I’ve only ever known one definition for wallflowers, which were the shy people standing along the wall at parties avoiding the spotlight (like me). Then, I ran across this folk song and did some research. I discovered that Wallflowers (the sprouting kind) do exist, and they aren’t shy about standing out.
The rest of the lyrics to this song remain a mystery to me. There are several versions of this song, but I decided to use the version found on the Kodály Center in The American Folk Song Collection.
Students stand in a circle holding hands, while stepping clockwise to the beat. “Jeannie Butler” is replaced with a student’s name. Then, during “turn her back”, that student turns outward (staying in the circle). The song continues with students turning outward in succession until all students are facing out.**Consider having students stand still during the phrase “Call to Jeannie Butler’s house…” This way, the student who is chosen won’t trip over their feet trying to turn around and change directions at the same time.
This song is great for practicing half note. To reinforce that the half note gets two beats, have students clap twice during “high” and “die”. I’ve made the following video for you to use as a resource in your classroom.Instructions are included within the video for students to clap the half notes as they sing along.