August 16, 2006 at 2:51 pm 9 comments

Kookaburra was originally written by Marion Sinclair of Australia.
©1934. Renewed ©1989 Larrikin Music Publishing. All rights reserved. International Copyright Secured.


This is a great song for singing as a round.

Kookaburra sits in an old gum tree
Very merry king of the bush is he
Laugh, Kookaburra, laugh, Kookaburra
Gay your life must be

A slightly different version makes less sense, but it seems to be one that younger kids understand and can learn a little easier.  (I say that only because I have noticed many more kids singing these words than the original version.)

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
Eating all the gumdrops he can see
Laugh, Kookaburra, laugh, Kookaburra
Gay your life must be

Reader Frances Warfield adds that she learned an additional verse, which follows this second version quite nicely:

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
Eating all the gumdrops he can see
Stop, Kookaburra, Stop, Kookaburra
Save a few for me

Click here for more information on Marion Sinclair and the origins of the song.

(Thanks to Fiona Gunn, Copyright Manager for Larrikin Music Publishing, for the information concerning the copyright ownership of the song, and for granting us permission to reprint the words here on Kid Songs.)


Entry filed under: Animals, Rounds.

John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt The Lame Tame Crane

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. edo v/d zande  |  September 17, 2006 at 4:57 am

    Im from holland, and Im looking for information(a book ,movie) of the kookaburra,because i have a couple at my home. can somebody help my???
    greets e v/d zande

  • 2. Frances Warfield  |  September 22, 2006 at 2:52 pm

    The second verse the way I learned it was:
    Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
    Eating all the gumdrops he can see!
    Stop, Kookaburra, Stop, Kookaburra,
    Save a few for me!

  • 3. Kyle  |  September 25, 2006 at 3:26 pm

    Excellent, thanks for the note! I’ve added that verse to the main entry.

  • 4. Sreevidhya Sankaran  |  October 24, 2006 at 3:11 pm

    I have heard it like this

    Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
    Eating all the gumdrops he can see!
    Stop, Kookaburra, Stop, Kookaburra,
    Leave some gum for me!

  • 5. derek  |  February 8, 2007 at 10:43 pm

    my version of the song is:
    “kookaburra sits on an old gum tree
    eating all the gumdrops he can see
    Stop!kookaburra Stop,
    save a few for me.

    kookaburra blows on a didjeridu,
    huffing and puffing till his face turns blue.
    huff!kookaburra puff!
    kookaburra its too big for you.”

  • 6. Chris Deschene  |  January 8, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    How did you find out if things are copyrighted or not??

  • 7. Shelly  |  November 14, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    there is another verse to this..

    Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
    kissing all the monkeys he can see.
    Stop! Kookaburra, Stop! Kookaburra.
    That’s not a monkey thats Me!

  • 8. anneke80  |  September 10, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    I’m a teacher in Belgium doing a project about Australia. Tonight I remembered this song I learnt at school in England. I’m going to learn it to the children in my class.

    It would be nice if i could get in touch with an Australian class to communicate with by e-mail during the project.


  • 9. Judith  |  December 6, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    I’m a grade school teacher here in the Philippines and were using this song for our girl scouts as energizer, i also like the new version you’ve shown here I may use it also in my classroom as an ice breaker.


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This site is in constant construction mode. We will continue to add great traditional children songs as we can, but we need your help.

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