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In May of 1999 I went to San Diego to run in the Rock’n Roll Marathon. I was one of over 4000 people participating as members of the Leukemia Society “Team in Training.” At the preprace party we were addressed by a man who had Aids and Leukemia but had refused to give up. One of his dreams had been to compete in the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon. Against all odds and most peoples advise he did it. He finished last but I don’t think anyone can ever say that he was not a winner. He was wearing a tee shirt that read….

“For all of you who said I couldn’t …And those who said I should…

And you who said I wouldn’t”…( on the back it said)

“I’ll see you at the finish line!”



(copyright, John Farrell 2002)

Oh Yeah! Oh Yeah! That can be done
Oh Yeah! Oh Yeah! We are the ones

I believe in you, I believe in me
I believe in love, I believe in dreams
I believe we can do anything
Oh Yeah! Oh Yeah! Oh Yeah! Oh Yeah!

Now if they say you’re not good enough,
Tell them “Yes I am!”
If they say you can’t do it
Tell them “Yes, I can!”
If they say you should quit
‘Cause you’re only wasting time
Say, “Adios, amigo, I’ve got to go
I’ve got mountains to climb”

Song ideas often come from unexpected sources. This one came during a chance meeting with Lindsay Bates, a casual friend of mine associated with a wonderful organization in Katonah, NY called  Family University. As Lindsay told me that he had just become a grandfather for the first time his exuberance was inspiring and contagious. It made me feel happy just seeing how happy he was. It also reminded me of the incredible joy, awe, and wonder the I felt when each of our children were born. For parents and grandparents, children truly are the most precious gift in life.

The lyrics for the first verse were composed on the back of an envelope driving between schools.

The melody just kind of came with it. Thanks to Jeff Miller for polishing it as we went along.


copyright John Farrell 2002

Dear Child, I never knew
Clouds were so beautiful, the sky was so blue
Dear, Sweet Child, You taught me to fly
I found my wings when I looked in your eyes

How is this possible? How can it be?
That such a small child has done this to me.
Birds songs are sweeter now
Each note rings clear
The moon’s light is brighter now
All because you are here

Dear Child, you taught me to see
The stare in the sky, the leaves on the trees
Dear, Sweet Child, you made time stand still
I loved you that moment and I always will

Dear Child, you taught me to see

When I was a boy I had a game called “The Game of The States.” As a result of playing this game I learned all fifty U.S. capitals. A few years ago on one of our long trips to Prince Edward Island, I tried to prove that I still knew them all. It didn’t take long to find out that I didn’t. With the help of our children, I created this song and now I know them again. I’m amazed at how much easier it is for me to remember things when I add a melody and rhythm.

At the time of printing, the record for reciting the capitals and states is 34 seconds. Let me know if you can beat it.



Copyright John Farrell 2002

There are fifty states in the U.S.A.

And each one has a capitol in it

And if you learn to sing this song

You can sing all fifty in just one minute

Bismarck,                  North Dakota

Pierre,                       South Dakota

St Paul,                      Minnesota

Nashville,                  Tennessee

Baton Rouge,           Louisiana

Richmond,                Virginia

Atlanta,                       Georgia

Honolulu,                  Hawaii


Boston,                      Massachusetts

Topeka,                     Kansas

Austin,                        Texas

Lincoln,                      Nebraska

Madison,                   Wisconsin

Lansing,                    Michigan

Springfield,               Illinois

And Juneau,             Alaska




Little Rock,                Arkansas

Salt Lake City,          Utah

Phoenix,                    Arizona

Jefferson City,          Missouri

Santa Fe,                   New Mexico

Boise,                                    Idaho

Columbus,                Ohio

Trenton,                     New Jersey


Montpelier,                Vermont

Providence,               Rhode Island

Tallahassee,                        Florida

Salem,                       Oregon

Annapolis,                 Maryland

Hartford,                    Connecticut

Concord,                   New Hampshire

Olympia,                    Washington




Harrisburg,               Pennsylvania

Sacramento,             California

Indianapolis,                        Indiana

Frankfurt,                   Kentucky

Oklahoma City,        Oklahoma

Helena,                      Montana

Montgomery,             Alabama

Jackson,                    Mississippi


Cheyenne,                Wyoming

Albany,                       New York

Augusta,                    Maine

Charleston,               West Virginia

Raleigh,                     North Carolina

Columbia,                 South Carolina

Carson City,              Nevada

Des Moines,             Iowa




Dover, Delaware and

Denver, Colorado

There aren’t many days that go by that I don’t say or think, “I wish I hadn’t done that.” Most times it’s only myself I’ve inconvenienced and more often than not it winds up being something to laugh about. For those times that my poor judgment has injured other, I’m sorry!

