Songs to sing on the bus

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A bus journey may not sound like the best place to practice your campfire skills – until you think about singing. Songs are great way to pass the time on a coach: they don’t need phone signal, streetlights, or equipment. Importantly, singing will have everyone working together as one big team, so backseat arguments will be a thing of the past. The only challenge is doing the actions with a seatbelt on. Stuck for song inspiration? Here are some of our favourites.

 

 

Campfire’s burning

Sing this one to the tune of ‘London’s burning’. You can sing this song together, or split into four groups and sing it as a round. To sing it as a round, each group should start the song when the group before them starts the second line.

 

Campfire's burning, campfire's burning

Draw nearer, draw nearer

In the glowing, in the glowing

Come sing and be merry.

 

The pirate song

The song usually has actions, but they’re not the most bus-friendly. Why not ask young people to come up with their own that work while sitting down with a seatbelt on? Check out the tune here.

 

When I was one I sucked my thumb

The day I went to sea

I jumped aboard a pirate ship and the captain said to me:

’We’re going this way, that way, forwards and backwards

Over the deep blue sea

A patch on my eye, the sun in the sky

And that’s the life for me!’

Each time you sing the verse, replace the first line with the next number up, and a rhyme. Here are some suggestions, but you can add your own:

  • When I was two – I played a kazoo
  • When I was three – I hurt my knee
  • When I was four – I shut the door
  • When I was five – I danced a jive
  • When I was six – I picked up sticks
  • When I was seven – I went to Devon
  • When I was eight – I high-fived my mate
  • When I was nine – I jumped the line
  • When I was ten – I found a hen

 

 

Alice the camel

If you’re feeling brave, why not start with more than five humps and see how long you can keep going for? The tune’s here, if you need it.

 

Alice the camel has five humps

Alice the camel has five humps

Alice the camel has five humps

So, go, Alice, go

Boom, boom, boom.

 

(Repeat with four, three, two, and one hump(s))

 

Alice the camel has no humps

Alice the camel has no humps

Alice the camel has no humps

Now Alice is a horse!

 

The Princess Pat 

This is a great call and response song. The trickiest decision is whether you split the coach into left and right or front and back. You can find the tune here.

 

The Princess Pat, (the Princess Pat)
Lived in a tree, (lived in a tree)
She sailed across, (she sailed across)
The seven seas, (the seven seas)
She sailed across, (she sailed across)
The channel too, (the channel too)
And she took with her, (and she took with her)
A rick-a-bamboo, (a rick-a-bamboo)
A rick-a-bamboo, (a rick-a-bamboo)

Now what is that? (now what is that?)
It’s something made, (it’s something made)
By the Princess Pat, (by the Princess Pat)
It’s red and gold, (it’s red and gold)
And purple too, (and purple too)
That’s why it’s called, (that’s why it’s called)
A rick-a-bamboo, (a rick-a-bamboo)
A rick-a-bamboo, (a rick-a-bamboo)

Now Captain Jack, (now Captain Jack)
And his mighty fine crew (and his mighty fine crew)
He sailed across, (he sailed across)
The channel too, (the channel too)
But his ship sank, (but his ship sank)
And yours will too, (and yours will too)
Unless you take, (unless you take)
A rick-a-bamboo (a rick-a-bamboo)
A rick-a-bamboo, (a rick-a-bamboo)

Now what is that? (now what is that?)
It’s something made, (it’s something made)
By the Princess Pat, (by the Princess Pat)
It’s red and gold, (it’s red and gold)
And purple too, (and purple too)
That’s why it’s called, (that’s why it’s called)
A rick-a-bamboo, (a rick-a-bamboo)
A rick-a-bamboo, (a rick-a-bamboo)

 

On top of spaghetti

You might need to keep the travel-friendly snacks on hand if you choose this song; it’s almost guaranteed to make people’s tummies rumble. Check out the tune (and a cute animation) here.

 

On top of spaghetti, 
All covered with cheese,
I lost my poor meatball, 
When somebody sneezed.

It rolled off the table,
And on to the floor,
And then my poor meatball,
Rolled out of the door.

It rolled in the garden,
And under a bush,
And then my poor meatball,
Was nothing but mush.

The mush was as tasty,
As tasty could be,
And then the next summer, 
It grew into a tree.

The tree was all covered,
All covered with moss,
And on it grew meatballs,
And tomato sauce.

If you eat spaghetti,
All covered with cheese,
Hold on to your meatball,
Whenever you sneeze.

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