19 Fun Kids Songs About The Ocean

image 19 fun kids songs about the ocean

Are you looking for ocean songs for a concert theme? 

Do you want to add on to your general education teacher’s science content? 

It’s sometimes easy and fun to build a program around specific themes, and oceans songs are fun ones to do. I love doing this theme in the middle of winter when we’re all thinking about the warm and fun summer. 

So to help you out, here 19 fun kids songs about the ocean: 

  • Charlie Over The Ocean
  • A Sailor Went To Sea Sea Sea
  • Down At The Beach
  • Bobby Shaftoe
  • A Hole In The Bottom Of The Sea
  • Under The Sea
  • Yellow Submarine
  • Once I Caught A Fish Alive
  • Baby Shark
  • Octopus’ Garden
  • Aquarium from the Carnival Of The Animals
  • Down By The Bay
  • Row Row Row Your Boat
  • Five Little Seashells
  • If You’re A Pirate And You Know It
  • The Big Ships Sails On The Ally-ally-o! 
  • Sea Shell (sing a song for me)
  • Sailing Sailing
  • Baby Beluga

Read on for a brief description of each song and links where you can find it. 

19 Fun Kids Songs About The Ocean

In this section, I’ll go into each song a little and offer two important pieces of information you may find helpful. 

You’ll see a difficulty score out of 10 with 1 being easy and 10 being hard. This score was picked by me depending on the lyrics, melody, range, and form.

You’ll also see a grade level recommendation. This is based in part by the song’s difficulty but also based on the content of the song. 

This list includes authentic folk songs as well as popular songs and songs recorded for kids.

Note: In cases where songs were written by a specific company or person, we always include a link to where you can buy the song and a sample of the lyrics. I encourage you to support the writers by purchasing the tracks. 

These songs will be noted with an “*” after their name. 

#1 Charlie Over The Ocean

Difficulty: 1/10

Grade: Preschool – 2nd Grade

Source/Link: American Folk Song Collection

Notes: This song is also a chase game. Kids love this one! 

Lyrics: 

Charlie over the ocean (echo)

Charlie over the sea

Charlie caught a big fish

Can’t catch me! 

#2 A Sailor Went To Sea Sea Sea

Difficulty: 3/10

Grade: 1st-3rd Grades

Source/Link: Super Simple Songs (From a traditional tune)

Notes:  This is an addition song. Students can keep choosing ocean animals and motions to add to the song. 

Lyrics: 

A sailor went to sea sea sea

to see what she could see see see.

But all that she could see see see

was the bottom of the deep blue sea sea sea.

A sailor went to sea sea sea

to see what she could see see see.

But all that she could see see see

was a seahorse swimming in the sea sea sea.

A sailor went to sea sea sea

to see what she could see see see.

But all that she could see see see

was a jellyfish swimming and a seahorse swimming in the sea sea sea.

Other additions: 

  • Turtle
  • Octopus
  • Whale 
  • Starfish
  • Etc…

#3 Down At The Beach*

Difficulty: 3/10

Grade: 2nd-4th grades

Source/Link: Music K-8

Notes: Have your students make up their own motions for each part. Kids love this song.  

Lyrics: 

Dance, dance, dance at the beach. 

Down, down, down at the beach. 

Dance, dance, dance at the beach. 

Down, down, down at the beach. 

Swim, swim, swim…

#4 Bobby Shaftoe

Difficulty: 2/10

Grade: 1st-2nd grade

Source/Link: American Folk Song Collection

Notes: This simple song works well with an Orffestration. I’ve included the optional 2nd verse I learned.  

Lyrics: 

Bobby Shaftoe’s gone to sea

Silver buckles on his knee. 

He’ll come back to marry me, 

Bonny Bobby Shaftoe! 

Optional Verse 2

Bobby Shaftoe’s fat and fair

Combing down his yellow hair. 

He’s my love forevermore, 

Bonny Bobby Shaftoe! 

#5 A Hole In The Bottom Of The Sea

Difficulty: 3/10

Grade: 2nd-4th grades

Source/Link: Kiddie OK (from traditional folk song)

Notes: This is another addition song adding parts to the song. 

Lyrics: 

There’s a hole in the bottom of the sea,

There’s a hole in the bottom of the sea,

There’s a hole, there’s a hole,

There’s a hole in the bottom of the sea.

There’s a log in the hole

In the bottom of the sea,

There’s a log in the hole

In the bottom of the sea,

There’s a log, there’s a log,

There’s a log in the hole

In the bottom of the sea.

There’s a branch on the log in the hole

In the bottom of the sea,

There’s a branch on the log in the hole

In the bottom of the sea,

There’s a branch, there’s a branch,

There’s a branch on the log in the hole

In the bottom of the sea.

