Five Little Monkeys

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"Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree" variant in both English and Spanish.

"Five Little Monkeys" is an English language folk song and fingerplay of American origin. It is usually accompanied by a sequence of gestures that mimic the words of the song. Each successive verse sequentially counts down from the starting number.[1][2][3]

Eileen Christelow has written a series of books titled "Five Little Monkeys ..". She acknowledges that she did not write the original lyrics, she heard it from her daughter.[4]

The song has similar lyrics and tune to the first verse of the 1890s folk song "Shortnin' Bread."

Lyrics[edit]

One version of the lyrics, published in the 2015 collection No More Monkeys, runs:[5]

Five little monkeys jumping on the bed,
One fell off and bumped her head,
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
"No more monkeys jumping on the bed!"

Four little monkeys jumping on the bed,
One fell off and bumped his head,
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
"No more monkeys jumping on the bed!"

Three little monkeys jumping on the bed,
One fell off and bumped her head,
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
"No more monkeys jumping on the bed!"

Two little monkeys jumping on the bed,
One fell off and bumped his head,
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
"No more monkeys jumping on the bed!"

One little monkey jumping on the bed,
He fell off and bumped his head,
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
"Put those monkeys to bed!"

Variations[edit]

Alternate versions of the song changes the last monkey's reference to "she" or "one". An additional verse on the last verse following the last monkey going down include lines such as:

No little monkeys jumping on the bed,
None fell off and bumped their head,
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
"Put those monkeys back in bed!"

[6]

Gestures[edit]

The song can be performed with to accompany to each verse are, such as:[7]

  • Hold up a number of fingers equal to the number of monkeys and bounce them onto the palm of the other hand;
  • Hold head;
  • Put your pinky finger to your cheek and thumb to your ear (as if using a telephone);
  • Wag your index finger

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on a Bed". Scottish Book Trust. Retrieved 2018-01-09.
  2. ^ "Nursery rhymes and songs: Five little monkeys". BBC Learning: School Radio. Retrieved 2018-01-09.
  3. ^ "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed". King County Library System. Retrieved 2018-01-09.
  4. ^ "Five little monkeys jumping on the bed. One fell off and bumped her head. . ." NO, I did NOT write that rhyme, Eileen Christelow
  5. ^ Anderson, Steven. No More Monkeys. Capstone. ISBN 978-1-63290-279-5.
  6. ^ "Five Little Monkeys song and lyrics from KIDiddles". song and lyrics from KIDiddles. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  7. ^ Shotwell, Rita. Rhythm and Movement Activities: For Early Childhood. Alfred Music. ISBN 978-1-4574-2079-5.