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Here’s a nice, gently scary song you might like to teach your children or students for Halloween or Day of the Dead. It’s called Los esqueletos or The Skeletons. In Costa Rica it’s used to teach numbers in an exciting way!

My husband and I loosely translated the English version so that you can sing it to the tune. Below you can hear the melody it’s sung to.

MP3 Tune of Los esqueletos

Los esqueletos

Cuando el reloj marca la una
los esqueletos salen de su tumba,
tumba, que tumba, que tumba, tumba, tumba.

Cuando el reloj marca las dos
dos esqueletos comen arroz
tumba, que tumba, que tumba, tumba, tumba.

Cuando el reloj marca las tres
tres esqueletos se vuelven al revés
tumba, que tumba, que tumba, tumba, tumba.

Cuando el reloj marca las cuatro
cuatro esqueletos van al teatro
tumba, que tumba, que tumba, tumba, tumba.

Cuando el reloj marca las cinco
cinco esqueletos se pegan un gran brinco
tumba, que tumba, que tumba, tumba, tumba.

Cuando el reloj marca las seis
seis esqueletos juegan ajedrez
tumba, que tumba, que tumba, tumba, tumba.

Cuando el reloj marca las siete
siete esqueletos se montan en cohete
tumba, que tumba, que tumba, tumba, tumba.

Cuando el reloj marca las ocho
ocho esqueletos comen bizcocho
tumba, que tumba, que tumba, tumba, tumba

Cuando el reloj marca las nueve
nueve esqueletos todos se mueven
tumba, que tumba, que tumba, tumba, tumba

Cuando el reloj marca las diez
diez esqueletos se duermen otra vez. (retardando)

The Skeletons

When the old clock, we hear it strike one,
Out from their dark tombs, all the skeletons come,
“Tumba, ke tumba, ke tumba, tumba, tumba”.*

When the old clock, we hear it strike two,
White skeletons, two, gobble up rice, it’s true,
“Tumba, ke tumba, ke tumba, tumba, tumba”.

When the old clock, we hear it strike three,
White skeletons, three, turn upside down, you see,
“Tumba, ke tumba, ke tumba, tumba, tumba”.

When the old clock, we hear it strike four,
White skeletons, four, pass the theater door,
“Tumba, ke tumba, ke tumba, tumba, tumba”.

When the old clock, we hear it strike five,
White skeletons, five, jump high into the sky,
“Tumba, ke tumba, ke tumba, tumba, tumba”.

When the old clock, we hear it strike six,
White skeletons, six, play chess as the clock ticks,
“Tumba, ke tumba, ke tumba, tumba, tumba”.

When the old clock, we hear it strike seven,
White skeletons, seven, rocket up to heaven,
“Tumba, ke tumba, ke tumba, tumba, tumba”.

When the old clock, we hear it strike eight,
White skeletons, eight, eat up all the sponge cake,
“Tumba, ke tumba, ke tumba, tumba, tumba”.

When the old clock, we hear it strike nine,
White skeletons, nine, shake their bodies in time,
“Tumba, ke tumba, ke tumba, tumba, tumba”.

When the old clock, we hear it strike ten,
White skeletons, ten, lie down sleeping again. (Slow down.)

*Literally: “Tomb, which tomb, which tomb, tomb, tomb.”

Many thanks to Lilliana for the tune and for contributing this song provided by Rosa María Solís Marín from Costa Rica. Thanks also to Jason Pomerantz for helping me with the translation.

-Mama Lisa

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This artilce was posted on Tuesday, October 16th, 2007 at 5:55 pm and is filed under Argentina, Bolivia, Children's Songs, Costa Rica, Costa Rican Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Halloween, Halloween Songs, Holiday Songs, Holidays Around the World, Languages, Los esqueletos, MP3's, Nicaragua, Peru, Puerto Rico, Recordings of Songs, Spain, Spanish, The Day of the Dead, Uruguay. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “A Song about Skeletons in Spanish with an English Translation from Costa Rica”

  1. Marilyn Says:

    I am hoping you can help me…several years ago I learned a song phonetically and want to teach it to my current class of preschoolers, but I I have been unable to find a CD with the song.
    I apologize if I have totally butchered it but I believe it goes something like this….
    “U ya ngin tan da
    Um sin di si

    Ngia pinda ngiti U ya ngin tan da
    U nkulu u nkulu
    On gi tan da yo
    On gi tan di yo
    U nkulu u nkulu”

    Any ideas. I would really appreciate it as the children who sang it before really loved it.
    Many thanks Marilyn

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