The oldest version of this song was collected in the Netherlands and dates back to around 1850.


*Niklas wrote the following notes about the song:

*"I often sang a variation: 'k zag twee apen nootjes rapen - I saw two monkeys collecting nuts - because the 'rapen' makes a better rime then the 'kraken')."
**"I remember a version with a better rhyme 'K zag twee uilen kaartjes ruilen - I saw two owls trading cards."
***"Kwelen is a pejorative for singing... like butchering a song."

Niklas wrote: "The 'k is a short form of 'ik' (I), the 't a short form of 'het' (it). Abbreviations like this are often used in rimes and songs to preserve the rhythm, an example in English would be the ['t] in ['T was the night before Christmas...]. 'Wonder boven wonder' (wonder on top of wonder) is a Dutch expression roughly equivalent to the English 'Lo and behold'.

The song is a collection of silly rhymes on animals. The verses all follow the same pattern:

I saw two -x- do -y-
Oh it was a wonder
't was a wonder on a wonder (Lo and behold, what a wonder)
that this -x- could -y-
hi-hi-hi. ha-ha-ha
I stood there and watched them."


Petra wrote, "My mum has another verse [the 2nd one]. We are all from Antwerpen in Belgium originally now living in the UK and she
is singing it to my daughter, so we can teach her Flemish."

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Sheet Music

Sheet Music - 'K Zag Twee Beren Broodjes Smeren

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Thanks to Tine Deschryver and Kim Welkenhuysen for contributing this song. Thanks also to Petra for contributing the second verse.
Thanks to Niklas Oberfeld for the longer version of the song, a score and his comments. Translation by Niklas Oberfeld and Lisa Yannucci.

Dank u wel!

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