Back when I was a child in the 1980s I had a cassette tape (remember those?) called "Two Hands Hold the Earth" by an artist named Sarah Pirtle. You can actually still order it on CD! I hadn't thought about it for a long time, but a lot of the songs really stuck with me. One of those songs was "My Roots Go Down" and I thought it would be a great tune to sing in celebration of the earth and trees so I set out to find ukulele chords for it. In my search, I found a video by musician Isaac Zones of him playing the song, but with some slightly different lyrics, each verse about a different part of a tree. Isaac listed his email in one of the comments on his video so I emailed him and he was kind enough to send me a complete chord chart!
After finding a few different versions of the song by various artists, I was inspired to write my own verses. In my version of the song each verse mentions a different type of tree and a movement you can have the children do along with the song. Using Isaac's chord chart as a guide, I made a chart of my own. This song uses two chords that we haven't used in any of the songs I've listed on the blog so far, but they are both very easy: A minor and C7.
Fingering charts from Coustii
The rest of the chords are C, F, and G, which we have gone over in some of my previous ukulele posts. If you need a review, click here! Click read more for my version of Sarah Pirtle's "My Roots Go Down"!
Feel free to download the pdf of the chord chart from my Google Drive if you want to print it!
These are the motions I had in mind for the song, but feel free to come up with your own:
- Roots go down: with palms facing you wiggle fingers down towards the ground as you slowly crouch down.
- Birch tree: with arms up in the air sway slowly back and forth.
- Pine tree: stand straight with arms extended and palms touching above the head. If you want, you can go a step further and do tree pose!
- Oak tree: spread arms to the side and slowly bring them down.
- Willow: bend down with a smooth motion and touch your toes (if you can!)
If I'm really ambitious, I might might a video of the song with motions at some point, but for now descriptions will have to do. Whether you do Sarah Pirtle's version, Isaac Zones' version, or my version of this great song, I hope you have a lot of fun celebrating nature with your storytime groups!