Grandma's Chicken Soup

by John Riggio

Picture it - you're a kid who's been playing outside on a snowy winter day. You've built a snowman, whizzed snowballs at several targets, made a snow angel, and boy, do you feel like it! Good thing there's a bowl of grandma's chicken soup to warm you up when you get home!

Since January is National Soup Month, chicken soup is the theme in this humorous country piece featuring guitar, banjo, and chicken choir. Young singers will enjoy the lively tempo and fun lyrics, and its repetition makes the song fairly easy. Movement would be simple to coordinate, and the following is a list of suggestions:

  • "face is numb and blue" point to face
  • "sit at the table" seating motion
  • "chicken soup" hands make bowl and spoon movement
  • "hands and feet" hold up open hands, point to feet
  • "elbows won't unfold" hug yourself with hands under arms; act cold...
  • "it's time" point to wrist
  • "made me an angel" arms make sweeping motion at sides
  • "down my back" use thumb to point down back
  • "I hear grandma call" cup ear with hand
  • "I race all my siblings" run in place
  • "hot chocolate just won't do" shake head "no" while hands make abrupt slicing motion left and right
  • "snowed twenty feet" start with hands high and wiggle fingers while lowering hands, imitating snowfall
  • "dug me a tunnel" digging motion
  • "took twenty days to come home from my journey" marching in place
  • "'Cause I dug through" use thumb to point to chest
  • "Bok bok bok!" put fists under arms and flap like a chicken

What you may want to do is divide the class in half, one half being the singers and the other half being the chickens. Of course, overalls and chicken suits are optional. But whatever you do, have fun with this one!

If you have the Performance/Accompaniment cassette, you may want to point out the guitar solo section of the song to your students. It has an excellent bluegrass style, and is very impressive. Also, if you're interested in the impromptu dialogue during the guitar solo, here it is:

Intersperse grandma's dialogue with chicken "boks"...


  • "Come here you chicken!"
  • "Sit still! I can't run that fast!"
  • "I'm gonna make some soup with you!"
  • "Come here you chicken!"
  • "You're gonna be tasty when I'm done with ya!"

You may wish to have a couple of young actors/actresses dress up as grandma and the chicken, and have grandma chase the chicken around trying to catch her to make soup. This has the potential to be hilarious, and your students should have a blast doing it. - J.R.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.