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Origins: My Pigeon House

Bard Judith 07 Oct 05 - 10:25 PM
GUEST 07 Oct 05 - 10:28 PM
Joe Offer 08 Oct 05 - 07:23 AM
Joe Offer 08 Oct 05 - 01:43 PM
Q 08 Oct 05 - 03:58 PM
Bard Judith 15 Oct 05 - 09:31 PM
GUEST,Judy R. 20 Oct 05 - 02:25 PM
Q 21 Oct 05 - 07:55 PM
Bard Judith 21 Oct 05 - 08:12 PM
GUEST,scott 12 Apr 06 - 11:48 PM
GUEST 18 Aug 06 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,Brinestone 28 Aug 06 - 11:29 AM
GUEST,David Swanson 19 Oct 07 - 12:10 AM
GUEST,Gray 19 Jan 08 - 12:38 AM
GUEST,Bard Judith 21 Jan 08 - 11:54 AM
GUEST,L. Paige 24 Feb 08 - 05:50 PM
Q 24 Feb 08 - 07:35 PM
GUEST,:3 07 Jun 08 - 10:23 PM
GUEST,mr_lugh 27 Aug 08 - 05:34 PM
GUEST,A 14 Sep 08 - 10:50 PM
GUEST,Xanxibar_xan 20 Sep 08 - 12:06 AM
GUEST,GuestALA 28 Dec 08 - 05:08 AM
Jim Dixon 13 Jan 09 - 02:31 PM
MartinRyan 13 Jan 09 - 02:43 PM
GUEST 18 Jan 09 - 08:39 PM
GUEST,Danielle Millennium 31 Jan 09 - 03:47 AM
GUEST,guest: 01 Jun 09 - 02:54 AM
kelticcirc 19 Jun 09 - 08:09 PM
GUEST,guest 17 Aug 09 - 11:33 PM
GUEST,Angeles, España 02 Sep 09 - 05:55 PM
GUEST,amanda 04 Sep 09 - 12:20 AM
GUEST,Kira 11 Oct 09 - 12:10 PM
GUEST 02 Feb 10 - 12:09 PM
GUEST,GUEST 07 Mar 10 - 07:41 PM
GUEST 08 Jun 10 - 01:17 AM
GUEST,Cheyenne 11 Jul 10 - 11:13 AM
GUEST,Bossio 01 Sep 10 - 01:15 PM
GUEST,Elftrees 17 Dec 11 - 09:20 PM
GUEST,emilio zabaneh/belize 20 Jun 12 - 10:59 PM
GUEST 29 Jan 13 - 05:01 PM
GUEST,RobRoy 05 Feb 13 - 04:07 PM
GUEST,2nd Gen Geek 10 Feb 13 - 11:44 PM
GUEST,CushingMaine 28 Mar 13 - 01:12 PM
GUEST,Liz (guest) 13 Apr 13 - 05:04 PM
GUEST,Amaryllis 21 Mar 14 - 01:24 AM
Q 21 Mar 14 - 11:31 AM
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Subject: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: Bard Judith
Date: 07 Oct 05 - 10:25 PM

I learned this from my mother, who tells me she learned it from Gran, and now I sing it to my little daughter as she cuddles before bedtime.

It seems from googling that other mothers and children know it, but no one has any more detail on the song. I'm sure the gaulimaufrey that is Mudcat will be able to help out!

Here are the lyrics I know:

My pigeon house I open wide
And I set all my pigeons free
They flap their wings, and they fly around
And they perch on the tallest tree.
And when they return from their merry merry flight
I close the doors, and I say, 'Good night!'
Coo coo, coo coo, coo coo, coo coo,
Coo coo, coo coo, coo coo....


And here is another version, from the web:

My pigeon house I open wide
And I set all my pigeons free
They fly away o'er every stoop
And they perch in the highest tree
And when they return from their merry, merry flight
They fold their wings and they say, "Goodnight"
Coo, coo. coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo
Coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo.