We actually recorded this song in just two takes not the twenty-three mentioned on the recording.



Copyright, John Farrell 2002

I wish I hadn’t done that
Believe me this is true
I wouldn’t have and I shouldn’t have
If I had thought it through
But sometimes I don’t think
I just go ahead and act
And oft times wind up saying
“I wish I hadn’t done that!”

Like the day I rode my bicycle
No hands through Seaside Park
I was poetry in motion
I was carefree as a lark
Until I got this bright idea
What if I stood instead of sat?
As I flew over the handlebars I thought
I wish I hadn’t done that

One day I was juggling
When in walked my friend Meg
Smiling she said, “You’re getting pretty good
But I bet you can’t juggle eggs”
Well I took the challenge, I was doing fine
Until she started to clap
And as I cleaned the eggs
Off the floor and my face I thought
I wish I hadn’t done that!

When our daughter Colleen was in fourth grade I was asked to go on a class trip that took us sailing around ths island of Manhattan. Her class was studing bridges that year. With some help from the Wooster School’s 1999-2000 fourth grade class I wrote this piece.



copyright John Farrell, 2002

Bridges connect the earth and the sky
Bridges rise up, trancend and inspire
Bridges are proof that dreams can come true
A smile is a bridge from me to you

Bridges cross water, bridges cross land
Bridges contract and bridges expand
Some bridges are massive, others are small
Love is a bridge that tears down walls

Some bridges are covered
Some swing in the breeze
And soar cover canyons, rivers,and trees
Some bridges charge toll,
Most bridges are free
Hope is a bridge to a hope that can be

Some bridges arch, while others suspend
Some bridges are straight , some bridges bend
Some bridges raise up, some even turn around
Music’s a bridge that’s made out of sound

There are bridges underground, bridges in space
There’s even a bridge in the middle of your face
Bridges on boats, violins, and guitars
Imagination is a bridge from here to the stars

Bridges are needed when problems aise
Bridges are answers to how ? where? and why?
Bridges span hardship, triumph, and sorrow
A dream is a bridge from today to tomorrow

Bridges let us to see things from the other side
Bridges solve problems that used to divide
Some bridges ens where other bridges start
Friendship is a bridge that comforts the heart

Some bridges get crowded
Some seldom get used
Some bridges are acient, others are new
We need bridges to the future
And from the past
Stories are bridges that last and last

Bridges connect the earth and the sky
Bridges rise up, transcend, and inspire
Bridges are proff that dreams can come true
Words are a bridge from me to you

Bridges unite, bridges inspire
Bridges connect the earth and the sky
Bridges are proof that dreams can come true
A smile is a bridge from me to you

This song is dedicated to my sister – in – law Maryann Donoghey, for the boundless love and care she gave to her dear friend and mother –in-law Barbara. It is also in loving memory of Barbara Donoghey, Iva Dayger, John Fitzpatick, Lee & Alice Schryver, and my dad, John Farrell. All of these individuals were great listeners and it always lifted my spirits just to be in their presents. Their light has been carried on by their friends and families.


Copyright, John Farrell 2000

Halfway up a mountain
No one ever wants to climb
Daybreak never comes without the night
The pain is always deepest
When the love is strong
The shadow darkest
When you’ve known the light

When the tears start falling
Like a gentle summer rain
Or when you hear that favorite song
Think about the laughter and the smiles
That filled our hearts
And know that light is ours to carry on

Always there and listening
To every word with care
Sharing smiles, sharing jokes, and cups of tea
And though now the chair sits empty
The memories linger on
In the stories, in the songs and on the breeze


A photograph, a moment,
Quiet words, or just a glance
Etched in hearts more deeply than in stones
Like wildflowers on a hillside
Sunsets on the bay
Dreams don’t die they just get passed along

Sheet Music

Thanks to the teachers and kindergartners at the Kent Primary School in Carmel, N.Y. They helped me write the verses for this song.


