Mama Lisa's World
International Music & Culture
Groene zwanen, witte zwanen
(Dutch Kids Song)

This is a variation of "Witte zwanen, zwarte zwanen".

Groene zwanen, witte zwanen
Green Swans, White Swans
Children's Song
Children's Song

Groene zwanen, witte zwanen - Dutch Children's Songs - The Netherlands - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World, Intro Image

Groene zwanen, witte zwanen,
Wie wil er mee naar Engeland varen?
Engeland is gesloten,
De sleutel is gebroken.
En er is geen enkele smid in het land
Die onze sleutel maken kan?
Laat door gaan,
Laat door gaan,
En de laatste zullen we vangen.

Green swans, white swans,
Who joins us to sail to England?
England is locked,
The key is broken,
And there is no blacksmith in the country.
Who could repair our key?
Let them pass,
Let them pass,
And the last one we will catch.


Nancy wrote about this song: "Some variations do exist. Instead of the blacksmith they say timmerman (carpenter, this makes the key out of wood).

Game Instructions

This is a singing game. Two rows of kids (let's say 10 each row) face each other forming an arch with their arms. They all start singing the song and the first kids in each row start walking/running under the arches. When the song is not quite finished, the first kids line up behind the last kids with arms raised. Now the second kid in each row starts walking/running under the arches. If those kids are under the arches at the last word of the song (vangen), the arms go down and they are caught and "out". This goes on till only 2 kids are left. You can imagine that this game will be frantic at the end.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Nancy and Bill Vanderhoeven for contributing and translating this song and for the game instructions.

Thanks to Gracie Gralike for the wonderful illustration!

Many thanks to F. S. for the recording!

Dank u wel!

Lyrics & Recordings Needed!

Email us a traditional song or rhyme from your country.

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