The Hat in the song is a three-cornered hat, like the one Captain Jack Sparrow wears in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films.
When you teach the song it’s worth making sure that “soh-doh” interval in line three, “And had”, is given a bit of care; otherwise it will be flat.
Hat: hold hands in arch over head to make a hat
Three: hold up three fingers
Corners: put your hand on your hip and make your elbow point to the side
Once the song is known, miss out hat, then three, then corners, on subsequent verses while still doing the actions. This is harder than you might think!
here’s the song:
“Venetian Carnival”, composed by Ronald Binge (of “Elizabethan Serenade” and “Sailing By” fame) is a brilliant musical portrayal of a night at the carnival. It is composed entirely from the same tune as “My hat it has three corners”. I usually play the recording to the children after we have learned the song, without saying anything more than the title of the music. The children’s faces when they hear the opening theme are a delight, and they will immediately start doing the song actions in time to the recording. They are often able to respond with the correct movements even when the tune has been decorated or fragmented.
This piece of music can be bought as a single item from sites such as Amazon for a few pence. I have the whole CD; “British Light Music”, on the Marco Polo label, and use most of the tracks for “listening music” to identify contrasts of timbre, dynamics, mood, structure etc. You will probably recognise most of the music if you listened to Saturday morning radio a long time ago!