Versions of these are shown in 2 key signatures, because the best vocal pitch is usually lower than the descant recorder's range. Most rounds have 3 or 4 sections and hence up to that many individuals or groups playing or singing. They don't all start and finish together, but at staggered intervals. Each new person/group starts the first section when the previous one finishes it and moves to the second section. It is common to perform a round twice through with no break (from the perspective of each performer).

Row Row

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily.
Life is but a dream.

London's Burning

London's burning. London's burning.
Fetch the engines. Fetch the engines.
Fire, fire! Fire, fire!
Pour on water. Pour on water.

Frère Jacques

Frère Jacques! Frère Jacques!
Dormez vous? Dormez vous?
Sonnez les matines. Sonnez les matines.
Ding, dang, dong! Ding, dang, dong!

Tallis Canon

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him all creatures here below.
Praise Him above ye Heavenly host.
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.


Butterfly flutter by, yonder and over,
Hunting the clover and flashing your wings.
Fly! Fly! Fly! Fly!
Butterfly flutter by.

Three Blind Mice

Three blind mice. Three blind mice.
See how they run. See how they run.
They all ran after the farmer's wife, who cut off their tails with a carving knife.
Did ever you see such a thing in your life as three blind mice.

The Hart

The hart, he loves the high wood/ground;
The hare, she/he loves the hill;
The knight, he loves his bright sword;
The lady loves her will.


Kookaburra sits in the old gum tre-e.
Merry, merry king of the bush is he-.
Laugh kookaburra. Laugh kookaburra.
Gay your life must be. Ha Ha!

Be Assured

Be assured that I am with you. I am with you always.
To the end of time.
To the end o-f time.


By- the wa-ters, the wa-ters of Babylon
We lay down and we-pt, and we-pt for thee Zion.
We remember thee, remember thee, remember thee Zion.

Dona Nobis Pacem

Do-na no-bis pa-cem, pacem. Do--na- no-bis pa---cem.
Dona no-bis pacem. Dona nobis pa---cem.
Dona no-bi-s pacem. Dona nobis pa---cem.

Summer Is A-Comin' In

The original also has 2 bass sections.

Summer is a-comin' in. Loudly sing cuckoo! Groweth seed and bloweth mead and
Springs the wood anew. Sing cuckoo! Ewe bleateth after lamb,
Loweth after calf cow. Bullock starteth, buck cavorteth. Merry sing cuckoo!
Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Well singeth thou cuckoo. Nor switch thou never now.

© Susan Foord ( 2010-06-25
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