My Hat It Has Five Corners

arr. by Paul Jennings

This song is available as a single.

We feel that "My Hat It Has Three Corners" can be fun for many grades, even some that might find simple action tunes a bit "kiddish." But there is a bit of the "rubbing your head while patting your tummy" to it, one that can make for funny misses. If your singers think that they are just too sophisticated for that tune, try this one. Of course, it has a lot more going for it than shock value. It's a great way to introduce more complex meters to your classes.

Five is the coolest number - Most popular songs are in 4/4. Sure there is the occasional one in 3/4, but that's pretty much it. (I'm not sure if there have been many in 6/8 or 12/8, but that's a possibility.) But as you venture past these meters, the first one that comes to mind is 5/4. Your students have heard it in the Mission Impossible themes, and thanks to commercials, they have probably even heard Dave Brubeck's "Take Five," which actually made the pop charts when it was first introduced in 1959-1960.

If you have not done 5/4 with your singers before, start by counting 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5, accenting 1 and 4, perhaps clapping as you do it. Then try singing through the tune with just a melody guide or a cappella. Then you are ready to try it with the tracks. And very cool tracks they are.

Dig the jazz! - We are pleased with the recorded accompaniment tracks. The arrangement is for a slightly augmented big band, adding a tuba at the bottom to saxes, trombones, flugelhorns instead of trumpets, and a flute on the top. All of this in addition to our cool, laid-back rhythm section who are quite at home in 5. You can even follow the tight jazzy chords via chord symbols on the piano/vocal score in the magazine.

And a bit more... - If your kids have this down cold, and can even do it with the hand movements, we have given you another way to perform it. You can do the five verse version of this 5/4 arrangement, similar to the one for the previous song, with a special accompaniment that we have made available online at (See page 67 for details.)

And just for the fun of it, if your group is really getting into the tune, let them draw their own renditions of what the five-cornered hat might look like. Enjoy!

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.