Found A Peanut Song, Sheet Music, Chords, And More!

image found a peanut banner

Are you looking for a fun and easy camp song to teach with your older students? 

Camp songs are great vehicles for teaching concepts and getting students engaged at any level. Even 10-year-olds in music class tend to jump right in when you’re doing a camp song.

One of the songs I remember doing at camps and as a Boy Scout was the song, Found A Peanut. 

Found a peanut is based on the folk song, “Clementine.” The melody is simple and repetitive which makes it perfect for learning with any age. The lyrics have many variations and allow for student invention of more. 

Check out the rest of the article for more information on this fun tune. 

Found A Peanut Sheet Music And Breakdown

This song is easily taught to almost any, but the level of the lyrics lend themselves to the older elementary crowd. It’s ultimately up to you what you do with it. 

Meter: 3/4 

Rhythms: dotted quarter-eighth note, dotted eighth-sixteenth note, half note, paired eighth notes, quarter note

Key: F Major – do hexachord

Pitches: low sol, low ti, do, re, mi, fa, sol

Chords: I and V

History: Parody of Clementine with roots from the early 1940s; also popular in Israeli culture as a car/traveling song

For concepts, Found A Peanut lends itself well to students in the 4th grades and 5th grades. 

Rhythmically, you’ll either use this to teach dotted eighth-sixteenth notes or dotted quarter-eighth notes. The 3/4 meter is a bonus. 

Melodically, the low ti pitch functions as it should, and this song would be great to use as reinforcement for the pitch.

But usually you would want a song using the low sol → la → ti → do motion for teaching it the first time. 

The I and V chord motion is perfect for beginning chords for ukulele or guitar which you may be introducing at this age level.

Found A Peanut Lyrics

Here are the basic lyrics you’ll find with most versions of this song: 

1. Found a peanut, found a peanut, found a peanut last night.

Last night I found a peanut, found a peanut last night.

2. Cracked it open, cracked it open, cracked it open last night.

Last night I cracked it open, cracked it open last night.

3. It was rotten, it was rotten, it was rotten last night,

last night it was rotten, it was rotten last night.

Note: From here on the pattern remains the same with the initial words changing.

4. Ate it anyway…

5. Got a stomach ache…

6. Called the doctor…

7. Penicillin…

8. Operation…

9. Died anyway.

10. Went to heaven…

11. Wouldn’t take me…

12. Went the other way…

13. Didn’t want me…

14. Was a dream…

15. Then I woke up…

16. Found a peanut…

image found a peanut pin

Found A Peanut Song Lyrics Variations

There are an almost infinite number of lyrics for this song. It’s originally based on the folk song, Clementine, or, Oh My Darlin’. 

The camp version popular with the Boy Scouts of America is at least 75 years old. The earliest description of the song is from a performance in a high school talent show in 1942 by the Norwalk Hour. 

This song has also appeared in the 1949 film, A Letter To Three Wives. 


Found A Peanut is also popular in Israel where it goes by the name, I Found A Peanut. 

In this culture, the song is used as a traveling song or car song.

Found A Peanut Chords Breakdown

The I and V motion of the chords in the song are perfect for new string players. This song also appears in some early piano book methods as well. 

Check out the best piano books for intermediate players

The chord changes are in the sheet music above. 

Any I and V chord will work, but for this song, it’s easiest to perform this in the key of F for ukulele and the key of G for guitar. 

The sheet music shows the key of F and the ukulele chords, but the guitar chords breakdown shows G. 

For translating the chords, use this:

  • F → G
  • C → D

Ukulele Chords

Here are the chords for the key of F. These are among the easiest chords to learn on the ukulele and are perfect for beginners. 

  • F Major Chord – I
    • First finger, 3rd string, 1st fret
    • Second finger, 1st string, 2nd fret
  • C Major Chord -V
    • Third finger, 4th string, 3rd fret

Guitar Chords

Here are the chords for the key of G. These are also pretty easy ones for new guitar players to learn.

  • G Major – I
    • Second finger, 2nd string, 2nd fret
    • Third finger, 1st string, 3rd fret
    • Fourth finger, 6th string, 3rd fret
  • D Major – V
    • First finger, 4th string, 2nd fret
    • Second finger, 6th string, 2nd fret
    • Third finger, 5th string, 3rd fret

As a bonus, here are the guitar chord fingerings for the key of F major. This would align with what’s in the sheet music. 

While C major is easy, F major is quite challenging on guitar for new and even intermediate players.

  • F Major Chord – I
    • First finger barre all strings on the first fret
    • Second finger, 2nd string, 2nd fret
    • Third finger, 1st string, 3rd fret
  • C Major Chord – V
    • First finger, 5th string, 1st fret
    • Second finger, 2nd string, 2nd fret
    • Third finger, 1st string, 3rd fret

Final Thoughts

I hope you find a way to add Found A Peanut to your classroom repertoire. 

The song is fun for most kids to sing and is almost old enough in its own right to be considered a folk song on its own. 

The connection of this song with its source, Clementine, is a great way to open the door to lessons involving students creating their own versions of classic folk songs you’ve taught them. 

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out the 17 folk songs everyone should know.

Zach VanderGraaff

Zach VanderGraaff is a K-5 music teacher with Bay City Public Schools in Michigan. He's a Past-President of the Michigan Kodaly Educators and Executive Secretary of the Midwest Kodaly Music Educators Association.

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