I also found a variant with actions:

MY PIGEON HOUSE

"Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a house full of pretty white pigeons? They would coo softly while you fell asleep. You can play this bedtime game and pretend you have some pigeons of your very own."

My pigeon house I open wide...
(arms open wide)
They fly so high they reach the sky...
(arms up)
And alight on the tallest tree...
(arms up, fingers down)
And when they return...
I shut the door
(flap hands towards yourself)
And say good night.
(hands together at side of face as if sleeping)
Coo-oo coo-oo coo-oo coo --oo.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Oct 05 - 10:28 PM

There are hand gestures for this song; please post them.


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Subject: ADD: My Pigeon House
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 07:23 AM

Hmmmm. It's in a book called An Alabama Songbook: Ballads, Songs, and Spirituals. Unfortunately, I don't have that one. HOWEVER it's also in a book called Songs of Man (The International Book of Folk Songs), by Norman Luboff and Win Stracke (1965). From this book, I get the impression that the song is Win Stracke's English version of the German "Muss I Denn" - could that be?

Here are the words from Luboff/Stracke:

My Pigeon House
(tune: Muss I Denn)

My pigeon house I open wide
And I set my pigeons free.
They fly up high, up to the sky,
And they sit on the highest tree.
And when they return from their merry merry flight,
They shut their eyes and they say, 'Good night!'
Coo-roo, coo-roo, coo-roo, coo-roo,
Coo-roo, coo-roo, coo-roo.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House - need 'Alabama Songb
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 01:43 PM

Let's add the Alabama Songbook to the thread title temporarily and see if it brings out somebody with the book.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House - need 'Alabama Songbook'
From: Q
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 03:58 PM

I have ordered, since it sounds like a good book. Collections made mostly in the 1940s by Byron Arnold. Includes some spirituals, fiddle, railroad, songs from both white and black.
Editor Robert W. Halli. Price at University of Alabama Press is $59.95, but some book dealers are selling for $35. Hardcover.
Full title: "An Alabama Songbook, Ballads, Folksongs and Spirituals." 208 songs out of a collection of about 500. One informant who provided 33 songs was 90 years old, so some oldies here.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House - need 'Alabama Songb
From: Bard Judith
Date: 15 Oct 05 - 09:31 PM

Joe - you're brilliant! Why did I not make the "Muss I Denn" connection? The tune is very similar but not... (thinks, hears the melodies play in her head, frowns) note for note identical...

But then again that could be just enough corruption to make the 'translation' or the alternative words fit the music...



Q - if you find that there are other verses, or the songbook gives any background, I would be most appreciative!



Guest - er, I did post the actions. That is, I wasn't aware there were actions to the song until I found the third version on the net, so I posted that version as I found it, with the actions interpolated.

And if you know that there are other 'hand gestures', don't leave us in suspense - YOU post them!


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House - need 'Alabama Songbook'
From: GUEST,Judy R.
Date: 20 Oct 05 - 02:25 PM

I learned this at camp when I was 5 or 6. We sang it at the end of the day, at "circle time". This is how I learned it.

My pigeon house I open wide,
To let my pigeons free.
They fly so high, till they reach the sky,
And light on the tallest tree.
And when they return from their merry, merry flight,
I close the door and I say goodnight,
coo-roo, coo-roo,coo-roo, coo-roo
coo-roo,coo-roo, coo-roo.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House - need 'Alabama Songbook'
From: Q
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 07:55 PM

Lyr. Add: MY PIGEON HOUSE

My pigeon house I open wide
And set all the pigeons free.
They fly o'er the field on every side
And light on the roof you see.
But when they return from their airy flight,
You'll hear them say and sing good-night.
Coo ooo coo ooo coo ooo coo
Ooo coo ooo coo coo ooo ooo.

Sung by Mrs. Martha N. Drisdale, Sheffield, AL, June 1947.

