Mama Lisa's World
International Music & Culture
Al pasar la barca
(Spanish Kids Song)

Al pasar la barca
When I Stepped On Board
Canción de comba
Children's Song

Al pasar la barca - Spanish Children's Songs - Spain - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World, Intro Image

Al pasar la barca
Me dijo el barquero
Las niñas bonitas
No pagan dinero
Yo no soy bonita
Ni lo quiero ser
¡Arriba la barca!
Una dos y tres.

When I stepped on board,
The boatman said to me:
Pretty girls
Go for free.
I'm not pretty
Nor do I want to be,
Long live the boat!*
One, two and three.


* Monique wrote: "The second to last line 'arriba la barca' means 'long live the boat' or 'up with the boat'. I've just listened to another version that goes 'arriba la barca, abajo el barquero' (up with the boat, down with the boatman)."

You can hear another version of this song sung here.

Game Instructions

Two children join hands and put their arms up to make an arch The other kids form a line and pass under the arch while the song is sung. At the end of the song, the two forming the arch lower their arms and catch the kid passing under it. Then the game continues.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Esther Patruno for contributing this song and to Monique Palomares for translating it (with a little help from Lisa Yannucci). Thanks to Lila for the drawing.

Thanks to Monique Palomares for singing Al pasar la barca for us!

¡Muchas gracias!

Lyrics & Recordings Needed!

Email us a traditional song or rhyme from your country.

More info.

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