"I sing 'Lelo-Ledung' when my daughter is having difficulty falling asleep or is in need of soothing and calming words." -Arum

This lullaby is from Java.

Lelo ledung - Indonesian Children's Songs - Indonesia - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image


*Re. Warrior, Arum wrote, "The meaning of this word in the song, for me (above all for the girl version) isn't really aggressive, it rather means to be correct and fair, to be the pride of her country, maybe like some women who have won a Nobel Peace Prize for example."

**Kawung is a traditional batik motif representing simplified lotus flowers.


The song above is addressed to a girl. To address a boy, here are the changes that Arum and her mom suggested:

"The text is rather for a girl (ayu ~ beautiful in the sense of beauty of the soul). I once asked my mom what I should sing if I had a baby boy and she said the words can be changed.


'Ayu' (beautiful), changes to 'bagus' (good/ handsome)
'Ayune' (the beauty), changes to 'bagus'e' (the goodness)
'Wanita' (woman) changes to 'lan pria' (the man).

Here is the same song addressed to a baby boy:

Tak lelo…lelo…lelo ledung…
Cep menenga, aja pijer nangis
Anakku sing bagus rupane
Yen nangis ndak ilang bagus'e

Tak gadhang isa urip mulya
Dadiyo lan pria utama
Ngluhurke asmane wong tuwo
Dadiyo pendekaring bangsa….

Cep menenga…anakku…
Kae.. wulane ndadari
Kayak ndas buta nggilani
Lagi nggoleki cah nangis..

Tak lelo…lelo…lelo ledung…
Cep menenga, anakku cah bagus
Ta' emban, slendang batik kawung
Yen nangis medhak nggawe bingung.



Many thanks to Arum Suryanti for contributing, translating and singing this song for us!