Six More Weeks Or An Early Spring?

by Mike Wilson

You know the story. It's all about some groundhog who seems to control the duration of winter. We gotta get our facts straight, though, and that's what this song does. On February 2nd (so the story goes), a particular groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil who resides in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, purportedly peeks out of his hole. Now, if the sun is shining, he will naturally see his shadow. (Because, apparently, he's a very observant groundhog.) And since he has some kind of shadow complex, it frightens him and he scurries back into his hole where he hibernates for six more weeks. Okay, the complex thing isn't actually part of the lore. But during this extended time of hibernation, the rest of us must also hunker down for six more weeks of winter-like weather. Conversely, if there is cloud cover when he peeks out of his burrow, he doesn't see a shadow and he decides he has had enough of the hibernating. We could query the National Weather Service or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as to exactly why this happens, but because of this, we will most certainly have an early spring. Perhaps we should call it the "Groundhog effect." (Maybe that's next year's song.)

So, you can sing this simple folk song about Groundhog Day to help teach your younger choirs the proper Groundhog Day lore. It's pretty straightforward: chorus, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, end. Guitars, banjo, mandolin, acoustic bass, washboard, spoons, etc., make up this happy little unison tune. You don't have to get worked up about the vocal approach – just whatever comes out is fine as long as they sing the correct notes energetically. And ya know what? You can change it up if you like. Add handclaps or, if you have any percussion instruments sitting around, just pass them out and let the kids improvise. So if you're the early spring type, like me, let's hope for an overcast sky on February 2nd in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.