• MUSIC NOTES, INC. | 404-790-1110

"The Riddle Song," Lyrics, Text Format

Instructional formats to foster pattern recognition, expanded pentatonic scale, and intervals most often found in minor tonalities.



  • Grade: Fifth
  • Origin: USA – Folk Song
  • Key: G Major 
  • Time: 4/4
  • Form: ABBC
  • Rhythm: intermediate: | ti ti ti ti ti ta ti | syncopation,
    | ta ta ta/ ti | syncopation, | ta ti ti ta/ ti | syncopation
  • Pitches: intermediate: So La Do Re Mi So La – expanded pentatonic scale
  • Intervals: beginners: La/Do (m3), Do\La (m3), So/Do (P4), Mi/So (m3), So\Mi (m3)
  • Musical Elements: notes: dotted quarter, quarter, eighth; pickup beat, repeated melodic rhythm patterns, imperfect ending (So), syncopation, pentatonic scale; note: intervals are most common in minor tonalities, giving the tune a minor quality; instructional formats* 
  • Key Words: USA history, riddle, earth science: cherry stone, ring with no end, baby crying, animal science: piping chicken, chicken bone, blooming, rolling, sleeping; abbreviation: cryin’ (crying)
  • Recorder: intermediate: syncopation, expanded pentatonic scale, melodic rhythm patterns
  • Keyboard: intermediate: challenges students to change hand position from G Major to D minor

* Each format includes questions to discover musical patterns.

“The Riddle Song”

I gave my love a cherry that has no stone;
I gave my love a chicken that has no bone;
I gave my love a ring that has no end;
I gave my love a baby, there’s no cryin’.
How can there be a cherry that has no stone?
How can there me a chicken that has no bone?
How can there be a ring that has no end?
How can there be a baby, there’s no cryin’?
3. A cherry when it’s blooming it has no stone;
A chicken when it’s piping, it has no bone;
A ring when it’s rolling, it has no end;
A baby when it’s sleeping, there’s no cryin’.
Additional Formats (click to enlarge)
"The Riddle Song," Music Format
Click to enlarge: "The Riddle Song," Beats Format
Click to Enlarge: "The Riddle Song," Rhythm Format
pitch numbers
Click to Enlarge: "The Riddle Song," Pitch Number Format
Click to Enlarge: "The Riddle Song," Solfeggio Format
letter names
Click to Enlarge: "" Letter Names Format