Isabel wrote from Virginia, "I learned this song growing up in Cuba. We would stand in a circle and do the movements according to the lyrics of the song."


This song dates back to the 1500 - 1600's in Andalusia, Spain. There are many versions of this song with different titles in the Spanish speaking world, such as "Romance de la niña que no quiere ser monja" (Romance of the Girl Who Doesn't Want To Be a Nun), "Las monjitas" (The Little Nuns), "Monjita del monasterio" (Young/Little Nun of the Monastery) and "Yo me quería casar" (I Wanted To Get Married). In some versions the girl wants to wed a boy, but her father doesn't want her to and he locks her up in a convent with the complicity of the nuns who kidnap her.

There's a version of this song from Spain called "Monjita en el monasterio".

Game Instructions

(1) Join hands as if praying.
(2) Both hands move down in front of the chest.
(3) The forefinger of the right hand upright like a candle, fold the other fingers down.
(4) Squat down on the floor.
(5) Move the forefinger and middle finger like scissors cutting hair.
(6) Hold one finger with the other hand as if holding a ring.
(7) Hold one wrist showing where the bracelet is.
(8) Put your open hand on your throat.
(9) With hands on your hips, move hips from side to side.

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Sheet Music

Sheet Music - Monja por fuerza

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Sabel Mollinedo for contributing this song and for the game instructions. Translation by Monique Palomares and Lisa Yannucci.

¡Muchas gracias!