PRESCHOOL CHRISTMAS SONGS

After blogging about the songs I wrote for a class of preschool children in the latter part of last year, I have now found the time to add two more songs I penned for my class of 5/6 year olds to sing at our Christmas Concert.

The children sang the songs with pride and it was great to see them singing with a smile on their faces.

First we sang:

WHAT’S THAT, WHAT’S THAT, WHAT’S THAT NOISE?

What’s that what’s that what’s that noise?

Santa, Santa with all the toys, for all the girls and all the boys.

What’s that what’s that what’s that I hear?

Reindeer, Reindeer coming near, Rudolph the red nosed reindeer!

What’s that what’s that what’s that sound?

The sleigh, the sleigh going round and round, how on earth will he get down?

What’s that what’s that what’s that shout?

Santa, Oh Santa, Ouch, Ouch, Ouch, Daddy forgot to put the fire out!

Then, with the 15 children divided into three groups, we gave them a verse to sing and together sang the chorus to a piece of music:

BAUBLES ON THE CHRISTMAS TREE

Baubles on the Christmas tree are glowing in the light,

The snow outside will fall all night

Wood on the fire is cracking in the heat,

All the boys and girls are fast asleep.

Christmas comes in winter, cold and white with joy,

A time for happiness, a time for toys.

Christmas, Christmas, Christmas.

Baubles on the Christmas tree are glowing in the light,

The snow outside will fall all night

Wood on the fire is cracking in the heat,

All the boys and girls are fast asleep.

Christmas comes in December, at home we share,

A time to give, with love in the air.

Christmas, Christmas, Christmas.

Baubles on the Christmas tree are glowing in the light,

The snow outside will fall all night

Wood on the fire is cracking in the heat,

All the boys and girls are fast asleep.

Christmas falls on the 24th, my favourite time of year,

A present under the tree, I will open and cheer!

It’s Christmas, its Christmas, its Christmas!

Baubles on the Christmas tree are glowing in the light,

The snow outside will fall all night

Wood on the fire is cracking in the heat,

All the boys and girls are fast asleep.

I hope they bring you as much joy as they did for us. If you choose to sing them, please enjoy it and let me know how you get on.

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SONGS TO SING AT PRESCHOOL

In September 2013 I began a new career of teaching pre-school children in Prague. Although this new path has limited my time for focusing on my next book, it has given me the chance to write songs and poems for the children that I teach.

I have already mentioned the hardship of leaving children when you become attached, and this will be hard at the end of the school year in June, when most of my class will leave for primary school.

Leave as they must, I’ll be happy that with them they take a song or two that I wrote with them in mind. Here are my favorite songs  for these young boys and girls.

THE OCEAN SONG

You can sail upon the Ocean,

You can sail upon the Sea,

A song to remember all the names of these,

Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Southern,

The cold of the Arctic too,

All of the oceans and all of the seas,

Shimmer a shiney blue.

WHAT WE HAVE

We have the Planets and the Stars, Jupiter and Mars,

We have the rivers and the seas, the plants and the trees,

We have the animals and birds, butterflies and bees,

We have our toys to lend, and best of all we have our friends.

LITTLE FISHIE

I had a little fishie,

She climbed into a tree,

She ate all the bananas

So she could look like me.

A million years went by,

A million starry skies,

Now she’s counting fingers

And she can count to five.

 

With our Christmas concert just around the corner, we’ll be writing together again for this special time of year.

ENERGY ENERGY ENERGY

That’s all we hear in Climate change talk. We need cleaner energy, we no longer support oil, we want to get rid of coal and natural gas will run out in so and so years. We need renewable energy, we need it yesterday if the human race is going to survive, we need to use eco cars that run on electricity instead of petrol and we need light bulbs that will outlast our species by a million years.

What we really need is to stop. Stop right where we are and empty our pockets. Look at the contents of our trousers and bags. Look around our homes. Look at the energy consuming possessions we have around us. Look at ourselves and then take a long look at our parents and grandparents.

