by Teresa Jennings
Most of us have likely seen the pictures, calendars, books, even commercials that feature different species of animals hanging out together. (Interestingly, a lot of them include a dog with another type of animal. Which speaks volumes about dogs, in our opinion.) We are all struck by the unusual circumstances and seeming camaraderie of these creatures who play together, eat together, sleep together, and generally seem to not only get along, but actually crave each other's company. It's even more vexing when the animals are natural enemies. Why this happens is not clear, but it is certainly encouraging. For as our song, "Unlikely Buddies" notes: If they can do it, so can we!
The setting for this super simple tune is deliberately light and sparse. It's a bit reminiscent of a campfire tune with just a guitar for accompaniment. That way, the kids' voices and the words are what stand out the most.
There are a lot of animals mentioned, so using the lyric sheet, student part, or the projected lyrics might be helpful, especially for younger students. (See page 77 for details about accessing the projectable lyrics.)
You will see on the music that there are dotted eighth/sixteenth note rhythms in the melody. These are actually swung, using a triplet undercurrent. Since the accompaniment is only quarter notes, your singers will have to do this without reinforcement from the background. Just have them listen and learn the tune while our recorded kids are singing it, and they should pick it up readily. A lot of young children's music has a similar shuffle/triplet feel to it, though in various meters – "Row, Row, Row Your Boat;" "Pop! Goes The Weasel;" "The Farmer In The Dell;" etc. It's a very natural style.
Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.