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 'Languages'
Here’s a pretty song from the Marshall Islands called "Ukot Boke". "This song is about thanking your mother and your father for their love and for everything they have done for you.." -Benjamin (singer in the video) If anyone can provide the Marshallese lyrics to this song and/or an English translation, please comment below or […]
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Fairies a magical creatures that all kids should hear about! Here’s a poem about them called, Oh! Where Do Fairies Hide Their Heads? It was written by English poet, Thomas Haynes Bayly (1797–1839).  You can hear the poem sung below.  It sounds like a lullaby. MP3 Recording of Oh! Where Do Fairies Hide Their Heads? […]
Jessica wrote, "Here is the video of my husband’s great grandma (102) reciting a fingers and toes rhyme (Swedish origin perhaps?)." Can anyone help identify the language of the rhyme, write out the words and/or help with a translation?  If so, please comment below or email me. Thanks in advance! -Mama Lisa
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We just added a song that’s sung in Dominica! Here’s a Dominican Creole Proverb: Piti hach ka bat gwo bwa. It literally means: Little axe cuts big tree. English equivalent: Don’t judge a man by his size.
In Turkey and Turkmenistan, children go door-to-door for Ramadan singing and asking for a gift (like candy or coins). "As the holy month of Ramadan gets under way, children in Turkmenistan are taking part in one of the local customs associated with the holiday: visiting their neighbors and asking for gifts as they sing a […]
We would like to add a song from Turkmenistan to Mama Lisa’s World.  The following song is about feminine beauty.  If anyone can help with the Turkmen lyrics and/or a translation, please comment below or email me. Thanks in advance! Mama Lisa
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Matsuo Bashō (1644 – 1694) was the master of Haiku! Here you can listen to some of his haiku about the moon in Japanese and English. You can read along with the Japanese text, the pronunciation, the English translations and commentary…. MP3 of Basho’s Haiku about the Moon 雲をりをり人をやすめる月見かな kumo ori ori / hito o […]
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We’ve just added a song from Brunei on Mama Lisa’s World!  The song is called: Giling-Giling Kucapi (Strum-Strum a Lute) There’s another song from Brunei in Malay called Adai-Adai that we would love to post.  If anyone could help with a translation, please email me at lisa@mamalisa.com . Thanks! Mama Lisa
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We’ve added two songs from the Arapaho tribe to Mama Lisa’s World.  The Arapaho is a Native American tribe.  Their territory once spanned from the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming to the Arkansas River. The Arapaho language is part of the Algonquian language family. Click below to learn two Arapaho songs… Nû’nanû’naatani’na hu’hu’ – The […]
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Ayako wrote from Japan about the Setsubun Festival…   Feb 3rd is Setsubun  節分.  Setsubun literally means "division of seasons” and now it means the day before the first day of spring.   There are many Setsubun events held in different temples and shrines in Japan.   This year I went to a Setsubun festival […]
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Dreaming was written by the Irish poet, William Allingham (1824 – 1889).  He wrote this poem for his three children.  Here you can listen to the poem while reading along with the text. MP3 Recording of Dreaming Dreaming A strange little Dream On a long star-beam Ran down from the midnight skies, To curly-hair’d Fred […]
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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 […]
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The Chinese poem 月夜 – Moonlit Night by Liu Fangping was collected in The 300 Tang Poems during the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907).  Below you’ll find the Chinese text of the poem with the pronunciation, an English translation and a recording in Mandarin Chinese. MP3 Recording of Moonlit Night 月夜 更深月色半人家, 北斗闌干南斗斜。 今夜偏知春氣暖, 蟲聲新透綠窗沙。 […]
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Check out Litterature audio.com to listen to hundreds of free French audio books online. You’ll find an impressive selection ranging from the fables of La Fontaine to Proust. Enjoy! Mama Lisa
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Kids love jokes!  That’s why you should check out Buzzfeed’s 19 Clean Jokes To Tell Your Kids…That Are Actually Funny. My favorite: Guy in a library walks up to the librarian and says, ‘I’ll have a cheeseburger and fries, please.’ Librarian responds, ‘Sir, you know you’re in a library, right?’ Guy says, ‘Oh, sorry. [in […]
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When I was very little (less than 5 years old), all the kids in my neighborhood used to chant, "How now brown cow!" It turns out that the phrase originally came from Scotland in the 1700’s.  Some sources say that, "brown cow" was a phrase that used to mean a barrel of beer because a […]
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The "Hunting Song of the Seeonee Pack" is a poem from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.  Here’s a wonderful singing rendition of it by Ezwa… MP3 Recording of Hunting Song of the Seeonee Pack Hunting-Song of the Seeonee Pack   As the dawn was breaking the Sambhur* belled Once, twice and again! And a doe […]
We’ve been asked for help finding the full lyrics to a Caribbean song called, "Emma Lemme (Let Me) Lone".  Here’s the info we have so far: Beau wrote: "…looking for a song that I sang in Elementary School – it’s a Caribbean song I think, goes something like "Emma lemme ‘lone, let me lone! Me […]
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The Tortoise – Черепаха – is a Russian finger play that you can enjoy reading below in Russian, English and French.  You can also hear a recording of the rhyme in Russian and French by Maya. MP3 Recording of Черепаха (The Tortoise) in Russian and French Черепаха Шла по полю черепаха И дрожала вся от […]
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People in Japan ring temple bells for the New Year and they watch the sunrise.  Sadao Mazuka wrote to me about these traditions: On New Year’s Eve, many Japanese people go to their local temple and wait for their turn to ring the big bell (one time per person). It is called 除夜の鐘, Joyanokane, “The […]

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