Many thanks to Evelyn for contributing this following song. Evelyn wrote: "This is a song that is difficult to translate because it was written trying to imitate the original African slaves slang. They were brought to Cuba by the Spanish to work mostly in the sugar cane fields."

Drume negrita - Cuban Children's Songs - Cuba - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image

Notes

(1) Ca'cabe' (Cascabel) for a child is a rattle (not a bell).
(2) A mamey is a type of fruit that grows in Cuba
(3) A babalao is a Santeria priest
(4) Pau means stick. Dar pau pau means to give a spanking.

*****

Here are the original lyrics:

Mamá la negrita
se le salen lo pie e' la cunita
y la negra Merce'
ya no sabe que hace'.

Tu drume negrita
que yo va' compra' nueva cunita
que va' tené capite'
que va' tené cajcabel.

Si tu drumi yo te traigo un mamey
muy colorao'
y si no drumi yo te traigo un babalao
que da pau pau.

Tu drume negrita
que yo va' compra' nueva cunita
que va' tené capite'
que va' tené cajcabel.

Interludio

Si tu drumi yo te traigo un mamey
muy colorao'
y si no drumi yo te traigo un babalao
que da pau pau.
Tu drume negrita
que yo va' compra' nueva cunita
que va' tené capite'
que va' tené cajcabel.(2)

Comments

This song is often heard performed by Bola de Nieve.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Evelyn for contributing and translating this song and for sending me this wonderful Cuban children's drawing. Many thanks to Nydia Otero for sending the original version.

¡Muchas gracias!

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