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 'Mama Lisa'
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Mama Lisa’s World now has a search box!  You can search for songs, rhymes, poems, recipes and traditions.  You can search for specific languages, countries and cultures. You can search for a particular word… like "apple" or "train".  You can even put two or three words in… like "French Apple Song". We hope you find this...
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Happy Spring! Here is a poem called "Spring" to celebrate this wonderful time of year!  It was written by British poet, Thomas Nashe (1567-1601).  You can read the poem below and listen along with the recording. MP3 of Spring Spring   Spring, the sweet Spring, is the year’s pleasant king; Then blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring, Cold doth...
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Little Orphant Annie is a poem written by James Whitcomb Riley in 1885.  The language is a little different from standard English because it was written in the Hoosier dialect of Indiana. You can find the poem below with two different mp3 recordings.  The first recording is more emotive, while the 2nd is very clear to...
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Here’s a poem called To the Gnat by Samuel Rogers.  It seems like a fitting poem with summer quickly approaching and bringing with it those pesky gnats!  You’ll find the words and an mp3 recording below.  After the poem you can find definitions to some of the words that are lesser known. MP3 of To The...
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Here’s the fun and lovely poem called Fairies by Rose Fyleman (1579-1625) with an mp3 recording. MP3 of Fairies Fairies THERE are fairies at the bottom of our garden! It’s not so very, very far away; You pass the gardner’s shed and you just keep straight ahead – I do so hope they’ve really come to stay. There’s a little wood, with...
CHRISTMAS GREETINGS. [FROM A FAIRY TO A CHILD.] Lady dear, if Fairies may For a moment lay aside Cunning tricks and elfish play, ‘Tis at happy Christmas-tide. We have heard the children say— Gentle children, whom we love— Long ago, on Christmas Day, Came a message from above. Still, as Christmas-tide comes round, They remember it again— Echo still the joyful sound “Peace on earth, good-will to men!” Yet...
Answering the following question, gives a fresh new perspective on life: "Before I die I want to…"  Artist Candy Chang made a wall with this question on it, on an abandoned house in her neighborhood in New Orleans.  You can hear about the results in the video below… Feel free to answer this question in the...
We’ve been affected by Hurricane Sandy.  We’re fine, we just have no power.  Here are some quick ideas for kids when you have no power… play games, read books out loud, take turns telling stories, draw… and go out to places that have power.  We were able to see Wreck It Ralph last night which...
What is Success? is a poem written by Bessie A. Stanley.  It’s a poem that explores what it means to live a full, fruitful, compassionate life.  These are topics that are important to speak with children about.  You can listen to the poem and read along below… MP3 of What is Success? What is Success? He has achieved...
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Seven Sprays by Juliana Townsend Seven sprays of pussy willow Each one has a little bed, Each one has a little pillow, None of them are red. Seven sprays of pussy willow: Some of them are gray, These...
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Where the Bee Sucks is from Shakespeare’s play The Tempest.  In the play, it’s sung by the fairy spirit Ariel.  You can read this lovely song below and listen along to two different renditions of it – one recited, the other sung. Where The Bee Sucks (Shakespeare) Where the bee sucks, there suck I: In a cowslip’s bell...
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My daughter’s class had a multicultural celebration recently where each kid interviewed a relative about a recipe that’s been handed down in the family.  My daughter interviewed my Mom about her manicotti recipe. Here’s part of what she learned: "Manicotti is from Italy, and it’s been in my family since 1810.  It was passed down from...
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Candlemas is a Christian holiday that takes place on February 2nd each year. In France they eat crepes for Candlemas. Monique wrote, "…you have ‘la chandeleur – les crêpes’ for Candlemas.  From mid January till early February in stores they sell "crêpières" (flat, low frying pans to cook crêpes) and all the stuff necessary (or...
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Check out the butter churn from our town’s old General Store!  The historical society donated it to our local coffee shop. This was the store’s coffee grinder! What a huge machine for grinding coffee.  Very neat to see! -Mama Lisa
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Christmas Husbandry Fare is a poem by Thomas Tusser (1515 – 1580) showing how important it was to English Lords of the time to include hospitality as part of their Christmas festivities… Christmas Husbandry Fare Good husband and housewife, now chiefly be glad Things handsome to have, as they ought to...
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Our first Kindle book, Mama Lisa’s Christmas Around the World, is now available on Amazon for just $2.99! Learn how this joyful season is celebrated across the globe. Featuring traditions, songs and personal stories! People everywhere love Christmas – but we don’t all celebrate it the same way. Mama Lisa’s Christmas Around The World is a...
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We asked people how they say Murphy’s Law in other languages.  Murphy’s Law is the saying, "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong".  Marina wrote from Russia, "…in my country Murphy’s Law has the same name [and is also called] the Law of Meanness, or the law of bread and butter (if it’s falling,...
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Pioggia is an Italian poem about rain by Giovanni Pascoli (1855 – 1912). Below you can listen to a recording, follow along in the original Italian and then read an English translation of the poem. First a note about the illustration, in English we say “It’s raining cats and dogs” when it’s raining very hard....
Nonsense rhymes are particularly hard to translate because they often make only partial sense. We find it helps to try to translate what we can, even if part of the rhyme is left in the original language. Here’s a Polish counting-out rhyme that was sent to us by Agnieszka Magnucka. It’s for choosing who’s...
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