Some of my most vivid memories are learning and singing popular children’s songs. Along with nursery rhymes, children’s songs provided the soundtrack to my early years. Looking back, I wonder if my elementary school was unusual in its seeming obsession with musical performances – we sang a lot. We learned and performed an entire program of songs every year, as well as learned songs designed to “get our wiggles out,” as my teachers were fond of saying. Little tea pots, twinkling stars, melting snowmen, and low-hanging ears were all featured in my early life, songs that seemed silly enough to appeal to kids with unchecked imaginations.
But did you know that some of our most beloved children’s songs have secret extra verses? Take “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” for example. I couldn’t tell you how many times I sang that song with my babies, who loved it almost as much as “Patty Cake.” So I was fascinated to learn that “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” has four additional verses I had never heard about.
The verse I know goes like this:
Twinkle, twinkle, little star
How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high
Like a diamond in the sky
[repeat first two lines]
And here are the secret verses I just learned:
When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.
Then the traveler in the dark,
Thanks you for your tiny spark,
He could not see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so.
In the dark blue sky you keep,
And often through my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye,
Till the sun is in the sky.
As your bright and tiny spark,
Lights the traveler in the dark,—
Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.
As it happens, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” is not the only children’s song with secret extra verses. Check out a full list here.
For a new take on another beloved children’s song, check out my new illustrated book I’ll Be A Sunbeam.