Waltzing with Bears

After many years of giving performances for children (more often than not with the help of one of my own), I put out “Waltzing With Bears” – a collection of my all-time favorite kids’ songs.*

Click on a song title to read the lyrics.

1. Jennifer’s Rabbit
2. Pierre
3. We’re Goin’ on a Picnic
4. Binker
5. The Big Picture
6. Waltzing With Bears
7. The Ugly Duckling
8. Please Can I Keep It?
9. Only Four
10. Playing Right Field
11. Orange Cocoa Cake

*All rights of the creators and owners of these recorded works reserved. Mechanical licensing acquired via ACUM.

Jennifer’s Rabbit
Words and music by Tom Paxton, Cherry Lane Music

Jennifer slept in her little bed,
With dreams of a rabbit in her little head.

Jennifer’s rabbit, brown and white,
Left the house and ran away one night,
Along with a turtle and a kangaroo,
And seventeen monkeys from the city zoo,
And Jennifer too.

They ran through the forest and they all held hands.
They came to the ocean with the cookie crumb sands.
They called it the sea of the very best dreams,
And they all built a castle of the best moonbeams,
And milky way streams.

And there on the sand where the star fish play,
The ship sailed in from the moonbeam bay,
And they all went sailing on the starlight sea,
Where they all had cookies with oolong tea,
And Jenny had three.

They danced on the decks of the red-sailed brig.
The monkeys and the sailors did a whirling jig.
Turtle played the fiddle and the rabbit played kazoo,
And they bowed to each other as polite folks do.
And Jenny bowed too.

Then, “My!” said the turtle as the clock struck three,
“The hour is growing very late for me.”
“Not at all,” said the rabbit. “And I’ll tell you why,
We still havn’t counted every star in the sky”.
Said Jenny “Let’s try.”

So they counted on the ship and they counted on the shore.
They counted through the forest to the bedroom door.
They counted in bed till they could count no more.
Then they all fell asleep and the final score,
Was a trillion and four.

Yes the rabbit and the turtle and the kangaroo,
And Jenny fell asleep like sleepy folks do,
Just like you.

Maurice Sendak/Carole King, ColGems – EMI Music, Inc.

There was once a boy named Pierre
Who only would say,”I don’t care!”
Read his story, my friend, for you’ll find
At the end that a suitable
Moral lies there

One day his mother said
When Pierre climbed out of bed
“Good morning, darling boy, you are my only joy”
Pierre said, “I don’t care!”

“What would you like to eat?”
“I don’t care!”
“Some lovely cream of wheat?”
“I don’t care!”
“Don’t sit backwards on your chair”
“I don’t care!”
“Or pour syrup on your hair”
“I don’t care!”

“You are acting like a clown”
“I don’t care!”
“And we have to go to town”
“I don’t care!”
“Don’t you want to come, my dear?”
“I don’t care!”
“Would you rather stay right here?”
“I don’t care!”
So his mother left him there

His father said, “Get off your head
Or I will march you up to bed!”
Pierre said, “I don’t care!”

“I would think that you could see”
“I don’t care!”
“Your head is where your feet should be!”
“I don’t care!”
“If you keep standing upside down”
“I don’t care!”
“We’ll never ever get to town”
“I don’t care!”

“If only you would say, I care”
“I don’t care!”
“I’d let you fold the folding chair”
“I don’t care!”
So his parents left him there
They didn’t take him anywhere

Now as the night began to fall
A hungry lion paid a call
He looked Pierre right in the eye
And asked him if he’d like to die
And Pierre said, “I don’t care!”

“I can eat you, don’t you see?”
“I don’t care!”
“And you will be inside of me”
“I don’t care!”
“Then you’ll never have to bother”
“I don’t care!”
“With a mother and a father”
“I don’t care!”

“Is that all you have to say?”
“I don’t care!”
“Then I’ll eat you, if I may”
“I don’t care!”
So the lion ate Pierre

Arriving home at six O’clock
His parents had a dreadful shock!
They found the lion sick in bed and cried
“Pierre is surely dead!”

They pulled the lion by the hair
They hit him with the folding chair
His mother asked, “Where is Pierre?”
And the lion answered “I don’t care!”
His father said, “Pierre’s in there!”

