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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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,...
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Sit back, relax and enjoy the sound of an instrument known as the "steel pan" that’s played in Sint Maartin.  The steel pan originated in Trinidad.  It was introduced to Sint Maartin in the mid 1900’s.   Now that’s the sound of vacation! Mama Lisa Image: Wikipedia
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
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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...
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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 ...
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We’ve just added a song from Greenland to Mama Lisa’s World!  It’s called Piitaq uumaa (Frère Jacques in Greenlandic).  We’ve included an English translation and a video to hear it sung.  Check it out! -Mama Lisa
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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
Listen below to some beautiful folk guitar music from Paraguay… Enjoy! Mama Lisa
The Atlantic surveyed how people start a conversation all across the U.S.  Below you can hear what some people said… The Geography of Small Talk from The Atlantic on Vimeo. How do you start a conversation where you’re from? -Mama Lisa
Here’s a video to hear animal sounds around the world… Bow Wow Meow – Animal Sounds in Different Languages from properniceinnit on Vimeo. The languages are: English, Mandarin, French, Italian, Spanish, Turkish, Hindi, Canadian-French, Romanian, Japanese, Russian, Dutch, Bengali, Brazilian-Portuguese, Colombian-Spanish, Swahili and Mongolian. Enjoy! Mama Lisa
Here’s a video about testing to see if someone is a native Zulu speaker and also a demonstration of how to make the Zulu click consonants… Enjoy! Mama Lisa
Sanda wrote to us about Croatian lullabies… "If you are looking for real Croatian traditional lullabies, there is a CD of woman group singing klapa.  Klapa is traditional form of a capella singing from Dalmatia, on the Croatian coast. [Note from Mama Lisa: Klapa means, 'a group of friends'.  Harmony and melody is an important part...
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Here’s a short video on American dialects.  What do people call soda?  That’s what I call it… some call it pop or coke.  Listen to more words that vary around the US in the video below… SODA / POP / COKE from Atlantic Video on Vimeo. Photo: Wikipedia
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Below is an interesting documentary about the Mexican Day of the Dead filmed in 1957. This quote from the video gives an idea of the feeling behind the Day of the Dead: "Tears are shed for the living. We never shed tears for the dead. We must be very careful that no tears drop on this day...
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My cousin, James Yannucci, wrote about how his grandfather (on the other side of his family, his mother’s side) used to raise carrier pigeons. Here’s what he wrote: This may get a little awkward but oh well… When I was a kid growing up in NY this was a very "Italian" hobby to have. When my grandfather...
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I came across this YouTube video of kids in Nigeria playing two circle dance games.  The songs are quite fun!  The lyrics are in English.  English is the official language of Nigeria even though over 500 languages are spoken there.  You can find most of the lyrics below the video. Song #1   To play: Each kid...
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Have you ever wondered what is the difference between the United Kingdom and Great Britain?  This video explains it, plus a whole lot more! Enjoy! Mama Lisa
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Many of us grew up watching Mr. Rogers.  He was on the kids’ show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood that ran in some form from 1963 to 2001.  Here’s a Mr. Rogers video song remix called Sing Together that was just released by PBS (the station that ran his show).  It’s a sequel to the previous Mr....
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The IBM 704 was the first computer to sing a song. You can see how big this computer was in the image above.  In 1961, the IBM 704 was programmed to sing the chorus of the song, "Daisy Bell" by Harry Dacre.  You can hear its rendition in the YouTube video below… Here is the chorus...
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Here is a sweet video rendition of the German lullaby, Schlaf, Kindlein, schlaf, followed by the German lyrics and an English translation. Schlaf, Kindlein, schlaf Schlaf, Kindlein, schlaf, Der Vater hüt die Schaf, Die Mutter schüttelts Bäumelein, Da fällt herab ein Träumelein. ...
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