Lesson 2: Exploring “Goodbye to Jenny”

Aim: How can we explore musical and emotional opposites in “Goodbye to Jenny?”
Summary: Students learn “Goodbye to Jenny” by exploring musical and emotional opposites.
Materials: Musical Explorers CD or online audio, chart paper, markers
Time Required: 30 minutes (three 10-minute activities)
Standards: GA: MK-2GM.1, MK-2GM.6, MK-2GM.7, MK-2GM.8, MK-2GM.9, MK-2GM.10
SC: MGK-2.1, MGK-2.4, MGK-2.5, MGK-2.6
Vocabulary: mood

Sing “Goodbye to Jenny”

  • Listen to “Goodbye to Jenny” ( Track 23).
  • Learn to sing the chorus.



Find Emotional Opposites with “Goodbye to Jenny”

  • Share the lyrics of “Goodbye to Jenny” with the students. Discuss the idea of how we feel when someone in our lives goes away.
    • What emotions, or feelings, would you have if someone important to you had to leave for a long time?
  • Write down these emotion words on chart paper. This will be the beginning of the “Emotional Opposites” list.
  • Brainstorm opposites for each of these emotion words (e.g., sad/happy, gloomy/funny, serious/silly).
  • Have students demonstrate facial expressions to go with each word and draw them on SG34.

Goodbye to Jenny

I met her in the springtime
When the birds were softly singing
For a soldier coming home
She was a sight to see
Sitting in the garden
Beneath the weeping willow
When she looked into my eyes
She stole my heart from meWhen the summer rain was falling
I asked her if she’d take me
And be this young man’s bride
For I loved her so
But she said my soul is hurting
From a love inside that’s burning
For there will come a time

When you have to go
And you say goodbye to Jenny
As you sail across the ocean
Saying “Jenny, lovely Jenny,
Won’t you remember me?”

One early autumn morning
A horseman came a-calling
With stories of a war
So very far away
My heart was sick with worry
And I knew I could not face her
But I never looked behind
For fear I’d want to stay

By the roadside she was waiting
I kissed her soft and gentle
And brushed her tears away
And held her close to me
For I knew she’d read the letter
I had placed upon the mantle
And she said “May God be with you,
And bring you safely home to me.”

Then I said goodbye to Jenny
As I sailed across the ocean
Jenny, lovely Jenny
Won’t you remember me?

Then I said goodbye to Jenny
As I sailed across the ocean
Jenny, lovely Jenny
Won’t you remember me?
Jenny, lovely Jenny
Please remember me

Explore Musical Opposites in “O’ro the Rattlin’ Bog”

  • Listen to a portion of the song once more.
    • Tempo is how fast or slow a song is.
  • Two musical words for different tempos are adagio (uh-DAH-joh), which means slow, and allegro (uh-LEG-roh), which means fast.
  • Ask students to listen for when the song is adagio or allegro.
  • While they listen, ask students to tap along with the steady beat to feel when the piece is fast or slow.


Explore Mood in “Goodbye to Jenny” and “O’ro the Rattlin’ Bog”

  • In music, we use the term mood to describe the emotion or feeling created by the music.
  • Listen to “Goodbye to Jenny” ( Track 23).

    • What do you hear in the song? Is it fast or slow? Loud or soft?
    • What is the mood of this song? How does the music reflect the mood?
    • What is the mood of “O’ro the Rattlin’ Bog?” How is it different from “Goodbye to Jenny?”
  • Have students document their answers on SG35.
  • Have students choose a new mood for “Goodbye to Jenny” or “O’ro the Rattlin’ Bog” and sing a version of the song that shows the change in mood.
  • Now that they have the new mood, have them perform their new version of the song and reflect on their choices.
    • What did you do to create the new mood? Did it go faster or slower? Is it louder or softer? What other changes were made?


Musical Word Wall

Add the word mood to the Musical Word Wall.


PDF Downloads

SG34 ↓ Download File
SG35 ↓ Download File


Musical Explorers Audio Tracks