Chip Withrow

Chip Withrow

BandFolkChildren's Music

Original folk rock for kids and families featuring fun, interactive, upbeat performances. Shows feature great guitar work and Chip's energetic style. A great choice for festivals and all age events. Educational shows available for schools, libraries, etc.


Late one afternoon on the beach, our daughter Josie told me that the setting sun looked like a big red ball. So I wrote a song about it. A few days later, Josie and I were reading about animals and she pronounced the "g" in "gnu." So I wrote a song about that.

I began looking at songwriting in a whole new way. My move to southwest Florida, years earlier, was a creative reawakening, inspiring me to write my own songs in addition to playing the songs I loved. My first efforts were painstakingly crafted tales with huge themes and an eclectic, rootsy style.

But after that day at the beach, the songs were coming to me in bursts, and the lyrics were making me smile as I wrote them. Now I'm sharing these songs, and I hope kids and their parents (and kids at heart of all ages) will dance to them and maybe be inspired by them. Now when I write, when Josie dances or sings along, I know I'm onto something.

Since my teens, I have been drawn to the story-telling of artists such as Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, the improvisation of bands like the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers, and the influential roots of a spectrum of standard-bearers from Hank Williams to Motown.

I think there’s a little bit of this all of these influences in my tunes as well as the inspiration I get from by beautiful surroundings and the great young people I work with as the journalism teacher at Ida Baker High School in Cape Coral, Florida.

I can never totally get away from trying to teach kids to use their language in positive ways. My website includes lesson plans for writing activities that go with my songs, and I always try to create the vibe in my performances for kids that learning and discovery are joys of their own.


Where the Red Ball Goes

Written By: Chip Withrow

I wanna go where the red ball goes
I wanna go where the red ball goes
Rises in the east sets in the west
Birds are singing sing somewhere else, and here they find their nests
I wanna go where the red ball goes

I’ll make some friends where the red ball ends
I’ll make some friends where the yellow ball begins
I’d like to see the other side of the world
Where moms are waking up their boys and girls
I’ll make some friends where the red ball ends
I’ll make some friends where the yellow ball begins

Someday I’ll sail where the red ball sails
Someday I’ll sail where the red ball sails
Halfway round the world folks are washed in rays of gold
Mom says, “Hurry up, your dinner’s getting cold”
Someday I’ll sail where the red ball sails
It sinks into the ocean as I’m standing on the beach
It fit between my fingers and now it’s out of reach
Someday I’ll go where the red ball goes.

Gnu Gnu

Written By: Chip Withrow

I stayed in bed all day sick with the flu
Read a book about Africa, learned about the gnu
Gnu, gnu – yes I know it has a silent G
Gnu, gnu – looks like an ox, hangs out with ostriches
Gnu sounds better to me.

On Saturday I went down to the zoo
The map was so confusing I didn’t know what to do
Gnu, gnu – said to the zookeeper, mister tell me true
Gnu gnu – you got so many animals
Now where you hiding the gnu?

Gnu, gnu – they got horns and sometimes they are blue
Gnu gnu – sometimes they’re called wildebeests
And I like that too
Gnu, gnu – he feasted on the wild grass and how he grew
Gnu, gnu – he’ll run away then turn around and stare right at you.

The herds they migrate looking for food
He might look slow but he’s a pretty quick dude
Gnu, gnu – gotta outrun lions and hyenas too
Gnu, gnu – got hooves so they don’t need any socks or shoes

Gnu, gnu – you sent me back to school a smarter young man-ah
Gnu, gnu – cause I know now you live in a savannah
Gnu, gnu – yes I know it has a silent G
Gnu, gnu – so does gnat, a tiny bug kinda like a flea
Gnu, gnu – I’d like to visit Africa where the gnu run free
Yeah, I’d like to visit Africa, where wildebeest run free.

Ella's Purple Plan

Written By: Chip Withrow

Ella’s wearing purple shoes, no surprise about that
Purple stockings, purple dress
Topped off with a purple hat
She’s going to the pet store looking for a purple cat
She wants everything in the world to be PURPLE
Ella’s got herself a purple plan

Ella wakes up early waiting for the sun to rise
Hoping that the clouds and rays turn into purple skies
Puts on her sunglasses, now she has purple eyes
Lavender or burgundy it’s all PURPLE
Ella’s got herself a purple plan

Purple flowers are lilacs, purple fruits are grapes
Ella’s super heroes all wear purple capes
If Ella had a zoo she’d have a place for purple apes
Every leaf on every tree would be PURPLE
Ella’s got herself a purple plan.

Eggplant’s kinda purple so she has it in the garden
Why can’t eggs be purple too, she’d buy up every carton
At least you can boil ‘em and paint ‘em when they harden
Hide them all around the yard, finding them won’t be too hard
All a part of Ella’s purple plan

Purple meant nobility in royal tales of yore
Worn by many kings and queens, dukes, duchesses and lords
Most folks just aren’t bold enough to dress that way anymore
Not Ella, she wants finery that’s PURPLE
If Ella had herself her purple way,
purple would be everywhere and every day
All a part of Ella’s purple plan

The Clyde Family

Written By: Chip Withrow

Dad’s name is Fred but it really should be Clyde
Dad’s name is Fred but it really should be Clyde
cause he’s the number one, indisputable king
King of the piggy back ride

Dad’s name is Fred but it really should be Clyde
cause he taught me the quickest, slickest way to slide
To slide right down a slide

My mom’s Geraldine but she should be Clydette
she taught me how to count and do the alphabet
Got a tiny little dog and his name is Fido
If I had my way we’d call him Clyde – o

Dad’s name is Fred but it really should be Clyde
At Grandma’s house he showed me all the
confidential places he used to hide

I guess it’s OK that his name is Fred
cause he taught me how to stand on my head
Other things he does rhyme with Fred
like showing me how to jump on the bed

If Dad was Clyde and Mom would be Clydette
and Clyde – o’s what we called our furry pet
Then I’d be Clydy, it rolls off your tongue
a name, a name you’d never forget.


"Everyday Things" - 12 original songs on CD, listen to all tracks at and selected tracks at

Set List

Children’s Shows and Programs

Library/School Performance - All Ages - Child oriented - 30 minutes - $50
Chip plays original and classic children’s folk music for thirty minutes for children, parents, and teachers. Performances are fun and interactive. We provide coloring and other activities to keep younger children engaged and appropriate percussion instruments for children to experiment with. We are happy to provide suggestions for activities for before and after the performance to enhance the educational experience.

Sample Set List:

Writing Rocks! Music and Writing Program – Grades 2 -6 – 2 hours - $200
As a musician and writing teacher, Chip combines these two arts in a motivating hands-on session for up to ten students. Additional students can be added for a fee or if you are able to provide adult mentors. Students will explore writing concepts and have fun listening to music and create their own works of art. Chip’s wife, Anna Withrow, a college writing instr