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"Miss Mary Mack" Lyrics, Text Format

Introducing syncopation, stepping up from So to Do,
descending perfect fourth (P4), and keeping the steady
beat with a partner hand jive*, WHAT FUN!



  • Grade: Kindergarten
  • Origin: USA – African American Clapping Song
  • Key: G Major
  • Time: 2/4
  • Form: AAaA
  • Rhythm: beginners: | ta ta | ta (ta) | ti ti (ta) |
  • Pitches: beginners: So La Ti Do
  • Intervals: beginners: ascending Perfect Fourth (P4) So/Do
  • Musical Elements: notes: quarter, eighth; rest: quarter; beamed eighth notes, pickup beat, stepping up the staff from the dominant (5, So) to the tonic (1, Do), descending perfect fourth Do\So, clapping a steady beat with a partner hand jiveNOTE: transfer vocal reading skills to fine motor skills on keyboard and recorder
  • Key Words: USA history, African American History, rhyming words: mack/black/back, cents/fence, high/sky, July/lie; clapping song, hand jive, dressed, silver, buttons, mother, fifty, cows, jumped, 4th of July; York Alabama Version: river, cross, paid, five, dollars, grey horse, pull, swapped, holler/dollar, spend, grass, grow/hoe, chop/shop. money/honey, shop, bees, eat, meat, gnaw, bone, good-bye; contractions: couldn’t (could not), wouldn’t (would not), I’m (I am)
  • Keyboard: beginners: four finger exercise for right, left, and two hands together
  • Recorder: beginners: color coded, excellent addition to the Beginning Recorder Songs, after song number one, stepping up from G to C, perfect fourth C\G, when playing C: intrument balance – left thumb and right hand fingers

* Includes hand jive directions.

“Miss Mary Mack”
Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack,
All dressed in black, black, black,
With silver buttons, buttons, buttons
All down her back, back, back.
She asked her mother, mother, mother,
For fifty cents, cents, cents,
To see the cows, cows, cows,
Jump over the fence, fence, fence.
3. They jumped so high, high, high,
They reached the sky, sky, sky,
And never came back, back, back,
Till the fourth of July, lie, lie.
York Alabama Version
1. Oh Mary Mack, Mack, Mack,
All dressed in black, black, black,
With silver buttons, buttons, buttons,
Up and down her back, back, back.
2. I went to the river, river, river,
And I couldn’t cross, cross, cross,
And I paid five dollars, dollars, dollars,
For he old grey horse, horse, horse.
3. And the horse wouldn’t pull, pull, pull,
I swapped him for a bull, bull, bull,
And the bull wouldn’t holler, holler, holler,
I swapped him for a dollar, dollar, dollar.
4. And the dollar wouldn’t spend, spend, spend,
I put it in the grass, grass, grass,
And the grass wouldn’t grow, grow, grow,
I got my hoe, hoe, hoe.
5. And the hoe wouldn’t chop, chop, chop,
I took it to the shop, shop, shop,
And the shop made money, money, money,
Like the bees made honey, honey, honey.
6. Well, I eat meat, meat, meat,
And I gnaw my bone, bone, bone,
Well, good-bye honey, honey, honey,
I’m going on home.
Additional Formats (click to enlarge)
"Miss Mary Mack" Music Format
Click to enlarge: "Miss Mary Mack" Beats Format
Click to Enlarge: "Miss Mary Mack" Rhythm Format
pitch numbers
Click to Enlarge: "Miss Mary Mack" Pitch Number Format
Click to Enlarge: "Miss Mary Mack" Solfeggio Format
letter names
Click to Enlarge: "Miss Mary Mack" Letter Names Format