Mama Lisa's World
International Music & Culture
Kid Songs and Rhymes of




A Be Bow (Counting Out Rhyme)
Aulì ulè (Counting-out Rhyme)
Clap Your Hands (Fingerplay)
Bobo the Scale (Nursery Rhyme)
Goat, Little Goat (Nursery Rhyme)
One Hundred and Fifty (Counting-out Rhyme)
There Once Was a King (Nursery Rhyme)
Chimney, Chimney (Nursery rhyme)
The Thumb Says (Finger Play)
Go to Sleep, Go to Sleepy (Lullaby)  MP3 Midi  
Ambarabai ciccì coccò (Nonsense Rhyme)  
Frère Jacques   MP3  
Baby Jesus (A Carol)  
The Child's Horse (Lap Rhyme)
La Befana, Frizzy, Frizzy (La Befana Song) MP3
The Befana Comes at Night (Befana Rhyme) MP3  
The Pretty Washerwoman (Children's Game Song)  
The Hen   Midi  
The Moon (Counting-out Rhyme)
Firefly, Firefly (Nursery Rhyme)
Madam Golden (Circle Game)  Midi  
Mom, Give Me A Hundred Pounds (Traditional song)  Midi  
Maramao (Nursery Rhyme)
Milan Turin (Counting-out Song)
Brother Simon's Lullaby (Lullaby)  MP3
Infant Jesus' Lullaby (Lullaby)  MP3 Midi
Lullaby, Lullaby, ooh (Lullaby)  Midi
Oh, What a Fine Castle (Circle Game Song)  
Peppina, Get a Comb (Tongue Twister)
Plaza, Pretty Plaza (Finger Play)
Santa Lucia (Santa Lucia Song) MP3 Midi  
Chair, Little Chair (Lap Rhyme)  
Silk Money (Lullaby)  
Silk Money (Counting-out Rhyme)
Under the Malacca Bridge (Counting-out Song)  
Staccia Minaccia (Lap Rhyme)
Star, Little Star (Lullaby)  Midi  
Tacci and Taccin (Nursery Rhyme)
A Lot of Wishes for You (Birthday Song)
Mousie, Mousey Zum Ba Ba (Handclapping Rhyme)  
Thirty Days Has November (Nursery Rhyme)
Trot, Trot Horsey (Lap Rhyme)  
Trucci Trucci Cavallucci (Nursery Rhyme)
You Come Down from the Stars (A Carol)  MP3 Midi  
A Piece of Pizza (Tongue Twister)
Gentle Wind (Round)  

Italian Dialect


Giddy-up, Giddy-up Horsey (Nursery Rhyme)
Dong Dong Dalena (Nursery Rhyme)
Funiculì, Funiculà (Traditional Song)  
Coo-roo, Coo-roo (Nursery Rhyme)
My Sun (Traditional Song)
Saint Nicholas of Bari (Saint Nicholas Day Rhyme)  
Saw Saw, Master Ciccio (Nursery Rhyme)
You Little Finger (Finger Play)
Trot, Trot, Little Horse (Nursery Rhyme)



O Come, All Ye Faithful (A Carol)  MP3 Midi  
Creator of the Stars (A Carol) MP3
Give Us Peace (Round)  MP3 Midi
Sleep Son, Sleep! (Christmas Song)
Rejoice! (A Carol)  MP3 Midi
This Day Resounds (A Carol) MP3
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (Advent Hymn) MP3

Sicilian Dialect


How Beautiful is this Hat (Nursery Rhyme)  
Oh Come Sleep (Lullaby) MP3
Get Up, Baby (Christmas Rhyme)
Spring Has Come (Folk Song)  
  •   - this song has sheet music
  • Midi - this song has a Midi tune
  • MP3 - this song has an MP3 recording
  •   - this song has a Video recording

Some Comments About Italian Nursery Rhymes

In Italy, the older, traditional filastrocche (nursery rhymes) and songs for children are an endangered species; many of them are not in "official" Italian (which is based on the dialects of Tuscany), but in one of the regional dialects. These dialects, mainly used in the home and in small rural communities, have been handed down orally. But in many regions the use of dialect is declining even within the family, especially among TV-hungry 6-10 year olds(1), so the collective memory of these traditional filastrocche and songs in dialect risks fading with it(2). A few scholars have painstakingly and lovingly collected and studied them(3) but most of these collections and studies of traditional rhymes are for interested adults rather than for children(4).