There’s a bump…

There’s a frog…

There’s a tail…

There’s a speck…

There’s a fleck…

#6 Under The Sea*

Difficulty: 6/10

Grade: 3rd-5th grades

Source/Link: Disney’s The Little Mermaid

Notes:  Popular kids song from the famous Disney movie. A lot of words, but fun to sing. 

Lyrics: 

Under the sea

Under the sea

Darling it’s better

Down where it’s wetter

Take it from me

Up on the shore they work all day

Out in the sun they slave away

While we devotin’

Full time to floatin’

Under the sea

#7 Yellow Submarine*

Difficulty: 5/10

Grade: 3rd-5th grades

Source/Link: The Beatles

Notes: Catchy school-appropriate song everyone will know at least a little bit. 

Lyrics: 

In the town where I was born

Lived a man who sailed to sea

And he told us of his life

In the land of submarines

So we sailed up to the sun

‘Til we found a sea of green

And we lived beneath the waves

In our yellow submarine

We all live in a yellow submarine

Yellow submarine, yellow submarine

We all live in a yellow submarine

Yellow submarine, yellow submarine

And our friends are all aboard

Many more of them live next door

And the band begins to play

We all live in a yellow submarine

Yellow submarine, yellow submarine

We all live in a yellow submarine

Yellow submarine, yellow submarine

As we live a life of ease

Everyone of us has all we need (has all we need)

Sky of blue (sky of blue) and sea of green (and sea of green)

In our yellow submarine (in our yellow, submarine, ha ha)

We all live in a yellow submarine

Yellow submarine, yellow submarine

We all live in a yellow submarine

Yellow submarine, yellow submarine

Courtesy of Lyric Find. 

#8 Once I Caught A Fish Alive

Difficulty: 1/10

Grade: PreK-1st grade

Source/Link: Traditional Chant

Notes: This isn’t actually a song, but a rhyme/chant. 

Lyrics: 

One, two, three, four, five

Once I caught a fish alive,

Six, seven, eight, nine, ten,

Then I let it go again.

Why did you let it go?

Because it bit my finger so.

Which finger did it bite?

This little finger on my right.

Count to 10

#9 Baby Shark

Difficulty: 1/10

Grade: K-2nd grade

Source/Link: Pink Fong (originally a camp song)

Notes: In its original form, you can create different verses to tell a story about the shark. Example included below. 

Lyrics: 

Baby shark do do do do do do 

Baby shark do do do do do do 

Baby Shark do do do do do do 

Baby shark! 

Mommy shark…

Daddy shark…

Grandma shark…

Grandpa shark…

Let’s go hunt…

Swim away…

Safe at last…

It’s the end…

Alternate example with new verses: 

Baby shark…

Mommy shark…

Daddy shark…

Grandma shark…

Grandpa shark…

Shark’s a coming…

Swim away…

Shark attack!…

We fight back…

Lost my arm…

Lost my leg…

We’re alive!…

image octopus's garden

#10 Octopus’ Garden

Difficulty: 4/10

Grade: 3rd-5th grade

Source/Link: The Beatles

Notes: Another fun song focused on the ocean most people would recognize.  

Lyrics: 

I’d like to be under the sea

In an octopus’ garden in the shade

He’d let us in, knows where we’ve been

In his octopus’ garden in the shade

I’d ask my friends to come and see

An octopus’ garden with me

I’d like to be under the sea

In an octopus’ garden in the shade

We would be warm below the storm

In our little hideaway beneath the waves

Resting our head on the sea bed

In an octopus’ garden near a cave

We would sing and dance around

Because we know we can’t be found

I’d like to be under the sea

In an octopus’ garden in the shade

We would shout and swim about

The coral that lies beneath the waves

Oh what joy for every girl and boy

Knowing they’re happy and they’re safe

We would be so happy you and me

No one there to tell us what to do

I’d like to be under the sea

In an octopus’ garden with you

Courtesy of LyricFind. 

#11 Aquarium from the Carnival Of The Animals

Difficulty: -/10

Grade:

Source/Link: Carnival of the Animals: VII. Aquarium by Saint-Saens

Notes: This is actually a classical piece focused on water by Camille Saint-Saens. Students wouldn’t sing to this, but they could do motions matching you or create their own.  

Lyrics:

#12 Down By The Bay

Difficulty: 2/10 

Grade: 1st-3rd grades

Source/Link: Raffi

Notes:  This is a fun echo song with a rhyming ending. Students love to make up their own silly ending. 

Lyrics: 

Echo each phrase.

Down by the bay 

Where the watermelons grow

Back to my home

I dare not go

For if I do

My mother would say

(Ending)

Down by the bay

Sample endings: 

  1. Have you ever seen a whale with a polka-dotted tail? 
  2. Have you ever seen a fly wearing a tie? 
  3. Have you ever seen a llama eating pajamas?
  4. Have you ever seen a tree scratching its knee?

