This is a Bantu Lullaby based on a South African tale about a monster named "Abiyoyo" who steals away misbehaving children. "Abiyoyo" is sung over and over to neutralize the monster so he can be dispensed with.


Pete Seeger introduced this lullaby to the West. He made up a story to go with it about a magician and his son who are banished from a town for causing mischief. They're allowed to return after they save their town from the terrible giant named "Abiyoyo". The tale is that after tormenting the town, the giant was memorized by hearing his name sung over and over to the music of a ukulele. The song was used to neutralize him so he could be dealt with.

Nowadays "Abiyoyo" is sung by choruses.

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Thanks and Acknowledgements

Thanks to Nicole for helping identify the language of this song.