Can Someone Help with a Song Called “Sambalale”?

Ellen wrote:

I’m looking for the origin of a song entitled “Sambalale.” It’s about a boy who is a show off and is trying to get a mango out of a tree. Raffi credits it to Brazil but I can’t find anything on this. It’s one of my preschool favorites.

E. Harold-Stein

If anyone can help with the origin of “Sambalale”, and/or the original lyrics and/or an English translation, please comment below.

Thanks!

Mama Lisa

Here’s a YouTube video I found with the name “Sambalelê na Kalimba”. They call it a Brazilian Folk Song (perhaps this is the same song?). Either way it’s great!

UPDATE: You can find the correct Samba Lele lyrics with an MP3 Recording, midi tune score and English, French and Spanish translations on Mama Lisa’s World! It is a Brazilian Folk Song in Portuguese.

This article was posted on Sunday, September 28th, 2008 at 8:43 pm and is filed under Brazil, Brazilian Folk Songs, Countries & Cultures, Folk Songs, Languages, Portuguese, Questions. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

15 Responses to “Can Someone Help with a Song Called “Sambalale”?”

  1. Lisa Says:

    My husband found a recording to hear the English version of this song. (Click the link.)

  2. Lisa Says:

    Ellen, who originally asked about this song, wrote:

    That’s IT! A little different melody than Raffi’s version, but at least I have the full name: Sambalele na Kalimba. Now, to find out the original lyrics! Thanks a million.
    Ellen

  3. Monique Says:

    Here are the original lyrics

    Samba Lelê está doente
    Está com a cabeça quebrada
    Samba Lelê precisava
    De umas dezoito lambadas

    Samba , samba,
    Samba ô Lelê
    Pisa na barra da saia ô Lalá (BIS)

    Ó Morena bonita,
    Como é que se namora ?
    Põe o lencinho no bolso
    Deixa a pontinha de fora

    Ó Morena bonita
    Como é que se casa
    Põe o véu na cabeça
    Depois dá o fora de casa

    Ó Morena bonita
    Como é que cozinha
    Bota a panela no fogo
    Vai conversar com a vizinha

    Ó Morena bonita
    Onde é que você mora
    Moro na Praia Formosa
    Digo adeus e vou embora

    You can hear a sample here

  4. Monique Says:

    You can see the English lyrics here. They are quite different from the original Brazilian ones.

  5. Lisa Yannucci Says:

    If someone could provide an English translation to the original lyrics, that would be great!

    -Lisa

  6. Monique Says:

    Well guys, this is what I came to:

    Samba Lelê is sick
    He broke his head
    Samba Lelê needed/deserved
    Eighteen whackings.

    Dance the samba, dance the samba
    Samba ô Lelê
    Step on the hem/rim of the skirt ô Lalá

    O pretty brunette
    How does one get a boyfriend?
    Put your handkerchief in your pocket
    Let the top/corner show out.

    O pretty brunette
    How does one get married?
    Put the veil on your head
    And then get away from home

    O pretty brunette
    How does one cook?
    Put the pan on the fire
    Go and chat with your neighbor

    O pretty brunette
    Where do you live?
    I live in Formosa Beach,
    I say goodbye and go away.

  7. Lisa Says:

    We posted Samba Lelê with an English translation, midi and score. (Click the link to see the page and also to access our French and Spanish translations of the song).

    If anyone would like to sing it for us, we’d be happy to post a recording!

    -Mama Lisa

  8. karen Says:

    what does “ô Lalá” mean?
    Is that like saying “oo la-la” in French?
    Or “oh, my” in English?

  9. Lisa Says:

    Raffi made Sambalele popular in the US. His lyrics are very different. You can find Raffi’s Samba lele lyrics by clicking the link (hopefully it’ll stay online).

  10. Tamra Says:

    I learned this different:’
    Sambalele was a show off
    Flonkeyed a stone to hit a mango
    Mango came down, stone fell down on his head
    Sambalele is home in bed

    O step by step and twirl menina (sp?)
    Hold your skirt and whirl menina
    step by step and twirl menina
    you are the prettiest girl o menina
    (repeat after each verse)

    Sambalele was a show off
    He built some stilts to be a tall man
    He took a tumble on his great big head
    Sambalele is home in bed

    Sambalele was a show off
    He set a snare to catch a rabbit
    Did not know how caught his big toe instead
    Sambalele is home in bed.

  11. Lisa Says:

    Cool version!

  12. Priscila Alves Says:

    ô Lalá doesn’t meaning nothing in portuguese is just a word to the song be more beautiful.
    Or something are calling Lalá (the nickname of some girl) and Lelê (some boy) could be but this songs are too old and nobody have assurance

  13. Cole Says:

    Sambalele cannot dance no he threw a stone at a mango samba took a tumble on his own head sambalele in his own bed samba samba sambalele. Samba samba sambalala samba samba sambalele pi si na baha thi si o lala samba samba samba sambalele samba samba sambalala samba samba sambalele pi si na baha thi si o lala samba made some silks to be tall know he took a tumble on his head sambalele back in his bed samba samba sambalele samba samba sambalala samba samba sambalele pi si na baha thi si o lala samba samba sambalele samba samba sambalala samba samba sambalele pi si na baha thi si o lala pi si na baha this si o lala samba samba (four claps) sambalele

  14. Terry Says:

    I sing this song to my grand baby every time I’m with her(2:-/wks.)

    Here are the English lyrics.

    Sambalale is a show off. Threw a stone at a mango.
    Mango stayed up, stone fell down on his head.
    Jambalale’s home in bed.

    Chorus: OOOOH, stamp and stamp and twirl, ah, my Nina.
    Hold your skirt and twirl, ah, my Nina.
    Stamp and stamp and twirl, ah, my Nina.
    You are the prettiest girl, ah, my Nina.

    Sambalale is a show off. Set a snare to catch a rabbit.
    But he made a mistake, and caught himself instead.
    Sambalale’s home in bed.
    Chorus:

    Sambalale is a show off. Built him stilts to be a tall man.
    But he took a tumble on his great big head.
    Sambalale’s home in bed.
    Chorus.
    The End!

  15. Joe in Cleveland Says:

    I finally found information on song I barely remembered bits and pieces of like prettiest and showoff and laying home in bed

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