Mrs. Drisdale describes the game: "One group of children stand in a ring holding hands, making the pigeon house, and another group of children, usually with a leader, are inside the ring of children who are the pigeon house, and they are the little pigeons. While the song is being sung, and it comes to the place where it says the pigeon house is open wide, the children on the outside of the ring lift their hands high, and the pigeons fly out, and then as they are supposed to come back in they fly back in, and the children lower their hands to keep them in the ring."

With music, p. 177, Byron Arnold, collector, 2004, "An Alabama Songbook, Ballads, Folksongs and Spirituals," Univ. Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House - need 'Alabama Songb
From: Bard Judith
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 08:12 PM

Thank you so much! I'll be visiting my mother next weekend (a three-to-four-hour drive, so we don't get down there all that often) and I'll look forward to sharing some of this info with her.

I particularly like the game description!

Much appreciation,
Bard Judith


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Subject: RE: Pigeon Song
From: GUEST,scott
Date: 12 Apr 06 - 11:48 PM

I open wide my pigeon house,
And let all my pigeons free.
They fly up high to the top of the clouds,
And land in the highest tree.
And as they make their merry, merry nest
I bid them farewell and I say goodnight.
Coo Roo.....


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 02:22 PM

I'm so excited to have finally found this. I guess I was having a hard time finding it because I was searching for slightly different lyrics.

This is how I learned it from my mother. (She was born in 1945 and learned it from her mother.) They were both born and raised in New York. I dreamt about this song one night, only to find out the next day that my grandmother had passed away.

I open up my pigeon coop
and let all the pigeons free.
They fly all around on every bough
and land on the tallest tree.
And when they return from their merry, merry flight
they shut their eyes and say good night.
Coo-roo-roo-roo-roo
Coo-roo-roo-roo-roo
Coo-roo-roo-roo-roo, roo-roo-roo-roo


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST,Brinestone
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 11:29 AM

Alabama is pretty far away from where I can trace the song to. My grandmother sang it to my mother, and she was from Utah and Idaho. Now I wonder where Grandma learned it; she died before I was born. The lyrics and actions I know are a bit different, so I thought I'd share. I'll post the lyrics alone first and then add the motions so as not to be too confusing.

My Pigeon House

My pigeon house I open wide
and set my pigeons free.
They fly over hills and over the plains
and light on the tallest tree.

And when they return from their merry, merry flight,
I close the doors and I say good night.
Coo coo coo coo coo coo . . . etc.


My Pigeon House

(Start with the backs of your hands facing out, fingers close together like two doors that are closed.)
My pigeon house I open wide (Open the doors so your palms are facing out.)
and set my pigeons free.
They fly over hills (make undulating motions with your arm to signify the hills) and over the plains (move your hands, palms down, out to signify the plains) and light on the tallest tree. (At "light," point up with your index finger and perch all five fingers of your other hand on the top of it.)
And when they return from their merry, merry flight, (flap your arms like wings)
I close the doors (clap) and I say good night. (Rest your head on your hands like a pillow.)
Coo coo . . . etc.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST,David Swanson
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 12:10 AM

My German grandmother (now 95), whose parents hail from what was Prussia used to sing this song to us kids when we were little (I am now 35).

I happend to Google the lyrics to see if I had remembered them correctly and found your post along with about 10 versions of the song. My version was not to be found, I thought I would share it with you:

My pigeon house I open wide and let my pigeons free
They fly about from every roost and land in the tallest tree
And when they return at the end of day
I shut the door and I say goodnight

Coo, coo, coo, etc.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST,Gray
Date: 19 Jan 08 - 12:38 AM

That is so wierd that there are so many different lyrics.

