Hi! I'm Karen Buckley, The Turtlesinger, and here for you to enjoy
reading are the song lyrics to my first CD.



Chorus: You better watch out!
      You could be next!
      It could happen to you
      When you least expect!
      It could fly through the air,
      Or come in a hug!
      You might just catch
      the turtle bug!
I was mindin' my own business
Everything was goin' fine,
Visiting my brother in Virginia
(it was 1989...)
When he stopped to help a turtle
Cross a country road that day:
I didn't even see it but it made me
want a turtle in the worst way! (Chorus)
So when we got back to Brooklyn
I went to the pet store!
I got my very first turtle:
A red-eared slider and more!
I couldn't learn enough about them
So maybe you can imagine my glee
When I discovered there was a
New York Turtle and Tortoise Society! (Chorus)
How I loved that little turtle!
(But I was far from through!)
I wanted to work with the turtles!
I called the Big Bronx Zoo!
At the reptile house, I trained there
Every month, three days a week.
I was so enamored of turtles
(You could say this love was unique!) (Chorus)
Then we heard about a house for sale
In Cape May County
My husband, Dick, had always wanted
To live by the sea!
What we found was unexpected,
For along with the wish of my spouse:
The Cape May County Zoo needed a keeper to work
In their new reptile house! (Chorus)
So we moved to Cape May County
So fast-I didn't care!
For a chance to work with the turtles,
I was floating on air!
For three years I worked with turtles
And took some turtle trips on the side:
My passion for the turtles was something that
Could not be denied! (Chorus)
There was sadness in my life, then:
For my dear husband, Dick, died.
I went back to my music...
So many times I cried...
Well my tortoise made me laugh again!
(It felt a little like waking up!)
My tortoise walked around like he was blinded!
(Stuck on his head was a Dixie cup!) (Chorus)
Since then I've seen more turtles...
I kept on loving them all this time.
I've got a new husband, Charlie!
Life feels pretty sublime...
And a way to mix turtles and music
Seems to have made itself clear!
I started writing songs about turtles
On May 1st of this year! (Chorus)
So if you've already got the turtle bug
You know it's pretty neat!
We've gotta stand up for the turtles:
Or what kind of fate will they meet?
Besides, people know what to give you, then,
(You can ask Charlie, my spouse):
From Christmas to birthdays to weddings
There are turtles all over the house! (Chorus)
Copyright 2000 Turtlesinger Songs

Chorus: Gracie girl, Gracie girl
      Gentle and shy, my Gracie girl,
      A travancore tortoise with soft, dark eyes:
      (She must use them to hypnotize
      my boy turtles!
      'Cause Bart loves her and Rocky,
      he loves her too!)
      All the boys love Gracie girl
      And maybe you'll love her, too!
Now just because my Gracie girl's shell has a bump
Doesn't mean you don't give her respect!
For shortly after she was hatched
They found this genetic birth defect:
But Gracie walks and Gracie eats and sleeps
And she does just fine!
She's been with me for many years
And we have a great time! (Chorus)
The thing that she loves most to eat is
Something called "Reptomins"
I knew them as a captive food
For the diamondback terrapins
But Gracie can't stop eating them;
To her it's the greatest fun
They're her turtle potato chips:
She can't eat just one! (Chorus)
Now Gracie doesn't eat just Reptomins,
She loves cabbage and bananas, too,
Watermelon and corn on the cob,
And even some honeydew!
The first time I took Gracie outside
She ate clover growing right on the lawn!
And if you have berries of any kind,
When Gracie's around, they'll be gone! (Chorus)
When Gracie starts eating she dives right in;
She's not what I'd call "neat"
For she can't use a knife and fork
When she gets ready to eat!
With blueberries here and cantaloupe there
And food she finds in her space,
Take it from me, she eats with glee,
And gets it all over her face! (Chorus)
Now Bart and Rocky both love Gracie girl,
They both follow her all around:
All they have to do is look at her;
She doesn't even have to make a sound!
Now, Rocky wants Gracie all to himself
Even though he's already bred!
Believe it or not, he'll chase Bart away
Or even try to bite him on the head! (Chorus)
Copyright 2000 Turtlesinger Songs

I've been to Costa Rica at midnight
When the stars fill the skies:
On Playa Grande Beach, in the moonlight
The leatherback turtles arrive.
Huge gray shapes loom from the waves,
Lurching in with the tide:
No sound-no light-just sand and surf
And the beach far and wide...
Will she come, determined to lay her eggs?
Will she leave, terrified?
She comes on:  she'll be gone by dawn-
Tired and satisfied...
Heaving herself forward
She leaves tracks five feet wide!
Her head's the size of a basketball
And salt drains from her eyes.
Now, on land, I am covered with sand
That she flings for several feet 'round:
Seventeen turtles I counted tonight
Laying their eggs in the ground.
I feel a bit invisible
As she lays dozens of eggs by my side...
Her feet seem so maternal
As she pats the sand, her eggs to hide...
Finally, she returns to the sea
And not even I know
Exactly where she laid those eggs,
They're camouflaged just so.
How can I be in Costa Rica,
No other human in sight,
Standing in awe of their destiny,
Watching them fade in the night!?
Never before or since that night
Did I ever feel so alive
Watching them come like millennium,
Leatherback turtles by my side.
Copyright 2000 Turtlesinger Songs

