February 2009 Song of the Month

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Bluebird Through My Window
TRADITIONAL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLICK HERE for the printable words and bird cutout (PDF)
CLICK HERE for the sheet music  (PDF)
DOWNLOAD as an MP3  (SHORT version, for infants)  (How to do it)
DOWNLOAD as an MP3  (LONG version, for children)  (How to do it)

 

This very simple traditional song is magical in its ability to connect with children. Because of that, I have developed additional versions for use with infants through elementary-aged children. I believe the  reason this song “works,” is its melody. The melody centers around the minor third  (name for the distance between the two notes of “Blue-bird”). This interval is the first combination of notes children sing. This is cross-cultural, so no matter where you go, you will hear children singing these notes. Some familiar examples are : This Old Man, “Na, na, na, na na na (children’s teasing chant) ”, Dreydle, Dreydle, Dreydle. Any song that uses this minor third will be easily sung by both you and the children, as it comes naturally. So look through the variations below, and have fun with this song for all ages. It’s sure to become a favorite! You will find both versions (long and short) recorded and available for you to download. There is also a pattern for the felt birds.

 

Bluebird Through My Window

Bluebird, bluebird, through my window,
Bluebird, bluebird, through my window,
Bluebird, bluebird, through my window,

Oh Johnny I’m tired

 

Red bird, red bird, through my window (repeat twice)

Oh Johnny I’m tired

 

Yellow bird, yellow bird, through my window (repeat twice)

Oh Johnny I’m tired

 

Purple bird, purple bird, through my window (repeat twice)

Oh Johnny I’m tired

 

Traditional version
This is played as a circle game. Children hold hands in a circle, arms up. One child is chosen to be a bird who flies in and out of the “windows” created by raised arms. On last line, children drop arms, and a new child is chosen to be the bird. If you have a large group, you can have several birds at a time. Each one will choose a new bird at the end of his or her turn.

 

Variation 1 for preschoolers:

Cut birds from 4 colors of felt, and give one to each child, alternating colors. Place felt board in the middle of the circle. Sing the song once through for each color. As you sing each color, the children with that color bird stand and fly around the felt board until the last line, when they place their birds on the felt board and fly back to their seats. Repeat with other colors.

NOTE: This song is a wonderful way to teach children how to play circle games. Because the felt board is in the physically defines the middle of the circle, and the majority of  the children remain sitting,, the “birds” may only fly exactly where you want them to. You won’t be dealing with the usual frustrations of children cutting across the circle because they don’t yet have the skills to play circle games.

 

Variation 1 for infants and toddlers

Cut out different colored felt birds. Sing shortened song (below) and slowly fly each bird up to the flannel board as you sing.  This is great for tracking (eye exercise to follow an object)

 

           Bluebird Through My Window
                         Shortened Version

Bluebird, bluebird through my window, 
     (fly bird up to flannel board)

Oh Johnny I’m tired 
     (rest head on hands and say “Night, night)

 

Variation 2 for infants:
Sing the shorter version, but instead of using felt birds, use small nylon scarves or
ribbons. As you sing the song, sweep the scarf or ribbon across babies body, toes, hands, or face, then “fly” it slowly around, up and down, so baby can follow with his eyes. Babies love the feeling of the cloth brushing across their skin, as well as the movement, and will squeal with delight! Repeat with different colors.