town, at the foot of the hill,
Stands a chimney so tall that says Aragon Mill.
But there’s no smoke at all coming out of the stack,
The mill has shut down, and it ain’t coming back.

Chorus:
And the only tune I hear
Is the sound of the wind
As it blows through the town,
Weave and spin, weave and spin.

2. Now I’m too old to change, and I’m too young to die,
And there’s no place to go for my old man and I.
There’s no children at all in the narrow empty streets
Now the looms have all gone, it’s so quiet I can’t sleep.

3. Now the mill has shut down, it’s the only life I know,
Tell me where will I go, tell me where will I go.

“Aragon Mill” has been adopted by people around the world, any place where mills closed and people lost their jobs. In Ireland, they sing “Belfast Mill,” calling it an old Irish song — here’s Rachel Hillary singing the Irish version. And — here’s Otto Groote singing a German version.

THE BALLAD OF ADOBE CREEK
Dan Harper

1. ’Twas in Ohlone people’s time
Adobe Creek flowed free;
With willow trees its banks were lined,
A pretty sight to see.

Chorus:
Oh, from Black Mountain, to the bay,
Lit by the golden sun,
Adobe Creek flows gently down,
Long may its waters run.

2. When European settlers came
Their thirsty cattle drank
The cooling waters, and then grazed
Along the grassy banks.

3. Then farmers planted fields so green
Beneath the sun so bright,
And all their crops grew like a dream:
A land of heart’s delight.

4. Soon houses spread along the creek,
But came a dreadful flood;
Its banks were lined with with grey concrete:
No more the living mud.

5. Down from the peaks where Live Oaks grow,
Past houses and highways:
For fourteen miles the waters flow
Until they reach the bay.

This song was written for Ecojustice Camp, so it’s never been recorded. If you read sheet music:
Sheet music with tune & chords (PDF)

CALIFORNIA COUNTRY ROADS
Ecojustice Camp song based on the song by John Denver

1. Almost heaven, California,
SantaCruz Mountains, San Lorenzo River,
Life is old there, older than the trees,
Younger than the mountains, growing like a breeze.

2. Country roads, take me home,
To the place I belong:
California, in the mountains,
Take me home, country roads.

3. All my memories gather round them,
Tie-dye lover, surfer in blue waters,
Cool and foggy, clearing to blue skies,
Misty shapes of redwoods, teardrops in my eyes,

Country roads, take me home,
To the place I belong:
California, in the mountains,
Take me home, country roads.

I hear a voice, in the morning hours it calls me,
Radio reminds me of my home far away,
Driving down the road
I get a feeling that I should have been home
Yesterday, yesterday.

Country roads, take me home,
To the place I belong:
California, in the mountains,
Take me home, country roads.

This song is sung around the world. Here’s Nishida Hikaaru singing Country Roads. And lots of people have adapted this song to where they live. Here’s the great Israel Kamakawiwoʻole singing about country roads in Hawai’i.

CARRY IT ON
Buffy Sainte-Marie (2015)

Hold your head up, lift the top of your mind,
Put your eyes on the Earth, lift your heart to your own home planet.
What do you see? What is your attitude?
Are you here to improve or damn it?

Look right now, and you will see we’re only
Here by the skin of our teeth as it is,
So take heart, and take care of your link with Life, and

Oh, carry it on. We’re saying:
Oh, carry it on, keep playing,
Oh, carry it on, and praying,
Oh, carry it on.

It ain’t money that makes the world go round,
That’s only temporary confusion,
It ain’t governments that make the people strong,
That’s an opposite illusion,

Look right now, and you will see they’re only
Here by the skin of their teeth as it is,
So take heart, and take care of your link with Life, and

Oh, carry it on. Keep saying:
Oh, carry it on, and playing,
Oh, carry it on, and praying,
Oh, carry it on.

Look right now, and you will see we’re only
Here by the skin of our teeth as it is,
So take heart, and take care of your link with Life —

Is beautiful if you’ve got the sense
To take care of your source of perfection —
Mother Nature, She’s the daughter of God
And the source of all protection,

Look right now, and you will see she’s only
Here by the skin of her teeth as it is,
So take heart, and take care of your link with Life.

