I Really Need to Know


“Who, what, where, when, and why” are questions that should result in answers! Many things in our natural world are worthy of our curiosity, from small lightning bugs and giant dinosaurs to the galaxy and ancient mysteries – to mention only a few! This cheery melody swings along while playing with fun word combinations that require focus and concentration.

The lyrics of I Really Need to Know are set in a swinging melody that follows the rhythmic cadence of the English language. This creates a natural feel and is easily accessible for young singers. Accidentals in the melody make this song an excellent vehicle for highlighting  and discussing how accidentals change notes. The vocal range is carefully placed within a comfortable range for young voices with occasional dips to the outer edges of the range providing some stretching for developing voices. I Really Need to Know is a super song for upper elementary choirs and vocal soloists. It is also a fun addition to school concerts and vocal studio recitals.

Teachers using Character Trait Education with their students can utilize I Really Need to Know as a launching point for discussing curiosity, asking questions and exploring the natural world, and beyond!

Listen to the Donna & Andy performance track:

Listen to melody + accompaniment:

Download Includes:

  • Vocal score
  • Lead sheet
  • Director/piano score
  • Lyrics
  • Accompaniment – with melody guide
  • Accompaniment – piano
  • Donna & Andy band – instrumental track
  • Donna & Andy – performance track
  • Teaching Tips and Strategies
  • Colouring page

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I Really Need to Know

Audio & Lyrics

Follow along with the lyrics as you listen to the accompaniment with melody guide for I Really Need to Know.

I Really Need to Know - Song for Young Singers - song composed by Donna Rhodenizer and Andy Duinker - Lyrics

Part of a Song Collection

I Really Need to Know is one of 10 songs from the song collection "A Jolly Bunch are We". Donna Rhodenizer and Andy Duinker have written these songs in a variety of styles and skill levels for singers from ages 5-12+.

Learn more about this fun collection for elementary-aged kids, choirs and solo vocal students. 

A Jolly Bunch Are We - CD by Donna & Andy - CD case - front cover image

Stream and purchase Audio tracks

Stream or Purchase I Really Need to Know from many streaming sites including:

Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon, Pandora, Deezer.

The A Jolly Bunch Are We  CD (Donna & Andy performance and instrumental) tracks (20) are available for download or physical CD on this website.

Teacher Tips


Try some spoken tongue twisters and sung tongue twisters to warm up before singing this song.

Introducing the song

Ask the students what they are curious about.

What things do they like to learn about?

Does anyone know any facts about the things listed in the verses of the song?

  • Why/how do lightning bugs light up?
  • What do the students know about dinosaurs?
  • Can anyone share any information about stars or galaxies?
  • What animals roar?
  • What are some famous ships?
  • Does anyone know any ships that are famous because they sank?

Expressive Singing

  • Explore the lyrics of the song and discover what words to emphasize to create an expressive performance.
  • Use clear diction and dynamic changes to create an expressive performance.

The 5 Ws

  • Choose a topic and discover the answers to “who, what, where, when, and why” relating to that topic. Another question, not included in the song, is the question, “How”.
  • Write a song, a poem or a story about your topic using the answers you have discovered.

Character Education

  • How does curiosity affect what happens in our every day lives?
  • How can curiosity help us learn?
  • Is curiosity always a good thing?
  • What are some things that have happened in our world because someone was curious?

Score Study

  • Many accidentals have been included to create the melody of this song.
  • Discuss how an accidental is used to change the pitch of a note.
  • Provide students with the vocal score and find bars where accidentals have been added.
  • Discuss which pitches are affected and sing those bars to see how the melody sounds.
  • A one-page explanation of accidentals used in this song is provided in the Teaching Tips PDF download.

Colouring Page - Download

Download (pdf), print and have fun colouring this page while you listen to the song I Really Need to Know. Enjoy 35 more colouring pages when you get a "Top of the Class"  Donna & Andy Membership.

I Really Need To Know - song composed by Donna Rhodenizer and Andy Duinker - coloured image - by Richard Bennett

Composer's Notes

I Really Need to Know

My students all know that I talk quickly and even when I try to slow down, it doesn’t last very long. When I get excited I can really get going! In addition to talking quickly, I also like tongue twisters and interesting word combinations. The idea for I Really Need to Know came when I was thinking about how it feels to say the 5 w’s: Who, what, where, when, why. The tricky word combination: “why did who did do what they did” also popped into my head and it seemed to me to be a fun group of words to navigate. The swinging style of the melody is a favourite feel I like to use when writing for young singers. It is cheery and it suits the natural rhythms that we use when speaking. That makes a song easier to sing and it feels very natural as well. It felt like the lyrics needed to examine things we might want to explore when asking all those questions. Andy & I wrote down some things we thought were interesting like lightning bugs and dinosaurs, stars and galaxies, world explorers in boats (with a reference hinting at those ships that were famous because they didn’t float!) and the verses fell into place. I categorize this type of song as a “list” song which is not my usual mode of writing. I usually write more story songs, but as a composer, I try not to turn down the creative ideas that come my way. After all, a list song is still a song!

I introduced this song to my school choir around 2011 and we sang it at a good clip with a tongue twister kind of vibe. Later, Andy and I were asked to submit a song for a commercial project and we tried this as a slower, swing style piece and that seemed to work well, so that is the style that we kept for the final version. Now you really know “who, what, where, when and why”!

You're Invited

When you have enjoyed singing this song and doing the activities with your students - please drop by again and leave a Review on this page. Thanks!

Please send us your performance video - we might be able to post it on this page!

Related Products: age 10 and up


Single User License, Classroom / Studio License, Treble Choir License


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Vocal Range

B3 – D5




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