See "Additional Information" for - context, level, topic, vocal range, voicing, duration
Sing Witch Watches as a performance piece or use it as a vocal warm-up.
Use expressive singing to present the song Witch Watches.
Use Witch Watches as an expressive dramatic reading.
Witch Watches is in a minor key and in 6/8 meter. Discuss these musical elements with your students.
Use spoken or sung tongue twisters as vocal warm-ups before singing Witch Watches.
Include Witch Watches as part of a tongue twister focus or a Halloween unit.
I try to always be on the lookout for an interesting phrase that piques my interest and might make a good song lyric. I discovered the tongue twister, “If two witches would watch two watches, which witch would watch which watch?” This was a delightful tongue twister to try with my students, but it was also a great idea for a song.
When the subject matter of a song can be anything at all, the possibilities are vast and unending. Writing song lyrics that are defined by the parameters of a tongue twister helps narrow the possibilities and creates focus. These two witches and their watches were an interesting study. Were they just fastidiously conscious of the time requiring them to watch their watches so closely? Were they suspicious of each other, and maybe wishing they could have the watch of the other witch? As we are watching the action unfold, the question is, which witch should we be watching?
In addition to working on the lyrics, I wanted to create a melody that set the mood. The natural cadence of the language determined the 6/8 meter. I chose a minor key in deference to the witches, but the song is not spooky in any way. In fact, it really isn’t a Halloween song at all, although many teachers like to include this song in their seasonal repertoire. It makes sense not to limit the tongue twister fun to a short Halloween season when singers enjoy singing this song at any time of year.
A composer should also be aware of the needs of the singer. There is a bit of a break halfway through the verse which gives the singer the opportunity to catch their breath and collect their wits before continuing with all the twisty words. You are welcome!
In the second verse the two witches are talking to each other, so we can presume there wasn’t anything sinister about their activities in verse 1. However, now they have a new problem. With both witches talking, there is no watch watching going on. Oh dear! At least they are having fun “tick talking” when the song ends.
This Tongue Twister song is so new, there are no videos to post as samples.
You are invited to send us your performance of any of the Witch Watches.
Maybe your video will be featured here on this page.
Composer, Elementary Music Specialist, Performer
Donna Rhodenizer received her first wristwatch at the age of 8 as a Christmas gift from her grandmother. Donna loves spending her time composing songs for young singers, and she has written more than 400 songs over the past three decades. She enjoys playing with words (especially tongue twisters) and adding humour to her songs.