Mama Lisa's World
International Music & Culture
A la víbora
(Mexican Children's Game Song & Wedding Song)

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A la víbora
To the Sea Snake
Canción infantil
(Spanish)
Children's Game Song & Wedding Song
(English)

A la víbora - Mexican Children's Songs - Mexico - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World, Intro Image


A la víbora, víbora de la mar, de la mar,
Por aquí pueden pasar.
Los de adelante corren mucho,
Los de atrás se quedarán,
Tras, tras, tras.

Una Mejicana, que frutas vendía,
Ciruelas, chabacanos, melón y sandía.
Verbena, verbena,
Jardín de matatena.
Que llueva, que llueva,
La Virgen de la cueva.

Campanita de oro,
Déjame pasar, con todos mis hijos,
Menos éste de atrás, tras, tras, tras,
Será melón, será sandia
Será la vieja del otro día!

To the snake, sea snake, to the sea,
You can go by here.
Those ahead run fast,
Then those at the back will stay,
Back, back, back.

A Mexican woman, who was selling fruit,
Plums, apricots, melon and watermelon,
Verbena, verbena,*
Stone garden.
Let it rain, let it rain,
The Virgin of the cave.

Little golden bell,
Let me pass, with all my children,
Except the one at the back, back, back!
It'll be melon, it'll be watermelon,
It'll be the old woman from the other day.

Notes

*Verbena is a plant, but it's also a popular night party that's usually held outside in streets and gardens.

Game Instructions

Two children decide who will be the melon and who will be the watermelon. Then they join hands to form an arch and sing the song two or three times, while the other children pass under the arch in a line. When reaching the last "tras, tras, tras," ("back, back, back"), the two children forming the arch bring their arms down to catch the child passing under them. That child then has to decide whether to be a melon or a watermelon, and lines up behind one of the two parts of the arch. When all the children have been "caught" there is a tug of war to decide whether the melons or the watermelons are the strongest.

Photos & Illustrations

A la víbora - Mexican Children's Songs - Mexico - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World, Comment Image

Comments

Carlos sent us a version with a slightly different wording of the 2nd verse. Here's how he sings it...

2nd verse:

Una mexicana que fruta vendía
Ciruela, chabacano, melón o sandía
Una mexicana que fruta vendía
Ciruela, chabacano, melón o sandía
Verbena, verbena jardín de matatena
Que llueva, que llueva, la Virgen de la cueva.

English Translation:

The Mexican lady who was selling fruit,
Plum, apricot, melon or watermelon,
The Mexican lady who was selling fruit,
Plum, apricot, melon or watermelon,
Verbena, verbena, stone garden,
Let it rain, let it rain, the Virgin of the cave.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Katherine Smith for contributing this song and to Monique Palomares for the English translation with Lisa Yannucci. Thanks to Carlos Arturo Casas Mendoza for sharing his version. Thanks to Corrina Durdunas for the sea snake drawing and to Monique Palomares for illustration of the fruit vendor!

MP3: Monique Palomares

¡Muchas gracias!

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