Oh, The Groundhog Ran Away With My Valentine Today

by Teresa Jennings

Even the groundhog himself will be pickin' and grinnin' when you perform this lively tune! Having reached the conclusion that there's really only so much you can write about groundhogs for February, we had a fun idea this time: why not combine a couple of seasonal favorites into the same song? So, that's just what we did. We teamed up our furry hero (or heroine) with the most romantic holiday of the year, Valentine's Day. Of course, grade school is no place for romance, so we did the next best thing. We turned it into an appropriately long-titled country song!

Easy enough to be learned by your youngest singers, this song is unison throughout, except for the spoken solos. Even the "boo hoo hoo's" are sung and whimpered in unison.

There are two different spoken solos, one occurring just before measure 21 both times. This can be the same soloist, or two different ones. For the best effect, have them aim for beat one as their finishing point. The other soloist is the groundhog. (What else?). He or she should also place the first and second ending words on beat one if possible. However, the lines in the coda are meant to be spoken approximately in the "holes" - not rhythmically. At the very end, the groundhog gets to make a classic "raspberry" which should be aimed at the second measure from the end so it can be heard.

If you are using the Performance/Accompaniment Cassette or CD, the performers provide a superb reference for style, fun and silliness. (And yes, that is a wee bit of a country twang you're hearing. These kids are already a little bit country, so it comes out pretty naturally when they're inspired!)

Also worth focusing on at least once if you're using the recording is the guitar picking. There is a lot of it going on throughout the piece, but particularly during the D.S. where it is indicated as a solo. You will also be able to hear banjo, mandolin, a couple of strumming guitars, a genuine washboard, and a pair of rhythmic spoons. (Yes, spoons.)

By the way, you may notice that the lyric sheet for this song is located on page 35, substantially farther from the song than we usually place lyric sheets. The reason we did this was to have a layout for the next song, "Celebration Sounds," which could include two interior facing pages for ease of reading and performing. We didn't think you'd mind too much...

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.