Mama Lisa's World
International Music & Culture
Holle bolle Gijs
(Dutch Nursery Rhyme)


Debbie wrote: "Holle Bolle Gijs is a big garbage can at the Efteling (a fairy-tale theme park) here in the Netherlands and basically he's a guy who was quite chubby but always hungry and no matter how much he ate he was STILL hungry!" The character originally comes from this nursery rhyme.

Holle bolle Gijs
Hungry Chubby Gus
Nursery Rhyme
Nursery Rhyme

Holle bolle Gijs - Dutch Children's Songs - The Netherlands - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World, Intro Image

Heb je wel gehoord van die holle bolle wagen,
Waar die holle bolle Gijs op zat?
die kon schrokken, grote brokken:
een koe en een kalf, een paard en een half,
een os en een stier, zeven tonnen bier,
een wagen vol schapen*
en nog kon Gijs van de honger niet slapen!

Have you ever heard of the Hungry Chubby Wagon
That Hungry Chubby Gus was sitting on
He could gobble great big chunks:
A cow and a calf, a horse and a half,
An ox and a bull, seven barrels of beer,
A wagon full of sheep
And Gus was SO hungry that he still couldn't sleep!


*This line can also be found as "Een schip vol schapen en een kerk vol rapen" "A ship full of sheep and a church full of turnips"

Note: I changed the name to Gus in the translation to make it more readable to English speakers. Debbie had left it as the original "Gijs". –Mama Lisa

Later Monique wrote me, "I found that Gijs is short for Gijsbert which is a variant of Gilbert, so Gil would fit."


Athena wrote, "It's funny. I went to De Efteling many times as a child and threw many things away in that particular trashcan (although I think there's more than one of him at the park) but I never associated that song with him."

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Annemarie McNish for contributing this nursery rhyme and to Debbie van Baalen for the translation and commentary.

Photo: Hullie

Dank u wel!

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