"Dodo ti pitit manman" is a well-known lullaby in Haiti. Lullabies around the world often have something a little scary to "threaten" the child with if they don't go to sleep. In this lullaby, it's a crab that will eat the child if he doesn't sleep. Of course, most kids who hear lullabies are babies who don't really understand the meaning of the song. They only know the loving voice that's singing it and lulling them to sleep.

Dodo ti pitit manman - Haitian Children's Songs - Haiti - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image


*Kalalou means both "okra" and "gumbo". Kalalou gumbo in the Caribbean often has okra and crab in it. Kalalou is sometimes spelled: "calalu", "calalou", or "calaloo". The word comes from Africa.


"The only truly Haitian lullaby I know." -Favia


You can hear the first two verses in the recording below...


Many thanks to Favia at Caribbean Living for sharing her recording of this lullaby with us!

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Thanks and Acknowledgements

Translation by Mama Lisa. Thanks to Marie Bastien for the correction.