They rushed the lion into town
The doctor shook him up and down
And when the lion gave a roar
Pierre fell out upon the floor

He rubbed his eyes and scratched his head
And laughed because he wasn’t dead
His mother cried and held him tight
His father asked, “Are you allright?”
Pierre said, “I am feeling fine
Please take me home, it’s half past nine”

The lion said, “If you would care
To climb on me, I’ll take you there”
Then everyone looked at Pierre
Who shouted “Yes, indeed, I care!”

The lion took them home to rest
And stayed on as a weekend guest
The moral of Pierre is, care

Going On a Picnic
Words and Music by Ray Scudero

Mommy’s in the kitchen putting food in a great big box.
Hurry, get dressed now, put on your shoes and socks!
Daddy’s got a fishing rod, a baseball bat and a glove—
Well, you know what that means—we’re gonna do something we love:
We’re going on a picnic,
We’re going way out of town.
We’re going on a picnic
Until the sun goes down.
We’re gonna have hot dogs, popcorn, potato chips
Out by a lake—you can take a dip.
But don’t get lost in the woods like you did last year.
Stay close enough so you can hear
Your mommy and daddy calling you!
We’re out on the road now, driving for a real long time.
Wow, look at those mountains, great big hills to climb!
There’s trees so tall that they tickle the man in the moon!
We’re on a dirt road now; you know we’re gonna be there soon. (Chorus)

Now we’re playing baseball—run for the pop-up fly!
Daddy’s so strong he hit the ball right out of the sky!
Billy caught a frog and he wants to bring him home,
But Mommy said, “You leave that frog alone!—
What’ll you feed him?” (Chorus)

This is so much fun that I’m about ready to drop!
Daddy took us all on a walk to a mountaintop.
When we got back, we ate all the food we had.
Next week, we’ve got a big surprise for Mom and Dad—guess what! Chorus…
I’m right here, Ma—next to this bear!

We’re going a picnic,
We’re going way out of town.
We’re going on a picnic
Until the sun goes down!

(Words A.A. Milne/Music unknown)

Binker’s what I call him he’s a secret of my own,
And Binker is the reason that I never feel alone.
Playing in the nursery, or sitting on the stair,
Whenever I am busy, Binker will be there.

Oh, Daddy is is a Daddy, he’s a Daddy sort of man,
And Mommy is the best since the world began,
And Nanny is Nanny, and I even call her Nan-
But they can’t See Binker.

Binker’s always talking, ‘cos I’m teaching him to speak
He sometimes likes to do it in a funny sort of squeak,
And he sometimes likes to do it in a hurtling sort of roar…
And I have to do it for him Cos his throat is getting sore.

Oh, Daddy is is a Daddy, he’s a Daddy sort of man,
And Mommy is the best since the world began,
And Nanny is Nanny, and I even call her Nan-
But they can’t See Binker.

Binker’s brave as lions when we’re running in the park;
Binker’s brave as tigers when we’re lying in the dark;
Binker’s brave as elephants. He never, never cries…
Except (like other people) when soap gets in his eyes.

Oh, Daddy is is a Daddy, he’s a Daddy sort of man,
And Mommy is the best since the world began,
And Nanny is Nanny, and I even call her Nan-
But they can’t See Binker.

Binker isn’t greedy, but he likes good things to eat,
So I have to say to people when they’re giving me a sweet,
“Oh, Binker wants a chocolate, so could you give me two?”
And then I eat it for him, Cos his teeth are kind of new.

Well, I’m very fond of Daddy, but he sometimes goes away,
And I’m awfully fond of Mommy, but she hasn’t time to play,
And I’m often cross with Nanny when she tries to brush my hair…
But Binker’s always Binker, and he’s certain to be there.

The Big Picture
Words and music by Cheryl Dawdy, Connie Huber and Grace Morand, Four-Frou Music, BMI

I drew a picture of a boy and his hair is blue
He’s petting a rhinoceros, I made it just for you.
I drew a picture of a chair, it had funny legs
They are most unusual, they look like scrambled eggs.

