Below are the lyrics to Samba Lele in Portuguese, followed by an English translation and an mp3 recording. The recording is by a French class who sings the song for us!

Samba Lelê - Brazilian Children's Songs - Brazil - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image
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*Alternate to this line is "de uma boa lambada" ("a good whacking").

**"Praia Formosa" translates to "Beautiful Beach". It's a beach on the Portuguese island of Madeira. It's also the fashion district of Funchal, the capital of the Madeira islands.


Here's the chorus that the children are singing in the mp3:

Samba, samba,
Samba ô Lelê
Pisa na barra da saia
Samba, samba,
Samba ô Lelê
Na barra da saia ô Lalá


Raffi made Sambalele popular in the US. His lyrics are very different. You can find something very close to Raffi's Samba lele lyrics by clicking the link (hopefully it'll stay online).



Many thanks to the CM2 (5th grade) students, St-Ambreuil (71), France, school year 2008-2009" for singing this song for Mama Lisa's World and for the wonderful illustration!

Please let us know if you think this video has been taken down by YouTube.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Thanks to Ellen Harold-Stein for pointing this song out to us. Many thanks to Monique Palomares for creating the midi music.

Translated by Monique Palomares with a little help from Lisa Yannucci.