Go Tell Aunt Rhody, O Come Little Children, May Song [Suzuki Violin Book 1]

As I mentioned in the previous article, all my students who learned Shinozaki Violin Method Vol.1 1-145 start using the Suzuki Books (finally). All the students already learned May Song in D Major in Shinozaki Violin Method Vol. 1 no. 132, which is now in A Major in Suzuki Book 1. Let’s be familiar with the key of A Major.

Go Tell Aunt Rhody [Suzuki Violin Book 1]

Lyric in English and Japanese

This song is a very popular children’s song in Japan. I sung it many times when I was little.

I found the lyric of this song in English is quite different, so I list both here:

Title and Lyric in English

Go Tell Aunt Rhody

Title and Lyric in Japanese

Close your hands; Open your hands
(むすんでひらいて:musunde hiraite)
Go tell Aunt Rhody,
Go tell Aunt Rhody,
Go tell Aunt Rhody
The old gray goose is dead.

The one she’s been saving,
The one she’s been saving,
The one she’s been saving
To make a feather bed.

The goslings are crying,
The goslings are crying,
The goslings are crying,
Because their mother’s dead.

The gander is weeping,
The gander is weeping,
The gander is weeping,
Because his wife is dead.

She died in the mill pond,
She died in the mill pond,
She died in the mill pond
From standin’ on her head.

Go tell Aunt Rhody,
Go tell Aunt Rhody,
Go tell Aunt Rhody
The old gray goose is dead.
Close your hands; open your hands
Clap your hands; close your hands
Open your hands again
Clap your hands
Put your hands way up high
Close your hands; open your hands
Clap your hands; close your hands

Close your hands; open your hands
Clap your hands; close your hands
Open your hands again
Clap your hands
Put your hands way down low
Close your hands; open your hands
Clap your hands; close your hands

Thank you for
this English Translation by YAMAGISHI, Katsuei©

Other Arrangements of Go Tell Aunt Rhody

Also, this piece was used in Biohazard RE7, which sounds a bit scary…: Go Tell Aunt Rhody (RE7 Official Soundtrack Full Version)

On the other hand, in England, this is sung as a hymn: Lord, Dismiss Us with Thy Blessing

As you find, the same piece sounds totally different according to how it is sung or played !

In Suzuki Book1, it is indicated this is a French Folk Song, since it originated as a Gavotte in the opera Le Devin du Village (The Village Soothsayer) by Jean Jack Rousseau.

Suzuki Violin Book 1, no.4 Go Tell Aunt Rhody

O Come, Little Children [Suzuki Violin Book 1]

Suzuki Violin Book 1 no. 5 O Come, Little Children

The bowing is a little more complicated in O Come, Little Children.

According to the ability of the students, I introduce the retake of the bow at m. 4, 8, and 12.

I ask my students to do “silent down bow” (move the bow as if you are playing a down bow, but no sould) at the eighth rests in order to start the next note up bow.

If “silent down bow” is too difficult for the student, I can suggest the alternative way; saving the bow for the quarter note and play the eighth notes at the lower part of the bow without retaking.

May Song [Suzuki Violin Book 1]

Before you start playing May Song, I recommend to practice important rhythm in this piece with open strings:

suzuki book 1 May Song preparation exercise
Suzuki Violin Book 1, no.6 May Song

This rythm can be difficult for some students, but keep practicing ! You will get it 🙂

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Happy Practicing !

Here’s another article: [How to Practice] Suzuki Violin Book 1: Long Long Ago, Allegro, Perpetual Motion

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