Italian children don't all grow up knowing and loving the same nursery rhymes in the way that most children growing up in an English-speaking environment do. However, many of the filastrocche do exist in more or less similar versions in different dialects (and some in other European languages - e.g., the Scottish "Pippety Pew" and the French "Frère Jacques").

Traditional Italian filastrocche reflect Christian tradition (many lullabies are about the Infant Jesus and the holy family), and, more obscurely and symbolically, pre-Christian rites, the Moon, the Tarot, magic, the labyrinth, the spirit of corn, the cycle of life - birth, marriage and death - and of the year - seasons, harvest, Lent, Carnival, etc.

-Commentary by Ernestine Shargool

1) According to surveys carried out by Istat, the Institute of Statistics, in 1987-88 and 1995.
2) The use of dialects may be declining, but interest in them (perhaps as a consequence) seems to be increasing. There are many Italian publishers and web sites collecting and publishing traditional filastrocche, proverbs, songs, sayings, poems and prose in different dialects.
3) E.g., the books I have used for reference: Carlo Lapucci, Il libro delle filastrocche, Garzanti, 1987; A. Mari, A.V. Savona, M.L. Straniero: Sotto la Cappa del Camino, Arnoldo Mondadori, 1985; Silvia Goi, Il segreto delle filastrocche, Xenia Edizioni, 1991.
4) Some much-loved modern children's authors have written and published their own very popular collections of filastrocche.

Ernestine Shargool is a professional translator with an Anglo-Italian background and a lifelong interest in children's rhymes and folk tales from Italy, England and Scotland. She has translated many traditional nursery rhymes from English into Italian.

Click Here for bibliography of Italian selections.

Many thanks to Ernestine Shargool for taking the time to write commentary about Italian nursery rhymes and songs. -Grazie!

Here are some of Mama Lisa's recent posts about the music, culture and traditions of Italy:
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    Season’s greetings! At Mama Lisa’s World there’s no time of year we love better than the holidays! We’re happy to announce that we’ve recently added the following Christmas Carols to Mama Lisa’s World with mp3 recordings and YouTube videos: Italian Dormi, dormi, bel Bambin (Sleep, Sleep Beautiful Child) Tu scendi dalle stelle (You Come Down […] Read more »
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    Emanuela wrote from Italy about St. Nicholas of Bari... "We celebrate St. Nicholas of Bari on December 6th. Our St. Nicholas is the Nicholas who is celebrated in northern Europe. St. Nicholas was the Bishop of Myra (now part of Turkey), but now his body is in Bari, Italy. European immigrants brought this character to […] Read more »
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  • Gerard Ramos wrote asking for help with an Italian kids song from Sicily.  Here’s his email: Hi Lisa, I stumbled across your site searching for Italian children’s songs trying to find a song my great grandmother passed down through our family.  She was born in Sicily and moved to New Orleans when she was young.  […] Read more »
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      This delicious recipe for Gorgonzola Stuffed Gnocchi was sent from the region of Veneto in the northern Italy by Emanuela Marsura and Luciana Salvador. Recipe for Gorgonzola Stuffed Gnocchi Ingredients (Serves 2) 4 Potatoes 1 Egg Flour (1/2 cup+) Parmesan Cheese Salt Serve with: Melted Butter & Sage or Italian Sausage 1.  Boil the […] Read more »
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    On the day of the Dead, "Beans of the Dead" (Fave dei morti) are eaten in the Veneto resion of Italy.  They’re small cookies.  Here’s a recipe recommended to me by Emanuela Marsura from Italy.  I gave the measurements in grams and also cups. Recipe for Fave dei morti (Beans of the Dead) Ingredients 3 […] Read more »
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    Emanuela Marsura wrote about Italian traditions on All Saints’ Day and the Day of the Dead (festa Santi e Morti) that take place in Italy on November 1st and 2nd.  Here’s what she wrote: On All Saints’ Day (November 1st), we go to the Saints’ Mass in the morning. In the afternoon, we have a […] Read more »

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