Mama Lisa's World
International Music & Culture
Groene zwanen
(Belgian Kids Song)


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

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

Groene zwanen, witte zwanen
Wie gaat er mee naar Engeland varen
Engeland is gesloten
De sleutel is gebroken
Er is geen enkele smid in het land
Die de sleutel maken kan
Lang dore, Land Dore,
Wie achter is moet voreMidd

Green swans, white swans,
Who is going to sail to England?
England is closed,
The key is broken,
There are absolutely no blacksmiths in the land
Who can make the key
Far Dore*, Dore country
Whoever is last must go to the middle.


*Dore is a village in England. I'm not sure if both uses of the word "Dore" in this line refer to the village. If anyone can help improve the translation of the last two lines, please email me. Thanks! Mama Lisa

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, 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

Thanks to Kim Welkenhuysen for contributing this song. Translated by Mama Lisa. Thanks to Nancy and Bill Vanderhoeven for sending us the game instructions.

Dank u wel!

Lyrics & Recordings Needed!

Email us a traditional song or rhyme from your country.

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