October 3rd, 2017
Written by Emanuela Marsura, a schoolteacher from Italy. “Once upon a time…” so begins every tale, returning to a time outside of time. So also began the narrative of games of yore in Italy… Once upon a time there was a place where little boys and girls could fill their days with games. Especially days […]
October 18th, 2016
Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature this month. It’s great for the world to have the literary value of songs recognized. The more I work with songs from around the world, the more I see that many are poems set to music. Only one other musician has ever been awarded the Nobel […]
January 12th, 2016
Makar Sankranti is a harvest festival in India and Nepal that’s celebrated around January 14th every year. It not only celebrates the beginning of the harvest season, but also the end of the monsoon season in southern India. It also marks the lengthening of days and the warm weather of spring to come. Perhaps all […]
Lohri is a Winter Bonfire Festival that’s celebrated in Punjab, a region of Pakistan and India in January. At night, people sing Punjabi songs and throw popcorn and other offerings on the fire. One aspect of Lohri is the tale of Dulla Bhatti. Bhatti is a Robinhood type figure from the 16th century who robbed […]
January 11th, 2016
Lohri is a Bonfire Festival that takes place in the Punjab region of India and Pakistan after the beginning of winter. This year it’s celebrated on January 13th. Lohri commemorates the passing of the Winter Solstice. An important part of the festival is lighting a bonfire. The light is a symbol of the days getting […]
March 15th, 2015
Hi, People around the world have different ways of greeting using their bodies. Here are some with videos to see how they’re done… India – Touching Adults Feet Younger people touch the feet of their elders to ask for blessings. In the return, the elder touches the younger one’s head while giving their blessing. Thailand […]
January 14th, 2015
Alka Patel, a children’s librarian in the US, sent us this opposites song in English, Gujarati and Hindi. Here’s the note I received… I did this opposite song in three languages in my Multilingual story time at my library. I used actions with this song and the kids enjoyed it. This activity is limitless. You […]
June 9th, 2014
The expression "to tie the knot" means "to get married". There are several places where tied knots have been connected to marriage and love. During Roman times, brides wore a belt or girdle at their wedding tied in a Hercules Knot. Only the groom was allowed to untie it (the unloosening was supposed to be […]
March 27th, 2014
Here’s a video to hear animal sounds around the world… Bow Wow Meow – Animal Sounds in Different Languages from properniceinnit on Vimeo. The languages are: English, Mandarin, French, Italian, Spanish, Turkish, Hindi, Canadian-French, Romanian, Japanese, Russian, Dutch, Bengali, Brazilian-Portuguese, Colombian-Spanish, Swahili and Mongolian. Enjoy! Mama Lisa
June 25th, 2013
The Hindi poem "Duniya goal hai" is a fun rhyme about round things! You can listen to a Hindi recording of the poem below and read along with the original Hindi text, followed by the pronunciation and an English translation. MP3 Recording of Duniya goal hai दुनिया गोल है दुनिया गोल है चंदा मामा गोल […]
May 10th, 2013
Reduplications are words or phrases that contain a duplicated element. An example is the phrase "riffraff". The two parts of the word are almost the same (i.e. "riff" and "raff"), but they have a small change (the vowels). When you have a rhyming reduplication, the duplicated element rhymes with the original element in the phrase. […]
February 17th, 2012
Open Culture has a page of free language learning links covering 40 languages. Here are some of the languages you can find links for… Arabic, English, Chinese, French, Spanish, Bulgarian, Catalan, Danish, Dutch, Esperanto, Finnish, Gaelic, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Lithuanian, Luxembourgish, Maori, Norwegian, Portuguese, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Swahili, […]
February 13th, 2012
We take a lot of hikes and recently we’ve been coming upon arrangements of stones stacked on top of each other like those in the photo. I couldn’t help but wonder if there’s a significance to these sculptures? My cousin, James Yannucci, who has travelled all over Asia and lives in China saw my photo […]
May 6th, 2011
Tamarind Sauce is a sweet and sour chutney from India. I call it a sauce because it’s thinner and more liquid than common chutneys. It’s often served with poppadom, a crispy round wafer. Tamarind sauce is hard to find in stores in the US. Since my husband and I love it, I decided to learn […]
October 28th, 2010
The Lion and The Hare This is one of the cycle stories from India in which the weaker animal gets the better of the stronger one through wit. It’s from the Panchatantra, a collection of animal tales and fables from the 3rd century BC or earlier. The tales were originally in Sanskrit. Here you can […]
June 21st, 2010
We received this Urdu rhyme without a translation… Abulal babulal Babu ka topi lal 11 kantae kachha kurma Pakka chor. Submitted by Nasrin I’m not sure if it’s one or two rhymes If anyone can help with an English translation, and/or let us know how many rhymes it is, please comment below. Thanks! Mama Lisa
February 17th, 2010
Here are some new books posted online by Project Gutenberg… Indian Fairy Tales translated by Mary Stokes The Brown Fairy Book edited by Andrew Lang Celtic Fairy Tales edited by Joseph Jacobs Viking Tales by Jennie Hall Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends by Gertrude Landa The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling 500 Rätsel und Rätselscherze […]
February 6th, 2010
John wrote asking for help with a lullaby: Hi Lisa, My father was born in India, Granny’s family lived in India, between the early 1800’s and 1947. There is an Indian Children’s Lullaby, Ninnie Buba Ninnie, sung to my father and many generations of children. I am seeking the words and translation of the original, […]