#13 Row Row Row Your Boat

Difficulty: 3/10

Grade: 2nd-4th grades

Source/Link: Traditional

Notes: This song can be sung in a round and makes a good introduction to part-singing.  

Lyrics: 

  1. Row row row your boat
  2. Gently down the stream 
  3. Merrily merrily merrily merrily
  4. Life is but a dream

#14 Five Little Seashells

Difficulty: 2/10 

Grade: PreK-1st grades

Source/Link: Traditional

Notes: This song is a fingerplay and chant. There is no melody, but young kids always find this fun.  

Lyrics:

5 little seashells lying on the shore,

Swish went the waves, and then there were 4.

4 little seashells cozy as could be.

Swish went the waves, and then there were 3.

3 little seashells all pearly new,

Swish went the waves, and then there were 2.

2 little seashells lying in the sun,

Swish went the waves, and then there was 1.

1 little seashell left all alone,

I whispered “Shhh” as I took it home.

Motions: 

  1. Hold up 5 fingers
  2. Use your other hand to swish over the first hand
  3. As the hand swishes, put the first in a fist
  4. Swish back again
  5. As the hand swishes again, put out 4 fingers on the first hand

#15  If You’re A Pirate And You Know It*

Difficulty: 3/10

Grade: 1st and 2nd grades

Source/Link: Kids Soup

Notes: This is to the tune of “If you’re happy and you know it.” 

Lyrics: 

If you’re a pirate and you know it, swab the deck (swish, swish)

If you’re a pirate and you know it, swab the deck (swish, swish)

If you’re a pirate and you know it, then you’ll hear the sea winds blowin’.

If you’re a pirate and you know it, swab the deck (swish, swish)

See more at the Kids Soup site. 

#16 The Big Ships Sails On The Ally-ally-o! 

Difficulty: 4/10

Grade: 2nd-4th grades

Source/Link: Mr. Mike TV (from traditional)

Notes: The song comes from a nursery rhyme in England as early as the 1880s.  

Lyrics: 

The big ship sails on the ally-ally-oh, the ally-ally-oh, the ally-ally-oh,

Oh, the big ship sails on the ally-ally-oh, on the last day of September.

The captain said it will never, never do, never, never do, never, never do,

The captain said it will never, never do, on the last day of September.

The big ship sank to the bottom of the sea, the bottom of the sea, the bottom of the sea,

The big ship sank to the bottom of the sea, on the last day of September.

We all dip our heads in the deep blue sea, the deep blue sea, the deep blue sea,

We all dip our heads in the deep blue sea, on the last day of September.

#17 Sea Shell (sing a song for me)

Difficulty: 1/10

Grade: K-2nd grades

Source/Link: American Folk Song Collection

Notes: This is a simple song perfect for teaching do and half note.  

Lyrics: 

Sea shell, sea shell

Sing a song for me. 

Sing about the ocean. 

Sing about the sea. 

#18 Sailing Sailing

Difficulty: 5/10

Grade: 3rd-5th grades

Source/Link: Kids Song TV (from traditional 1880 song by Godfrey Marks)

Notes: Famous and catchy sailing song. Most notable for its use in Disney cartoons.  

Lyrics: 

Verse 1

Y’heave ho! my lads, the wind blows free,

A pleasant gale is on our lee,

And soon across the ocean clear

Our gallant barque shall bravely steer;

But ere we part from England’s shore tonight,

A song we’ll sing for home and beauty bright.

Then here’s to the sailor, and here’s to the heart’s so true,

Who will think of him upon the waters blue!

Chorus

Sailing, sailing, over the bounding main;

For many a stormy wind shall blow, ere Jack comes home again!

Sailing, sailing, over the bounding main;

For many a stormy wind shall blow ere Jack comes home again.

See more lyrics at the Wikipedia page. 

#19 Baby Beluga

Difficulty: 5/10

Grade: 1st-4th grades

Source/Link: Raffi

Notes: Loving song turned into several books and recorded many times.  

Lyrics: 

Baby beluga in the deep blue sea

Swim so wild and you swim so free

Heaven above and the sea below

And a little white whale on the go

Baby beluga, baby beluga

Is the water warm

Is your mama home with you, so happy

Way down yonder where the dolphins play

Where you dive and splash all day

Waves roll in and the waves roll out

See the water squirtin’ out of your spout

Baby beluga, oh, baby beluga

Sing your little song

Sing for all your friends, we like to hear you

See more lyrics at Wikipedia.

Conclusion

I hope you find this list of kids songs about the ocean helpful. It’s always good to have lists of songs in your back pocket (that’s why Kodaly training has you compile resources for yourself). 

Did I miss any of your favorite ocean songs for kids? Let me know in the comments. 

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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