July 19th, 2017
Renee Dickens wrote to us asking for help with a childhood song: “My grandmother used to sing a Norwegian song or rhyme she called ‘Ree Dee Dunkin’. No one in our family can find anything about it. It would be really great to have the actual song with all the words. Your help would be […]
December 5th, 2015
In Scandinavia, there’s a beautiful celebration in December called Santa Lucia. The celebration started in part of Sweden in the 18th century. It slowly spread to the rest of the country in the 19th century and to most of Scandinavia in the 20th century. Traditionally, to celebrate Santa Lucia, girls walk in a procession dressed […]
December 2nd, 2013
I asked Siri Randem from the Norwegian language music site Barnesanger about the most popular kids songs and lullabies in Norway. This was her response: Some people sing Bæ, bæ lille lam (a children’s song) or Mikkel Rev (similar). Everyone in Norway has heard these two in childhood. They are not "real" lullabies, however. I […]
April 12th, 2012
Can anyone help with the lyrics to this pretty Norwegian lullaby? Byssan lull liten tull (Folkesang) If you can help with the original lyrics and/or an English translation, please let us know in the comments below. Thanks in advance! Mama Lisa
April 1st, 2012
Rhiannon Daymond-King sent me a counting-out rhyme called “Zinty Tinty” with this note: “I was taught a counting rhyme by my father, who said it came from his mother. Her mother was Swedish, so he thought it was in Swedish (or possibly Norwegian given that the part of the country she was from used to […]
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, […]
December 15th, 2010
People around the world leave different "treats" for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. In the US and Canada, we put out milk and cookies for Santa. I have to say when he comes to our house, he leaves a big mess of crumbs on the table… but he always writes us a note of […]
May 17th, 2010
Rida, Rida Ranka is a rhyme and song known to many in Scandinavia and to the families of Scandinavian immigrants in the US. Lance N. Peterson wrote to me of its significance to his family. (I added links below to the versions of Rida, rida ranka he talks about.) Dear Lisa: Words are what we […]
March 30th, 2010
Karin wrote: I was named after a song, “Lille Karin” and I can’t find it anywhere. Can you help? The song is definitely Norwegian. I think it’s a child’s song. I cannot sing (properly) in Norwegian but the first line sounds like this:- “Var har du varet du lille Karin, du ar so…? Jeg ar […]
January 29th, 2010
Rachel wrote asking about a childhood rhyme… Hello, My Norwegian Grandfather – passed away 30 years ago – used to put me on his knee and do something like: Bunka Bunka Roona, Smacka Smacka Doona, Kahoong and Kahoong & Set the Butchin up! How Many? At the end, he’d put so many of his fingers […]
January 12th, 2010
Rachel wrote… Hi there Lisa, I was hoping you (or someone on your site) could help me. I’ve been trying to find the translation and/or the rest of the lyrics to a Norwegian lullaby my Grandpa used to sing to me. Pardon the lack of correct spelling, but it sounds like: Be a lulla barna […]
January 7th, 2010
Tyler wrote: My grandmother used to sing us kids a song all the time. I never knew the name of it or the entire song. Here is what I remember… Row row da fiska shad munga fisk and a drov e ded entel far entel mor entel suster and entel brod…? Sorry I don’t have […]
June 22nd, 2009
David Russett wrote: I’m trying to find the words to a Norwegian rhyme or song. The only part I know goes something like: Kan du gleme gammel Norge? O vey! Ya, ya, gleme kan! Or it may be: Kan du huske gammel Norge? Ove! Ya, Ya, huske kan! Does anyone know the rest of this […]
April 19th, 2009
Here are lyrics to the Norwegian Birthday song “Hurra for deg som fyller ditt år!” (Hurray for You for Celebrating Your Birthday). It’s a birthday song written by Margrethe Aabel Munthe (1860 – 1931): Hurra for deg som fyller ditt år! (Norwegian) Hurra for deg som fyller ditt år! Ja, deg vil vi gratulere! Alle […]
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 […]
September 18th, 2008
Guest Blogger, Ed Gawlinski, has been involved in many cultural organizations throughout his life. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York, near Bay Ridge, which was then a Norwegian neighborhood. The Norwegian neighborhood is now a great place for Middle Eastern cuisine. There are many fine restaurants in this area. Many of the shops include […]
July 20th, 2008
Janice wrote: My grandmother used to sing me a Norwegian song that sounded like this: Kishey louie barnay Glueten stewie yarnay I remember that it meant “Rock-a-bye my baby, put her in the kettle”, but of course my mom says that’s not true! Do you have any idea what the song was or what the […]
April 29th, 2008
Guest blogger Ed Gawlinski sent me this short post about celebrations in May… On May 5th a lot of people in the United States are going to have tacos or burritos for lunch to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. On May 5th of 1862 Troops led by Ignacio Zaragoza halted a French invasion of Mexico in […]
April 26th, 2008
Jeanette wrote me… Good Evening; My husband’s Grandmother was from Norway and she used to sing a song to him as a little boy about a poor man’s horse, a rich man’s horse, a soldier’s horse etc. My children and Grandchildren only remember the chorus – and only phonetically as they remember my husband (who […]
