Mama Lisa's World is the internet's premier destination for children's songs from around the globe and for discussions of international culture. It features thousands of traditional songs from hundreds of countries and cultures and a major collection of Mother Goose Rhymes. Mama Lisa's Blog focuses on global recipes, holiday traditions, poetry and lively conversations about childhood around the world.
What was the guiding principle behind Mama Lisa's World?
The intent of this site is to give people a sense of the nursery rhymes and songs sung by or to children in cultures around the world. For example, "Yankee Doodle" is a little rhyme that all American children know and experience as a part of their childhood. Non-Americans can get a sense of a small part of the culture of the United States by reading or singing it.
How do you deal with the issue of translations?
We see the spirit of the rhyme as being more important than the literal meanings of the words. Obviously, no translation can do full justice to all the nuances and senses a rhyme or any other piece of art hits in its native language and culture. But we make do with what we can...
There are no rhymes from my country or culture. Why not?
Our ultimate goal is to post nursery rhymes and children's songs from every country and culture in existence! We know that's a tall order, but we can try. If your country/culture is not featured here and you'd like to contribute a children's song or rhyme, please write us.
Do you accept contributions of new songs for countries or cultures already featured on the site?
Yes! We are glad to accept new material, even if we already have some songs from a country or culture. If you'd like to contribute, please write us.
Are the comments presented with some of the songs and rhymes all from professionals who have studied them?
No. We're happy to accept interesting commentary from all sources. The materials presented on this site are very much part of popular, folk traditions. We do not believe any special knowledge is needed to contribute to our shared understanding of their places in all our lives and cultures.
About the Staff
Lisa Yannucci (Mama Lisa)
Lisa was inspired to start Mama Lisa's World in the mid 1990's, when her young son first became interested in nursery rhymes. She recorded several Mother Goose songs onto a computer and programmed them to play when he clicked a picture. He loved it and she became fascinated with the power of the internet to enrich the lives of children. She made the site public and has since used her background in languages and culture, and her talent as an illustrator, to oversee its tremendous growth.
Jason (Lisa's husband) has worked in magazine, book and web publishing for over twenty years. His personal projects have included several websites and podcasts. Along with his editorial contributions, he oversees the business and technical aspects of Mama Lisa's World.
Monique grew up at the crossroads of three cultures in the Occitan region of France. She is fluent in French, Spanish, English and Occitan and has a working knowledge of many other languages including Italian. Her years as a first grade teacher and her love of children and linguistics give her a unique insight into the power of music and song all over the world.
Mama Lisa's World is made up of contributions from ordinary people from all over the globe. Please write us and say hello! We want to hear about your childhood memories, your favorite recipes, your holidays and anything else you'd like to share about your culture.
Thank you for being part of our community!
We would like to thank everyone who helped us with this site, especially the contributors without whom none of this would have been possible.
Our special thanks go out to...
Edit' Dupont - for singing over 200 French songs for us.
Nyango Melissa Nambangi of the Minnesota African Women's Association - for contributing over 100 songs from Cameroon and singing many of them.
Gracie Gralike - for contributing many drawings and allowing us to use them in our books and on the site.
And we're very grateful to Mama Lisa's daughter and her friends, and Mama Lisa's niece and nephew, for their fantastic drawings!