Kookaburra

This song is considered sensitive and contains lyrics that may be offensive to some people. Please speak to a parent or guardian for further help.

Song Video

Information About Kookaburra

"Kookaburra" is an Australian nursery rhyme that is very popular in its home country. It is about the kookaburra; a beautiful kingfisher, native to Australia and well known for its unmistakable call similar to human laughter.

Marion Sinclair wrote the song in 1932 for a contest being held by the Victorian Guides. The competition was for an "Australian round" song. Her song, the Kookaburra Song won and was introduced by Marion at the World Jamboree in Frankstone, Victoria in 1934. It was instantly a hit with the girls and has become a much loved song all over the world. Girl Guide movements in many countries have adopted it as a traditional song.

This is a fun children's song. A gum tree is a name for the eucalyptus tree. There are more gum trees than any other kind of tree in Australia. Gum tree leaves are the favourite thing for koalas to eat.

For any further information about the song "Kookaburra" you may find Wikipedia helpful.

Alternative Lyrics & Related Songs

This is the version you sing if you want a long Kookaburra song

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
Merry, merry king of the bush is he
Laugh, Kookaburra! Laugh, Kookaburra!
Gay your life must be.

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

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
Counting all the monkeys he can see
Stop, Kookaburra! Stop, Kookaburra!
That's not a monkey that's me.

Kookaburra sits on a rusty nail
Gets a boo-boo in his tail
Cry, Kookaburra! Cry, kookaburra!
Oh how life can be.

Kookaburra sits on an electric wire,
jumpin' up and down with his pants on fire.
Ouch, kookaburra, Ouch, kookaburra,
how hot your pants must be.

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

2 verses to sing to in this one

Kook-a-burra sits in the old gum tree
Merry, merry king of the bush is he
Laugh, Kook-a-burra
Laugh, Kook-a-burra
Gay your life must be!

Kook-a-burra sits in the old gum tree
Eating all the gum drops he can see
Stop! Kook-a-burra
Stop! Kook-a-burra
Save some there for me!

Listen to this song's music

25 Comments

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Bec, Australia

24 August 2014 at 10:13pm

I learned this song in school as a child, and never thought of it as a 'cultural' song. I will remember to include this when I sing to my preschoolers!

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MakeretaBulou, Fiji

3 August 2014 at 5:49pm

I did learn & sang this beautiful song in my elementary school years... Will have to teach it again to my students here in Fiji... Vinaka... Kookaburra

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Martha Jones, Everywere

23 June 2014 at 2:01am

Sooooo, Doctor, THIS is that ROSE TYLER you always talk about? (Great song)!

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Rose Tyler, United Kingdom

23 June 2014 at 2:00am

This song is quite sweet. Doctor! How you get here!?

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Dr. Who, United Kingdom

23 June 2014 at 1:59am

I also heard this song on doctor who! Such a sweet, gentle song! :)

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Gail, Monroe County, New York State, United States

28 May 2014 at 12:42am

Fond childhood memory singing this in rounds ~1963 as a Girl Scout at Camp Beechwood.

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amy sparrow, chapel lands

15 March 2014 at 2:10pm

love it really helps with my teaching singing i will definitely teach my year 5 this song thx. xxxxx

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Lisa, New Zealand

13 April 2013 at 10:19am

Id never heard this song til I heard it on Dr Who but they were singing it "Love Kookabura Love Kookabura how good our life would be"...

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Tooth, Botswana

2 April 2013 at 12:24am

horrible! april fools

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Clare, Korea, Republic Of

1 January 2013 at 12:32pm

Thank you. I'm going to teach this song to my kinder children:)

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Reeda, United Kingdom

15 June 2012 at 9:00pm

it was good but and this is a good but i done that song and it was not the same

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Isabella, Australia

23 April 2012 at 5:18am

I made a new verse kookaburra sits on the old gate getting prosecuted when he's awake stop kookaburra stop kookaburra don't sit on that gate

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Marc, United States

10 March 2012 at 1:17am

Check your grammar. This song is considered sensitive and may contain lyrics that cause [offensive] to some people. Please speak to a parent or guardian for further help.

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Mary, United States

16 February 2011 at 8:19pm

My daughter made up a new verse: Kookaburra sits on an electric wire, hoppin up and down 'cause he's on fire, fry Kookaburra! fry Kookaburra, how tasty you will be!

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Zemira, Adelaide

6 August 2010 at 1:09am

i love this site! helped me with my high school work too!

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Arnold, Burlington, Massachusetts

5 July 2010 at 8:01pm

I sang this song when I was a kid, it's my favorite, and I sing it to my grand daughter when she's going to sleep. Another verse; Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree feeding all the blackbirds he can see stop, kookaburra, stop, kookaburra, leave some there for me. I think my late husband may have made it up though.7

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Sue, Albany, California

29 May 2010 at 10:52pm

Kookaburra sits on the old gum rail He's got splinters in his tail Cry, kookaburra, cry, kookaburra Sore your tail must be.

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Alana, Wollongong

24 September 2009 at 12:06pm

i love these versions, im going to teach my preschoolers these! they will love it!

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Mh, Ozarks In Missouri

2 July 2009 at 3:00am

I am 71 years old and we sang this when I was in grade school. I am going to teaching it to my 2 year old grandson. I know he will like it.

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Maddie, Pittsburgh

10 June 2009 at 1:59pm

i love the song kookaburra

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This song has been printed from the BusSongs.com website.