A World of Children's Songs
Introduction: A World of Children's Songs does not presume to be a definitive collection of songs from every country, although it does contain material from the seven major geographical-cultural regions into which it has somewhat arbitrarily divided the globe. One of its goals is to give children musical windows through which they can see into cultures different from their won. The examples included here, taken as a whole, can tell us much about the world of children wherever they may be. These songs are loved and sung by children because they are about the powerful stuff of life-family, work and celebration, sadness and happiness. The imaginative and adventurous leader or teacher can make use of this musical mortar to cement facts together to add texture and color to a child's understanding of life. A second, equally important goal of this book is to provide a musical resource that will help teachers, leaders, and parents introduce children to languages other than English. For many American adults, just the sight of a foreign word on the printed page is enough to discourage the use of a song, no matter how good the tune. Afraid of mispronouncing the words or of sounding pretentious if we do say them correctly, we stick to English. Consequently, the extent of most American children's repertoire of songs in another language is limited to "Frere Jacques"; adults don't fell self-conscious singing or teaching those French words because we learned them as children. I believe the time has come to move beyond "Frere Jacques" because the simple truth is that children will tackle any language as long as someone takes the time to teach them. The third goal for A World of Children's Songs is to offer songs that are easy to learn and fun to sing. Whether or not one chooses to use them as resource material or teaching tools, the songs in this collection are enjoyable bits of the world's culture that need to be shared with each new generation.
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Asia East of the Caspian
Africa South of the Sahara
America North of the Rio Grande