On The Day I Was Born

by Teresa Jennings

This song is designed to be the second song in the revue, and is definitely geared to the younger crowd. It will easily work independently, however. It is simple, easy, and unison throughout. We have included sign language options for performance as well. These appear on pages 26 and 27. Here are a few things to note about the sign language:

  • We have included the word "are" for teachers who prefer to say the literal "you are." The word "you" can be used for simplicity.
  • For words in the past tense, a sign is added after the present tense of that word. An example of the past tense indicator is given after the word "come." This same sign would follow all of the past tense verbs. To simplify the signing, leave out the past tense sign entirely.
  • The sign for the word "you" is simply pointing at the person(s) being addressed.
  • Some of the words and signs could use a little more detail:
    • air - as if fanning face
    • glad - palm taps heart a few times, moving up and off the heart each time
    • ground - as if fingering soil
    • hello - wave a few times
    • sun - right index finger makes a circle, hand comes down open to show rays
    • this day - sign is technically for "today"
    • was - take right hand "W" to chin, then "throw" hand over shoulder to signify past
    • waters - have some children do sign for rain (on right), others do sign for rivers (on left), or have each child do both, making the sign for rain "flow down" into sign for rivers. (Wavy hand motions go side to side for rivers. Wiggle fingers up to down for rain.)
    • way - "W" palms facing, hands sway forward
    • with - hands together, moved away from chest
    • world - right hand "W" circles around left hand "W"

One other note about the song: go ahead and let your singers change their style from smooth and even to somewhat bouncy at the words, "And the animals... " It feels right, and may even dictate a little movement, such as swaying or light bouncing. Let your students show you what it makes them feel like doing.

By the way, at this writing, our sign language expert, Erin Krause, is pregnant and due any moment. Since she has been so helpful to us and to teachers everywhere in all of our signing endeavors, we would like to officially dedicate this song to her and her new baby. Thank you, Erin.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.