Sugar Bowl (Draw a Bucket of Water)


(Folk song)

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: Four students stand in a square (two sets of partners). Partners stand across from each other and join hands with each other. You could call one partner group “blue” and other “green.” (Or A and B or 1 and 2… whatever works for you…) The “green” partners’ join hands higher than the “blue” partners’ hands.

  • Section A – Students make quick “sawing” motions (alternating hands) back and forth, four times per measure (eighth notes). Pretend the bucket is empty and easy to move.
  • Section B – Continue sawing motion, but larger and slower motions (two times per measure = quarter notes). Pretend the bucket is filling with water and harder to move.
  • Section C – Optional: Change the lyrics to “Let this old person under.” The “green” partners raise one pair of joined hands and put them over the head of the “blue” partner on that side and put them around that person’s waist. Do the same with the other “green” partners’ pair of joined hands with the other “blue” partner. Then the “blue” partners do the same with the “green” partners. This forms a “basket” figure.
  • Section D – On “hop hop hop,” students jump three times to the left. Make very small jumps!
  • Section E –
    • One – All students drop hands.
    • Two – Students look around for a new partner.
    • Three – Join hands with a new partner.
    • Four – Link with another partner group to form a square.

See also


  • Printable & Digital Visuals
  • Song with chords, Lesson ideas for Voices, Form (ABCDE), Optional Simplified Movement, Rhythm (Half, Quarter, Eighth Notes, Fermatas), Orff arrangement (PDF)
  • MIDI file
  • Listen to the song

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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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