Songs that are lists of things.
March 25, 2013 7:53 PM   Subscribe

What are good songs for babies that are really "lists of things" (like "I can sing a rainbow" and "a, b, c, d,.....")?

My 7 month old loves songs that are "lists of things", and we find them easier to remember/sing/repeat when we are tired and need him to sleep at 3am. We have found that the following work well as little songs:
- singing the alphabet
- singing the numbers 1 to 20 (with some words inserted to make it interesting)
- I can sing a rainbow, which is really just a list of colors
- the names of the planets (nearest to sun first, furthest last)
- the first 36 elements of the periodic table in order (Really! They flow very nicely with some minor pronunciation tweaks, plus it's awesome to bust out when every other parent is sick of "the wheels on the bus")

So what other lists work well as little songs? Bonus points for songs relating to science/nature/complex words.
posted by inflatablekiwi to Media & Arts (35 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
The Twelfth Day of Christmas
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:56 PM on March 25, 2013


My first thought was "Girls, Girls, Girls" by Jay-Z is a list of types of women one could conceivably sleep with, but then I read it was for a 7-month-old child. In that case, "A You're Adorable."
posted by AppleTurnover at 7:58 PM on March 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Doe a deer.
posted by kjs4 at 7:59 PM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tom Lehrer's song "The Elements" fits.
posted by procrastination at 7:59 PM on March 25, 2013




Boo on you Empress. I was trying to find the best version of those on YouTube.

The Presidents by Jonathan Coulton is fun, but has a couple of semi mature lines.
posted by slavlin at 8:01 PM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


And there is this pretty big list on Wikipedia.
posted by procrastination at 8:07 PM on March 25, 2013


Feist's 1234, the Sesame Street version.

Not as cool as your listed song of "the first 36 elements of the periodic table in order", though.
posted by simulacra at 8:10 PM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ernie and Bert singing La La La ?
posted by peagood at 8:13 PM on March 25, 2013


Don't underestimate the lasting power of learning the alphabet song in another language. Thanks to my fifth-grade homeroom teacher, I can still sing the alphabet in French (along with reciting the Pledge in French, and La Marseillaise), many, many years later.
posted by sldownard at 8:13 PM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Heywood Banks' "18 Wheels on a Big Rig" as interpreted by Trout Fishing in America
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:17 PM on March 25, 2013




"A" You're Adorable
posted by Sys Rq at 8:21 PM on March 25, 2013


How about some barenaked ladies?
posted by bq at 8:30 PM on March 25, 2013


Gilbert and Sullivan are the granddaddies of this genre:

I've got a little list
(infinitely ad-libbable)

I am the very model of a modern major general (also very adaptable; just start typing "I am the very model of" into the YouTube search and you'll hit many variations)
posted by Orinda at 8:34 PM on March 25, 2013


We sang this song in grade 1 all the time, and it's so catchy that I still remember it.

Orange is a carrot,
Yellow is a pear.
Purple is a plum,
And brown is a bear.
Green is the grass,
And blue is the sky.
Black is a witch's hat,
And red is cherry pie.
posted by just_ducky at 8:51 PM on March 25, 2013


Picnic of the World - Tom Chapin (different song but same idea as Nations of the World).
posted by LiverOdor at 8:58 PM on March 25, 2013


"I've Been Everywhere", Hank Snow. The list starts about a minute in.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 9:01 PM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Slippery Fish" performed by children. Once they start taking and moving, this is a good one. My daughter loves the "oh no!" part. On car rides, I make up other animals. Manta Ray goes flapping through the water, moray eel goes slithering, etc.
posted by amanda at 9:07 PM on March 25, 2013


Fifty Nifty U-nited States! thanks to which I still know all the states in alphabetical order.
posted by daisystomper at 9:11 PM on March 25, 2013


Wow! Thanks all for the many many great suggestions (even those with slightly adult content!) - I'm having a hard time not just marking all of them as "best answer".
posted by inflatablekiwi at 9:20 PM on March 25, 2013


M-O-T-H-E-R
"M" is for the many things she gave me,
"O" means only that she's growing old,
"T" is for the tears she shed to save me,
"H" is for her heart of purest gold;
"E" is for her eyes, with love-light shining,
"R" means right, and right she'll always be,
Put them all together, they spell "MOTHER,"
A word that means the world to me.

Tune here
posted by Fortnight Bender at 10:42 PM on March 25, 2013




Calendar Song (Boney M).
posted by mazola at 12:12 AM on March 26, 2013


Not a list per se, but educational in a School House Rock kind of way:

Venus.
posted by mazola at 12:22 AM on March 26, 2013


There are seven days in a week
posted by fancyoats at 5:30 AM on March 26, 2013


I Am a Grocery Bag. Violin (a stretch, as you will see, but it comes to mind because I've seen it mesmerize a baby in short order).
posted by clavicle at 6:17 AM on March 26, 2013


We like this version of M-O-T-H-E-R. I don't remember which comedian did this:

"M" is for the many things she TOLD me,
"O" is for the other things she told me,
"T" is for the thousand things she told me,
"H" is for the hundred things she told me;
"E" is fo-or everything thing she told me,
"R" is for the rest of what she told me,
Put them all together, they spell "MOTHER,"
And that is just exactly what she told me.
posted by CathyG at 7:40 AM on March 26, 2013


Nat "King" Cole, "L.O.V.E."
L is for the way you look at me
O is for the only one I see
V is very, very extraordinary
E is even more than anyone that you adore
posted by kirkaracha at 8:21 AM on March 26, 2013


CathyG, that was Gilda Radner. Or possibly Laraine Newman. One of those original SNLers, anyway. (And there was a P on the end, too. MOTHERP.)

Edit: Madeline Kahn. But it was on SNL!
posted by Sys Rq at 8:37 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]




Raffi - Apples and Bananas
posted by bluebelle at 2:19 PM on March 26, 2013


Red and yellow and pink and green,
Purple and orange and blue,
I can sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow,
Sing a rainbow, too.

(Note: This song is much better when it's faster and more cheery. For some reason, all the versions on YouTube are paced as weird adagio dirges. The song was much better when my kindergarten teacher sang it, twice as fast and with a bright, cheery tone instead of this weird saccharine drawl. I resist change.)
posted by pseudostrabismus at 3:45 PM on March 26, 2013


One more from Animaniacs!

The Ingredient Song
posted by everybody polka at 11:37 PM on March 26, 2013


They Might Be Giants - Alphabet of Nations
posted by cellimachine at 12:56 PM on March 27, 2013


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