And in the chair is a boy, and his hair is blue…

I drew picture of a room, the walls are jelly beans
I used every color that I have ever seen

I drew a picture of a house, the doors are opened wide
I wanted it to be like that so I could look inside

I drew a picture of a street, the sidewalk is all pink
The trees have purple apples, it’s pretty there I think

I drew a picture of a town, the buildings are so high
Lots of people come and go, and wave as they go by

I drew a picture of a state, it looks like a square
There are trees and rivers scattered everywhere

I drew a picture of a country such a lovely place
The hills are polka dotted, with snowflakes made of lace

I drew a picture of a world, the oceans are so blue
I filled it up with all the things that I already drew

Waltzing With Bears
Words and music by Dale Marxsen; Lyrics of last verse: Claudia Rose and Grian MacGregor

Chorus: He goes wa-wa-wa-wa, waltzing with bears.
Raggy bears, shaggy bears, baggy bears too.
There’s nothing on earth Uncle Walter won’t do.
So he can go waltzing, wa-wa-wa waltzing,
So he can go waltzing, waltzing with bears.

I went to his room in the middle of the night,
I tiptoed inside and I turned on the light.
But to my dismay, he was nowhere in sight.
And I’m sure Uncle Walter went waltzing that night (Chorus)

We bought Uncle Walter a new coat to wear,
But when he comes home it’s all covered with hair
And lately I’ve noticed there are several new tears
I’m sure Uncle Walter’s been waltzing with bears (Chorus)

I told Uncle Walter that he should be good
And do all those things that I said he should
But I know that he’d rather be off in the wood
I’m afraid that we’ll lose him, we’ll lose him for good (Chorus)

I begged and we pleaded with UW to stay?”
And I managed to keep him inside for a day.
But the bears all barged in and they took him away.
Now he’s dancing with pandas,
and I can’t understand it
‘Cuz the bears all demand at least one waltz a day!

Last night as the moon rose we crept down the stairs\
He took me outside where the bears have their lair
We danced in a bear hug with nary a care
It all feels like flying there is no denying
But now my pajamas are covered with hair (Chorus)

The Ugly Duckling
Words and music by Frank Loesser

There once was an ugly duckling
With feathers all stubby and brown
And the other birds said in so many words
Get out of town
Get out, get out, get out of town
And he went with a quack and a waddle and a quack
In a very unhappy frown
That poor little ugly duckling
Went wandering far and near
But in every place they said to his face
Now get out, get out, get out of here
And he went with a quack and a waddle and a quack
And a very unhappy tear

All through the wintertime he hid himself away
Ashamed to show his face, afraid of what others might say
All through the winter in his lonely clump of weeds
Till a flock of swans spied him there and very soon agreed
You’re a very fine swan indeed!
A swan? Me a swan? Ah, go on!
And he said yes, you’re a swan
Take a look at yourself in the lake and you’ll see
And he looked, and he saw, and he said
I am a swan! Wheeeeeeee!
I’m not such an ugly duckling
With feathers all stubby and brown
For in fact these birds in so many words said
The best in town, the best, the best
The best in town
Not a quack, not a quack, not a waddle or a quack
But a glide and a whistle and a snowy white back
And a head so noble and high
Say who’s an ugly duckling?
Not I!

Please Can I Keep It?
Words by Sandra Boynton, Music by Michael Ford

Please can I keep it – it followed me home
It seems to be sad and alone
Oh please can I keep it it’s friendly and shy
And I don’t have a pet of my own
Please please can I keep it it followed me home
What exactly it is I don’t know
Oh, please can I keep it, it’s lost and afraid and I’m sure it has nowhere to go

I could find it a bowl and give it some food whenever it needs to be fed
Or maybe I won’t have to – Look – It seems very smart, See It’s helping itself to our bread.
Really helping itself to our bread. And some fruit All the fruit. Now the flowers and the vase (wow)

Please can I keep it, its fur is so soft though I know it is shedding a lot
It can sleep on my floor if it fits through the door it can sleep in the hallway if not
Oh please please, please can I keep it, it’s thumping its tail.
It has such a lovable whine,
Oh please can I keep it Just look at those eyes
I think it would love to be mine
Oh I know it would love to be mine. And yours. Say yes, Oh, please… say yes… oh, please… please?

