Tell Me A Joke

by Teresa Jennings

This song is great for your young extroverts as it offers a chance to tell a few jokes. Kid-friendly ones, of course. The formula is simple – there is a recurring simple refrain that is sung before, in-between, and after the jokes. This refrain is written for two parts and sounds natural that way, but part 2 is optional. If you need a little help teaching the parts, we have isolated them and put them online free for you. (See details on page 75.) At the end of the refrain prior to each set of jokes, the kids sing "Woo hoo!" twice as a cue. We suggest having them cup their hands to their ears as indicated on the music, setting up the jokes.

Select different speakers to deliver the jokes in order to give several chances. Use the jokes we have provided, or let your students use their own. (Preview them to be sure they are clean and appropriate.) Try to cue your jokesters so that they don't rush too much (a natural tendency) and so that the punch lines are timed well and spoken clearly. On the recording, you will hear that we have a cowbell played freely after each punch line to break up the jokes and slow down the pace a little. You can have your own cowbell player or players do their own versions of this. (It's also a cue for audiences to laugh.) A single hit, roll, or multiple hits are fine, as long as they aren't too long. If you find your speakers getting behind, there is a four bar repeat of the intro before each return to the refrain that should help as a buffer. Practice timing though, and it will flow better.

When the song is over, give your comedians a chance to take a bow or two or many with a chaser. We have a neat one that follows called "The Jokester's Chaser." (See next notes following.) Play it as close to the last beat of the joke song for the best effect. We allow about five seconds between songs on the recording, so feel free to hit the advance button sooner if you use the chaser. After all, timing is important in comedy!

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.