My pigeon house I open wide and
set my pigeons free
They fly over feild on every side
And light on the tallest tree
And when they return from there marry marry flight
they bow their heads and say good night

Good night coo ra roo good night coo ra roo
Good night coo ra roo good night


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST,Bard Judith
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 11:54 AM

Google returns a lot of versions of 'My Pigeon House', almost all through oral transmission (the expression 'learned this from my grandmother' occurs with remarkable frequency!) The origin is less verifiable: some are claiming Russian, some Germany, some Austria. I asked my German and Austrian contacts if they were at all familiar with the song, and my German friend found this:

DAS TAUBENHAUS

Ich öffne jetzt mein Taubenhaus,
die Täubchen die fliegen so froh heraus,
sie fliegen hin aufs grüne Feld,
wo's ihnen gar zu wohl gefällt;
doch kehren sie heim zu guter Ruh',
so schließ' ich wieder mein Häuschen zu,
doch kehren sie heim zu guter Ruh',
so schließ' ich wieder mein Häuschen zu.

Though I don't speak German, this is obviously the same song ("I open the doors of my pigeon coop, they fly out, into a green field, I close the doors of my house...", or, amusingly as Babelfish renders it, "I open now my pigeon house, which Taeubchen fly so gladly out, it fly on the green field, wo's them too probably pleases; but they turn home too better rest ', then lock ' I again my little house, but turn her home too better rest ', then lock ' I again my little house."...)

However, what seems odd is that I can't make the lyrics fit the tune of either Pigeon House (as we sing it on this continent) or Muss Ich Den, with its short repeats.

Any German-speakers out there, or others who would also like to claim this for their old-country grandmother? :)

I and my mother have done a professional recording of this and hope to get it online at some point - AFAIK the only version available on line. Let me know if you 'catters have discovered others!


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST,L. Paige
Date: 24 Feb 08 - 05:50 PM

I learned the following lyrics to My Pigeon House from a 45 rpm recording by Mary Stuart (star of the soap opera, Search for Tomorrow). Don't know when it was recorded, but it has to be approximately 50+ years ago. Haven't been able to find any additional lyrics other than the following (please let me know if there is any more to the song):

My pigeon house I open wide,
And set my pigeons free.
They fly so high on every side,
As far as the eye can see.
And when they come home from their merry, merry flight,
I'll kiss them all, and I'll say goodnight.

Coo-roo, etc.

I thought there were more stanzas to this song, but the memory has long ago faded. This lullaby has been sung to my children, and now to my youngest grandchild. Since they all responded by falling asleep rather quickly, the soothing words have not lost their magic. (Or maybe, Morpheus' touch enables them to bear my singing talents better!}


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: Q
Date: 24 Feb 08 - 07:35 PM

Guest Bard Judith- Das Taubenhaus lyrics (a word or two are different from those in your post) with musical score at this German website:
Das Taubenhaus

No mention of source or composer.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST,:3
Date: 07 Jun 08 - 10:23 PM

I learned this song when I was around three yrs old. The lyrics I see so far somewhat different from what I learned. The one i know goes like this:

My Pigeons' House

My pigeon's house I open wide
And set all my pigeons free
They fly around on a merry flight
And perch on the highest tree
And when they return from their merry flight
They close their eyes and say 'Good Night'
Coooo~ coo coooo~ coo coooo~ coo
Coooo~ coo coooo~ coo Coooo~ coo
Coooo Cooooooooooo


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST,mr_lugh
Date: 27 Aug 08 - 05:34 PM

I was raised in Malaysia..And my teacher taught me this:
My pigeon house,
I open wide,
And I set all my pigeons free..
They fly all around,
And up and down,
And they sit on the tallest..
And when they return from their merry,merry flight..
They shut their eyes and say goodnight..
Coo-roo,Coo-roo,Coo-roo,Coo-roo,Coo-roo,Coo-roo,Coo-roo..


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST,A
Date: 14 Sep 08 - 10:50 PM

We sing a second verse:

My pigeon house I open wide and set my pigeons free.
They fly up high in to the sky and sit in the tallest tree.
And when they return from their merry merry flight,
They turn on the light and dance all night.
Ca roo ca roo ca roo etc.

the children jump up and dance!