What did your grandfather do when he wanted to call his friend? If he was lucky he crossed the room and made the phone call on his landline. If he was not so lucky, he walked to the local phone box.

What would he have done if he wanted a loaf of bread? He would have walked to the nearest bakery and bought himself a loaf. What was growing in his own garden to eat?

What would he have done as a child to entertain himself? He would have met with friends and gone on adventures, played outside, got dirty, broke a leg, got into trouble and recovered.

How would our parents and grandfathers have gotten to school? A bus or bike or even walked, some of them miles at a time. It wasn’t that long ago when school was a privilege, not a right. Perhaps some people need reminding of that.

How did your parents open their shutters on their houses? How did they open their garage door? How did they open their gates onto their property? (He probably didn’t even have gates. It’s our modern scared society that makes us all have 6ft gates to guard our own piece of land) How much energy did he save by doing things himself.

How much of his own energy do you think he used to live a fulfilling life? How obese do you think the children were in their early years? It is all related, if we take and take and take energy from other sources and don’t use our own energy to do things, then what do you expect was going to happen? Bigger and bigger energy plants = bigger and bigger waist lines.

It’s all very well to say you don’t have time to do the things that your grandfathers may have done, but we do have time, we just prioritise in all the wrong ways, like reading this blog!

The world has to change and those at the top aren’t going to change it. It has to be done from the bottom up. Once enough people change, the power at the top will take notice, and inevitably, find a way to make money out of it.

If you want change, change.

 

 

ALL ROYALTIES TO PARTNERS IN HEALTH

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Still looking for a Christmas gift? By buying R.S. Barrington’s The Waiting Room, you can give twice this Christmas! Here is why:

When I read anything written about or by, Dr Paul Farmer, I feel deeply moved and heavy of heart. Here is a man who has given his life to people who, without him, would have had no life. As often as I can, I spread the news of the fantastic work that Partners In Health (PIH) has achieved, and what they continue to do, in some of the poorest and remote places on Earth. 

I implore you to read up on what they have done and what they continue to do!! www.PIH.org

I am often asked how I came to know about PIH. When I answer that my favourite band has connections with Haiti, the country that PIH was conceived in, the conversation turns to Arcade Fire.

On their 2007 tour they donated $1.00, €1.00 or £1.00 of every ticket directly to the charity. Arcade Fire front duo, Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, found out about PIH after reading Tracy Kidder’s Mountains Beyond Mountains, and later went on to compliment the Haitian proverb by using it as lyrics in Sprawl II, from their third album The Suburbs.

As a fan of both Arcade Fire and the work carried out by PIH, I continue in the same vein with all royalties from the sale of my book The Waiting Room going to the charity to help in their continued good work.

So this Christmas, Give Twice.

TEN OF THE BEST : ARCADE FIRE

Arcade fire are recieving some stick for asking fans to dress up at their forth coming shows. The band reCostume PreperationquMental Preperation!!est this so the audience feels a part of the show. We went to one such event and we didn’t see one person not dressed up. If you have a problem with dressing up, grow up, or don’t go. These are ten of our best pictures from Arcade Fire in Paris at the Pavillon Baltard, 22nd November 2013. Dressing up is all part of the fun….  Sante

I dream about this all the time, it happens I can't find the words.

I dream about this all the time, it happens I can’t find the words.

Reflektor Tour!! We used to Wait... Front row!! Win Butler. IMG_1105 IMG_1122

FIRST THOUGHTS TO REFLEKTOR ON

ReflektorI have to state that I am a massive fan of everything James Murphy. His produced work, his musical talent and his hugely successful LCD Soundsystem. I was devastated to hear the news that they were to split up. But I had been luckily enough to see them live on several occasions, touring worldwide with the ever popular Arcade Fire.

When the news came through that Murphy would be producing the new Arcade Fire album I had no doubts that it was going to be great. Come the hour and I have now got hold of the album. All shrink wrapped and shiny.

