Show Your Best Moves

Grade Level
3-5, 6-8

Selection: Green Sally Up
Recorded: Como, Mississippi
Performed by: Mattie Gardner, Jessie Lee Pratcher, Ida Mae Towns

Suggested Activity #1: Singing & Ostinato

1. Listen to "Green Sally Up".

2. Learn melody and text.

Green Sally up, Green Sally down, (4 beat phrase)
Lift and squat, gotta tear the ground.
Old Miss Lucy dead and gone,
Left me here to weep and moan.
If you hate it fold your arm,
If you love it clap your hand.

3. Sing along with recording.

4. Create a 4-beat body percussion ostinato using combinations of pat, clap, stamp, snap or other sounds.

5. Perform ostinato along with recording.

6. Perform ostinato without recording, singing by students only.

7. Optional alternate lyrics:

Green Sally up, Green Sally down
Green Sally bake her possum brown.
Asked my mama for fifteen cents to see the elephant jump the fence.
He jumped so high, he touched the sky
He never got back till the fourth of July.
You see that house upon that hill, that's where me and my baby live.
Oh the rabbit in the hash come a-stepping in the dash,
With his long-tailed coat and his beaver on.

Source: Bessie Jones and Bess Lomax Hawes: "Step It Down Games, Plays, Songs And Stories From Afro-American Heritage" (University of Georgia Press; 1987) .

Suggested Activity #2:

1. Listen to Green Sally Up.
2. Listen to another recording that incorporates the original version of "Green Sally"

Supplemental Recording
Moby. (2008). Flower. On Play & Play: B Sides [CD] United States: Little Idiot.

3. Listen to other songs that have hidden messages from the African-American musical tradition i.e., "Uncle Jessie", "Drinking Gourd".

Designed by Karen Howard