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST,Xanxibar_xan
Date: 20 Sep 08 - 12:06 AM

I learned a slightly different version from my father:

I open up my pigeon house;
and I let all my pigeons free.

They fly to the top of the tallest house;
and they rest on the limb of a tree.

And when they are all finished flying around;
then they come back to me.

Cooo,cooo,cooo,cooo;
and then they come back to me.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST,GuestALA
Date: 28 Dec 08 - 05:08 AM

Does anyone remember that there was a story with this song -- about a woman who sang the song to her baby every night before the baby went to bed etc. . . and then the song played on the 45

My pigeons house I open wide
and I let my birds fly free

they fly so high 'til they reach the sky
and alight on the tallest tree

and when they return to their
merry merry nest

I shut the door, and I say goodnight,

cooo roo coo roo cooo roo coo roo coo roo, goodnight


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Subject: Lyr Add: MY PIGEON HOUSE (1887)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 02:31 PM

Lyrics and sheet-music for MY PIGEON HOUSE can be seen in:

Songs and Games for Little Ones By Gertrude Annie Walker and Harriet S. Jenks (Boston: Oliver Ditson & Company, 1887), page 86:

MY PIGEON-HOUSE.
German Air. Arranged by E. Parker.

My pigeon-house I open wide and set the pigeons free.
They fly o'er the fields on every side, and light on the tallest tree;
But when they return from their merry flight,
I'll shut the door and say, "Good-night!"
Coo-roo, coo-roo, coo-roo, coo-roo, coo-roo, coo-roo, coo-roo!


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: MartinRyan
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 02:43 PM

I fell for it again! Every time this thread rears its head , I think - "Jeez! Must be another Pete St. John song...". For true Dubs (those fortunate enough to have been born on the banks of the Liffey, between the canals) "the Pigeon House" is an ancient power station near the mouth of that river, in dockland territory. Just the sort of place the ubiquitous Pete St. John might eulogise nostalgically!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 08:39 PM

I love this piece. It is in my book called Finger Play by Mary Miller and Paula Zajan and it written in the key of D maj.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST,Danielle Millennium
Date: 31 Jan 09 - 03:47 AM

wow, i cant believe this is online... i randomly searched for the sheet music to this song because my grandma used to sing it to me when i was little & i want to get the music notes of it tattoed on me.

my grandma was german, but she sang it to me in english. her lyrics were slightly different:

my pigeon house, i open wide,
and set all my pigeons free,
they fly o'er the hills and the countryside
and alight on every tree
coo roo coo roo coo roo coo roo
coo roo coo roo coo roo


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST,guest:
Date: 01 Jun 09 - 02:54 AM

this is the lyrics that we use in school. :)

my pigeon house
i open wide
and i set all my pigeons free
they fly all around
way up, way down
and they sit on the tallest tree
and when they return
from their merry merry flight
they shut their eyes and say goodnight
Coocooroo coocooroo coocooroo
coocooroo coocooroo coocooroo
cooroo...


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: kelticcirc
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 08:09 PM

My mother was born near Pittsburgh PA in 1907. She would sing German lullabies to us when we were small. Her mother came from the Black Forest area and her father was Prussian. She sang this song in English and I find it surprising how closely the words match with other examples:

My pigeon house I open wide
and let my pigeons free
They fly so high 'til they reach the sky
and land on the tallest tree.
And when they return to their merry, merry nest
I close the door and I say goodnight
Coo-loo coo-loo etc.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 11:33 PM

the version i know is different.

my pigeon house i open wide
to set my pigeons free
they fly and fly and fly and fly
as high as i can see
and when they return to they're merry merry mark
they close their eyes and say "goodnight"
caroo, caroo, caroo, caroo,caroo, caroo, caroo.

my great grandmother sang us to sleep with it, and her mother before he sang it, now I use it to sing my own daughter to sleep. i've never heard it sang any other way.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST,Angeles, España
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 05:55 PM

My pigeon case I open wide
And I left all my pigeons free
they fly all arround and on every side
and they purch on the highest tree
when they retur from their merry merry fly
they closed their ayes and they said good night...
coo coo,....