Oh, carry it on. Keep saying:
Oh, carry it on, and playing,
Oh, carry it on, and praying,
Oh, carry it on.

Here’s Buffy’s music video of this song.

THE CAT CAME BACK
Harry S. Miller

1. Old Mister Johnson had troubles of his own,
He had a yellow cat that wouldn’t leave his home,
He tried and he tried to give that cat away,
He gave it to a man going far, far away…

Chorus:
But the cat came back, the very next day,
Yes, the cat came back, they thought he was a goner,
But the cat came back, He just wouldn’t stay away.

2. On a telephone wire, sparrows sitting in a bunch,
The cat was feeling hungry, thought she’d like ’em for a lunch,
Climbing softly up a pole, and when she reached the top,
She stepped upon the ’lectric wire, which tied her in a knot…

3. One night the cat had company, in the back yard,
Someone threw a boot at her, and threw it mighty hard,
Caught the cat behind the ear, she thought it rather slight,
Then someone threw a brickbat, and it knocked her out of sight…

4. Away across the ocean, they sent the cat at last,
The ship was only out a day, she started sinking fast,
Another vessel came along and took the people off,
They left the cat behind, and soon the boat began to toss…

5. While the cat lay sleeping and a-resting one day,
Round came an organ grinder, he began to play,
The cat looked around awhile, kind of raised her head,
When he played “Ta rah boom de ay,” the cat dropped dead…

Final chorus:
But her ghost came back, I wouldn’t tell a lie,
Yes her ghost came back, well, maybe you will doubt it,
But her ghost came back, she just had to say goodbye.

(We couldn’t find our version of this song anywhere online.)

COUNTRY LIFE
Traditional

Chorus:
Oh I like to rise when the sun she rises
Early in the morning
And I like to hear them small birds singing
Merrily upon the lay land
And hurrah for the life of a country boy
And to ramble in the new mown hay.

1. In the spring we sow in the harvest mow
And that’s how the seasons round they go
But of all the times if choose I may
It’s to ramble in the new mown hay.

Chorus

2. In the winter when the sky is gray
We hedge and we ditch our time away
But in the summer when the sun shines gay
We go rambling in the new mown hay.

Chorus

Here’s Folly Bridge singing Country Life.

DOWN BY THE BAY
Traditional

Down by the bay, where the watermelon grow,
Back to my home, I dare not go,
For if I do, my mother would say:
Did you ever see ——-
Down by the bay!

Here’s a recording of the famous Raffi Cavoukian singing, in a video with scrolling lyrics.

There are LOTS more verses, pick some you like to bring to camp:
an ant, eat an elephant?
a beagle, flying with the seagulls?
a bear, combing his hair?
a bee, with a sunburnt knee?
a beetle, threading a needle?
a bunny, eating milk and honey?
a cat, swing a baseball bat?
a chicken, do some guitar pickin’?
a chimp, flying in a blimp?
a cockatoo, playing a kazoo?
a cow, with a green eyebrow?
a crab, drive a taxicab?
a deer, throwing a spear?
a dog, dancing with a frog?
a dragonfly, eating an apple pie?
a duck, in a pickup truck?
an eagle, married to a beagle?
a fish, do a hula in a dish?
a fly, wearing a tie?
a fox, hiding in a box?
a frog, hopping on a dog?
a giraffe, who really made you laugh?
a goat, in a ferry boat?
a goose, kissing a moose?
a hawk, knitting a sock?
a hog, going out to jog?
a horse, on a golf course?
a kangaroo, tying her shoe?
a lizard, dressed for a blizzard?
a llama, wearing striped pajamas?
a lobster, shooting at a mobster?
a loon, in a hot air balloon?
a mink, at the skating rink?
a moose, drinking apple juice?
a mouse, build a great big house?
a mule, swimming in a pool?
an octopus, who liked to swear and cuss?
an owl, drying on a towel?
a pig, dancing a jig?
a platypus, drive a shuttle bus?
a rat, with a great big hat?
a seal, on a ferris wheel?
a sheep, driving a jeep?
a slug, give a bug a hug?
a snail, with a dinner pail?
a snake, baking a cake?
a spider, drinking apple cider?
a turkey, who liked to eat beef jerky?
a whale, with a polka-dotted tail?
a wombat, marching off to combat?
a yak, doing jumping jacks?