October 2nd, 2009
Chanda Mama is a song from India about the moon. Different versions exist in the various languages of India. This one is in the Telugu language, a language mainly spoken in southern India. Playing for Change made the Chanda Mama video with musicians around the world. Playing for Change creates music all over the world […]
September 14th, 2009
I came across a video for Banana Dosai today. It looks yummy! We’ve been trying to ease our kids into Indian food – we love it and we’d like to expose our children to the varied cuisines of the world. Some Indian food is too spicy for younger American kids. This dessert looks like a […]
April 1st, 2009
Ram Navami is April 3rd this year. It’s a Hindu Festival that’s also called Ramanavami. It’s a celebration of the birth of Rama. Vishnu is the supreme God according to the Hindu religion. There are 10 incarnations of Vishnu – they are known as the “Dasavatara” (dasa means 10 in Sanskrit). Nine of the incarnations […]
February 24th, 2009
Here are some wonderful photos of the Taj Mahal (plus one of an elephant walking down the street) taken by Matt Mullenweg… Check out Matt Mullenweg’s Blog to see more photos of Agra and the Taj Mahal plus miscellaneous stuff about WordPress. This blog is powered by […]
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 […]
February 20th, 2009
Kathy emailed me asking for help finding a 30 year old album… Hi Lisa, My daughter had an album of children’s songs, which came out about 30 years ago. The album has long since disappeared but we really enjoyed one song on it. It starts off in English… Pussy cat, pussycat with eyes so bright, […]
July 8th, 2008
This guy Matt has literally danced his way around the world, to a Bengali song. Check it out. It’s great!
December 29th, 2007
In many parts of the world, the foods eaten on New Years Eve and New Years Day have important symbolic meanings. These symbols seem to fall into several major categories. The first class symbolizes financial prosperity. This type of food is round like coins. Often, the dish will be round beans, like lentils, that will […]
November 19th, 2007
Barb wrote: I am looking for lyrics to a song from India called Baariye Bubly. Do you know this folksong? I learned it is about a little girl and a monkey. Thank you for your wonderful resources. Barb Rehmeyer I think Baariye Bubly is called Bubly and the Monkey in English. If anyone can help […]
September 28th, 2007
Veronica wrote: Hi Lisa, I am a musician living in the middle of a field in the North of England! Amongst other things, I do lots of World music/dance/instrument sessions with people of all ages.One of these is an Asian Day where, up to now, I’ve included a difficult but possible song in Hindi (Mandi […]
July 25th, 2007
I received this Tamil song from India without an English translation: TAMIL kaakka kannukku mai kondu vaa kuruvi kondaikku poo kondu vaa kokkae kuzhandhaikku paal kondu vaa kizhiyae kuzhandhaikku thaen kondu vaa If anyone can provide an English translation that would be wonderful! Please comment below or email me. Thanks in advance! Lisa
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 […]
March 14th, 2006
Tomorrow is the Colorful Hindu Holiday called Holi that’s celebrated in India. I thought, for the occasion, I would share with you this new Hindi song I recently received… Ek kawwa pyasathaa (Hindi) Ek kawwa pyasathaa jugmay thOdaa paaneethaa kawwa laayaa pathar paani aayaa oopar kawwaa peeyaapaani Hogaya kahaani There Was a Thristy Crow (English) […]
March 11th, 2006
Holi is celebrated every year on the night of the full moon that comes in late February or early March and also on the day after the full moon. This year it will be celebrated on March 15-16th. Holi is a celebration of the beginning of spring and the first harvest of the year. The […]
January 13th, 2006
Anile Anile Vaa Vaa Vaa (Chipmunk, Chipmunk, Come, Come, Come) is a song from India, in the Tamil language, which is spoken in the southern part of India. Here is the song in the original Tamil, with an English translation, and an mp3 recording. MP3 of Anile Anile Vaa Vaa Vaa Anile Anile Vaa Vaa […]
November 13th, 2005
The history of Children’s Day in India, plus a Rhyme called My Cousin Monkey Goes to Wed, with an MP3 Recording Jawaharlal Nehru was born on November 14, 1889. He was the first prime minister of India, after his country gained independence from Britain. He was extremely outspoken about the importance of children for the […]
Please contribute a traditional song or rhyme from your country.
receive a free copy of Mama Lisa's Christmas Around The World when you purchase our best selling collection Kid Songs Around The World.
People everywhere love Christmas - but we don't all celebrate it the same way. Mama Lisa's Christmas Around The World is a celebration of the diversity and love with which many different cultures mark this joyful time of year.You'll read about traditions and songs from many different nations. The songs are given in their original languages and with English translations.What makes the book really special is the many comments from Mama Lisa's correspondents who have shared stories and memories from their own lives. The memories of childhood touch us forever!
BONUS: Order Kid Songs Around The World now and receive Christmas Around The World FREE!
$3.99 for Both Downloadable E-Books Order Here!
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.
Christmas Around The World and Kid Songs Around The World are downloadable e-books, which you will gain access to immediately. (They are not physical books.)
We hope these books will help foster a love of international children's songs!
$3.99 for Both Downloadable E-Books Order Here!
A Mama Lisa Book
Over 125 songs and rhymes. Each includes the full text in Spanish, with translations into English. Many include links to recordings. Order Here!