Wednesday, 18 November 2015

The Little Red Train


In 2004 I was working as a community musician, running a lot of music sessions for the under 5's.  I liked to finish each session with a 'story song', and created a book of songs that I could sing with the children as if telling a story.

One particular hit was my 'Train Song', about a fantastical train pulling carriages filled with the most delightful and unexpected things.  It involves counting, and weather, and actions, and is generally lots of fun.

I'd always planned to turn this into a picture for my own children when I had them, and over ten years later I finally had the chance.  Using a combination of embroidery and applique, embellished with beads and made with lots of love, I'm very happy with the finished piece, which now takes pride of place on the nursery wall.

The original 'story-song' book

Building up the picture

The finished picture

If you'd like to share with your children, here are the words (feel free to make up your own tune, or else use as a rhyme).  And as music is of most value to children when it involves interaction (as opposed to passive listening), there are some actions to accompany, as described in [brackets]. 

Chorus
Oh the little red train is coming down the track [move arms like train wheels]
Can you hear the sound it makes, clickety clack [clap along with the words 'clickety clack']
The wheels go round and the steam goes tsssss [make a circle on the word 'round']
And the whilstle blows, woo hoo [as if pulling a whilstle]

Underneath the golden sun,
What's in carriage number 1?
A silver tree thats as big as you and me
How wonderful it must be, on the...

Little red train a'coming down the track
Can you hear the sound it makes, clickety clack
The wheels go round and the steam goes tsssss
And the whilstle blows, woo hoo

Beneath the stars and the silver moon
What's in carriage number 2?
Flowers galore, have you seen as much before?
A silver tree thats as big as you and me
How wonderful it must be, on the...

Little red train a'coming down the track
Can you hear the sound it makes, clickety clack
The wheels go round and the steam goes tsssss
And the whilstle blows, woo hoo

As the snow falls silently,
What's in carriage number 3?
A girraffe so tall with a mouse so small
Flowers galore, have you seen as much before?
A silver tree thats as big as you and me
How wonderful it must be, on the...

Little red train a'coming down the track
Can you hear the sound it makes, clickety clack
The wheels go round and the steam goes tsssss
And the whilstle blows, woo hoo

The rain clouds come and it starts to pour
What's in carriage number 4?
A kite that will fly in the blue, blue sky
A giraffe so tall with a mouse so small
Flowers galore, have you seen as much before?
A silver tree thats as big as you and me
How wonderful it must be, on the...

Little red train a'coming down the track
Can you hear the sound it makes, clickety clack
The wheels go round and the steam goes tsssss
And the whilstle blows, woo hoo

I hope you enjoy!

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