Music We Love – Our “Wake-Up Song”

Music is part of our school day, every day.  Thank goodness!  We have many favorite songs, from rhyming to silly, classics to new discoveries, patriotic, quiet and loud, and… well, I play all kinds of music for children.  They love the Beatles and Vivaldi and Frank Sinatra.  They love “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.”  They love the Supremes and Woody Guthrie.  They love music that identifies instruments.

What do children love every single day?  Our wake-up song, “Pata Pata”. We play this when rest time is over.  Oh my goodness!  Children love to dance, and see this YouTube video from the Ed Sullivan show.

Happiness flows.  Children want to gently wake up a friend who is sleeping.  Other children want to move and dance.  Everyone comes together.  It’s that kind of a song, and we play it every day.  Thank goodness for music.


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty-five years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I was a live guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show. I am highlighted in the seventh edition of Jim Trelease's million-copy bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital, and the Massachusetts State House in Boston.
This entry was posted in Early Education, Expressing words and feelings, Inspiration, joy, Love, music, preschool, Singing, The Arts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to Music We Love – Our “Wake-Up Song”

  1. Opher says:

    Yes – thank heavens for music – a universal shared language for people of all colours, races and ages.

  2. beth says:

    Music is so important

  3. Darlene says:

    What a great video and song. No wonder the kids love it. I like the fact that it comes from another continent.

  4. I always have music on. In my classrooms I have music playing almost all day. My favorite was Rockabye Baby which takes other genres of music and makes it sound like a lullaby nothing like hearing Guns N Roses or Journey or even Elvis come up in lullaby format

  5. Elizabeth says:

    I have always loved this song but had no idea what the words were much less that Makeba sang it. Thanks for putting it up. My daughter used to fall dead asleep at nap time in day care. She was hard to rouse!

    • Jennie says:

      I have always loved it, too. Seeing it on Ed Sullivan really put the words into focus for me. The children love it! And, it definitely helps wake up the sleepers, like your daughter.

  6. quiall says:

    Oh my word! I had forgotten that song! A perfect way to greet the world.

  7. beetleypete says:

    I know the song, and it’s perfect for wake up time. Come to think of it, it would also make a great ringtone for a mobile phone. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

  8. petespringerauthor says:

    I wasn’t familiar with this song, but I can see why the kids like it. Children want to move—heck, and I want to move! Speaking of dancing, I’d put it in the top 10 of the things I’ve missed during the COVID era.

    • Jennie says:

      Yes! Singing is one great thing, singing and dancing is even greater. We dance in a circle, march around the room… and move to the music. That’s what children need and love. I get to dance with children, albeit at a distance – lucky me!

  9. Ritu says:

    It’s great to bring to the children!!!

  10. Miriam Makeba does the clicking of the Xhosa language in this song. I find it amazing how smoothly the clicks fit into the music. I learned about the existence of this language from reading Jacqui Murray’s Crossroads Trilogy about how early man survived (850,000 years ago). Great books! So Miriam’s singing fits right into this theme for me, and I can see how the kids in your class would love to wake up to this tune every day. It has great rhythm and is not too complicated. A happy way to wake up from rest time.

  11. Music is magical and such an instrumental part of learning. Thanks for sharing, Jennie!

  12. Dan Antion says:

    It’s wonderful to walk up to music. I think it’s a wonderful tradition you’re starting these kids off with.

  13. Thank you, Jennie. Super video. Thank goodness for music indeed.

  14. 1967 – “Pata, Pata, dance done down Johhanesburg way” during Apartheid! I wonder if they were ‘allowed’ to perform to their country’s audiences. Here they were ‘free’ to perform on the Ed Sullivan show in the USA.
    Just wondering…
    To your point – That dance-song is a mellow ‘wake-up’ tune for sure!
    Great Conga, too!

    • Jennie says:

      Oooo, I hadn’t thought about that! I do wonder. Honestly, if the singer were still alive, I would try to find her website and ask. It is a terrific song! In past years when we could all touch each other, we did conga line dancing around the table. Hopefully we can again next year.

  15. Norah says:

    Oh yeah, that’s great music to get everyone up and moving. How can you help yourself?

  16. What a great song! Thank goodness for music, indeed!

  17. I hadn’t heard that song before,,, it’s fun! I want to get up and dance!! I’ve always thought music and math are God’s language because they’re both perfect. I’m grateful for both, but I really only get music. If God speaks to me with any math above grade school level I’m DOOMED! 😀

    Thanks for this ear worm this morning, Jennie!

  18. You are doing a wonderful work, Jennie! Thank you!! Michael

  19. I bet the children would love to listen to “Peter and the Wolf” Jennie! Tell them to lay down,close their eyes and imagine! (oh and shut the lights off)

  20. Wonderful, Jennie. It is the same for adults, isn’t it? We also like to sing and dance.

    • Jennie says:

      Yes, we do! I wonder if the song was played in South Africa back in the 60’s, and if the singer was allowed to perform there, with Apartheid going on.

  21. sjhigbee says:

    Ah… this brings back happy memories – I was living in Zambia for part of my childhood and recalled hearing this song on the radio:)). Thank you for sharing – I love that you have a song from another culture and embed it into an everyday routine like waking up…

    • Jennie says:

      I wondered if the song was played in South Africa back then, as Apartheid was a big thing at the time. I’m glad it brought back happy memories for you! I do love sharing other cultures, especially music. Yesterday I forgot to play the song when we woke up, and the children reminded me!

      • sjhigbee says:

        I was a child back then, and while we were aware of Apartheid, I don’t recall it being particularly discussed at home. But I do remember the song playing on the radio!

        How lovely that the children reminded you:))

      • Jennie says:

        Thank you for letting me know! And yes, it is lovely when they remind me. 🙂

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