Say Please

by Teresa Jennings

What better way to teach kids to say "please" than through humor? This lighthearted ditty will do the trick nicely. Very easy, very catchy, and downright fun, it gets to the point of politeness almost without the kids realizing they are learning. The lyrics are straightforward enough, but the spoken asides are where things get silly. Each time "say please" is sung, one of the kids gets to attempt to say it, but misses (on purpose). Instead they say words that rhyme with "please," like "cheese," "freeze," and so on. A second student responds each time as well, letting the first speaker know that they are mistaken. At first, the response is gentle and teacherly. As the song goes along however, the responses get more and more impatient and frustrated. The italicized words above the vocal staff indicate the type of emotion your respondents can go for, though this is certainly adaptable. But, it's most effective if the responses progress toward the final exasperated "Ahhh!" just before measure 17 the second time. When the answer is finally correct (in the second ending), the response is joyful, and then everyone gets to yell "Please!"

One of the charms of the recording of this tune is the accompaniment, which includes pizzicato strings and lots of whimsical percussion sound effects. If you choose to do this one on piano, try to employ at least a few of your own effects. Use percussion as we did, or make up your own. Ours are indicated on the piano/vocal for reference.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.