Songs to maintain your walking tempo, if your spirits begin to flag or when hiking with children.
Since time immemorial people have walked (and marched) to the accompaniment of songs, and oft with fife and drum, so when we took our infant grandson for a walk around to the weir the other day (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/invisible-worlds-the-weir/) and we needed to jolly him along a bit, we quickly ran through our rather short repertoire of readily remembered tunes.
When we got home I naturally thought I would try the internet for some more suggestions but Google drew (relatively) a blank on this one, no matter how I searched. Yet I am sure that when Alexander crossed the Hellespont or Caesar the Rubicon, or Napoleon marched on Marengo or Washington on Valley Forge (& etc) it seems vanishingly unlikely that the troops did not swing along with a rousing chorus on their lips – maybe their last words: ‘Once more into the valley of death…’ & so on.
The secret of (winning) infantry is to move large numbers of men (often along a narrow course) quickly and unexpectedly. The ‘Little Drummer Boy’ had several tempos in his repertoire: the slow march (often reserved today for ceremonial occasions – but more normally a resting beat), normal time and double time for example. As hikers we can add a few more to this list: skipping and polka for example, which might look a bit silly with a column of troops in full accoutrements!
Here are just a few which come to mind. You might use the first letter of the last word to ‘trigger’ the memory of which song to sing next. The first one is particularly evocative: it was sung by our brave First AIF as they went into battle at Gallipoli, Fromelles & etc.
A Long Way to Tipperary,
Be Kind to Your Web Footed Friends
Clip Clop My little Horse
Down by the Riverside
A Hundred Miles
Found a Peanut
Grand Old Duke of York
If I Had A Hammer
If You’re Happy And You Know It
John Browns Body
Kum Ba Yah
Mares Eat oats and Does Eat Oats
My Grandfather’s Clock
Old Man River
Pack up your Troubles
Red River Valley
Show me the way to go home
Ten Green Bottles
The Ants Go Marching
The British Grenadiers,
The Happy Wanderer
There’s a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea
What Shall We Do With the Drunken Sailor
When Johnny Comes marching Home Again
When the Saints Go Marching In
You are My Sunshine
I will keep adding your suggestions to this list. Later I will separate it in to children’s and adults songs, include the words and mnemonics to trigger memory of which song to sing next. Plus complete words and music. It will take time…
It’s a long way to Tipperary,It’s a long way to go. It’s a long way to little Mary To the sweetest girl I know! Goodbye, Piccadilly,Farewell, Leicester Square! It’s a long long way to Tipperary, But my heart’s right there.
Be kind to your web-footed friends, For a duck may be somebody’s mother, Be kind to your friends in the swamp Where the weather is always damp, You may think that this is the end. Well, it is!
‘Clip, clop my little horse, Clip, clop again sir. How many miles to London town? Four score and ten sir.’
‘Clip, clop my little horse, Clip, clop again sir. Will we be there by candle light? There and back again sir.’
Found a peanut, found a peanut, found a peanut yesterday. yesterday I found a peanut, found a peanut yesterday. Cracked it open, cracked it open, cracked it open yesterday yesterday I cracked it open, cracked it open yesterday. It was rotten, it was rotten, it was rotten yesterday, yesterday it was rotten, it was rotten yesterday.
Frère Jacques, frère Jacques, Dormez-vous? Dormez-vous? Sonnez les matines! Sonnez les matines! Ding, dang, dong. Ding, dang, dong.
Oh, The grand old Duke of York, He had ten thousand men; He marched them up to the top of the hill, And he marched them down again. And when they were up, they were up, And when they were down, they were down, And when they were only half-way up, They were neither up nor down
Show me the way to go home I’m tired and I want to go to bed I had a little drink about an hour ago And it’s gone right to my head Wherever I may roam On land or sea or foam You can always hear me singing this song Show me the way to go home.
I’d sing it in the morning …I’d sing it in the evening