High Five

by John Riggio

This song is available as a single.

The high five (slapping palms with someone up in the air) has been around for many years, but a more recent phenomenon is National High Five Day*, which occurs in April. The high five is a celebratory act and a sign of solidarity. It's a close kin to the fist bump, but that's another song.

This tune is high energy, complete with rockin' guitars and retro claps, and it's designed for movement. As students sing each line, they can add movement that accompanies the lyrics:

  • High five. (up high)
  • Low five. (down low)
  • Side five. (to the side)
  • No five. (both hands up, backing off)
  • High five and that's no jive! (wag index finger at audience on beats 1, 2, and 3 of bar 12)
  • Air five. (up high, but no contact)
  • Where five? (shrug, palms up)
  • There five! (point somewhere in the audience)
  • High five! (up high)
  • So many ways to try! (count fingers with index finger, tapping them on beats)
  • Gimme five. (horizontal slap)
  • Up high. (up high)
  • Down low. (down low)
  • Too slow! (recipient removes hand before the slap)
  • Let's have another go! (hands on hips, frown in suspicion, head angled, eyes squinted)
  • Run and jump five! (jog in place, jump, and high five)
  • On the flip side! (recipient turns around with hand behind back for the slap)
  • High five, let's come alive! (star jump, or just hold arms out in a Y-shape)

During the guitar solo at measure 25, singers can break formation and high five freely, using different techniques. They can also ad lib and/or cheer, saying things like, "That's what I'm talkin' about!" or "Yeah, baby!" or even just, "High five!" Remind them they only have eight bars to get back into position for the D.S.

For the final tag in the coda, "High five!" is an optional divisi. Singers can "air five" the audience on the last beat.

Please note that this song needs an even number of singers to work, and they'll need to pair up. Singers can take turns being the "recipient" on the repeat where applicable. For example, if you spun around for "on the flip side" the first time, your partner should spin around on the repeat. Now go high five some people!

*Note: If you decide to look into National High Five Day online, as always, be sure you preview what you share in class. We found some videos with questionable content.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.