"In this song the children express excitement about Sinterklaas's birthday, and as they know he will come by, they put their little shoes down - ready for Sinterklaas to fill it with gifts and candy. Way back when, the children would put their shoes by the fireplace as they believed that Sinterklaas entered the home via the chimney. These days they'll put it by the radiator (most used way of heating homes in Holland) to still have the same feel to the holiday." -Francisca

Sinterklaas Is Jarig - Dutch Children's Songs - The Netherlands - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image


Francisca wrote:

"I think you are familiar with Sinterklaas (St. Nick), but as a reminder: he lives in Spain and when he arrives in Holland by boat, he visits children and brings gifts. Sinterklaas rides a dapple horse over all the rooftops when delivering gifts. The children oftentimes sing songs for him in hopes he is listening and in their shoes they may put a carrot, or hay for the horse and much like children do for Santa - there may be drawings for Sinterklaas as well as cookies or other things. The servants of Sinterklaas keep him posted on which child has been good all year and who may have slipped up here and there. I'm not sure who came up with this weird thing - but the children are told that if they misbehaved, Sinterklaas will put them in a burlap sack (in which the servants usually carry gifts) and take them to Spain. The servants, who are all named "Zwarte Piet" (Black Pete) are at times mistakenly referred to as a racist concept within the holiday, but they merely put on that make-up because long ago Sinterklaas lived in the Spain/Portugal area and back then that's where the Moors lived and they happened to be those who served with Sinterklaas. The basic meaning of this song is that Sinterklaas knows whether the children have been good, but that when they feel bad if they have been naughty at times and promise not to do it again - he will forgive them and they'll receive their gifts and candy after all."



Many thanks to F.S. for sharing this song with the translation and recording!

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Image: Christmas Stamp of Ukraine (2006), edited by Lisa.

Dank u wel!