THE EARTH IS OUR MOTHER
Anonymous

1. The earth is our mother,
We must take care of her,
The earth is our mother,
We must take care of her.

Chorus:
Hey, yanna, ho, yanna, hey, yan, yan,
Hey, yanna, ho, yanna, hey, yan, yan.

2. It’s sacred ground we walk upon,
With every step we take,
It’s sacred ground we walk upon,
With every step we take.

3. The sky is our father,
We must take care of him,
The sky is our father,
We must take care of him.

4. It’s sacred air we breathe in,
With every breath we take,
It’s sacred air we breathe in,
With every breath we take.

Here’s a video with a long version of this song.

EVERY LIVING THING (THE INTERDEPENDENCE SONG)
Dan Harper

Chorus:
Every living thing needs another living thing to survive.
Every living thing needs another living thing to survive,
Living things depend on other living things to stay alive.

1. Red-tailed Hawks like to eat Shrew Moles when they can,
Shrew-Moles eat earthworms, it’s on their menu plan,
Earthworms eat compost, and have since time began.

2. Foxes eat rabbits and other herbivores,
Rabbits eat grasses and fruits and lots of forbs,
Plants make their own food from sun and soil and chlorophyll.

3. Mountain Lions like to eat Mule Deer,
And when they die, Mountain Lions get eaten, never fear,
Vultures and microbes eat dead things, and make them disappear.

This song was written for Ecojustice Camp, and has never been recorded. If you read sheet music…
Sheet music for Every Living Thing (PDF)

THE GARDEN SONG
David Mallet

Chorus:
Inch by inch, row by row,
Gonna make this garden grow,
All it takes is a rake and a hoe,
And a piece of fertile ground.
Inch by inch, row by row,
Someone bless these seeds I sow,
Someone warm them from below,
Till the rains come tumbling down.

1. Pulling weeds and picking stones,
We are made from dreams and bones,
Feel the need to grow my own
’Cause the time is close at hand.
Grain for grain, sun and rain,
Find my way in nature’s chain,
To my body and my brain,
To the music from the land.

2. Plant your rows straight and long,
Temper them with prayer and song,
Mother Earth can make you strong,
If you give her love and care.
Old crow watch ing hungrily,
From his perch in yonder tree,
In my garden I’m as free
As that feathered thief up there.

Here’s a video of this song with kids dancing in a garden, kinda weird but nice.

GET ON BOARD
Traditional

Get on board, everybody,
Get on board, everybody,
Get on board, everybody,
There’s room for many-a more.

1. The freedom train is coming,
I hear it just at hand,
I hear them car wheels moving,
And rumbling through the land.

2. I see that train a-coming,
A-coming round the curve,
She’s loosened all her steam and brakes,
And straining every nerve.

3. The fare is cheap and all can go,
The rich and poor are there,
No second class aboard this train,
No difference in the fare.

4. It rolls across the trestle,
It spans the Jordan’s tide,
It pulls into the depot,
That’s where this train will ride.

Still looking for a video that we like….

HARD TRAVELIN’
(c) Woody Guthrie

Chorus:
I been having some hard traveling, I thought you knowed,
I been been having some hard traveling, way down the road
I been having some hard traveling, hard rambling, hard gambling,
I been having some hard traveling, Lord.

1. I been workin’ that Pittsburgh steel, I though you knowed,
I been pourin’ that red-hot slag, way down the road,
I been blastin’, I been firin’, I been duckin’ red hot iron,
I been havin’ some hard travelin’, Lord.

2. I been doin’ some hard rock minin’, I thought you knowed,
I been leanin’ on a pressure drill, way down the road,
Hammer flyin’, air hose suckin’, six foot of mud and I sure been muckin’,
I been havin’ some hard travelin’, Lord.

