If You're Happy And You Know It

arr. Paul Jennings

This arrangement of the old favorite children's tune is one of our ways of thanking you for the great response we've had to the song surveys we included in the first issue of the year. (You remember, the one about which other songs everyone should be singing with their kids.)

It probably shouldn't have surprised us that this tune showed up on so many lists, but it did. It's one of those tunes that everyone has learned, and that is very popular in classrooms, Sunday school classes, and around the camp fire. Besides, it's a great tune for simple movement for students of all ages and abilities.

The other thing that surprised us was just how many variations of the song seemed to be around. The more we looked and asked, the more little variations in melody and lyrics we found. So we started with the version we learned growing up (sort of Midwest and sort of Mid-South) and adapted from there. As we always tell you, please adapt the arrangement to suit your needs.

If you are using the recording that goes with this issue, you will be doing five verses, each with its own action, as well as the cumulative verse where you "do all five." You can choose any actions you like. We chose to "mix and match" types of actions to keep the kids on their toes a bit. Our five verses are "clap your hands," "slap your thighs," "toot your horn," "stomp your feet," and "yell, 'Hur-rah!'"

The actions should be self-explanatory, but we do have a few suggestions. For instance, if you amplify each movement a little, you will add more energy... and burn more of it in the kids. Clap the hands above the head and bend at the waist when slapping the thighs. For "toot your horn," each performer can choose a horn to toot, and imitate trumpet, trombone... or oboe. Stomping in a classroom situation may not win you any friends from neighboring classrooms, but this is art, right? And for yelling, "Hur-rah!" maybe you should raise hands hands above the head and even jump in the air. This amplified movement will make the cumulative verse especially active and lots of fun.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.