Mama Lisa's World
International Music & Culture
Mama Lisa's Blog
A place for poems, songs, rhymes and traditions from around the world for both kids and grown-ups to enjoy!

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A Noiseless Patient Spider was written by Walt Whitman in the 1860’s. The spider in this poem is a metaphor for the human soul. Listen to an mp3 recording of the poem while reading along with the text below… MP3 Recording of A Noiseless Patient Spider   A Noiseless Patient Spider   A noiseless patient […]
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The poem Winter’s Turning by Amy Lowell (1874 – 1925) seems to perfectly reflect the weather in New York right now. Below you can listen to an mp3 recording, while reading along with the poem. MP3 Recording of Winter’s Turning Winter’s Turning by Amy Lowell Snow is still on the ground, But there is a […]
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? […]
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 […]
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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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Carolina L. M. wrote to us from Colombia about Love and Friendship Day (El Día de Amor y Amistad)… Hello! My name is Carolina I am a teacher in Colombia, South America! In schools we do not celebrate Valentine’s Day in February, but we do celebrate Love and Friendship Day the third Saturday in September! […]
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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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"Boys and Girls Come out to Play" is a nursery rhyme song that dates back to the 18th century. Here’s a wonderful rendition by Dick Aven, in a gentle rock style.  The ways to use traditional songs and rhymes need only be limited by your imagination! MP3 of Boys and Girls Come Out to Play […]
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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 […]
Maria wrote asking for info about the song, "Zimbole".  Here’s her email: I have been trying in vain to find the meaning of the African folk song “Zimbole”.  I believe it’s an Zulu word for peace but I’m not sure and I can’t find any information anywhere!   There are videos on youtube of kids singing […]
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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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Does Anyone Know a Story about a Torn Pea Being Sewed up with Black Thread?

Lonnie wrote asking for help finding a story that his mother-in-law used to tell about the origin of black-eyed peas.  Here’s his question: I am trying to find a story my mother in law used to tell my daughter. All I can remember about it is the little pea tore something and it was sewn […] Read more »

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