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I Need a Home for my Dinosaur
Follow along with the lyrics as you listen to the accompaniment with melody guide for I Need a Home for my Dinosaur.
I Need a Home for my Dinosaur is one of 12 songs from the Juno-nominated song collection "Dinosaurs, Dragons and Me" Donna Rhodenizer has written these songs using a variety of styles including a lullaby/tango, bluegrass, blues and pop in a variety of skill levels for singers from ages 5-12+.
Learn more about this fun collection for elementary-aged kids, choirs and solo vocal students. The 122-page book provides the vocal score, full score and separate lyrics pages for 12 songs. Enjoy!
Please note: audio tracks for the e-book version are sold separately. Print copies of the book include CD (24 tracks)
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The Dinosaurs, Dragons and Me CD (Donna & Andy performance and instrumental) audio tracks are available for download or physical CD on this website.
I Need a Home for my Dinosaur
This is the very first song I remember writing for my students to sing. I was in my music room teaching a grade 1 class at the end of the day. They were a bit noisy, and instead of using my voice to ask for quiet, I sat down at the piano and started to play a little “riff”. They stopped talking and started listening. I had their attention, but now what?
Earlier that day, I had walked through the library as a short cut to get to my music room. (We had a connecting door between our rooms. Whose idea was it to put the library next to the music room anyway? But, I digress.) On the shelf was a book entitled, “Home for a Dinosaur”. I didn’t pick it up, I didn’t look at it, and I had no idea what it was about, but it was enough to spark my imagination because I started to add lyrics to the music I was playing for the now raptly listening grade 1s. I sang “I need a home for my dinosaur” and they echoed that back to me. I continued, “I need it right away.” They echoed that as well. Now, many things can be going on simultaneously in the mind of a musician or a composer. As I was playing the piano and waiting for them to echo the phrase I had just sung, I was thinking ahead to find the next line of the song that would make sense. Why would I need to give away my dinosaur? I stalled for time and repeated the first line for the third phrase. By the time we got to the last line of the chorus I had an idea! “My Mom wants to give him away.”
Now I had to figure out why my Mom had it out for my dinosaur. I continued to think, play and feed lines to the students and came up with a dinosaur that is making himself a “persona non grata” within the family by ingesting things that he should not be eating. In addition to corn flakes, he also eats the spoon. He sees Dad’s new slippers and eats them, which would surely cause someone to be irritated. By the time we got to the final verse, I added in the sister who wanted to go play with the dinosaur. Although sometimes it might be tempting to throw an irritating younger sibling into such a scenario and hope for the best/worst, I left the singer with the sentiment that it wasn’t a good idea because they would be in trouble for letting that happen.
This song “arrived” as it did and I didn’t make many changes to it. The rhyming scheme is very simple and might even be labelled as non-existent as I rhymed “away” with “away”. It has lots of repetition in the chorus which is great for young singers even though it was really just a coping mechanism on my part as I searched for the next lyrics. The song worked for my grade 1 students. I was thrilled to have written the song. The students were happy to sing it, and requested it again when they returned to music class. We used it in a concert at the end of the school year as I recall, although I cannot find a program that lists it in my memorabilia files. I Need a Home for My Dinosaur has remained one of the all-time favourite Donna Rhodenizer songs that young musicians sing. I was delighted when I was asked if it could be included in the Toronto Conservatory graded vocal series. My dinosaur has been in attendance at many vocal lessons, music classrooms, music festivals, school concerts, vocal recitals, and vocal exams around the world.
I Need a Home for My Dinosaur was joined by Ed the Invisible Dragon a few years later and these two songs became the cornerstones of a song collection that was the start of my journey as a published composer.
Note: Many years later, I returned to my old school and asked the librarian if the book “A Home for a Dinosaur” was still in the library. She found it and gave it to me to keep. It is kept with song notes and good memories of one of my earliest song-writing ventures.
Included in this
12 Song Collection
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