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 'Rhymes by Theme'
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 […]
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Today is the 215th anniversary of the birth of British paleontologist, Mary Anning (1799 – 1847). Mary Anning collected fossils and contributed important information about prehistoric life to the scientific community. She supported herself selling fossils to geologists and to tourists.  She was a seller of seashells!  It’s believed that the tongue twister, "She sells […]
Jen wrote to me looking for help with a childhood rhyme.  Here’s her email: I stumbled onto your site while looking for an answer to an age-old family question. When I was a little girl, my grandma and grandpa, both of whom were Portuguese, used to recite a rhyme to me in Portuguese while bouncing […]
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Here’s an Irish Blessing just in time for St. Patrick’s Day… Irish Blessing   May your pockets be heavy And your heart be light.   May good luck pursue you Each morning and night. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! -Mama Lisa
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"Easy peasy" is an expression people say when something is very easy to do.  My daughter just recited a longer version of it which I had never heard: "Easy, peasy, lemon, squeezy." (listen here) She couldn’t believe that I, Mama Lisa, had never heard the full expression before! It seems to come from a British […]
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Hello! Bread and Butter can be used as a Hello or Goodbye Song.  You clap along as you chant.  You can find the lyrics below with 2 videos showing how to chant and clap to the song.  In the first video it’s used as a Hello Song and in the second video it’s used as […]
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Here’s Inky Binky Bonky, a counting out rhyme with a video… Inky Binky Bonky Inky Binky Bonky, Daddy had a donkey, Donkey died, daddy cried, Inky Binky Bonky. When I was a kid we did with a similar counting out rhyme called Inka Binka. Enjoy! Mama Lisa
Elizabeth wrote asking for help with a Swedish song.  Here’s her note: My Swedish mother would sing a Swedish song to me as she bounced me on her knee. In Swedish it started out, "Mormor’s lilla lassa". Her English translation was: “Once there was a little boy and he wanted to go for a ride, […]
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Here’s a little riddle for kids… the answer is in the picture below so I won’t bother hiding it from you! Riddle: Pretty painted bridges, Baby cannot get ‘em. Never mind the shower, Water cannot wet ‘em. Answer: A Rainbow
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I’ve recently been asked about a counting-out rhyme chanted in Indiana.  This rhyme may have its origins in an old Gypsy magic spell. Marsha wrote to me about the rhyme that was chanted by her grandmother: “I’ve been trying to find the source of a chant my grandmother taught me.  My mother (who is 86) […]
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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 […]
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A Bribe for Bunny By Marjorie Dillon I made a nest my very best, To hold my eggs from Bunny; I wish he’d hop right in and stop— Oh, wouldn’t that be funny? Some lettuce fine on which to dine I left, in hopes he’ll grab It: What fun ‘twould be, if I could see […]
The last three days of March are said to be "borrowed from April." March said to April.  I see 3 sheep upon a hill; And if you’ll lend me three days I’ll find a way to make them die. The first of them was wind and wet, The second of them was snow and sleet, […]
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Here’s a fun little tongue twisting rhyme with an mp3 recording…. MP3 of Betty Botter Bought Some Better Butter Betty Botter Bought Some Better Butter Betty Botter bought some butter But she said the butter’s bitter, "If I put it in my batter It will make my batter bitter, But a bit of better butter […]
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Here are some finger plays about Santa’s reindeer for young children.  You’ll find below two versions of "Five Little Reindeer" with YouTube videos showing how to do the finger plays.  Then you can watch the "Ten Little Reindeers" song sung to the tune of "Ten Little Indians".  Finally, there’s a rhyme called "Santa’s Reindeers." Enjoy! […]
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Here is the Chimney Here is the Chimney (Make a fist around thumb) Here is the top. (Palm of other hand on top of fist) Open the lid. (Remove hand quickly) And out Santa will pop. (Pop up thumb) Many thanks to Gracie Gralike for the drawing of Santa!
Wendy wrote about a cool Scottish rhyme.  It’s a type of rhyme called a counting-out rhyme.  Counting-out rhymes are used to choose in games… generally you count-out players who leave the game.  Whoever’s left at the end is "It".  Here’s what Wendy wrote: My grandfather was from Scotland and taught my brother and I this […]
Kitte asked me an interesting question about a Greek rhyme she heard at the Acropolis that helped to end a fight between two men.  Here’s what she wrote about it… Hi Lisa, I have a question that is about something I experienced in Athens in the mid 90’s and have wondered about ever since. I […]
Here’s a cool version of Five Little Turkeys with the lyrics so you can learn it in time for Thanksgiving… Five Little Turkeys Five little turkeys standing at the door, One waddled off, and then there were four. Four little turkeys sitting near a tree, One waddled off, and then there were three. Three little […]
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Here’s a nice spider rhyme to do with young kids… just in time for Halloween! The words are as follows: Spider Crawling Up Your Arm Spider crawling up your arm, Ooh ah, ooh ah! Action: "Crawl" fingers up kid’s arm. Spider crawling down your neck, Ooh ah, ooh ah! Action: "Crawl" fingers onto kid’s neck […]
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