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST,amanda
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 12:20 AM

Sung by me to my children, now 8 and 5, and to me by my Irish-Hungarian mother circa 1971 and to her by her Hungarian mother circa 1950:

My pigeon house is open wide
And I set all my pigeons free
They fly away to every side
And they light on the tallest tree
And when they return from their daily flight
I close the door and I say good night
Cooaroo Cooaroo Cooaroo Cooaroo
Cooaroo Cooaroo good night


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST,Kira
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 12:10 PM

This song was passed down from my Great-Grandmother, to Grandmother, to Mother, to me...and I now sing it to my children. My Great-Grandmother was of Pennsylvania-Dutch origin, with some Irish and German thrown in. I have seen many variations on the lyrics while browsing the internet, but none are the lyrics I was taught...

My pigeon house I'll open wide
And set all the pigeons free
They will fly o'er fields and mountain tops
And light on the tallest tree
And when they return from their merry flight
I'll close the door and say good night
Coo-a-roo Coo-a-roo Coo-a-roo Coo-a-roo
Coo-a-roo Coo-a-roo Coo-roo.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Feb 10 - 12:09 PM

This is what we use in my preschool class every Rest Time.


My pigeon house
I opened wide
And I set all my pigeons free

And they flew all around
Way up, way down
And they sat on the tallest tree

And when they return from their merry, merry flight
They shut their eyes and and said, "Good night.."

Coo-coo-roo, Coo-coo-roo, Coo-coo-roo, Coo-coo-roo
Coo-coo-roo, Coo-coo-roo, Coo-roo.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST,GUEST
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 07:41 PM

The version I know is as follows:

My pigeon house I open wide
And I set all my pigeons free.
They fly all around
Without any sound
And they perch on the tallest tree.
And when they return from their merry merry flight,
They close their eyes and they say goodnight.
Coo-oo-coo, Coo-oo-coo, Coo-oo-coo, Coo-oo-coo
Coo-oo-coo, Coo-oo-coo, Coo-coo.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Jun 10 - 01:17 AM

My Pigeon house i open wide and let my pigion
freee they fly all around on every site and
the light on the tallest tree and when they
return from there merry fright i shut the
door and say goodnight

coo-coo do- coo oo- coo oo- coo-
coo- do coo-


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST,Cheyenne
Date: 11 Jul 10 - 11:13 AM

I had a very different version sung to me.

"When I open up my pigeon house,
And set my pigeons free,
And when the return from their merry, merry flight,
Shut the door and say good night,
Gadoom gadoom gadoom gadoom
Good night, goodnight, to dream land you go."

Maybe it's my faulty childhood memory. Well, just thought I'd share.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST,Bossio
Date: 01 Sep 10 - 01:15 PM

My Pigeon house i open wide
and I set all my pigeon free
They fly all around and up and down
and they purch on the highest tree
And when they return from their merry merry flight,
They close their eyes and say goodnight.
Coo-roo, coo-roo, coo-roo, coo-roo, coo-roo, coo-roo, coo-roo!

:)


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST,Elftrees
Date: 17 Dec 11 - 09:20 PM

I learned this song as an adult from a very sweet German-American friend of my parents' generation (I was about 40 years old then.)She gifted it to me when I told her I was trying to adopt, telling me that she had sung her kids to sleep with it each night as they were growing up in the 50's and 60's. I sang it every night to my daughter for about 3 years, still sing it to her occasionally even now that she is 7, and hope she passes it down to the next generation, as it is clearly a folksong in the truest sense of the word. I have heard a Spanish-language version of this that begins "Cuando abro la puerta de mi palomar/ mis pinchones volando, se ban..... (when I open the door of my pigeon house, my pidgeons, fly.....)that's all I remember of the words, but it was sung at a very rapid tempo, sing-song style,more like an active dance song than a lullabye.Any other Spanish language versions flying around out there?