3. I’ve been ridin’ them fast rattlers, I thought you knowed,
I’ve been ridin’ them flat wheelers, way down the road’
I’ve been ridin’ them blind passengers, dead-enders, kickin’ up cinders’
I’ve been havin’ some hard travelin’, Lord.

Here’s a video of this song with photos from the Great Depression.

HOME ON THE RANGE
Traditional

1. Oh, give me a home, where the buffalo roam,
Where the deer and the antelope play,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the skies are not cloudy all day.

Chorus:
Home, home on the range,
Where the deer and the antelope play,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the skies are not cloudy all day.

2. Where the air is so pure, the zephyrs so free,
The breezes so balmy and light,
That I would not exchange my home on the range
For all the cities so bright.

3. Oh, give me a land where the bright diamond sand
Flows leisurely down the stream;
Where the graceful white swan goes gliding along
Like a maid in a heavenly dream.

4. How often at night when the heavens are bright
With the light of the glittering stars,
Have I stood here amazed and asked as I gazed
If their glory exceeds that of ours.

Still looking for a video that we like….

IF I HAD A HAMMER
(c) Lee Hayes and Pete Seeger

If I had a hammer, I’d hammer in the morning,
I’d hammer in the evening, all over this land,
I’d hammer out danger, I’d hammer out warning,
I’d hammer out a love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.

If I had a bell, I’d ring it in the morning,
I’d ring it in the evening, all over this land,
I’d ring out danger, I’d ring out warning,
I’d ring out a love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.

If I had a song, I’d sing it in the morning,
I’d sing it in the evening all over this land,
I’d sing out danger, I’d sing out warning,
I’d sing out a love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.

Well, I’ve got a hammer, and I got a bell
And I’ve got a song to sing all over this land,
It’s the hammer of justice, it’s the bell of freedom,
It’s a song about a love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.

Here’s a video of Trini Lopez doing his version of this classic song.

IF YOU’RE HAPPY AND YOU KNOW IT
Animal version by Ecojustice Camp

1. If you’re happy and you know it, clap your paws…
If you’re happy and you know it, clap you paws.
If you’re happy and you know it
And you really want to show it
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your paws.

2. If you’re happy and you know it, flap your wings …

3. If you’re happy and you know it, slap your fins…

4. If you’re happy and you know it, stomp your hooves…

5. If you’re happy and you know it, swing from your tail…

I’VE BEEN WORKING ON THE RAILROAD
Traditional

Oh, I’ve been working on the railroad,
All the live long day,
Oh, I’ve been working on the railroad,
Just to pass the time away.
Can’t you hear the whistle blowing,
Rise up so early in the morn,
Can’t you hear the captain shouting,
“Dinah, blow your horn!”

Dinah won’t you blow, Dinah won’t you blow,
Dinah won’t you blow your horn, your horn?
Dinah won’t you blow, Dinah won’t you blow,
Dinah won’t you blow your horn?

Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah,
Someone’s in the kitchen I know, I know,
Oh, Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah,
Strumming on the old banjo. (Can you sing it:)
Fee, fie, fiddlyeye oh,
Fee fie fiddly eye oh,
Fee fie fiddly eye oh!
Strumming on the old banjo.

Here’s a video of Pete Seeger, an ecojustice hero who worked for many years cleaning up the Hudson River, singing this song.

THE KEEPER (JACKIE BOY)

The keeper would a-hunting go
And under his cloak he carried a bow,
All for to shoot the merry little doe,
Among the leaves so green-o.

CHORUS:
Jackie boy! (Master!) Sing ye well? (Very well!)
Hey down! (Ho down!) Derry derry down,
Among the leaves so green-o.
To my hey down down (To my ho down down)
Hey down! (Ho down!) Derry derry down,
Among the leaves so green-o.

2. The first doe, she did cross the plain,
The keeper fetched her back again,
Where she is now, she may remain,
Among the leaves so green-o.

CHORUS

3. The next doe, she did cross the brook,
The keeper fetched her back with his crook,
Where she is now you may go and look,
Among the leaves so green-o.