When the single ‘Reflektor’ was released on the 9th day of the 9th month at 9pm I was as excited as a pig at home. When the first few bars hit my ears I have to say my first reaction was disappointment. It wasn’t the Arcade Fire I knew and loved. But then again, when their second album, ‘Neon Bible’, and third Album ‘The Suburbs’ was released I then too, had a new introduction to my favourite band.

So why did I instantly feel frightened when I heard the opening of ‘Reflektor’ on that special day? Knowing ‘Reflektor’ the album was being produced by someone whose own last album had an average song length of seven minutes, I knew it couldn’t be a song that burst into theme like that of ‘The Suburbs’. ‘Reflektor’ the single, builds into what is Arcade Fire, it doesn’t jump at you like their earlier singles. This dances its way into your senses, sways into your subconscious dragging you with it.

I was scared to listen to those two brand new vinyls and not hear who I wanted on the other end. Like calling your wife and hearing a mans voice. No one wants those unnessaccary upsets. I gave in and listened to the whole of ‘Reflektor’ and danced with a smile on my face untill the very end.

The whole album is the same as it’s title track. Catchy layers that build into an orchestral masterpiece that is hard to put down. Both discs are as fantastic as their partner, it is tough to choose which to play, my favourite song changing everyday.

So after to listening to the album I have to send a massive thank you to both parties, James Murphy for keeping LCD Soundsystem alive through the medium of ‘Reflektor’ and to Arcade Fire themselves for yet again offering the world something to listen to, dance with and reflect on.

 

xx

THE DEAD OR ALIVE QUESTION

Which three persons, dead or alive, would you like to ask a question to and have a drink with? And for fun, what drink would it be?

For me it would be three people who in their own right have a way with words that make people listen.

1/ Sir Winston Churchill. What question and what drink?

As a big fan of Churchill, I would have to ask; “how did you make up the quotes and phrases that caused such emotion and belief not only in the British public but to the listening wireless world?” Whether it was him or he had a team of what would today be called spin doctors, would not change my perspective of him. It was not necessarily what was said, but in the delivery. In his delivery that made your hairs stand on end. I have unsuccessfully tried to recapture Churchill’s narrative several times and failed. Whilst it has been captured beautifully by Albert Finny in the BBC film ‘The Gathering Storm’ I shall continue to practice my pause and deeper voice.

Drink: A brandy and (short pause) as always (longer pause for effect) a Cuban cigar.

2/ Radio presenter John Peel. What question and what drink?

Anyone who heard the late great John Peel on the radio would fall instantly in love with his voice and ability to send anyone to sleep. If you weren’t interested in what he was playing his tone and slow speech acted as a cure for insomniacs. My question would have to be; “what was the first album you bought and what was your first gig?” (I know its two questions!) I often hear this question on BBC 6music to those who ring in on Steve Lamaq’s drive time show and although I’ve been to my fair share of gigs and have a healthy record collection, I can’t for the life of me remember who I saw first or what album I saved to buy as a teenager. I do remember ‘borrowing’ albums from my two older brothers, one a Blur fan, the other avid Oasis, (you were not allowed to like them both) maybe this has added to the confusion of which albums were actually, legally mine.

Drink: A pint at the Kop End.

3/ Joy Division front man Ian Curtis. What question and what drink?

Ian Curtis committed suicide on the 18th May 1980, three days before embarking on a tour of the USA with his band Joy Division. I was born on the 18th May wait for it, 1981, reincarnation? Although I insist on it, I cannot sing no matter how much I try, so I don’t think I’m Mr Curtis’s reincarnation. I would ask; “what inspired you to write such dark material?” All the stories I am working on at present have dark themes. I find this is easy to create emotion in the reader/viewer or listener but as I am of a jolly disposition friends and family who read what I write find it hard to believe that I have these ideas. Ultimately it took Ian Curtis’s life so maybe I should have a change thought before I write anymore.

Drink: A pint of bitter in a smoky pub.

Who would you drink with and what would you ask?