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST,emilio zabaneh/belize
Date: 20 Jun 12 - 10:59 PM

my pigeon house, all open wide
and set all the birdies free,
they fly all around and everywhere,
and up to the tallest tree,
and when they return from their merry flight,
they close their doors and they say goodnight,
ca roo ca roo ca roo ca roo ca roo ca roo ca roo.

this i learned form my mom and grandma and i have sung it for all my children who love to do the actions at bedtime. usually we caroo off to sleep.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jan 13 - 05:01 PM

Unbelievable! I had no idea this song was so widespread. This was sung to me by my grandmother. In turn, I sing it to my kids. It's one of their favorite lullabies. The lyrics I learned go like this:

My pigeon house I open wide
And set all the pigeons free.
They fly from their house in the merriest glee
And light on the tallest tree.

And when they return from their merry, merry flight,
They close the doors and say goodnight.

Coo-roo, coo-roo, coo-roo, coo-roo, coo-roo, coo-roo, coo-roo.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST,RobRoy
Date: 05 Feb 13 - 04:07 PM

This how we sang it in first grade at Stevens School in Swansey,
massachusetts (1940)

MY PIGEON HOUSE

My pigeon house I open wide and set all the pigeons free,
(Arms reaching wide for the sky, fingers fluttering upward)
They fly to the hills on every side and light in the tallest tree,
(Arms extended high with fingers fluttering downward)
And when they return from their merry flight,
(Arms lowering, fingers fluttering)
They shut the door and say goodnight,
(Hands together at palms, closing inward)
Then:
(With hands on sides of face and head rocking to and fro)
Kuroo   kuroo   kuroo   kuroo,
Kuroo   kuroo   kuroo   kuroo,
Kuroo   kuroo   kuroo   kuroo,
Kuroo   kuroo   kuroo.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST,2nd Gen Geek
Date: 10 Feb 13 - 11:44 PM

This was sung to me by my father, who learned it from his mother (born c. 1915) in South Dakota. Our version, as I remember it, is:

The pigeon doors I open wide
And set the pigeons free,
They fly up high o'er all the homes
And light in the tallest tree.
And when they return from their weary flight,
I close the doors and say goodnight.
Coo coo....

A little different with "weary" instead of "merry," but still close.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST,CushingMaine
Date: 28 Mar 13 - 01:12 PM

My father used to sing this to me in Connecticut back in the 50's. I assumed it came through his Scottish family.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST,Liz (guest)
Date: 13 Apr 13 - 05:04 PM

Great thread! My mom used to sing me this song in English and was just asking about it this morning. I saw the prior poster's question about Spanish lyrics and can contribute some. A friend gave us a recording of the song, but there are no liner notes and I don't know the source.

In any case, here's how it goes:
Cuando abro la puerta de mi palomar, (when I open the door of my pigeon house)
Mi palomar, mis pichones volando se van. (my young pigeons fly away)
Ellos vuelan por montes muy lejos de aquí, (They fly by/over mountains far from here)
Lejos de aquí, y en los techos se posan allí. (and perch on the roofs there)

Luego más tarde vuelven a venir (Then, later they return)
Les abro la puerta y se van a dormir (I open the door for them and they go to sleep)
Currucu, currucu, currucu, currucu, currucu.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: GUEST,Amaryllis
Date: 21 Mar 14 - 01:24 AM

My Cuban mother sang "Cuando abro la puerto de mi Palomar...." to us in the 60s. My grandmother sang it to my mother and her siblings when they were growing up in Eastern Cuba in the 40s. They sang it at a slow and sweet tempo, very much a lullaby.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Pigeon House
From: Q
Date: 21 Mar 14 - 11:31 AM

More versions, including Spanish, at Mama Lisa's World, in comments in Mama Lisa's Blog.


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