Copyright, John Farrell 2002

I’d like to be a duck for a day (2x’s)
If I was a duck I’d waddle and quack
Cares would roll right off my back
I’d take whatever came my way
If I was a duck for a day

I’d like to be a dog for a day (2x’s)
If I was a dog I’d chase some sticks
I’d learn some new old, dog tricks
I’d take whatever came my way…

I’d like to be a cow for a day (2x’s)
If I was a cow I’d chew my cud
Eat some grass, lay in the mud
I’d take whatever came my way…

Ducks were made for quackin’
Birds were made to fly
Kids were made to dream great dreams
And to wonder how and why
Each of us is what we were meant to be
We were made to live in peace and harmony

I’d like to be a cat for a day (2x’s)
If I was a cat I’d play and purr
Drink lots of milk and lick my fur
I’d take whatever came my way…

I’d like to be a spider for a day (2x’s)
If I was a spider I’d climb and crawl
Across the ceiling and down the walls
I’d take whatever came my way…

I’d like to be a bear for a day (2x’s)
If I was a bear I’d eat honey and fish
I’d take a nap whenever I wished
I’d take whatever came my way…

I’d like to be an owl for a day (2x’s)
If I was an owl I’d blink both eyes
Sit in a tree and act real wise
I’d take whatever came my way…

Song is C# / Guitarist play in C with capo on 1st fret

Debrah Marriott, Director of The Lower Columbia River Estuary Partnership in Portland, Oregon invited me to sing at the “Kids ForThe Columbia” Festival in September 2001. I wrote this song for that celebration. The first time I sang it in a school was September 18, one week after the tragic events of September 11. As we sang the chorus of the song together I was touched by the diverse and beautiful faces of the children. I realized that the “River” we were singing about was not just the Columbia River. It was also a metaphoric river made up of all the young people in the world, Afghanistan, Africa, China, Europe, India, Iraq, Ireland, Pakistan, Russia, South America, Australia, the U.S.A., and everywhere else. A river made up of people, not countries or religious groups. May you run strong.


(Lyrics coming soon!)
Sheet Music:

C                                         F        C
A raindrop falls high in the mountains

C                                         G
It trickles on down to the stream

C                                      F        C
The stream winds its way to the river

C                     G                 C
The river rolls down to the sea

F                    C
River of Life, River of Dreams

G                      C
River of Hope, River of Peace

F                                      C
May you run strong and forever be

Dm                        G            C
A River of Love, A River of Dreams

C                                             F            C
The sun calls the water back into the clouds

C                                           G
The wind paints a masterpiece sky

C                                          F           C
A snowflake drifts down, it kisses the ground

C                       G            C
The wheel is renewed by and by

C                                           F            C
The river brings power, the river brings life

C                                               G
The river has been tainted and hurt

C                            F                   C
We can protect her if we respect her

C                         G            C
Our voices must rise and be heard

I think most if us know how it feels to be treated unfairly or unkindly, and we don’t like that feeling at all. Still, I sometimes hurt others because of a situation I’m in or because someone else is doing it too. If I remembered to stop and think about the other person’s feelings, I might act differently.


Copyright John Farrell 2002

A small boy walked home
One rainy Halloween
Two big kids were waiting
On the dark side of the street
Those big kids came over
And knocked that boy down
Took all his candy
And left him there on the ground

How would you feel
If that happened to you?
What would you say?
What would you do?
Stop for a minute
And stand in his shoes
How would you feel
If that happened to you?

Nobody wanted her
She didn’t fit in
With her on your team
It was harder to win
So when teams were chosen
The best kids went quick
And day after day
She was the last one picked


He acted and looked
So much different than us
We taunted and teased him
From the back of the bus
We even laughed
When he started to cry
Our words were like stones
He had nowhere to hide

One day at school
A new kid appeared
She dressed sort of strange
And she talked really weird
You could tell she was scared
But she tried to pretend
So I asked her her name
And said, “I’ll be your friend.”

Sheet Music:

Copyright John Farrell 

C                                              G       C 
A small boy walked home one rainy Halloween

C                                                                             G
Two big kids were waiting on the dark side of the street

           F                      G                C                      A-
Those big kids came over and knocked that boy down

       F                    G                           F          G      C           C7
They took all his candy and left him there on the ground 

 F                       G                                   C
How would you feel if that happened to you

 F                        G      C
What would you say? What would you do?

F                G                 C                  A-
Stop for a minute and stand in his shoes

       F                 G                    F        G   C

How would you feel if that happened to you?

C                                                  G               C
He acted and looked so much different than us

C                                                                               G
We taunted him and teased him from the back of the bus

           F             G                   C           A-
Our laughter, it hurt, and he started to cry

          F                        G                F              G    C           C7
Our words were like stones he had no where to hide

D                               A             D
One day at school a new kid appeared

D                                                                             A
She talked kind of strange and she dressed really weird

G                                     A                   D          B-
You could tell she was scared but she tried to pretend

G                               A                   G         A       D
So I asked her her name and said, “I’ll be your friend.”

The song examines situations that involve bullying, teasing, and acceptance. In the first two verses children treat each other in ways that are hurtful and in the third verse a child performs a simple act of kindness by saying, “I’ll be your friend.

