Sounding Childhood

"The Chipmunk"

“The Chipmunk” is found in Songs of Happy Life: For Schools, Homes, and Bands of Mercy as compiled by Sarah J. Eddy, published in 1897 in both England and America.  The purpose of the book, as seen in the dedication, was for “all noble and earnest souls who wish to add to the beauty of the world, and to the joyful life of all creatures” and supported the work of the newly formed (1875) Bands of Mercy animal-welfare children’s organizations in both England and America, as after-school and, after the 1897 Maine and Washington laws mandating animal-welfare education, in-school programs.  “The Chipmunk” is found in the songbook’s “Animals” section where many of the songs for the youngest of children are found.  This is a quaint story anthropomorphizing a “couple” of chipmunks living “up in a tree” (v. 1) with a “parlor” and “kitchen” (v. 2), helping children to appreciate “darlings so pretty and shy” (v. 2)
The words are “anonymous” but the music is by William L. Glover who writes that the children should sing it “with animation.”

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