Books You Can Sing

by Nikki Belshe Lanza, MNLM, MT-BC

Singable books are a simple joy that I have as a music therapist and parent! Books that can be sung are more engaging for those that you’re reading with, and singing is also a great way to reinforce learning (helloooo, ABCs!). Plus, singing with others is a wonderful way to bond and share songs that we love.

Music therapist Sarah Coury-Rios has already written a great post on interactive picture books, so I’m just sticking with singable books for this post.

Bonus win: The books listed below are beautifully illustrated!

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Books You Can Sing


Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World (written by Bob Thiele)

The Beach Boys’ Good Vibrations (written by Mike Love & Brian Wilson)

Beatles’ Octopus’s Garden (written by Ringo Starr)

Car’s Good Times Roll (written by Ric Ocasek)

Coldplay’s Strawberry Swing

Judy Collins’ Over the Rainbow (written by Harburg)

John Denver’s Country Roads

John Denver’s Grandma’s Feather Bed

John Denver’s Sunshine on My Shoulders

Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ in the Wind

Bob Dylan’s If Dogs Run Free

Bob Dylan’s Forever Young

Broadway’s Singing in the Rain

Eric B. & Rakim’s Move the Crowd

Aretha Franklin’s Respect (written by Otis Redding – did you know?)

Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive (written by Fekaris and Perren)

The Go-Go’s We Got the Beat (written by Charlotte Caffey)

Guns n’ Roses’ Sweet Child O’ Mine

John Lennon’s All You Need is Love

John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s In My Life

John Lennon’s Imagine

John Lennon’s With a Little Help from My Friends

Kenny Loggins’ Footloose

Bob Marley’s Get Up, Stand Up 

Bob Marley’s One Love

Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds adaptation, Every Little Thing

Fleetwood Mac’s Don’t Stop (written by Christine McVie)

Tim McGraw’s Humble and Kind (written by Lori McKenna) – another version here!

Johnny Mercer & Henry Mancini’s Moon River

The Monkees’ Davy Jones recorded Your Personal Penguin by Sandra Boynton (and it’s so fun!)

Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors

Pixies’ Where is My Mind (written by Black Francis)

Elvis Presley’s Love Me Tender (this is the version I have, though there’s also a version illustrated for younger children)

Otis Redding and Steve Cropper’s Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s My Favorite Things

Simon & Garfunkel’s The 59th Street Bridge Song (written by Paul Simon)

Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ (written by Lee Hazelwood)

Cat Stevens’ Peace Train (adaptation)

Twisted Sister’s We’re Not Gonna Take It (written by Dee Snider)

Jack White’s We’re Going to Be Friends

Pharrel Williams’ Happy

Gary Wright’s Dream Weaver

Peter Yarrow and Lenny Lipton’s Puff the Magic Dragon

Ylvis’s What Does the Fox Say?

Chime in!

 What are your favorite songs that are books? Comment below to let us know!

Nikki Belshe Lanza, MNLM, MT-BC

Music Therapist – Board Certified 

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