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!
Advertisement
Articles about 'Languages'
Bob Anderson wrote looking for help with a Swedish childhood rhyme.  Here’s his question: Do you know of a children’s verse my dad (born 1879) used to do with the grandkids?  He would bounce them on his knees, holding their hands, and at the climax, open his knees and drop them down as if to drop...
Mama Lisa Home Image
"The Swing" is a poem that describes something all kids have thought of while swinging… What if I went really high up on the swing? What would I see? You can read "The Swing" below and listen to a wonderful recording of it. It was recited by a boy named Willy.  MP3 Recording of The Swing The...
Mama Lisa Home Image
Vanuatu is a country that consists of a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean. There’s a kids game that’s played there called, "What’s the Time Mr. Wolf?"  This game is played throughout the English-speaking world. How to play "What’s the Time Mr. Wolf": The kids go around in a circle like a clock. They say: One,...
Advertisement
We are trying to find the lyrics to this lovely traditional song from Sierra Leone.  It’s in the Mende language. If anyone can help with the lyrics and/or a translation, please let us know in the comments below.  We would love to add this song to Mama Lisa’s World! Thanks! -Mama Lisa
Mama Lisa Home Image
Mama Lisa’s World has been growing fast!  Lately we’ve made a particular push to put up more songs from Africa. Here are some of the more recent African countries we’ve added songs to on Mama Lisa’s World:  Kids Songs and Lullabies of Burkina Faso   Choosing Rhyme from Cabo Verde (Cape Verde)   Kids Songs and Lullabies from Ethiopia   Lullaby from...
Mama Lisa Home Image
The Star Festival is held in Japan in July.  It’s called Tanabata. Tanabata means "evening of the seventh"… it takes place at night on July 7th every year.  Ayako Egawa wrote about it from Japan: "Tanabata is the Star Festival held on July 7th.  It originated in China.  We hang pretty fancy origami paper on which...
Mama Lisa Home Image
For all of you who speak Spanish or French and are bringing up your children multilingual, check out Pluribus Linguis to see how one family goes about this ambitious task.  (The site is in French and Spanish.)  Feel free to share your own experiences bringing up multilingual kids in the comments below. Pour vous qui parlez...
Mama Lisa Home Image
Here’s a wonderful song for preschoolers and kindergartners to learn about the head and face. This song is sung in English in Cameroon, Africa.  It was sung for us by Nyango M. Nambangi. MP3 Recording of I Have a Head I Have a Head I have a head, a head, I have a head,...
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 Czech or...
Mama Lisa Home Image
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 Tell Aunt...
Mama Lisa Home Image
Eric Hill, author of the Spot the Dog children’s books, passed away this week at 86.  Hill created Spot for his young son in 1976.  In 1980, he created the first lift-the-flap book to ever exist called "Where’s Spot?".  He came up with the "lift-the-flap" design after he had seen it on advertising flyers.  What...
Mama Lisa Home Image
Sadao Mazuka sent us this article about the rainy season of June in Japan… June is a rainy season here in Japan.  The English word “June” gives us a feeling of bright and refreshing air, especially with a word such as, “June-Bride”.  But in Japanese, it’s “6月(Rokugatsu = June)”.  It makes us think of a rather...
Mama Lisa Home Image
The Persian New Year is celebrated on the first day of Spring.  It’s called Nowruz.  There are many New Year traditions, including throwing grass into a river or lake.  Here’s what Fatima wrote from Iran about some New Year’s traditions: In the last month of the Iranian year people shake up the house (i.e. they clean...
Kim wrote asking for help with a Ukrainian rhyme her grandmother sings.  She would like the correct spelling.  Here’s Kim’s email along with a recording in which her grandmother sang the rhyme… Hi, My Grandmother was trying to teach me the words today to this Ukrainian rhyme. I do not speak Ukrainian, and she cannot spell or...
Mama Lisa Home Image
Shigin is a way of reciting poems in Japanese that most likely dates back to the 5th century.  The poems are chanted, often before an audience.    We’re lucky enough to have a Shigin recitation of the famous Haiku poem, “Furuike ya” (Old Pond).  The poem was recited by Shihoko Mazuka.  You can hear it below...
One of the most well-known forms of Japanese poetry is Haiku.  Yet there are many other forms of poems in Japan and it’s interesting to learn about them. Haiku poetry follows a pattern of 5-7-5.  That means the 1st line has 5 syllables, the second line has 7 and the third line has 5 syllables.  Haiku...
Mama Lisa Home Image
Eating bugs might sound disgusting to most of us today, but some people used to love it!  Maybugs or Cockchafers used to be a great nuisance to crops in Europe.  People were encouraged to hunt them down to lower their population.  There’s even a French song about hunting Maybugs called Il était un petit homme...
Here’s a video from Malawi of two guys singing a nice little song.  The song is sung in English and Chichewa.  The English lyrics are: "Because I’m a lonely lad who cannot find my way." If anyone knows the Chichewa lyrics (with a translation if possible), please comment below or email me. Thanks! Mama Lisa PS We’ve just added a...
The great American poet Maya Angelou passed away today at 86.  In honor of her life and work, I’m posting this recording she did of her children’s poem, "Life Doesn’t Frighten Me at All".  You can listen to it below. RIP Maya Angelou.
Nancy wrote asking for help with a song called, "Fair Cuba": When I was in middle school, I learned a song called "Fair Cuba,"  I have not heard it since, but am interested in finding the lyrics, and if possible, guitar chords to this song.  I found one site that had an abbreviated version of two...
Mama Lisa Facebook Badge
Mama Lisa Twitter Badge
Mama Lisa Pinterest Badge

Help Support Mama Lisa's World
with just
$1.99

Find us on Google+

Help Support Mama Lisa's World
with just
$1.99