Fatou yo - Senegalese Children's Songs - Senegal - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image


There was a question about the language of this song. Some people think it's in Mandinka and others Wolof. I asked Del Dallimore who lives in nearby Gambia. Here's what she wrote, "It is definitely not Mandinka. Most of Senegal speak Wollof or French. They [Del's friends] think it is Wollof but mixed with another language. I will get others to have a listen."

Later we found out it's in a Balanta language. If anyone knows which Balanta language it's in, we would welcome the info! We also welcome help fine-tuning the English translation. Please email me if you can help. Thanks in advance! -Mama Lisa



Many thanks to Isabelle and the T1 teachers (in their 1st year of teaching) for singing Fatou yo, and to Pierre Bénichou who accompanied them on guitar and some of the teachers were on percussion too.

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Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Isabelle for contributing this song, the translation and recording. Thanks to Del Dallimore for trying to help us identify the language.

Photo: "Ouakam-Cité Assemblée" by Jeff Attaway from Abuja, Nigeria - Cite Assemblee (cropped). Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Thanks so much!

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