Sugar Bowl (Draw a Bucket of Water)


Draw a bucket of water
For my only daughter,
One rack-a-shack-a-shack-a, two rack…, three…, four,
Let this old lady under,
Let this old man under,
Four in the sugar bowl, hop hop hop (repeat)

One, two, three, four!


Formation: Set of four (two couples). Partners face and join hands, one set of partners’ hands over the other.

A: Alternating hands, all four players “saw” quickly and lightly back and forth, four times per measure.
(“The bucket is empty and light as it goes down into the well.”)
B: Spoken rhythmically and not too fast, while the sawing motion is enlarged and exaggerated with elbows drawn far back, two times per measure. (“Now the bucket is full and heavy, hard to pull up.”)
C: The couple whose hands are on top raise one pair of joined hands and slip them over the head of the person on that side, bringing them to rest at the waist. Then the person on the other side is “popped under” in the same say. The remaining couple does the same, one person at a time. EAch set sings “old man” or “old lady” for a boy or girl as this basket figure is made.
D: Spoken four times. On “hop hop hop,” students take three small jumps on both feet, moving to the left (this takes practice!).
E: “One…” All drop hands.
“Two…” Look around for a new partner.
“Three…” Join hands with a new partner.
“Four…” Link up with another couple.

See also


Extras for Plus Members

  • Song with chords (PDF)
  • MIDI file
  • Listen

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1 thought on “Sugar Bowl (Draw a Bucket of Water)”

  1. Beth I have done this song but in a different way. I like this version much better! I especially love the ending – I am going to use this in my plans in the next coupld of weeks. Thanks so much. BTY – I love your blog and have gotten lots of great ideas from it – thanks so much for sharing everything.

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