Peep Squirrel on Throwback Thursday

Member Joanie Calem shared her take on this classic folk song and we are so glad she did!

From Joanie:

Peep Squirrel is a song that I found in Ruth Crawford Seeger’s Animal Folk Songs for Children. When we moved to the US from Israel in 1998, my children were 5 and 3, and we spent a lot of time outside. Watching their delight in enthusiastically discovering the differences in nature here vs. Israel was a lot of fun, and the first fall we spent a lot of time watching squirrels. I loved this song, as did they, as did all of the children in my classes, and it has since become a firm favorite of mine for the fall. Of course squirrels are out and about throughout the year here in Ohio, but for some reason this has become a fall classic here 🙂

In Ruth’s book, she wrote, “In Alabama this is played as a chasing game. Two squirrels are behind two posts. They peep, walk, jump, skip, in any order dictated by the song. When the running begins, the aquirrel who is “it” starts chasing the other. Sometimes the song goes on to killing and cooking.”

Needless to say, I have never killed off a squirrel in my 18 years of singing this song, but then I am not living in early 20th century Alabama! I only used it as a chasing game with my own children and their friends outside in the woods….I shy away from chasing games inside classrooms!!

Here are the lyrics that I generally use:

PEEP SQUIRREL (traditional)

Peep Squirrel, dum dum diddy-um (4x)
Jump Squirrel, dum dum diddy-um (4x)
Run Squirrel ……………. Climbing a tree…………….. Looking for food……………….. Taking a nap………………..
Squirrel snores……………. Waking up……………….Peep Squirrel………………….