Suggested Activities   (Themes: Teasing, Bullying, Tolerance, Empathy)

1.  Have a Class Discussion about Bullying, Teasing, and Empathy

Listen to the song and then have a discussion about how it feels when someone treats you unkindly or unfairly. Explain that the lyrics, “Stop for a minute and stand in his shoes,” are a way of asking the listener to imagine how the other person feels. Children appreciate hearing adults tell about things that happened to them when they were young. Tell students that the first two verses are about things that happened to songwriter John Farrell when he was a boy. In the first verse John was “bullied.” In the second verse John was one of the kids “teasing” another child.

2. Write a Letter to One of the Characters

Ask students to “stand in the shoes” of one of the characters in the song. Have students write a letter from one character to another explaining how you felt or why you are sorry.  Examples; The boy who was bullied writes to the bullies; One of the children who teased on the bus writes to the child who was teased; The new girl writes to the girl who welcomed her

Michael Pendergast, a friend of ours from Prince EdwardIsland sings a song called “ The Sailor’s Alphabet.” I really enjoyed hearing Mike sing this with families and began to learn the song. As I was doing this, I decided to create an alphabet song about something I loved – The Night Sky. As I worked on the concept I was intrigued by the fact that most American children learn their ABC’s by singing a song that has the same melody as Twinkle , Twinkle Little Star.”

“How I wonder what you are?” seemed like a great lead into an alphabet song about the night sky.

Happy sing and star gazing!

NOTE: The Perseid Meteor showers occur every summer around August 10-12.

If you look to the northeast a couple of hours after sunset you may see some amazing shooting stars.



Copyright, John Farrell 2002

A       Andromeda, our neighbor galaxy

B       The Big Dipper, an easy one to see

C       Cygnus the swan flies across the Milky Way

D       Draco the Dragon lives on Dipper Lane

E       The Earth, our mother ship in flight

F       The First Star that you wish upon at night

G      Our Galaxy of stars 200 billion strong

H       Haley’s Comet, with it’s snowy tail so long

I        Imagination, that’s the key, the magic ring

J       Mighty Jupiter, the planetary king

K       The Kite, Bootesis it’s name

L       Leo, the Lion has a starry mane

M      The Moon, it’s orbit is 28 days long

N       The North Star, it guides travelers along

O      Orion, his belt is straight and bright

P       The Perseids, August’s welcome sight

Q      Queen Cassiopea, a “W” of stars

R       The Red Planet, the one that we call “Mars”

S       Brilliant Sirius, the brightest star we see

T       Taurus the bull, looks like a flying “V”

U       The Universe, that’s everything there is

V       Venus, a lovely dazzling disk

W      The Wonders that await us in the night

X       Exquisite and Extraordinary sights

Y       The Yellow Stars, like our own great Sun

Z       The Zodiac, now my song is done

One evening as I was driving my car over the Newburg-Beacon Bridge,” I was surprised to see a sign that read, The Hamilton Fish Newburgh-Bridge. The bridge had been renamed for a renowned New York Family that has produced several “Hamilton Fish’s” that have served in the U.S. Congress. The phrase, ”Sounds kind of fishy to me” came to mind and this song was born.


Copyright, John Farrell 2002

Sitting on an old see-saw
Chewing on a piece of straw
Rainbow Trout started to shout
Did you just see what I just saw? (2x’s)

It was a duck, his name was Chuck
He was riding in a pick-up truck
Chuck the duck in a pick-up truck
Sounds kind of fishy to me

It was an eel, his name was Shaquille
He was riding on a snowmobile…
It was a crab, his name was Ahab
He was riding in a taxi cab…

It was a whale, her name was Gail
She was riding on a monorail…
It was an alligator, his name was C.U. Rayder
He was riding on an elevator…
Claire the bear in a wheelchair
Snyder the spider on a hang glider
Tod the cod in a hot rod
Ike the pike on a mountain bike…

Bed time rituals for young children often include a story, a song, a hug, a kiss etc. Many nights at our house it also included “Can you please read one more chapter?”…or…”Can we hear one more story? Can I have one more drink? and other stall tactics. Now that our children are pre-teens and teenagers most nights we go to bed before some of them do. While visiting my friend Jack Harrower and his wife Shelley in California a few years ago, I watched them lovingly put their children Molly and Jackson to bed. While doing so I realized how much I missed those bedtime stories and that time we used to share together.

In this song it’s the parents asking,  “Can we have one more…?” and wishing that their children will sleep and live in peace.



Copyright, John Farrell 2002

Soon you’ll yawn and close your eyes
But first let’s have just one more kiss
One more hug, one more smile
A word of thanks and a good-night wish

May you dream in peace and splendor
As the stars waltz up above
And may your friends always be near you
May you always walk in love