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I Saw Three Ships


I Saw Three Ships

  • Vocal mp3 download
  • Lyric Sheet PDF download


Time Signature: 6/8                 Key: Eb Major

I Saw Three Ships is popular, traditional Christmas Carol and folk song from England. It dates back to the 17th Century and was probably traditionally known as “As I Sat On A Sunny Bank.” The reference to three ships near Bethlehem, which is not near the water, is a bit of a mystery!

According to Wikipedia, it may be a symbolic reference to the possibility that ships  brought the Three Wise Men’s relics to Cologne Cathedral in the 12th Century.

Alternatively, the ships are actually references to the camels used by the Three Wise Men, as camels are frequently referred to as “ships of the desert.”
(Source: Wikipedia)

With it’s strong 6/8 metre beat, it’s a perfect lap song for teaching and reinforcing the beat to young children.

Parents can help kinesthetic learning, by bouncing their young children on knees, or holding and rocking them to the beat.

Older children can walk, skip, sway, swing their arms and so forth to the beat of the music.

They could also transfer this movement to a drum, tambourine, or home made drum instruments like a plastic ice-cream tub or even a saucepan. Chopsticks or wooden spoons can be used for the beaters.

Teaching Points: 6/8 metre beat, lap song, movement to the  beat, playing the drum, Christmas theme.


Audio Single Song

  • Vocal mp3
  • Lyric Sheet

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Single Song Pack

I Saw Three Ships is also available as a SINGLE SONG PACK with the following contents:

  • Vocal mp3
  • Instrumental mp3
  • Instrumental with melody mp3
  • Lyric Sheet PDF
  • Colored Poster PDF
  • Coloring Sheet PDF
  • Sheet Music PDF

Click on this link to go to I Saw Three Ships Single Song Pack



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