"The Farmer" sings like a classic nursery song--it's got a catchy rhythm, simple melody, and functions like a guessing game for little children. For instance, "The farmer has a kelev who goes woof woof, a kelev who goes woof woof, a kelev who goes woof woof... the farmer has a _____ (dog). The youngest children can fill in the blank and can join in on the animal sounds, too. The sheet music includes dog, cat, and duck, and you can add other animals. Included with the download purchase is a free page with some additional animals. Or be silly and include animals never found on a farm! From the "Super Simple Songs" collection.
Sheet music for songs that start with "F" or "G"
"First We Light the Candles" was written to remind young children of when the action comes first (lighting candles before saying the blessing) and when the blessing comes first (saying the kiddush before drinking the grape juice, or saying hamotzi before eating the challah). It's a 4-measure song, with a range of just 5 notes, and it's sung three times--once for candles, once for grape juice, once for challah. From the "Super Simple Songs" collection.
Perfect for weddings, anniversaries, and renewals of vows, "Forever Dodi Li" is all in English except for "Harei at m'kudeshet li" and "Harei atah m'kudash li." The wedding lyrics look forward "as I give to you this ring," while the anniversary lyrics look both to the past ("when I gave to you a ring") and to the future ("May the sharing of our love fill the years that lie ahead and be blessed by God above"). Both versions of the song end with this: "Of the blessings that I've known, the most woundrous of them all is that you're my very own." Whether you sing this to your beloved or sing it to a couple on behalf of each of them, there won't be a dry eye in the house. Published in "Jewish Life Cycle."
This song teaches the value of friendship as well as a few words of Hebrew--chaveirim (friends), hayom (today), and machar (tomorrow). My sock puppet Egbert sings this to the children at Tot Shabbat as they sing along. The first 8 bars ("Let's be chaveirim, you and me, good friends are what we will be") also can be sung as a round. Published in "Gan Shirim."
This one, from "Gan Shirim" is a favorite of preschoolers through first or second graders, and is perhaps their favorite part of the Passover seder in the "Dayenu!" haggadah. They act out the lyrics "clap, clap, ribbit (bend knees), jump!" and try to keep that going even as the lyrics go on to "Frogs were in the palace, frogs were in the town, frogs were everywhere a-jumping up and down..."
"From Strength to Strength," which is all in English, was composed for blessing all within a congregation (or school or other community) and for blessing its leaders. It was written for "Jewish Life Cycle" because it can be used for blessing a new board, new clergy, or new teaching staff: "We ask for blessings on the ones who help to lead the way as we go from strength to strength."
This super-easy-to-sing song reminds children that we're all created by God: "See the fuzzy caterpillar crawling on the ground. Hear the noisy cricket chirping all throughout the town. Little ants so busy that they have no time to play. We share the world with all God's creatures each and every day." From the "Super Simple Songs" collection.
I tell the children that we're born with a good name, a shem tov. Then it becomes our job to keep our name good. This song has listeners echo "A good name" with "a shem tov." Lyrics include "It is my aim to keep a good name by doing what I should. I will try my best to be a very good friend to all I see..." From the "Super Simple Songs" collection. Watch this one on the Children's Music Videos page.
If one lives where it's cold around Tu B'shevat, it seems like a very odd holiday. This song for elementary-school-age students finds humor in celebrating planting trees when there's snow on the ground. And the song even manages to bring groundhog Punxsutawney Phil into the discussion. (In years when Tu B'shevat comes much earlier than Groundhog Day, you can simply sing the first verse, which makes no mention of Phil.) See the video on the Children's Music Videos page. Published in "Gan Shirim."
"Gur Ba'aretz Hazot" celebrates making aliyah to Israel or visiting Israel. The lyrics "gur ba'aretz hazot," from Genesis 26:3, are the only Hebrew in the song. The English is "Come to this land, yes, live in this land, and I will be with you and I will bless you." Written in 3/4 time, "Gur Ba'aretz Hazot" should be sung like a gentle ballad. Published in "Jewish Life Cycle" and "Voices in Prayer."