Skin and Bones

Some of my best and earliest memories from elementary school are from music class with Mrs. Thieman. In those days she would roll her music cart with a record player and a stash of records and instruments from room to room. We would get so excited! (So would our classroom teacher. That would be her only chance at a break.) We learned a lot in music, but what I remember the most is singing along to many of the songs, most likely from Silver-Burdett music albums. After doing a search online, some of the old album covers even looked familiar. Isn’t that crazy? How long ago was that? I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday, but I can point out the records my music teacher had on her cart in the early 1980s. “What would you like to sing today, children?” Goober Peas! We wanna sing Goober Peas! (I listened to that five times tonight.) I’m sure many people of my generation had similar music class experiences, and it’s likely that many of our teachers used some of the same albums. Mrs. Thieman has a lot to do with why I’m now a music teacher. The middle school world is a bit… well, “different”, but I often selfishly slip a cool folk song like “Old Dan Tucker” into my concert programming, just for me. That’s our little secret.

So why am I blabbering on and reminiscing about childhood music experiences when you’re waiting for the next paranormal themed post? I mean, we’re less than three weeks away from Halloween, right? Well one of my absolute favorite folk songs from Mrs. Thieman’s music class was a song most often called “Skin and Bones”, and it was one we’d sing around Halloween. It has been in my head a lot lately. In those days I couldn’t wait to sing it in class, and I remember singing it a lot at home. Hearing it instantly transports me to the Halloweens of my past.

Does anyone else remember this tune? What songs did you sing around Halloween growing up?

 

Skin and Bones

There are several versions, some with a very different melody, some with different verses, but that’s a folk song for you. The version in this video is the closest to what I remember singing growing up. I love her “Boo!” at the end.  For more info on the history of “Skin and Bones”, click HERE

There was an old woman all skin and bones,
Oo-oo-oo-ooh

She lived down by the old graveyard,
Oo-oo-oo-ooh

One night she thought she’d take a walk,
Oo-oo-oo-ooh

She walked down by the old graveyard,
Oo-oo-oo-ooh

She thought she’d sweep the old church house,
Oo-oo-oo-ooh

(She saw the bones a layin’ around,
Oo-oo-oo-ooh)

She went to the closet to get her a broom,
Oo-oo-oo-ooh

She opened the door and BOO!

 

 

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About Patrick Keller

Patrick Keller is an educator, blogger, and the host of the Big Séance Podcast, which is a place for paranerds to have an open discussion on all things paranormal, but specifically topics like ghosts and hauntings, paranormal research, spirit communication, psychics and mediums, and life after death. He’s the founder of the now inactive Missouri Spirit Seekers and has spent a lot of time experimenting with spirit communication tools and techniques, such as EVP. Patrick also has a passion for spending hours at a time in cemeteries and loves cemetery photography. Visit BigSeance.com! View all posts by Patrick Keller

16 responses to “Skin and Bones

  • Heather

    OMG! I do remember that song 🙂 Never would have recalled that on my own. Did you ever read the children’s book Rumpelstiltskin? I always liked that book as weird as it was!

  • Renae Rude - The Paranormalist

    I’d completely forgotten about the music cart!

    • Patrick Keller

      You too?? It must have been the norm. A shame that back then (and some now still), music isn’t seen as important enough to have their own room. I just received a SmartBoard finally this week in my classrooms… a decade after every other room in the building got one… even the classes that have 3 or 4 students in the room… and I have sometimes 60 students at a time. Of course now all of my students have been using them since they were born… and I never got the original training because I don’t matter. Ah well… enough bitterness. The kids will teach me. 🙂

  • skdd

    Patrick,

    I remember getting excited by the music teacher and she also had a cart with the record player and a selection of songs. This one (I listened for a bit) gave me the shivers up my spine. Ooh Ooh Ooh Ooh. I also loved the scholastic reading cart whereby we read by color coded cardboards and graduated to another level of color. Not certain this is the correct name. But things that made deep impressions on us as children are well remembered. 🙂

  • Theresa H Hall

    Patrick,

    I remember getting excited by the music teacher and she also had a cart with the record player and a selection of songs. This one (I listened for a bit) gave me the shivers up my spine. Ooh Ooh Ooh Ooh. I also loved the scholastic reading cart whereby we read by color coded cardboards and graduated to another level of color. Not certain this is the correct name. But things that made deep impressions on us as children are well remembered.

    😀

  • samanthacangelosi

    Not gonna lie, this song is creepy….! Haha

  • NetherRealm

    Maybe because I went to Catholic school, I wasn’t exposed to this song. But I do remember Old Dan Tucker (now stuck in my head), and Goober Peas. Several teachers knew how to play piano or guitar, and we did a lot of singing throughout the year. I love these older songs though.

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