CHORUS

4. The next doe, she ran over the plain
But he with his hounds did turn her again,
It’s there he did hunt in a merry, merry vein,
Among the leaves so green-o.

CHORUS

Ecojustice hero Pete Seeger singing this song.

LITTLE RABBIT FOO-FOO
Traditional

Little Rabbit Foo-Foo
Walking through the Forest
Picking up the field mice
And bopping ’em on the head.

Then along came the Good Fairy, and she said…

(Sorry, no video! There are a lot of really bad videos of this song, and the few good videos we found have different words than we use at camp.)

OH, MY DARLING CLEMENTINE
Traditional

1. In a cavern, in a canyon,
Excavating for a mine,
Lived a miner, fortyniner,
And his daughter, Clementine.

Chorus:
Oh, my darling, oh, my darling,
Oh, my darling Clementine,
You are lost and gone forever,
Dreadful sorry, Clementine.

2. Light she was, and like a fairy,
And her shoes were number nine,
Herring boxes without topses,
Sandals were for Clementine.

3. Drove she ducklings to the water
Every morning just at nine,
Hit her foot against a splinter,
Fell into the foaming brine.

4. Ruby lips above the water,
Blowing bubbles soft and fine,
But alas I was no swimmer,
So I lost my Clementine.

5. How I missed her! how I missed her!
How I missed my Clementine!
Till I kissed her little sister,
And forgot my Clementine.

6. Then the miner, forty-niner,
Soon began to peak and pine,
Thought he oughter join his daughter,
Now he’s with his Clementine.

7. In the church yard in the canyon
Where the myrtle doth entwine
There grows roses and other posies
Fertilized by Clementine.

Here’s Amy singing this song (with lyrics).

OH WHEN THE SAINTS
Music by Virgil Stamps, with new words by Ecojustice Camp

1. Oh when the saints go marching in,
Oh when the saints go marching in,
Oh, how I want to be in that number,
When the saints go marching in.

2. Oh when we stop polluting earth,
Oh when we stop polluting earth,
Oh, how I want to be in that number,
When the saints go marching in.

3. Oh when the rivers all run free,
Oh when the rivers all run free,
Oh, how I want to be in that number,
When the saints go marching in.

4. And when the stars shine clear and bright,
And when the stars shine clear and bright,
Oh, how I want to be in that number,
When the saints go marching in.

5. And on that hallelujah day,
Yes on that hallelujah day,
Oh, how I want to be in that number,
When the saints go marching in.

Here’s a video of the immortal jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong singing the traditional lyrics.

And here’s blues master B. B. King singing the song.

OLEANNA
English version (c) Pete Seeger

1. Oh, to be in Oleanna,
That is where I’d rather be,
Than be bound in Norway,
And wear the chains of slavery.

Chorus:
Ole, Oleanna,
Ole, Ole anna,
Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole,
Oleanna.

2. In Oleanna, land is free,
The wheat and corn just plant themselves
Then grow a good four feet a day,
While on your bed your rest yourself.

3. Beer as sweet as Munchener
Springs from the ground and flows away,
The cows all like to milk themselves,
And hens lay eggs ten times a day.

4. Little roasted piggies
Just rush about the city streets,
Inquiring so politely
If a slice of ham you’d like to eat.

5. Aye, if you’d begin to live,
To Oleanna you must go;
The poorest wretch in Norway
Becomes a duke in a year or so.

You can listen to this sung in both English (by Pete Seeger) and in Norwegian here.

ROLL THE OLD CHARIOT ALONG
Trad. African American sea shanty

Roll the old chariot along,
Roll the old chariot along,
Roll the old chariot along,
And we’ll all hang on behind.

And a plate of Irish stew wouldn’t do us any harm,
And a plate of Irish stew wouldn’t do us any harm
And a plate of Irish stew wouldn’t do us any harm,
And we’ll all hang on behind.

We learned this at the monthly sea chantey sing-along at the San Francisco Maritime National Park. The version we know is a little different from anything we could find online.

