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Repetitive song facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

Repetitive songs contain a large proportion of repeated words or phrases. Simple repetitive songs are common in many cultures as widely spread as the Caribbean, Southern India and Finland. The best-known examples are probably children's songs. Other repetitive songs are found, for instance, in African-American culture from the days of slavery.


Self referential songs quote their own lyrics; one example is "The Song That Never Ends". Cumulative songs build from one verse to another, like bricks on a pile, as in "Old McDonald Had a Farm". 'Counting songs' may count up or down, as with "99 Bottles of Beer".

Another type of song describes a circular phenomenon (see Recursion). In "There's a Hole in My Bucket", the singer-narrator attempts to fix a leaky bucket, only to find out that ultimately one needs to have a functional bucket in order to effect the repair. In "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?", flowers were offered to soldiers, who fell in a war, new flowers grew on their graves, those flowers were given to soldiers and so on.

Children's songs

In children's songs, repetition serves various educational purposes: repetition aids memory, can aid in learning punctuation and reading skills, and is very valuable in learning (foreign) languages.

Work songs

Repetitive songs are also found in traditional work songs. Examples abound in African-American culture, in political groups, and among traveler, marchers, and walkers. see Slave Songs of the United States.

Examples in English

Black History Month on Kiddle
African-American activists
Mary McLeod Bethune
Alberta Odell Jones
Audre Lorde
John Berry Meachum
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Repetitive song Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.