Cimene, cimene, cimene
Ci ste sus ?
O tenus !
Ci sta fa?
O frigge u pesc!
E la spine ?
A qui le da?
Shitte gat, shitte gat, shitte gat.
Chimney, chimney, chimney
Who is up there?
The chimney sweep!
What is he doing?
And the spine?
Who gets that?
Get out cat! Get out cat! Get out cat!
All the participants put their hands one on top of the other's hands. As they chant the song they move one hand to the top of the stack of hands. When it comes to the last line they make the movement much faster whereby they end up slapping each others hands (not hard though).
Lois wrote me, "This is a Pugliese dialectical children's game. All the participants put their hands one on top of the others' hands. As they chant the song they move one hand to the top of the stack of hands. When it comes to the last line they make the movement much faster whereby they end up slapping each others hands (not hard though).
*Note. Little American kids love this chant not only because of the game but also because at the end they 'think' they are being naughty and saying 'sh*tty cat' with adult permission. You can explain, if need be, that 'Shitte gat' in dialect means 'uscite gatto' - 'Get out cat' . Personally I don't explain it to my American nieces and nephews because they get so much pleasure out of thinking they are saying a naughty, forbidden word.
Another cute linguistic story is that in Italian we always say 'Giu' to our cats when they jump up on tables (it simply means 'down' and is pronounced 'Jew' ). Once an American Jewish friend of my daughter was visiting and the cat jumped up on the table and Tonia starting yelling 'Giu, giu' at the cat. Her friend mistakenly thought that in anger Tonia was calling the cat a 'Jew' for being naughty. Tonia, naturally explained."
Thanks and Acknowledgements
Many thanks to Lois Erskine for contributing and translating this song and for sharing her little stories.
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