Mama Lisa's World
International Music & Culture
A place for poems, songs, rhymes and traditions from around the world for both kids and grown-ups to enjoy!

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Articles about 'Folk Songs'
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Written by Sadao Mazuka in Japan. The tune to "Go Tell Aunt Rhody" comes from Europe in the 18th century.  It has travelled all over the globe, from France, to the US, to Japan.  Here’s a breakdown of the route it’s taken… 1752 (France) – Genevan philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau composed the original tune to "Go […]
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The following video features a song in Mongolian and English by the group, Modern Children.  It’s based on a Mongolian folk song.  Here are the Mongolian lyrics that the kid sings at the beginning of the video and the band later sings the same verse: Mongolian Pronunciation: Nana nana NaaSir Shuder Shuder Tsasai Naisa Naisa […]
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We recently added two folk songs from Guyana to Mama Lisa’s World. They’re both in Guyanese Creole.  Both have videos so you can hear the songs being sung. One is called Auntie Bess and the other is Itaname. Enjoy! – Mama Lisa
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Listen below to some beautiful folk guitar music from Paraguay… Enjoy! Mama Lisa
We have many versions of The Hearse Song on Mama Lisa’s World.  You can find one version here with a recording and a lot of other versions here.  I recently received yet another one, which has an interesting backstory.  Here’s the email I received from Ananda Patterson: This version is from my grandfather, who was […]
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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Check out the song "I am the Wee Falorie Man" (with a recording) to get you in the mood… Today, I’m going to make a Guinness Stew since I had the traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage yesterday at my Mom’s house. You can check out some Irish recipes, songs and poems […]
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Beloved folksinger, Pete Seeger, in his own words in honor of his passing… "Once upon a time wasn’t singing a part of everyday life? As much as talking, physical exercise, and religion? Our distant ancestors, wherever they were in this world, sang while pounding grain, paddling canoes, or walking long journeys. Can we begin to […]
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Toby Salmon from the band Kinkajous was kind enough to share a recording of the Jamaican song Mango Time with us.  The recording comes from his new cd called Nursery Rhymes by The Kinkajous. The cd features a collection of 30 nursery rhymes with Caribbean flavor made for little ones and grown ups. Here’s Kinkajous […]
Kim wrote asking for help with a Russian song.  Here’s her email: I believe this is a Russian folk song I learned at school many years ago.  I am unable to remember the last verse, but I do remember the tune.  I would appreciate any help to fill in the blanks  I believe it ends […]
Debbie wrote asking fro help with a childhood song her Irish grandmother sang to her son.  Here’s her email: Hi, My grandmother came here from Ireland at 14. She died in 1971 and was 85. She used to sing to my brother when he was a baby in the carriage and my son the same. […]
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The Ninepenny Fidil (Fiddle) is a song about playing a fiddle and about meeting a leprechaun.  The song was written by Seosamh Mac Cathmhaoil and arranged by Herbert Hughes to old Irish melody. Below you can listen to a video of the song, followed by the lyrics. The Ninepenny Fidil My father and mother were […]
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Song of The Leprechaun or Fairy Shoemaker was written by Irish poet William Allingham (1824 – 1889).  Leprechauns are known to be shoemakers.  At the end of the work day, they hide away the money they earned in a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Song of The Leprechaun or Fairy Shoemaker […]
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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 […]
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Paul Simon’s song April Come She Will seems to be loosely based around the rhyme The Cuckoo and an English ballad called Cuckoo Song.  You can read both below… The Cuckoo In April, Come he will. In May, He sings all day. In June, He changes his tune. In July, He prepares to fly. In […]
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The Three Ravens is a ballad that was first printed in 1611.  I found this reading by Alan Davis-Drake so well done, that I had to post the lyrics here with his recording! I’ve annotated the song within the lyrics and updated the spelling.  The refrain consists of nonsense words used for the sound. MP3 […]
We were sent these two songs from Mexico but can’t find any information about them.  We’re wondering if anyone knows anything about them such as: Do they have an author or are they anonymously written?  Approximately how old are they? Any info about these songs would be very helpful.  Please comment below if you can […]
Marianne wrote asking for help with a Canadian song her grandma sang to her.  Here’s her note: Dear Mama Lisa, My cousin and I are trying to find the words to a song (possibly a nursery rhyme) that our grandmother use to sing to us. My grandparents were from Nova Scotia, Canada.  Here’s what we […]
Alouette is a very famous French Canadian song.  Here’s an animation of it by French singer Alain Le Lait.  Alain wrote… "I just posted my latest video, a funky version of ‘Alouette, gentille alouette’…" At this Alouette link you can read the French lyrics with an English translation.  You can learn more about the meaning […]
Richard wrote looking for help with an Italian-American song.  Here’s what he wrote: My grandmother who came to the US at age 8 in 1903 knew this song. I can’t remember all of it and have sought anyone who ever heard of it.  Her version went something like this. (Sung with a strong broken Italian […]
Sadao sent me a Samoan song that’s popular in Japan.  But most Japanese people only know the Japanese version.  Can anyone help us track down the original?  Here’s Sadao’s email followed by the song in English, Japanese, and the midi tune…. Sending a new song of Samoa in Oceania.  Here are the Japanese lyrics of […]
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