Only Four
Words and Music by Laurie McClain

Only Four for a few more hours
Only four for a single year
Only four once in a lifetime
Only four but five is near

And you have played in the sunshine
And you have danced out in the rain
And you have laughed and you’ve cried sometimes
And you have learned so many things

You were three before, and you were two too
You were one once and even a baby new
You were a twinkle in your mama’s eye
Now you’re a dream come true for this heart of mine

And you will play in the sunshine
And you will dance out in the rain
And you will laugh and you’ll cry sometimes
And you will learn so many things

Only Four for a few more hours
Only four for a single year
Only four once in a lifetime
Only four but five is near

Playing Right Field
Words and Music by Willie Welch

Saturday summers, when I was a kid
We’d run to the schoolyard and here’s what we did
We’d pick out the captains and we’d choose up the teams
It was always a measure of my self esteem
Cuz the fastest, the strongest, played shortstop and first
The last ones they picked were the worst
I never needed to ask, it was sealed,
I just took up my place in right field.
Right field, it’s easy, you know.
You can be awkward and you can be slow
That’s why I’m here in right field
Just watching the dandelions grow
Playing right field can be lonely and dull
Little Leagues never have lefties that pull
I’d dream of the day they’d hit one my way
They never did, but still I would pray
That I’d make a fantastic catch on the run
And not lose the ball in the sun
And then I’d awake from this long reverie
And pray that the ball never came out to me
Here in…
Off in the distance, the game’s dragging on,
There’s strikes on the batter, some runners are on.
I don’t know the inning, I’ve forgotten the score.
The whole team is yelling and I don’t know what for.
Then suddenly everyone’s looking at me
My mind has been wandering; what could it be?
They point at the sky and I look up above
And a baseball falls into my glove!
Here in right field, it’s important you know.
You gotta know how to catch, you gotta know how to throw,
That’s why I’m here in right field, just watching the dandelions grow!

Orange Cocoa Cake
Words and Music by Lou and Peter Berryman (with some very slight changes by Sandy!)

Hello Joanie, this is me; say I found that recipe for
Orange cocoa cake, so Joanie get a pencil quick, because can
You believe I’m by myself? Al’s at work, the kids are out
They’re playing house, all three of them, they’re all out on the deck

One half cup unsweetened cocoa, one half cup of boiling water
Quarter cup of butter and a quarter cup of short’ning,
Two cups sugar, one eighth teaspoon salt, teaspoon of vanilla
One and one half teaspoons baking soda, ‘scuze me just a sec

Dave, dear, I’m right over here
Would you like some crackers and baloney
Are you having fun? Don’t get too much sun.
Please excuse me, while I talk to Joanie

Two eggs Joanie, David, David, crackers dear, not malted milk balls
In the cupboard, Joanie, one cup buttermilk or sour milk
One and three fourths cups unsifted ring, baloney in the fridge
Unsifted general purpose- David did you really check

One and three fourths cups unsifted general purpose flour, Joanie
There I finally got it out. Okay, David, malted milk balls
Only five though- three fourths teaspoon grated orange peel
A quarter teaspoon orange extract uh-oh, ‘scuze me just a sec

Liz, Ben, I’m here in the den
Would you like some crackers and baloney
Are you having fun? Don’t get too much sun
Please excuse me, while I talk to Joanie

Joanie, one more eighth teaspoon of- Lizzie what’s the matter dear?
Baking soda Joanie. Lizzie, don’t hit Benjie; that’s uncalled for
That’s okay, Ben- Joanie three more tablespoons of buttermilk or
Sour milk- oh, come here, Liz, what’s that on your neck?

Now don’t worry, Liz, it’s only one real tiny tick. Someone,
David, go and get the tweezers, Joanie, maybe in the bathroom
Joanie, maybe we should- Ben, don’t cry, have one more malted milk ball
Lizzie, mom’ll be right there, ‘scuze me just a sec

Really gotta go, Joan, see about a tick, then we’re
Gonna have a party with the neighborhood kids
Then Lizzie has to go to an appointment at eleven
And we’re takin’ Benjie too, because he has to buy a costume

He’s in a play tomorrow over at the shul
Isn’t that tomorrow, Benjie, Benjie, wheredja go,
If it isn’t Ben remind me what’s your costume for tomorrow?
I remember now, a hamantasch

Lizzie can’t go, there’s a party in the park for all the
People with pets, well you know, she gotta go to that ‘n
Daddy gonna take her and the kitty in the Chevy
After that, we have to reconnoiter over at the Big Boy

I gotta go Joan, by the way d’ja ever
Reconsider gettin’ married, having children of your own
Turn the television down, your mother’s on the telephone
Call you back Joan, too-da-loo

*All rights of the creators and owners of these recorded works reserved. Mechanical licensing acquired via ACUM.