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These short songs were written out of a desire to provide settings of indigenous texts for very young singers - perhaps even suitable (i.e. simple enough) for pre-school singing. The pitch range is kept mostly within the octave from middle C to the C above, and the melodies are fairly repetitive.
The first two songs are settings of poems by one of New Zealand's best-known hymn writers, Colin Gibson. The first poem is a counting song, and the original poem is headed 'play with fingers and toes'! The poem names various birds which can be seen around the country. The second text is another counting song, this time adding one more penguin to each line. As with the first of these two texts, this is also a lullaby text.
The third song sets a simple Māori text by Henare Everitt about a mouse looking for food. The poem was originally suggested to be sung to the tune of 'London Bridge is falling down'. The text translates as:
The mouse is looking for food
It comes out of its hole looking for food.
Night is falling, and the mouse is looking for food.
There are plenty of eggs in the tree, plenty of food.
The owl flies towards the mouse, looking for food...
The final poem, Alphabet Stew by Joy Watson, lists various well-known foods, naming them in strict alphabetical order.
Suitable for very young, possibly pre-school, singers
- Here is One and Here is Two
- One Small Penguin
- Kiore kimi kai
- Alphabet Stew
Text by Colin Gibson, Henare Everitt and Joy Watson