Three Japanese Songs

These songs are simple to sing and I've included simple guitar chords for accompaniment. Feel free to add any percussion or melody instruments. Sustained keyboard chords or simple melody parts on any classroom instrument are easy to arrange.

I have included a rough translation of the words because it helps to know what you're singing about and children get enormous satisfaction about learning a few words of an oriental language - especially here in the UK, where they aren't taught in schools. Many thanks to Kaoru Sakamoto for working with the pupils at St. Mary's College and for teaching me these songs.

Ai-Ai

Ai-Ai, Ai-Ai (Ai-ai is monkey's name)
O sar lu sun da yor (I am a monkey)
Ai-Ai, Ai-Ai
Min na min nor sea ma nor (I live in a southern island)
Ai-Ai, Ai-Ai
Sheepo nor nar ga-e (Would you like to play with me?)
Ai-Ai, Ai-Ai
O sar lu son da yor (I am a monkey)

Ai-ai, Ai-ai
O sar lu sun da ne (You are a monkey)
Ai-Ai, Ai-Ai
Key nor ha nor O woo tee (You live in the jungle)
Ai-Ai, Ai-Ai
O me me nor mar lui (You have beautiful eyes)
Ai-Ai, Ai-Ai
O sar lu sun da ne (You are a monkey)

O Key-na ku lee nor
Actions are possible to this, since it is a translation of Under the Spreading Chestnut tree

O key na ku lee nor (Under the spreading chestnut tree)
Key nor see ta de
A na ta toe wa ta see (You and me)
Na ka york u a so bee ma show (Shall we play together?
O key na ku lee nor (Under the spreading chestnut tree)
Key nor see ta de

Zo-sun
This is a lovely song which uses the pentatonic scale, used quite a lot in traditional Japanese music. Follow on exercises : ask pupils to compose a short pattern of notes using the pentatonic scale (DEGAB is a good one to use). Get them to think about rhythm and making the pattern interesting. Now try combining the patterns so two or more are played at once. This could also be done on a sequencer.

Zo-sun, zo-sun (Elephant)
O hanna gar na ga i nor ne
So-yo car sun mo
na gar ee nor yor

Zo-sun, zo-sun
Da le gar sue key na nor
An nor ne car sun gar
Sue key nar nor yor


 
 
 

This page is taken from the Music Teacher's Resource Site