A light bulbHere’s “This Little Light of Mine” – a song that skilfully straddles the line between the sacred and the profane. I’ve found that if you enthusiastically sing the profane version (provided here) of the song in library storytimes, it lifts up kids and adults alike and makes everyone feel good. It grabs wandering kids’ attentions, and brings a group back together. I’ve used it successfully in many a baby program and toddler time as well.

As everyone knows, “This Little Light of Mine” is a gospel song, but many educators have used it with kids in public schools with the religious references removed. Where I’ve worked, I’ve sung it dozens of times, and no one has objected when I sing it this way. I suppose it’s possible that someone might, though, so use your best judgment. (Here’s a link to the original, from the HigherPraise.com site, with a different set of chords as well as lyrics.)

You’ll notice, for example, that in the original, the words are:

Won’t let Satan blow it out, I’m gonna let it shine.
Won’t let Satan blow it out, I’m gonna let it shine.
Won’t let Satan blow it out, I’m gonna let it shine,
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Whereas I’ve always sung it:

Won’t let anyone blow it out, I’m gonna let it shine…

You’ll also notice that I’ve added several new uke chords: besides C, F, G7, and C7, we now have E7, A7, and D7, too. Practice a bit and you’ll find they aren’t too tough. The hardest chord for many people is D7, a “barre chord,” in which you’ll need to press your left index finger over the second fret all the way across the neck, adding the middle finger to the first string, third fret. Good luck and have fun!

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