January 20th, 2016
In Haiti, if someone is going to tell a story, they’ll say "Krik?" If the people listening want to hear the story, they’ll respond, "Krak!" It’s a way for a storyteller to get the audience ready, similar to, "Come gather round…" in English, but it makes the audience more active. Riddles are introduced with, "Tim […]
July 13th, 2012
Here’s the charming Haitian kids song Balanse Yaya (Swing Yaya). Below you can read the original lyrics, listen along to the song and read an English translation. Note: Yaya is a child’s name. Haitian Creole Lyrics: Jezi marie Joseph o Rat la mange pijon mwen Jezi marie Joseph o Rat la mange pijon mwen Rat […]
June 28th, 2012
Fedia Bean was kind enough to share her recording of the well-loved Haitian lullaby, “Dodo ti pitit manman” (Sleep Little Baby). It’s interesting to note that lullabies around the world often have something a little scary to “threaten’” kids with if they don’t go to sleep. In this lullaby it’s a crab that will eat […]
May 14th, 2012
I just read an interesting article on about Mother’s Day in Haiti on a site called Caribbean Living. Mother’s Day is celebrated in Haiti on the last Sunday of May. Laurie Bean wrote in her article, “Haitians celebrate Mother’s Day with songs, tears and prayers in church…” People dress up in their Sunday best. There’s […]
March 28th, 2011
Laurie has some interesting blogs about Haitian music and culture. Here are links to them…. Eritaj Kreol (Creole Heritage) – Haitian Songs and Lyrics in Creole and English, some include scores Caribbean Living – Discussions about the Creole Language, Recipes and Stories about Life in Haiti Haitian Gospel Hymns in French – some include English […]
September 30th, 2010
William Whelan wrote to me looking for help with a Haitian song. The song is called “Angelique O” and seems to have been written during the US occupation of Haiti (1915 – 1934). Here you’ll find the original Haitian lyrics with an English translation. First I’ll start with William’s email: My father taught me a […]
April 20th, 2010
Marianne wrote asking about the melodies for the Haitian songs on Mama Lisa’s World: Bonju! My name is Marianne Kuiper Milks and I am a musician/music teacher (forever and ever…). I visit Haiti frequently and want to start a small music program (let it grow by itself :-) around Saint Marc, Gwo Jan and on […]
April 1st, 2010
“Se bon ki ra” is an old Haitian proverb meaning “good is rare”. It’s meant to be a reminder to treasure your unique experiences in life.
February 10th, 2010
Most of us are thinking about the people in Haiti these days, especially Haiti’s children. I’m getting more questions for help with Haitian songs than usual. Here’s a song I was asked about today called “Mwen Se Ayiti Tou”. It means “I am Haiti too”. It’s sung by Haiti Children’s Choir. This song was written […]
March 8th, 2009
“Dodo Titit” is a widely known lullaby in Haiti. It means “sleep little one”. It sounds like “titit” comes from the French petit. Dodo Titit (Haitian Creole) Dodo titit* Si ou pa dodo, krab la va manje ou Dodo titit, krab lan kalalou** Sleep Little One (English Translation) Sleep little one, If you don’t sleep, […]
March 6th, 2009
Keyanne Jacob wrote: I am preparing to go to teach school in Haiti. I want to teach nursery rhymes. Are there many Haitian nursery rhymes? If so where can I find them? My impression is that there are traditional Haitian lullabies and folk songs, but that the nursery rhymes in Haiti are based on the […]
February 22nd, 2009
We’d love it if you’d join the Mama Lisa Facebook Group. You can post anything you’d like about your culture. You can post your own musical recordings or YouTube videos… Links to culture and musical sites… Photos of your country… Questions about songs or cultural issues… Anything related to World Culture and Music… Click on […]
May 3rd, 2007
We were recently fortunate enough to receive a selection of recordings of French kids songs, sung by a French music teacher, Tiphaine Woerth. Here’s a wonderful recording Tiphaine did of Ainsi Font, followed by the lyrics and an English translation. MP3 of Ainsi Font Ainsi font (French) Ainsi font, font, font Les petites marionnettes Ainsi […]
March 29th, 2007
Nathalie wrote me: In my afro-Haitian dance class we always sing a song that goes like this (phonetically): Sa sa ko ma Ne neigh woe Ko Ko ma Sa sa ko ma Ne neigh woe Che che Ko Ko ma Do you have any idea what song this is? Natalie Carpenter If anyone can help […]
Kat wrote me: Hi Mama Lisa, I am traveling to Haiti with my church to work in a school there and I wanted to translate the children’s song ” Rise and Shine” into Creole. If that song does not translate well – then is there another song that children sing in church there? One preferably […]
February 7th, 2007
Frère Jacques seems to be the most well known children’s song that is sung around the world. It’s amazing to I see how far it’s traveled… from France, to Germany, Japan, China, to many countries in Africa. The list goes on. This past weekend we learned about a wonderful Frère Jacques page that contains videos […]
November 30th, 2006
A significant part of the Mama Lisa sites is a large collection of songs and nursery rhymes from around the world. We currently have about 750 songs from around 90 countries and cultures. When you consider how many languages there are in those cultures – that’s a lot of information! In order to make it […]
Please contribute a traditional song or rhyme from your country.
With Our New Book 'Kid Songs Around The World'
Whoever the children are in your life - your kids, your grandkids, your students, even yourself (in your heart) - 'Kid Songs Around The World' is a wonderful way to help them experience other languages and cultures.
In 'Kid Songs Around The World' we've gathered 100 of our favorite songs and rhymes from all the continents of the globe.
Each song includes the full text in the original language, with an English translation, and most include sheet music. All include links to web pages where you can listen to recordings, hear the tune or watch a video performance. Each includes a beautiful illustration.
Many have commentary sent to us by our correspondents who write about the history of the songs and what they meant in their lives.
We hope this book will help foster a love of international children's songs!
New From Mama Lisa
Our new book, Kid Songs Around the World, features 100 beloved songs and rhymes from all parts of the globe. Each includes the full text in the original language, with an English translation. Most also include SHEET MUSIC and LINKS TO RECORDINGS AND VIDEOS.Order Here!