The Bird Sings Oral Tradition Song Library


I learned this song from Maggie Wheeler of Golden Bridge Chorus. It’s a call-and-response women’s working song from Ghana that has traveled through singing and drumming circles worldwide. An easy teach and a joy to sing.

Composer & Copyright

This song is in the public domain.


This was a quick and fun recording done impromtu and live with Lisa G. Littlebird and friends in the winter of 2019. A parts track for the melody (middle part) is not included here, as that part simply echoes the caller throughout. The individual part tracks for the high and low harmonies are very abbreviated, to demonstrate the part one time through.



Hey o-le-o, hey o-la-la

Teaching Notes

This song can be sung melody-only with just about no teaching, as it is call-and-response. To add interest, add the high harmony, and if you want a full choral sound add the low harmony too. I have found the harmonies, especially low, can take singers a little practice to find, especially on the second line. Watch that singers don’t slow down on the second line, as you’ll hear they did a bit in this recording. The call and response can also be sung over the second section of the song.


Level of teaching speed/ difficulty (1 = very easy, 10 = very challenging)

  • Saraseva

    This was great as a morning circle song for kids!

  • I love this ❤❤❤
    It helps so much
    From Natasha lewis

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