Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Children in a Japanese elementary school singing the song.

"Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" is a children's song sung to the tune of the traditional folksong "There is a Tavern in the Town" [1] The song has been documented as early as 1961.[2]

Description[edit]

There is generally only one verse with lyrics similar to those below. The second line repeats the first line both in words and in melody, the third line has a rising tone, and the fourth line repeats the first two. Children might dance while they sing the song, and touch their head, shoulders, knees and toes, in sequence while singing each word.

Lyrics[edit]

The following lyrics are taken from the children's music database of the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences:

Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
And eyes and ears and mouth and nose
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes

In additional verses, one body part is removed from each verse. Children typically indicate the body part without singing the word that is omitted. For example:

Verse 2
----, shoulders, knees and toes
Verse 3
----, ----, knees and toes
Verse 4
----, ----, ---- --- toes
Verse 5
----, ----, ---- --- ----

This pattern continues until the children are silently indicating all the body parts in rhythm with the song, sometimes quickly. In another variation, after the completely silent verse is sung, the first verse is repeated really quickly.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "E. Henry David Music Publishers". E. Henry David. Retrieved 2013-11-28. 
  2. ^ Witte Austin, Dorothy. "Troubadour Pleases Playground Audiences". Milwaukee Journal, July 18, 1961, Part 2-p. 6. Retrieved on July 3, 2014.

External links[edit]