Nursery Rhymes on Guitar with Chords Included

Are you interested in playing nursery rhymes on guitar for your children or want to find some for your child’s next guitar lesson? Here in this guide, we are going to give you a full list of nursery rhymes that are easy and fun to learn on the guitar. All of these are popular songs that will already be known by adults and children alike. Every song comes with chords that you can play along with, and a video tutorial to help you as well.

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

This is ultimately the most popular nursery rhyme to exist in the English-speaking world. It has so many adaptions in different countries and has been translated into a lot of languages. It’s a great one for the guitar because of how easy it is to play. Below we have given you the lyrics along with the basic chords so you can learn how to play it.

The lyrics come from a poem titled The Star which was written by Jane Taylor, an English novelist and poet. It was originally published in 1806, and the melody was taken from a traditional French nursery rhyme called Ah! Vous dirai-je, maman. The song consists of five verses but it is only the first that is makes this the most famous nursery rhyme.

You may want to use this for lessons because it helps children practice their basic chord changes while still learning a fun song.

G C G

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,

C G D7

How I wonder what you are.

G C G D7

Up above the world so high,

G C G D7

Like a diamond in the sky.

G C G

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,

C G D7

How I wonder what you are.

The Alphabet Song

Also known as the ABC song, this is a popular nursery rhyme that is used to teach children the alphabet. By using the Alphabet Song, children can learn a lot easier through singing because of the melody. It’s a really easy one to learn on the guitar and is a perfect one for teachers who enjoy playing guitar for their students.

The melody is the same French one that is used in most nursery rhymes including Twinkle, Twinkle and Baa, Baa, Black Sheep. Below we have detailed the guitar chords along with the lyrics but you may want to find the sheet music to play guitar to this one.

D G D

A – B – C – D – E – F – G

G D A D

H – I – J – K – L – M – N – O – P

G D A

Q – R – S – T – U – V – W

G D A

X – Y and Z

D GD

Now I know my ABC’s

G D A D

Next time won’t you sing with me?

Frère Jacques

Frère Jacques is a traditional French nursery rhyme that has made it into the Mother Goose club. It has been translated into a lot of languages but most people stick to the French version. It’s not as well known in the US but it’s definitely an easy nursery rhyme to learn. There are some different guitar chords that are used in various versions but a beginner should learn the simple one we’ve included below.

You can play the song using any chord progression you want in a higher or lower key to match your singing. If you play it in C it will make it easier to sing along to. To play a C chord you take your index finger and place it on the second string at the first fret. Your middle finger is placed on the fourth string, pressing down on the second fret. Lastly, your ring finger goes onto the fifth string at the third fret. To play the C chord you will play the last five strings, not touching the first one.

D D D D

Frère Jacques, Frère Jacques

D D D D

Dormez-vous? Dormez-vous?

D D D D

Sonnez les matines! Sonnez les matines!

D D D D

Ding, dang, dong. Ding, dang, dong.

Happy Birthday to You

Everyone knows the song Happy Birthday and it’s a great song to play on the guitar that you can pull out at birthday parties. Everybody knows the lyrics and will have sung this song at least once for friends and family.

The original song was written by American sisters Milfred and Patty Hill. They taught kindergarten children at the time and used to sing Good Morning to All with different lyrics but the same tune. The aim was to make a song that was easy for young children to sing, which is what every great nursery rhyme is about. It’s unknown when the lyrics were changed to celebrate a birthday. The first time it was published as Happy Birthday to You was in 1912.

It’s only a short children’s song with some simple chords and a straightforward strum pattern. You only need to know C chords, G and F to play it. Plus you won’t have to learn the lyrics because you probably already know them, making this the perfect song to play guitar to.

C G

Happy birthday to you,

D

Happy birthday to you,

F

Happy birthday dear ‘Name’,

C G C

Happy birthday to you.

Baa Baa Black Sheep

Baa Baa Black Sheep is a song that has origins way back in 1732. The melody everybody knows today came about in 1944. The person who wrote the song is still unknown. There have been a lot of attempts made to understand the history and the meaning behind this entry in our easy guitar songs list. Many believe it refers to the slave trade which happened in the southern US but there is no evidence to support this.

It uses the same melody as the Alphabet Song and it’s such a fun song for kids to sing. It’s a beginner piece so you shouldn’t need to follow any sheet music, just the guitar chords we’ve set out below which include G, C and F chords.

G

Baa, baa, black sheep,

C G

Have you any wool?

C G

Yes sir, yes sir,

D G

Three bags full.

C

One for the master,

G D

One for the dame,

G C

And one for the little boy

G D

Who lives down the lane.

Old MacDonald Had a Farm

E-I-E-I-O! Old MacDonald has some of the best lyrics in terms of easy guitar songs because they are so catchy which makes them easy to remember. The song is all about the farmer and what kind of animals he keeps. Every verse changes the name of the animal and the noise that goes along with it.