SWEET BETSY FROM PIKE
Traditional; this version from The Western Women’s Reader, ed. Lillian Schlissel and Catherine Lavender.

1. Oh don’t you remember sweet Betsy from Pike,
Who crossed the wide prairie with her lover Ike,
With two yoke of oxen, and one spotted hog,
A tall Shanghai rooster, and an old yellow dog.

2. One evening quite early they camped on the Platte.
’Twas near by the road on a green shady flat.
Where Betsy, sore-footed, lay down to repose—
With wonder Ike gazed on that Pike County rose.

3. The Shanghai ran off, and their cattle all died,
That morning the last piece of bacon was fried—
Poor Ike was discouraged, and Betsy got mad,
The dog drooped his tail and looked wondrously sad.

4. The alkali desert was burning and bare,
And Isaac’s soul shrank from the death that lurked there.
“Dear old Pike County, I’ll go back to you”—
Says Betsy, “You’ll go by yourself if you do.”

5. They swam wild rivers and climbed the tall peaks,
And camped on the prairies for weeks upon weeks,
Starvation and cholera, hard work and slaughter,
They reached California, spite of hell and high water.

6. Long Ike and Sweet Betsy got married, of course,
But Ike, getting jealous, obtained a divorce,
While Betsy, well satisfied, said with a shout,
“Goodbye, you big lummox, I’m glad you backed out!”

Here’s a jazz version of the melody (no words).

SWIMMING TO THE OTHER SIDE
Pat Humphries

1. I’m alone and I am searching,
Hungering for answers in my time,
I am balanc’d at the brink of wisdom,
I’m impatient to receive a sign,
I move forward with my senses open,
Imperfection will be my crime,
In humility I will listen,
We’re all Swimming to the Other Side.

Chorus:
We are living ’neath the Great Big Dipper,
We are washed by the very same rain,
We are swimming in the stream together,
Some in power and some in pain,
We can worship the ground we walk on,
Cherishing the beings that we live beside,
Loving spirits will live forever,
We’re all Swimming to the Other Side.

2. On this journey through thoughts and feelings,
Binding intuition, my head, my heart,
I am gathering the tools together,
I’m preparing to do my part,
All of those who have come before me,
Band together to be my guide,
Loving lessons that I will follow,
We’re all Swimming to the Other Side.

3. When we get there we’ll discover,
All of the gifts we’ve been given to share,
Have been with us since life’s beginning,
And we never noticed they were there,
We can balance at the brink of wisdom,
Never recognizing that we’ve arrived,
Loving spirits will live forever,
We’re all Swimming to the Other Side.

Words to the harmony part:
We are living, we are dwelling,
In a grand and awesome time,
We can worship, we can cherish,
All the ones we live beside.

Here’s a video with Pat Humphries singing this song. WARNING: watch out for ads!

TENNESSEE DOG
Traditional
Dog lovers asked that we add a dog song this year, to complement “The Cat Came Back.”

1. Anybody here want to buy a little dog?
Come right here I’ll sell you.
Ain’t no catfish, ain’t no hog,
And I’m right here to tell you.

CHORUS:
That dog, that Tennessee dog,
Oh, his head is long, his ears is flat,
He never stops eating till he balls that jack.*
That dog, that Tennessee dog.
He’s the meanest dog that comes from Tennessee.
* “Ball the Jack” was a popular dance during the Jazz Age, so to “ball that jack” means to have a good time.

2. Now he can eat more meat than any butcher dog,
Eats beefsteaks, pork chops, and liver.
He can catch more rats than any old cat
On this side of the Mississippi River.

CHORUS

3. I say come to me Tab,
He runs right up and shivers.
He can catch more rats than any old cat
On this side of the Mississippi River.

CHORUS

Here’s Jimmie Strothers singing this song.

THERE’S A HOLE IN THE BUCKET
Traditional

There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza,
There’s a hole in the bucket, Dear Liza, a hole.

Then fix it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
Then fix it dear Henry, dear Henry, fix it.

