"There are many versions of this song, but the game is the same in every city. I've read somewhere that this song is from Cirebon. Many of us still play this game. I don't know the meaning, and maybe this song is in the Sunda language. But 'laba-laba' does mean spider." -Ana

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


Ana wrote, "The lyrics that my friends and I use are…."

Pipo pipo laba-laba sisindo
Ram pereram pereram pipo

Innosanto Nagara from Indonesia wrote:

I'm not familiar with this one. There are words I understand but some I don't. A friend says it's the Manado language (known as Manado Malay) from northern Sulawesi. A quick Google search says it says:

Pipo pipo
laba laba sesedo
samalado ham tere
ham tere pipo

"Laba laba" probably means "spider" as it does in Indonesian Malay, but not sure about the rest.

There is mention of 'do you remember this game for those of you born in the 90s,' so it may be relatively new. But I'm not sure. This blog I quote below talks about it. Says they played it but had never heard of it before and were wondering what language it was in – speculating it may be from Papua."

Elsewhere I saw it referred to a traditional kids game.

If anyone knows more about its meaning, language or anything else about this rhyme, please email me. Thanks! Mama Lisa

Game Instructions

1. Everyone sits in a circle or around a table and puts out two fists in front of them.
2. Everyone sings the song while one person points to each fist around the circle.
When the song is over the person's whose hand was pointed to should put out their fist with the thumb up. At the end of the next round, the hand that's pointed to grabs the thumb of the 1st person who whose fist was chosen and puts their thumb up. The game continues like this until all hands are stacked.
3. The stacked hands swing around together in a circle without breaking the connection and chant the rhyme.
5. Then the hands collapse one at a time starting at the top of the stack.
6. Each hand slaps the hand below it and until the last hand is slapped.

Please let us know if you think this video has been taken down by YouTube.
Please let us know if you think this video has been taken down by YouTube.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Ana and Innosanto Nagara for helping with this song!