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 […]
December 4th, 2007
Several days ago I wrote a post about the Santa Lucia holiday in Sweden and Scandinavia. A popular saying associated with this holiday is: Lucy Light, The Shortest day & The Longest Night. This saying celebrates the association of St Lucia’s Day, December 13, with the Winter Solstice which, under the old Julian calendar, used […]
December 2nd, 2007
Santa Lucia’s Day is celebrated on December 13th in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. It commemorates the life of Santa Lucia, who is also known as Saint Lucy. St. Lucy was born in Syracuse, Sicily around 283 and died in 303 AD. The myth is that her parents wanted her to marry a man who […]
November 27th, 2007
Ed wrote: Lisa, I sing in a choral club which is sponsored by Travelers Insurance, in Hartford, Connecticut. It is the oldest company sponsored choral club in the country. This Christmas we are doing a piece called Christmas Bells, which is a Norwegian Folk Carol. I am wondering if you posted the lyrics and midi […]
August 9th, 2007
Monique, my colleague at Mama Lisa’s World en français, sent me this lovely photo of the beach in Norway, which she recently returned from visiting. It looked to me like such a perfect vacation photo, that I had to ask Monique if I could share it with all of you. So here it is. Thanks […]
February 17th, 2007
Lee Shipton wrote looking for the lyrics to a lullaby… I am trying to find the full set of lyrics to a children’s lullaby which my father used to sing. The words are something like this: The Sandman’s Coming in his Train of Cars The Sandman’s coming in his train of cars With moonbeam windows […]
January 18th, 2007
Clay wrote: Hi: My name is Clay and I live in Canada. My grandfather decended from Norway. He taught my mother a song when she was little and we are trying to find the lyrics to the whole song. All I know is jeg ere sa glad til yewl kevll. I don’t know how to […]
January 17th, 2007
Last year I wrote about St. Knut’s Day, a holiday celebrated on January 13th, in Sweden, Finland and Norway. St. Knut’s Day is all about getting rid of all the Christmas decorations and throwing out the tree, thus ending the Christmas season. When I wrote about it last year, I asked if anyone knew of […]
December 22nd, 2006
While I have this link at hand, I’d like to recommend www.freedict.com. It’s a site devoted to free online language dictionaries. You can translate between English and the following languages: Afrikaans Danish Dutch Finnish French Hungarian Indonesian Italian Japanese Latin Norwegian Portuguese Russian Spanish Swahili Swedish I find that it can usually succeed at translating […]
December 13th, 2006
Julie and Beth wrote looking for the origins of two Scandinavian rhymes that are played with little kids while touching their toes. We’re wondering if anyone’s ever heard of these rhymes and perhaps knows what country they’re from and/or anything else about their origins. Here’s what Julie wrote: I have been searching for the origin […]
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 […]
May 7th, 2006
Jennifer wrote… My mom’s Norwegian father taught her two little ditties and I would love to know if we have them correct and what the correct spelling is. I’m going to spell phonetically… Comin a man Loppin a stoppin Ca-sis ta-baggin ta-bick-en ta-boose (tickle, tickle) and Panabene (point to forehead) Oyestene (point to eyes) Nasatip […]
I received this email today about Rita Rita Runkin… I too am looking for the correct spelling and words for Rita Rita Runkin in Norwegian. I understand it to read this way in English… Ride Ride the Runkin horse To the millers house…. I don’t know the next lines except that it is about a […]
March 7th, 2006
Martine was nice enough to write me, sending the words to Humpty Dumpty in English and Norwegian for everyone who’s interested… Humpty Dumpty (English) Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the king’s horses And all the king’s men, Couldn’t put Humpty together again. Lille Trille (Norwegian) Lille Trille […]
January 12th, 2006
St. Knut’s Day is a holiday celebrated in Sweden, Finland and Norway, on January 13th. The day is called Tjugondag Knut in Sweden, which means 20th day Knut. In Norway it’s called Tyvendedagen, which I believe, is 20th day. On St. Knut’s Day, they say they “plunder” the Christmas tree. If there are edible ornaments […]
December 31st, 2005
Pamela wrote me about a rhyme that I’ve been asked about many times. Here’s what she wrote… Hello, I am interested in finding a nursery rhyme in the Danish language which I learned as a child and have passed on to my children as well. I hope you can help me locate this rhyme. It […]
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!
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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!
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A Mama Lisa Book
Over 50 songs and rhymes, in French with translations into English. You'll find well-known songs like Frère Jacques, Alouette, and Au claire de la lune, alongside many you may never have heard of. At the end of each item in this book, there's a web address to an online version of the song or rhyme. There we are often able to include sheet music, recordings and videos of performances. We hope this book will help foster a love of French songs and culture all over the world! Order Here!