September 6th, 2016
Liz wrote to me asking for help with a Polish nursery song. Here’s her email: Hi Mama Lisa! My name is Liz, and a good portion of my family comes from Poland, but I didn’t grow up speaking Polish at all, and a lot of the family’s history never got written down… My Nana, Mom’s […]
March 18th, 2016
Easter’s coming soon! Did you know that in many countries the day after Easter, called Easter Monday, is a public holiday? The map above shows in yellow all of the countries that celebrate it. There are picnics, egg rolling contests and dousing of people with water that was blessed on Easter Sunday. In Italy and […]
January 14th, 2016
When kids in the US are playing a game and they want to temporarily pause it, they’ll yell, “Time-out!” Sometimes, they’ll also make a “T” with their hands or arms (see pic). The term “time-out” comes from sports. They use it to pause games too. More recently, I’ve heard kids say, “Pause!” It’s possible this […]
June 4th, 2015
Playing real video games for fun is a great way to improve your foreign language skills. I’m talking about games you’d want to play in your own language, not specifically language learning games. There are many fun games that are available in many different languages. I’m an early advanced French learner, so I understand enough […]
December 19th, 2014
Season’s greetings! At Mama Lisa’s World there’s no time of year we love better than the holidays! We’re happy to announce that we’ve recently added the following Christmas Carols to Mama Lisa’s World with mp3 recordings and YouTube videos: Italian Dormi, dormi, bel Bambin (Sleep, Sleep Beautiful Child) Tu scendi dalle stelle (You Come Down […]
June 18th, 2014
John Ziak wrote asking for help with two childhood songs: Lisa, I have been searching for sometime to find a song/nursery rhyme that my grandfather sang to me when I was young. He passed away 16 years ago and no one in my family can remember any more words than I. The song originates from […]
November 2nd, 2013
On All Saints’ Day, Agnieszka Magnucka, who’s from Poland, wrote: "Light a candle for those who you love but who’ve passed away." ***** That started a correspondence between us about All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day in Poland… Lisa: Do you celebrate All Souls’ Day in Poland? Agnieszka: Yes, Lisa (November 1st is All […]
April 26th, 2012
My friend Maria Hayda, who has family from Ukraine, wrote: “Lisa, pussy willow is what we use for our Easters :) since Eastern Europe is unable to grow palm trees… My Grandmother had a huge bouquet she saved thru the decades. Now I’ve started my own bouquet.” According to Wikipedia, “The flowering shoots of pussy […]
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, […]
July 9th, 2011
A book of illustrated Polish Fairy Tales translated into English was recently posted online. Here are three of the illustrations by Cecile Walton… Check out the book at Project Gutenberg. Enjoy! Mama Lisa
October 18th, 2010
Susann wrote, Hi everyone, I’m searching a polish children’s song about a doll named “Susha”. I don’t know if i got that name right, because i don’t speak polish, but it sounds like that. Someone sang it to me when i was little, because i reminded her of that doll. It’s just a small song, […]
March 28th, 2010
Kari wrote: Do you know the Polish song I think goes, mischka mischka mischka timidowa? It was told to kids by holding their hand and making circles on their palm, then squeezing their fingers and then going up their arms saying something like poli vally Vicki. Any help would be great to know what the […]
March 17th, 2010
Here are three requests for help I’ve received about Polish nursery rhymes and songs… 1) Carol wrote: I am trying to find nursery rhyme, from Poland, my mother use to tell us in Polish. It was about a hen and my mom would peck on the palms of our hand saying in Polish – tim […]
December 6th, 2009
Ed wrote: Hi, Do you know where I could purchase an ethnic Swedish dress for a little girl (2 years old)? I would also be interested in Polish and/or German Dresses. Thanks Ed I know you can find Chinese clothes for kids in Chinatown in New York, but I’m not sure where you can get […]
October 18th, 2009
Theresa wrote: I am looking for a Polish lullaby my mother used to sing… Śpij laleczko moja mała, czas na ciebie już, ja cię będę kołysała, a ty oczka zmruz… This is all I remember. If anyone has all the words, I would be very grateful. Theresa A rough English translation of the above text […]
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 11th, 2009
Lynda wrote looking for help with a rhyme… I hope that you can help me with an old rhyme of sorts. It is spoken softly as to calm a child said while making small circles on a child’s skin and then traveling up and starting all over. We can only remember part of it, this […]
January 23rd, 2009
Lorena wrote: Hi, I’m Argentinian, my grandfather was Polish and he would always sing a circle game song in Polish. Now that I’m a Mommy, I’d like to sing it to my daughter. I don’t remember it well. Since my grandfather passed away some years ago, I’m writing to you to see if you can […]
November 3rd, 2008