Rocky...he's no bigger than a helmet!
--a small one, at that-he's just a little guy,
But he could be old; yes he's lived a long life.
If Rocky could talk, I wonder what he'd tell us!
He's a three-toed box turtle, and I'm glad he's mine!
He once lost his tail-but it's growing back fine!
Rocky likes grapes!  He chews and he tugs!
He eats bananas and he eats grubs!
We first called him "Pebbles" but then we got wise:
He isn't a girl, he's just one of the guys!
Rocky's my first-he was my first box turtle!
He's been with me now for a lot of years!
We've lived through the joys and we've lived through the tears.
When Rocky eats (like most turtles I know)
Whatever he eats, on his face it'll show!
Rocky loves food, but he's really a slob;
You should see him eat his favorite:  corn-on-the-cob!
Chorus: Rocky's the best!  He's a likeable turtle!
      And he's in my will-and now he's in this song!
      For when I am gone, prob'ly Rocky goes on...
Rocky likes worms!  Rocky likes bugs!
Rocky eats fruits and Rocky eats slugs!
His lines are so worn; I know he's lived long!
(He loves my turtle Gracie but that's another song!)(Chorus)
Copyright 2000 Turtlesinger Songs

In Galapagos you'll see there's a tortoise who seems bored...
Or he seemed that way to me-he's called Lonesome George
And he sits there all alone, the last one of his kind
Unless somehow, somewhere, another one like him they'll find...
Chorus: Galapagos! Where massive tortoises stare!
      Galapagos! Go find nature's bounty there!
      Galapagos! Haunting beauty there resides!
      Timeless islands washed by the sea and tides!
We saw green sea turtles swim below where we stood
On the cliffs by the sea as they were searching for food!
They ate seaweed off the rocks, gliding effortlessly:
Huge males and females playing in the aqua sea! (Chorus)
Orange Sally Lightfoot crabs, even penguins, too!
Courting booby birds with their feet of blue!
Diving iguanas as black as can be,
Eating their algae on rocks underneath the balmy sea! (Chorus)
Giant tortoises chewing leafy greens-
(you cannot touch the turtles, but there are no screens:)
You get as close as you like; they say "Just please don't touch":
That's the rule that we liked about Galapagos so much! (Chorus)
You can also see baby tortoises and so many things:
Swim with sea lion pups and cormorants with tiny wings!
Our senses were stimulated, oversensitized:
A trip we'll recall for the rest of our lives! (Chorus)
Copyright 2000 Turtlesinger Songs

I have a redfoot tortoise who is smart
And we call him Big Black Bart!
He loves my tortoise Gracie, too!
He's the sweetest tortoise you ever knew
Chorus: And to watch Bart eat is wonderful:
      Come, watch, and he will you enthrall!
      When he eats his grapes, it's marvelous:
      It looks like he swallows a bowling ball!
      For my Bart, like all good reptiles
      Swallows his food as whole as it can be!
      They don't chew their food like me and you:
      They like to swallow it down entirely!
I wasn't sure if Bart was male or not
But now I know he thinks Gracie's hot!
Yes, on my Gracie he is very stuck (and believe it or not)
When he woos her, he makes a sound like a chicken cluck!
Bart loves to march outside around his pen,
Happily waiting for the time when
Up from the stairs and house above,
We throw him vegetables and love!
How he loves those flying vegetables!
We throw him tomatoes and berries and such!
They fly through the air into his pen:
He likes to find them very much!
But Bart's favorite is the open yard!
We watch him march and feed his appetite,
But we have to watch him carefully:
Before you know it, he is out of sight!
Copyright 2000 Turtlesinger Songs

It was forty years ago when a turtle saved Paul's life,
And his father still lives in South Dennis.
Paul was only four years old:  in a coma from the strife
Of a car accident in Cape May County.
And just like a turtle who tries to cross the road
And always takes his life in his hands,
The boy followed his two older brothers across a busy road
But he never made it to the other side...
Chorus: Paul had a serious skull fracture,
      And the doctors told his folks
      There was little hope that he would survive...
      For a month he lay still
      Waitin' for the time until
      His dad brought Tony the turtle to his side.
His father never gave up hope and prayed each and every day
And visited the boy most of the time
While his mother cared for his younger brother
But who can see the way
Of God, who answers prayers in His own time? (Chorus)
Then, returning to South Jersey from Philadelphia
Paul's father stopped to help a box turtle,
For he wanted to help that turtle avoid the fate of his own son
--And then an idea popped into his head:
He remembered Paul liked turtles, and put the turtle in his car
And hoped the doctors would let Tony the turtle in...
Well, the Head Nurse was dead against it-
But you know how dads are-
And the permission from the doctor prevailed! (Chorus)
So his father brought the box turtle over near Paul's bed
And started to talk to him about Tony
And as he lay there in that coma,
Something stirred in that boy's head-
And for the first time in a month, he gave a sign!
Oh yes, for some strange reason, Paul began to come around;
Yes, the boy began to come out of that coma!
He reacted to the sight of Tony; he started uttering sounds-
And the doctors and the nurses were amazed, because (Chorus)
After several days, Paul started talking
(And hasn't stopped talking since)
And Paul remembers, to this day, waking up to the sight of Tony
Who came through in a pinch:
The box turtle in the shoebox, and his dad.
After helping bring that little boy back to consciousness,
Tony the turtle was released into the woods of Dennis Township,
And box turtles can live no less than 100 years, did you know?
That means Tony could still roam the woods with his own memory
Of when he went to the hospital in Philly to help a boy...
And I'll remind you once more, this is a true story
Of a man who was kind to a turtle, who then helped his boy:
So I hope you'll watch for Tony on the roads...
And I hope you'll watch for Tony's friends on the roads! (Chorus)
Copyright 2000 Turtlesinger Songs