No one knows who wrote this song and where it came from. The first time it appeared was in a songbook for soldiers which was called Tommy Tunes back in 1917. Originally the title was Ohi but the lyrics were pretty much the same as we know them now. However, there’s no denying that this nursery rhyme has to be older than that, with some versions of the song being published in the UK before 1917.

The song is easy to play on your guitar and uses just three chords. Two are very basic chords of G and C. The next chord is a D which is a little more complex but is still simple enough to pick up. If you are teaching students then this can be the perfect song to introduce them to D chords.

G C G D G

Old MacDonald had a farm. E-I-E-I-O.

C G D G

And on that farm he had some sheep. E-I-E-I-O.

G

With a baa baa here and a baa baa there,

G

Here a baa, there a baa, everywhere a baa baa.

G C G D G

Old Macdonald had a farm. E-I-E-I-O.

Mary Had a Little Lamb

Everybody knows Mary Had a Little Lamb and it came from England in the 19th century but actually has its origins in the US. It’s a good story and can teach children about morals. The rhyme was written by Sara Josepha Hale and was first published in 1830. A short time after this she set the poem to a melody that repeats for every verse. This song was actually the first-ever audio recording done by Thomas Edison in 1877 when he invented the phonograph.

The nursery rhyme is popular among beginner guitarists because of the easy guitar chords used. It’s a short and simple melody which children should be able to learn easily. You will only need the chords of G and C to play guitar to this tune. It has seven verses in total but the chords are the same for each one, only the lyrics change.

C

Mary had a little lamb,

G C

Little lamb, little lamb.

C

Mary had a little lamb,

G C

Whose fleece was white as snow.

C

And everywhere that Mary went,

G C

Mary went, Mary went.

C

Everywhere that Mary went,

G C

The lamb was sure to go.

Wheels on the Bus

Wheels on the Bus is one of the children’s songs that is very popular. It is originally from the UK and has since become known in the US and Canada, even Australia. Translations have been done in German and French too so there are a lot of countries that are familiar with this tune. The song is based on Here we go round the Mulberry Bush which is a traditional tune from England. No one has ever been able to prove who wrote it, but many believe it was Verna Hills in 1939. This means it’s more recent than a lot of the other children’s songs we have mentioned in this guide so far.

It’s a good one to play guitar to because you only need A and D chords to make up the main song. The strum pattern is simple too and it’s a great one to keep kids entertained with the different verses.

D

The wheels on the bus go

A A A

Round and round, round and round, round and round.

D

The wheels on the bus go round and round,

A D

All day long.

Row, Row, Row your Boat

Row, Row, Row your Boat was first published in 1852 but it was different lyrics using the same melody. The song that we know today was first recorded in 1881 so it’s a very old nursery rhyme. There are lots of different ways you can sing this song with funny lyrics so it can be a great interactive singing game for children to play with you. Don’t forget the hand actions of rowing the boat together.

This is probably the easiest of all the children’s songs to play other than Brother John. You will need to know the C and G chords but there are only two changes between these two.

C

Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream.

G C

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily life is but a dream.

Humpty Dumpty

I don’t think there’s anyone out there that doesn’t know about the most famous egg in all of nursery rhyme land. There are a lot of theories behind where this egg came from, many believing that Humpty was based on King Richard III. Another theory comes from Colchester where their cannon was referred to as Humpty Dumpty. It fell from the wall, and all of the soldiers were unable to put it back together again. Recognize those lyrics?

The earliest version of the song to exist was from 1797 but it had different lyrics. George L. Fox then began to use the character in some of his pantomimes in 1825. Humpty was even featured in Through the Looking Glass which was written by Lewis Carroll in 1871 as part of the Alice in Wonderland series.

The song that we know today came about in 1954. It’s a quick and easy song to remember and you need to know the chords of A, D and E to be able to play it. Complete beginners will need to practice it because there are some quick chord changes to be mastered.

A D E A

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,

D A E

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

A D

All the king’s horses

E A

And all the king’s men

D

Couldn’t put Humpty

E A

Together again.

Five Little Ducks

The last song in our list of favorite songs for children to learn and play on the guitar is Five Little Ducks. You won’t need any complicated sheet music or strum pattern to play this for your kids. It’s a great song to help children learn to count backwards. The song is short and the verses repeat, you just take one duck away each time. There are two basic chords of F and C, with a C7 chord thrown in for a bit of added complexity.

F C

Five little ducks went out one day,

C7 F

Over the hills and far away. Mother duck said:

C

“Quack, quack, quack, quack.”

C7 F

But only four little ducks came back.

Conclusion

That’s all for our nursery rhymes on guitar. We hope that you can master all of these guitar chords so that you can play the simple version of each one of these songs. Happy playing.

FAQs

What is the easiest song to play on guitar?

There are so many easy songs for you to play on the guitar and we have a lot of helpful guides for different music genres here on our website. You can also find easy kid songs on guitar here if you are looking for child-friendly music to play.

Scroll to Top