6 Songs Using Do, Mi, Sol

image 6 songs using sol mi do banner

Are you looking for songs to focus on the major triad? 

Do you want to get some extra practice with your students using do-mi-sol? 

Many folk songs use these three pitches in isolation although few use only these pitches exclusively. Still, when you want to get the specific practice, you want to find songs fitting the bill. 

Well, I’m here to help! I looked over my resources and created a list of 6 songs using do, mi, and sol. 

These do, mi, sol songs include: 

  • Mouse, Mousie
  • Bird Song
  • Lazy Bones
  • Bow Wow Wow 
  • Coffee Grows* 
  • Ickle Ockle

Check out the rest of the article for game directions, lyrics, and notation. 

6 Do-Mi-Sol Songs For Kids

With each song, I’ll offer suggested grade levels for each song as well as any game directions and resources you may want to look at. 

While most of the songs use other notes beyond do-mi-sol, there are isolated triad patterns in each to help reinforce the intervals with your students.

Mouse, Mousie

Grade Level: First, Second Grades

Pitches Used: do, mi, sol

Source/Book Found: The Kodaly Method I, by Lois Choksy

Lyrics: 

Mouse, mousie, little mousie

Hurry! Hurry do! 

For the kitty in the housie

Will be chasing you! 

Game Directions:

This is a surprise/duck, duck, goose-style chase game my second graders love. 

Sitting in a circle, the mouse faces the wall. You select a secret kitty from the circle. 

Sing the song as the mouse creeps around the circle. At the end of the song, the kitty jumps up and chases the mouse around the circle as the mouse tries to get back to the open spot. 

Notation: 

image mouse mousie notation

Bird Song

Grade Level: Second through Fourth grade

Pitches Used: do, re, mi, sol, la, high do. Each verse has a strong do-mi-sol motion. 

Source/Book Found: American Folk Song Collection

Lyrics: 

1. Ah, said the dove as he sought his mate. 

To live alone I can’t constate. 

While I’m young, I’ll seek me a wife,

And bill and coo for the rest of my life. 

2. Ah, said the woodpecker sittin’ in a tree. 

Once I courted a fair lady.

She proved false and from me fled, 

And ever since then my head’s been red. 

3. Ah, said the wren as away he flew. 

If I were a young man, I’d have two. 

Should one prove false and from me go, 

I’d have two strings to my bow. 

4. Ah, said the crow, as he sat all alone, 

If I were a young man, I’d have none.  

I had a love, she did me scorn; 

Ever since then I’ve pulled up corn

5. Ah, said the swallow, sitting in a barn, 

As for courting, I never could learn.  

I’ll sit and grieve, and that’s no harm, 

And build my nest in a lonesome barn.

Game Directions:

No game, but the story and song is beautiful and catchy. 

Notation: 

Click the link for the Bird Song Notation

Lazy Bones

Grade Level: Kindergarten, First Grade

Pitches Used: low ti, do, re, mi, fa, sol. Big do-sol movement in the B section.

Source/Book Found: American Folk Song Collection

Lyrics: 

Wake up you lazy bones and go and catch the cattle! 

Wake up you lazy bones and go and catch the cows! 

The sun is hot, the cows are gone, I think I’ll rest, ‘Till they come home. 

Game Directions:

  1. During the A, students pat the beat and sing the song. 
  2. For the B, students do these moves. One every two measures. 
    1. Go down on one knee
    2. Go down on both knees
    3. Put one elbow down
    4. Put both elbows down and curl up
  3. Keep silent for a time. Then pop up and do the A again!

Notation:

Bow Wow Wow

Grade Level: Kindergarten, First

Pitches Used: do, re, mi, sol, la. Big do-mi-sol opening the song. 

Source/Book Found: The Music Effect, Book 2 by Joy Nelson

Lyrics: 

Bow wow wow, 

Whose dog art thou? 

Little Tommy Tucker’s dog, 

Bow wow wow! (Woof!)

Game Directions:

Two quick games I play with this one go like this. 

First, students move around during the song and freeze on the quarter rest. 

The other is to create different dog sounds for the ending. Young kids love these simple games. 

Notation: 

Coffee Grows* 

*This song is on lists of potentially problematic songs. There is a variant or parody of this song which includes a derogatory term for African-Americans. 

It’s up to you whether or not you use this song in your classroom. However, to pretend these songs don’t exist isn’t right either. Use at your own discretion. 

Grade Level: Fourth, Fifth Grades

Pitches Used: low sol, low la, do, re, mi, fa, sol, la. There are opening jumps repeatedly outlining do-mi-sol. 

Source/Book Found: John The Rabbit and other Folk Songs… by Jill Trinka

Lyrics: 

Variants a-plenty. Here is what I use. 

Coffee grows on white oak trees. 

The river flows with honey-o. 

Go choose someone to roam with you 

As sweet as m’lasses candy-o. 

**Two in the middle, and you can’t go over.

Two in the middle, and you can’t go over.

Two in the middle, and you can’t go over.

Hello Susan Brown! 

**Note: On repetitions of the song, the number and lyrics change: 

  • Four in the middle, and they all go over…
  • Four in the middle, and they jump for joy… 

Game Directions:

Here is how I would play the game. Students are in a four-person square set.  

  1. Chorus: Do a three step movement. (ex. Slide, tap, tap)
  2. Verse 1: “Two in the middle and you can’t go over.” (Head couple and opposite couple step in a bow to each other for 8 counts. Repeat with other couples). 
  3. Verse 2: “Four in the middle and they all go over.” (Head and opp. Couple take hands making a circle and then switch spots. Repeat with other couples.)
  4. Verse 3: “Four in the middle and they jump for joy.” (Head and opp. Couples step in and left arm swing opposites; right arm swing partner then step back to original position. Repeat with other couples.)

Notation: 

image coffee grows note 1
image coffee grows notes 2

Ickle Ockle

Grade Level: First, Second

Pitches Used: sol, mi, la, do. Most of the song hovers around sol-la-mi, but the ending has a strong sol-do jump. This makes for a good introduction to do. 

Source/Book Found: American Folk Song Collection

Lyrics: 

Ickle ockle blue bottle fishes in the sea. 

If you need a partner, please choose me! 

Game Directions:

There are several variants for the game, but this is how I play with my students. 

  1. Stand in a circle with one “it” person in the middle. 
  2. The It person skips or gallops around the inside of the circle during the song. 
  3. On “please choose me”, the students shakes hands with another and trades spots. The new student is the next It person. 
  4. Repeat until all students have had a turn. 

To save time, you may wish to have up to 4 people It at one time. 

Notation: 

image ickle ockle notation

Conclusion

I hope you found this list of 6 songs using do, mi, sol helpful. Whether you start with sol-mi or mi-re-do, finding songs using the major triad in isolation may be just what your students need. 

Did I miss one of your favorite do-mi-sol songs? Let me know down in the comments below. 

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.

Recent Posts

One-Time Music Virtual Conference For As Low As $15!