Coldham's Common: Flying Pterosaurs

FLYING PTEROSAURS (To the tune of BY THE WATERS OF BABYLON)

Based on research by Helen Weinstein using the artefacts and resources at Cambridge University's Sidgewick Museum and composed collaboratively with CBBC's Horrible Histories Songwriter, Dave Cohen:

Fly-y-y-ing Pterosaurs, once soared over, Coldham's Common
They did number two-oos, and poo-oos on the Common
Dung, discovered hun-dred million, years ago on the Common,
Dinosaurs and Pterosaurs once lived on Coldham's Common.


Coldham’s Common by Michael Rosen

Poem devised collaboratively with Helen Weinstein who briefed Michael Rosen about the area and the local history & you can find the school powerpoint & summary info online about Coldham's Common history here & about the Coprolite (Pterosaur Poo) Mining rush in the Victorian period on Coldham's Common here

The years pass
and the grass grows,
the grass grows over
the years disappear...

Underground
clues are found.
Listen! And we can hear
across a hundred million years...

The sound of the sea
where now there’s a tree;
giant lizards in the sky
wide wings take them high
swooping on fish in the waves
gliding over rocks and caves
flapping and stopping
leaving their droppings
for millions of years
right here, just here.

The years pass
and the grass grows,
the grass grows over
the years disappear.

What were droppings and bone
turn to stone
deep down, day and night
silent, slow, out of sight
vast beyond measure
a secret treasure
deep in the ground
waiting to be found.

Up above people come and go
their pigs and cows moving slow
free to graze upon the ground
until a Lord puts fences round:
nowhere for the pigs and cows,
and with the people starving now
one Jack o’ the Style leads a revolt
with a hundred others they call a halt
break the fences and burst back through
with pigs and cows, their hens and ewes.

The years pass
and the grass grows,
the grass grows over
the years disappear.

One John Ball from Barnwell way
beneath the grass, said there lay
some sort o’ magical stuff
the which - if ye had enough,
mixed it right, made it just so,
it’d make any plant grow
and in a matter of just a few years
thousands came and dug right here.

Very few knew that all the while
they were free to do so, ‘cos of Jack o’ the Style
very few knew that the reason why
was down to lizards in the sky
for millions of years, leaving behind
what many years later, others would find.

The years pass
and the grass grows,
the grass grows over
the years disappear
and here we are:
we stand right here.


Grass Grows, Years Disappear

Please find on this page the following resource for the song called Grass Grows, Years Disappear- based on Michael Rosen's 'Coldham's Common' poem, composed and scored by Bethany Kirby, Produced by Helen Weinstein, Commissioned by Historyworks

1. Score

2. Audio to learn the song by ear

3. Lyrics for the Song

SCORE 

Grass Grows, Years Disappear Score

Here is the AUDIO so you can listen to the song composed by Bethany Kirby based on the poem by Michael Rosen

Lyrics

Giant lizards in the sky Wide wings take them high
Flapping and stopping, leaving their droppings
For millions of years right here

The years pass and the grass grows
The grass grows over the years disappear
And here we are, we stand right here

Up above people come and go
Their pigs and cows moving slow
Free to graze upon the ground
'Til a Lord puts a fence around
Nowhere for the pigs and cows
And with the people starving now
One Jack 'o the Style, he leads a revolt
They break down the fence and call a halt

The years pass and the grass grows
The grass grows over the years disappear
And here we are, we stand right here

One John Ball from Barnwell way
Said beneath the grass there lay
Some magic stuff which if ye had enough
Would make any plant grow
Very few knew the reason why
Was down to lizards in the sky
Flapping and stopping, leaving their droppings
For millions of years right here

The years pass and the grass grows
The grass grows over the years disappear
And here we are, we stand right here


Giant Lizards in the Sky

 Bethany Kirby has composed a fun round based on the refrain  of Michael Rosen's Coldham's Common poem In the first version, this is set out in the sound file and score to be sung by unision voices.

Please find on this page the following resource for the song called Giant Lizards in the Sky - based on a poem by Michael Rosen, composed and scored by Bethany Kirby, scored, Produced by Helen Weinstein, Commissioned by Historyworks

1. Score

2. Audio to learn the song by ear

3. Lyrics for the Song

Please also find below the lyrics, instructions for how to sing as a round in unison.  Below there is also the more complex version with the same words and rhythm, but the round in two part harmony - have fun! 

Score 

Giant Lizards in the Sky Round Score

Audio for Round called Giant Lizards in the Sky - for Unison voices

Based on a poem by Michael Rosen, composed and scored by Bethany Kirby, produced by Helen Weinstein, Commission by Historyworks.

Song Lyrics for Giant Lizards in the Sky:

Giant lizards in the sky
Wide wings take them high
Flapping and stopping, leaving their droppings
The years pass and the grass grows
The grass grows over the years disappear
Here we are, we stand right her
Here we are, we stand right here

Guide to Singing as a Round/ to match the Audio version for Unison Voices:

1. Please use the lyrics & practice in unison - before breaking into 3 groups for the round! 
 
2. The first three times is the ‘simple’ round, with the round parts coming in after ‘high’
 

Michael Rosen's Pterosaur Poo Poem

Pterosaur poo, Pterosaur poo.
Thousands found it. Didn’t know what to do!
Pterosaur poo, Pterosaur poo,
Made of stone. Too hard to chew.
Ptesosaur poo, Pterosaur poo.
Near to where, the cows go moo.
Pterosaur poo. Pterosaur poo.
Now it’s ancient. Once it was new.
Pterosaur poo. Pterosaur poo.
Thousands came. Did they queue?
Pterosaur poo. Pterosaur poo.
In a poem by you know who!

By Michael Rosen

Michael Rosen's Pterosaur Poo poem - arranged as a song

Coldham's Common: Flying Pterosaurs

 

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