The Giraffe


A delightful song about a tall giraffe with a spotty, dotty body, and a daily routine that includes choosing what to chew for a snack. Since he is the only one who can reach the leaves at the tops of the trees, “He’s really out of luck if his tongue gets stuck when he’s having a snack up there.”

In addition, being a quiet animal, giraffes never complain:

     “You never hear a sound, or a snort or a laugh, He is short on complaining the tall giraffe.”

The descriptive lyrics include rhyming sequences that are fun to sing and staccato markings for the words “sound,” “snort”, “laugh” and “short” which help create an interesting and expressive vocal performance.

With step-wise melodic motion and a range of only one octave, (D4-D5) this is an ideal song for singers in grades 2-3, ages 9 and under. Students even have the option to choose the gender of their giraffe with lyric sheets and vocal scores provided for both options. The Giraffe is an excellent solo for a vocal recital or a gentle group selection for young singers in elementary music classrooms.

Listen to melody + accompaniment:

Download Includes:

  • Vocal score (he and she versions)
  • Lead sheet
  • Director/piano score
  • Lyrics (he and she versions)
  • Accompaniment – with melody guide
  • Accompaniment – piano
  • Teaching Tips

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The Giraffe 

by Donna Rhodenizer 

Audio & Lyrics

Follow along with the lyrics as you listen to the accompaniment with melody guide for The Giraffe.

The Giraffe (She) - song for Young Singers - composed by Donna Rhodenizer - lyrics - SAMPLE

Teacher Tips

Have fun singing the song

Sometimes a song is just “cute”. No big teaching points., no need to work on the rhythm or the melody, no dissecting the elements that have been meshed together to create the song. The Giraffe is like that! Just sweet and fun. Simple, with a bit of humour. The lyrics include a few “plays on words” such as when the giraffe is “short on complaining” even while being a tall giraffe. And isn’t it amusing to think about the giraffe, being such a quiet animal, not complaining about anything? I think so!

The Giraffe is a great choice for a young solo singer who needs a song to perform that enables them to gain confidence and performing experience. It also works well with elementary classroom singers. It is simple and well within the skill set of grade 2-3 students and it makes a sweet spring concert number (or an early fall performance as well).

There ARE always musical elements to examine and extract. There are also ways to introduce a song and a few hints and tips might help get the creative ideas flowing. If you want to include other elements in addition to singing just for fun, read on….

Introduce the song

Initiate a discussion with the students asking them to share some facts about their favourite animals.

  • Ask the students to name some large animals.
  • What small animals can they name?
  • What animals are loud?
  • What animals are quiet?
  • What do they know about giraffes?

Expressive Singing

  • Some phrases in The Giraffe are smooth and legato and some have short, staccato words to sing. Use the difference between the legato and staccato phrases to create an expressive performance.
  • Read the lyrics aloud.
  • Highlight words that have similar sounds and/or that rhyme. How can these words be emphasized to create an expressive performance when speaking and singing? (“spotty, dotty body in between” and “chooses what to chew with care”).
  • Use clear diction to be sure the audience can understand what you are singing.

Score Study

  • Many passages in The Giraffe are written using step-wise patterns. Find the patterns that are ascending. Find the patterns that are descending.
  • Use your hand to show the ascending and descending patterns of the melody as you sing.

Composer's Notes

The Giraffe

Sometimes song ideas just pop into my head. I have many notebooks and collections of scraps of paper which have accumulated as a result jotting down ideas to use later. I have learned from experience that ideas that seem very promising may be quickly forgotten if some kind of note or recording are not made of the idea.

I was thinking about the giraffe – its unique height and the fact that it doesn’t really have a sound. We never hear any complaints from the giraffe, or any other sounds either, for that matter! As I played with word combinations to describe the giraffe I thought about its long neck, four long legs and a spotty, dotty, body in between. That sounded like a fun combination of words to sing so I wrote them on a slip of paper to add to a song about a giraffe. I had lyrics for one verse and I thought my song was complete. However, when I first sang it for Andy, he suggested that the song was too short, particularly since it was about a TALL giraffe. I went back to writing down ideas and worked out a second verse to finish my song.

I enjoy the process of writing songs, and I love encouraging my students to compose and make musical decisions. It seemed like a good idea to include the option for young singers to choose whether they would sing about a he or a she giraffe. In the music classroom this leads to some lively discussions! A soloist will have the flexibility to change the version they sing depending on how they feel on any given day. Whatever the students decide, I hope they enjoy singing The Giraffe as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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 9 and under


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Vocal Range

D4 – D5




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