I love singing songs around the campfire and I’ve done it at family reunions, girls camps, scout camps and at workshops. There are so many fun and traditional songs that can be sung around a fire, but my favorite songs are rounds.
This is how a round works. The first group begins singing the song. The second group waits and begins singing the first phrase of the song just as the pervious group starts to sing the second phrase of the song. Each group continues singing the song from start to finish. The song ends with the group who started last singing the last phrase of the song alone. It is very common to have three or four groups all singing the same round.
To be successful at singing rounds in a large group setting you have to start with a simple song to warm everyone up. A good example of a simple round song that everyone probably already knows how to sing is “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.
If your group masters “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” challenge them with the “Sophisticated Row Row Row Your Boat” song. Be sure and make copies of the words or a large sign so that singers don’t get hung up on the lyrics.
Propel Propel Propel your craft
Placidly over the liquid solution
ecstatically ecstatically ecstatically ecstatically
existence is merely an illusion.
Other easy rounds are “Are You Sleeping” and “Kookaburra”
Kookaburra (new version)
Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
Eating all the gum drops he can see
Stop, Kookaburra! Stop, Kookaburra!
Leave some there for me
Kookaburra sits on the electric wire,
Jumping up and down, with his pants on fire.
Ouch, Kookaburra, ouch! Kookaburra,
Hot your tail must be!
The most fail proof way I’ve found to get family reunion groups singing rounds accurately is to be sure there is a strong singer in each group that can help lead their group. You may even want to give your leaders copies of the songs you would like to sing in a round before your reunion so they can become familiar with the music.
Once you have warmed everyone up you can move on to more challenging songs. I have found that adults and children love round singing because they can make a beautiful sound without being too talented musically. There are several songs, when sung in a round, which bring out the most beautiful harmonies.
Oh, How Lovely is the Evening
There are a couple of songs that have actions that go along with the words to the song. “A Ram Sam Sam” is fun sing with actions and looks pretty impressive- especially if you’re the one standing in front of the group watching.
What if your family is an advanced group of round singers? Try this wonderful song that is a bit more complicated and then check out the following round/cannon resources. http://roundz.tripod.com/ or “Rounds for Children” from http://sheetmusicplus.com
Be sure and see the fun new family reunion games and family reunion planning helps at www.famillyreunionhelper.com/
“The only thing better than singing, is more singing.”