Question about a Lebanese Nursery Rhyme

Curtis wrote me…

Mama Lisa,

I have a question that maybe you can help with… My wife is 2nd generation American Lebanese. We recently had twin girls and my wife’s aunt recites what I think is a nursery rhyme in Lebanese while drumming the baby’s hand on the table top. I think what she is saying is “Di Bisolow” repeated while the baby drums her hands on the table. The girls love the game but I have not been able to find a translation. Does this sound familiar? Any information would be appreciated. My wife loves her heritage and would like to try to keep some of the Lebanese traditions.

Thank you for your help.

Curtis

Please comment below if you can help with this song.

Thanks!

Lisa

This article was posted on Saturday, May 6th, 2006 at 9:38 am and is filed under Countries & Cultures, Lebanon, Nursery Rhymes, Questions. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

10 Responses to “Question about a Lebanese Nursery Rhyme”

  1. rose Says:

    HI CURTIS
    I THINK YOUR WIFES AUNT WAS SAYING TABIS TABIS TABIS WHILST THE TWINS WOULD DRUM THEIR HANDS
    CHEERS ROSE

  2. Jane Says:

    Hi, sorry I couldn’t find the link to send an e-mail. I am looking for a Lebanese song that talks about making omelettes with oil…and when the kid sings it…they point the finger at the palm of their hand. It starts out like: zayt Zayt ya hajje…and I don’t know the rest. If anyone knows the words, please help!! Thanks.

  3. tj Handal Says:

    I believe I have heard thatone from my husband’s palestinian relatives. His aunt sings it to his little female cousins and it’s about making kubbeh, a wonderful snack food and the finger pointed to the palm of the hand mimics the action of creating the hole in the dough for the meat filling. I’ll see if I can get her to add it to the site.

  4. Lisa Says:

    That would be great!

  5. Nadine Says:

    Dear all
    We r a young independent publisher based in Beirut named Dar Onboz we have published the first of it’s kind books of nursery rhymes from our 300 year old oral tradition the fruit of 30 years of research by Najla Jreissati khoury, and we issued one cd, our endless problem is distribution and getting our books to america but if u have someone visiting ask them to get u the books and cd, we have over 300 rhymes so rich culturally linguistically like zayt zayt, kibbeh kbeybeh, houh houh ya bardi, am el deb etc… On the other hand thank u for calling the 4 songs u placed songs not nursery rhymes because other publishers or readers or mothers don’t seem to know the difference

  6. Cathy Says:

    How about the song/game my Lebanese parents taught me? It is like petting a cat, “beeze, beeze, beeze, upsyna, UBBUS!” Suppose to be “nice, nice, nice kitty – BAD KITTY” and you pet the hand, and try to smack the hand/kitty at the end, and the child tries to avoid the hit.

  7. Karen Says:

    I have a question. My mother would recite, what I believe was a Syrian nursery rhyme when we were little. She told us it was Patty Cake, but I don’t think it was. The English sound of the words were something like this: Minna mannuets, kavela pa pa, portu gola, sena va. portu gola, sena vee, bee um gotta ma pizzeree. Sound at all familiar ? ? ? Of course, remember, I could have some of this totally wrong!

  8. Zena Says:

    This is in reply to Jane, the nursery rhyme is,

    Zayt zags ya haje( finger pointing to palm)
    Eeley lal baba 3ejeh
    Ahk ahk ya rasi (hands on head)

    Translation
    Oil oil oh old lady
    Fry an omelet for my daddy
    Ouch ouch oh my head

    Hope this helps

  9. Denisse Says:

    I grew up with the one included below. My great-grandmother used to sing it for me. Sadly, only my grandmother knew the entire song. After my grandmother passed away and I lost the paper where she had written it for me, I searched the web for several years until I found it last month. I want my daughters to grow up with this song. I hope others can enjoy it for multiple generations.

    KIBBIE KA BY BEE HALL UDEE
    YA KIBBE LA TID GUDIE
    KIBBIE KA BY BEE KIB BOO HA
    LA (A PERSON’S NAME) LA GUDOO HA

  10. Lisa Says:

    Hi Denisse,

    We found your song! It’s called, “Kel kebbie hal’ade ad kebbibat el-hajje”.

    You can find all the lyrics in Arabic at the link below with a translation and transliteration…

    http://mamalisa.com/?t=frontend&c=66

    Cheers!

    Mama Lisa

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