With what shall I fix it
With a straw
The straw is too long
Then cut it
With what shall I cut it
With an axe
The axe is too dull
Then sharpen it
On what shall I sharpen it
On a stone
The stone is too dry
Then wet it
With what shall I wet it
Try water
In what shall I fetch it
In a bucket
There’s a hole in the bucket
Use your head then, dear Henry!

Here’s a video with Harry Belafonte and Odetta singing this song.

THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND
Woody Guthrie

This land is your land, this land is my land,
From California, to the New York Island,
From the redwood forest, to the Gulf Stream waters:
This land was made for you and me.

1. As I was walking that ribbon of highway
I saw above me that endless skyway,
I saw below me that golden valley:
This land was made for you and me.

2. I roamed and rambled and followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts,
And all around me a voice was calling:
This land was made for you and me.

3. When the sun was shining and I was strolling
And the wheat fields waving, and the dust clouds rolling,
As the fog was lifting a voice was chanting:
This land was made for you and me.

First, check out this recording: Boston Children’s Chorus tells you why this is an ecojustice song — we sing the song a little differently at camp, but this is a good recording.
Now here’s Woody Guthrie singing this song about how this land belongs to all of us.

THROW IT OUT THE WINDOW
Traditional

Old Mother Hubbard, she went to the cupboard
To fetch her poor dog a bone,
But when she got there, the cupboard was bare,
So she threw it out the window,
The window, the second story window,
But when she got there, the cupboard was bare,
So she threw it out the window.

Old King Cole was a merry old soul,
A merry old soul was he,
He called for his pipe and he called for his bowl,
And he threw them out the window,
The window, the second story window,
He called for his pipe and he called for his bowl,
And he threw them out the window.

Little Jack Horner sat in a corner
Eating a Christmas pie
He put in his thumb and pulled out a plum
And threw it out the window…

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells,
And I threw it out the window…

(Sorry, we couldn’t find a video that we liked.)

WE’LL STAND THE STORM
Traditional (Fisk Jubilee Singers)

Chorus:
Oh, stand the storm, it won’t be long,
We’ll anchor by and by,
Stand the storm, it won’t be long,
We’ll anchor by and by. it by.

1. My ship is on the ocean,
We’ll anchor by and by,
My ship is on the ocean,
We’ll anchor by and by.

2. My ship is heavy laden,
We’ll anchor by and by,
My ship is heavy laden,
We’ll anchor by and by.

3. She’s sailing on to freedom,
We’ll anchor by and by,
She’s sailing on to freedom,
We’ll anchor by and by.

(Surprisingly, this classic song by the great Fisk Jubiless Singers has never been recorded.)

WHEN I FIRST CAME TO THIS LAND
Traditional immigrants’s song, English version by Oscar Brand

1. When I first came to this land,
I was not a wealthy man
So I got myself a farm
And I did what I could
And I called my farm, “Muscle in my arm,”
But the land was sweet and good,
And I did what I could.

2. When I first came to this land,
I was not a wealthy man
So I got myself a shack
And I did what I could
And I called my shack, “Break my back,”
And I called my farm, “Muscle in my arm,”
But the land was sweet and good,
And I did what I could.

3. When I first came to this land,
I was not a wealthy man
So I got myself a cow
And I did what I could
And I called my cow, “No milk now,”
And I called my shack, “Break my back,”
And I called my farm, “Muscle in my arm,”
But the land was sweet and good,
And I did what I could.

4. When I first came to this land,
I was not a wealthy man
So I got myself a horse
And I did what I could
And I called my horse, “Dead of course,”
And I called my cow, “No milk now,”
And I called my shack, “Break my back,”
And I called my farm, “Muscle in my arm,”
But the land was sweet and good,
And I did what I could.

6. When I first came to this land,
I was not a wealthy man
So I got myself a dog
And I did what I could
And I called my dog, “What a hog,”
And I called my hen, “Now and then,”
And I called my horse, “Dead of course,”
And I called my cow, “No milk now,”
And I called my shack, “Break my back,”
And I called my farm, “Muscle in my arm,”
But the land was sweet and good,
And I did what I could.

Although we sing different verses (our verses aren’t sexist), you can hear a good performance of the song here.

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