Tom wrote: Maybe you can help me. I seem to recall a Polish children’s song from 50 years ago. The opening lines sounded like Sheevey coy, sheevey coy. The only parts of the song I remember go something like this with English sounds as I do not know the actual Polish words. It was a […]
August 28th, 2008
Mary wrote: I am looking to get a CD of Polish Children’s songs for a friend. Could you recommend one? How may I purchase it? Thank you. Mary Brady If anyone knows of any good Polish kids cd’s and/or where to buy them, please let us know about it in the comments below. Thanks! Mama […]
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 […]
February 23rd, 2008
As Easter approaches, it’s natural to think a little about eggs! In days gone by the egg, due to its shape, was a symbol of the earth. Thanks to its obvious association with the beginning of life, it has also been the basis of many ancient creation stories. It has been a symbol of fertility, […]
February 20th, 2008
Guest Blogger, Ed Gawlinski, has been involved in many cultural organizations throughout his life. Here, he discusses Easter traditions in several Eastern European cultures. A common custom is to color hard boiled eggs for Easter. We usually colored them on Good Friday, while eating hot cross buns… Hot cross buns, Hot cross buns, one ha’ […]
February 19th, 2008
Guest Blogger, Ed Gawlinski, has been involved in many cultural organizations throughout his life. The season of Lent has started. Lent is a season during which Christians prepare for Easter. The English custom is to start Lent by having pancakes on Shrove Tuesday (the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday). A children’s rhyme goes with this… Pancakes […]
February 11th, 2008
We have a version of the Polish song “Krakowiaczek Ci Ja” (I am from Cracow) that’s called “Krakowiaczek jeden” (One Man from Cracow). Recently, I was emailed a version of the song called “Krakowiaczek Ci Ja” (I am from Cracow). However, I wasn’t sent a full English translation. Here’s the song I received in Polish: […]
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 8th, 2007
Silent Night was originally a German Austrian song called Stille Nacht which was written as a poem by Joseph Mohr in 1816 and set to music by his friend Franz Gruber in 1818. John Freeman Young translated Stille Nacht into the English version called Silent Night that’s so well known today. He was an Episcopal […]
December 5th, 2007
Ed Gawlinski wrote to me about his family’s holiday traditions. His letter shows how you can be creative and expose your children to many different customs around the world at this time of year… Lisa, The Polish Custom is for Saint Nicholas (świętego Mikołaja) to bring children presents on December 6th …. The traditions that […]
July 19th, 2007
Diana wrote: My father passed away and I miss him. He always sang many songs in Polish and Russian, but one poem in particular that I called my own he always told me before I went to bed was… Jadom jadom dzecie drogu szochika I brat… Do you have the entire verse? It’s about a […]
May 26th, 2007
Mike wrote: Hi Mamalisa, In my family we have a nursery rhyme that we sing to babies… we have always been told that it means something to the affect of a chicken with his head cut off or something like that. This is at least two generations from anyone who could actually speak Polish, so […]
March 25th, 2007
Annamaria wrote looking for the meaning of a Polish poem: Hi Lisa, When I was a little girl……. my father taught me a poem. He died when I was 3 years old. I don’t speak much Polish but remember these words. To the best of my knowledge, here it goes… Elly melly dodkey gosh mus […]
February 3rd, 2007
Christine wrote: I am looking for a Polish song that has a kitten in a wood pile meowing. My sister remembers this but I do not. Can anyone help me? If anyone can help with this song, please comment below. Thanks! Lisa
January 10th, 2007
Melissa wrote me… My grandmother is turning 90 and I am putting together a scrapbook. I saw your website and thought maybe you could help me. I am looking for the Polish writing of a hand play my grandmother taught me. It is about a mama chicken who has five baby chicks that she is […]
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 15th, 2006
Kathy wrote me… Dear Mamalisa, I was delighted to find your website and will be using it in the future. I am researching translations for the word “grandma” in various languages. I am most interested in the familiar, sweet terms children might call this individual. I am aware that in some cultures this would be […]
Please contribute a traditional song or rhyme from your country.
Travel to far away places with our new E-Books Kid Songs Around The World and Lullabies Around The World
Whoever the children are in your life - your kids, your grandkids, your students, even yourself (in your heart) - Mama Lisa's E-books are wonderful ways 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.
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Over 50 lullabies and recordings from all over the world. Each Lullaby includes the full text in the original language, with an English translation.
Kid Songs Around The World and Lullabies 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!