I live on the salt marsh:  what a place to be!
It is the diamondback terrapin turtle territory!
You start to see those turtle heads
As early as the end of May:
Turtles wake up from their muddy beds
Where they slept the winter away!
Chorus: Diamondback terrapin(s), terrapins
      Ever in hot pursuit
      Of wild fiddler crabs or Reptomins
      At the Wetlands Institute!
      Diamondback terrapins, terrapins
      You can while the hours away
      Helping all those lovely turtles
      In the county of Cape May!
One place you can see terrapins
Is while kayaking in the salt marsh:
Lovely in the summer
Though in the winter it's harsh!
Find them on a sunny bank piled up one by one:
Diamondback terrapins like to soak up the rays of the sun!
Now if you see a turtle trying to cross the road:
Pick it up and take it in the direction it was trying to go!
Won't you slow down when you come to town?
Please make no mistakes:
To keep turtles alive so they can thrive
Means you must put on the brakes for (Chorus)
But if on the road you find a dead terrapin
Or one who is really sick,
Take it to the Wetlands Institute
Where they do a really neat trick!
They may not save the mother-
She may be in a trance-
But if she has eggs, they can incubate them
And give them a very good chance to be a (Chorus)
Just last summer, in our yard,
We were so happy to find
Half a dozen turtle nests
Of the diamondback terrapin kind!
Please watch for our turtles!
Some are white and gray and some scarred!
Watching for the turtles takes some time
But it isn't really hard to help the (Chorus)
Here's a chance for me to sing
Of people who've done some great good
To help the world's turtles:
Peter Pritchard and Roger Wood!
Let's not forget John Behler!
And maybe most famous by far
Is a legendary turtle man
Whose name was Archie Carr!
He helped the turtles and (Chorus)
One more thing about terrapins
Is they live where crabs abound
But you've got to keep on checking your traps
Because in them turtles have drowned!
But here's a hint if you want to drop your trap
And never think twice:
All you have to do is connect it to
A turtle excluder device to save the (Chorus)
Copyright 2000 Turtlesinger Songs

Well, I went out to feed my turtle a worm-
He wanted one, not two-
So I saved his other worm for another time,
And changed his water, too.
Then I set him in his turtle bath
And I looked him in the eye
And he sat and looked at me right back
Under the sunny sky.
Well, they say God's in the moments;
To live in the here and now:
I say, lock eyes with a turtle!
A turtle will show you how...
'Cause in that moment, everything stopped,
It was just my turtle and me
As we soaked up the September sun:
Turtles know how to just "be".
Sometimes I wish I were a turtle
And had the sense to know
How to enjoy an afternoon
And how to go with the flow...
To have been around 200 million years,
Turtles learned to adapt or die-
Perhaps a turtle can teach us a few things:
To slow down, or even try.
Oh, eventually my turtle left his bath
Where he loves to soak his behind,
And when I offered him that worm again-
I found out he'd changed his mind!
So remember those important turtle rules:
Eat and sleep, and rest,
Or even take the winter off!
Hibernation's the best!
And remember to soak in your bathtub
And enjoy the warmth of the sun!
And if you want to, take another worm!
You don't have to take just one!
Copyright 2000 Turtlesinger Songs

Well now it's goodbye from all of us!
The Turtlesinger thanks you!
Goodbye from all the turtles and all my turtles, too!
Come see us in Cape May County
Where you can go to the ocean and swim!
And look in the salt marsh for our diamondback terrapin!
Goodbye from the Turtlesinger until the time when
I've finished my next Turtlesinger CD,
Hey!  Maybe you'll hear me again!
But now it's goodbye from all my turtles:
From Rocky, Gracie and Bart!
It's time for us to go now, time for us to part-
Please be a turtle helper:  they all depend on you!
Keep learning about turtles!  Find out what you can do!
We've got to go now, time for us to be gone:
But you can all reach me at Turtlesinger@hotmail.com!
Copyright 2000 Turtlesinger Songs
Turtlesinger Main Page
Turtlesinger Photo Gallery
Listen to Audio Clips!
Turtlesinger Reviews