Arroz con leche - Puerto Rican Children's Songs - Puerto Rico - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image


Here's what Michael Jimenez said about the tune in his score (the second score in the score link on this page): "This particular tune is used throughout many parts of Latin America such as the Dominican Republic and Mexico but does have some modifications to the melody and/or text adapted perhaps towards the humor or interest of the local culture."

Michael's version of the song has the additional verse (before the ending, Contigo, sí, contigo, no...):

Yo soy la viudita
La hija del Rey
Me quiero casar
Y no encuentro con quién.

English Translation:

I am the widow
The daughter of the king
I want to get married
But I am in need of a husband.


Maria Leston wrote:

"Hello Lisa

The second version here is the one I've always known, with one word of difference instead of the word 'mesa' I remember 'aguja'. Aguja was referring to the needle that she will be using for knitting and embroidering. Maybe other countries use mesa, I'm not sure.

The way I also remember when we sang this song that it was like a question/answer kind of song, where Rice Pudding is wishing to get married and the Little Widow, the daughter of the king, would answer saying that she was the little widow that wanted to get married too, but did not know with whom (the little widow, the daughter of the king would be represented by a girl in the middle of a circle of kids). Then she goes around the circle trying to pick a husband, that is why she says 'with you yes, with you no', she is pointing at each boy in the circle alternating until she chooses one to be the husband. Once she does that the song finishes, she joins hands with the circle and some other child will take a turn in the middle. And it will start up again. It was a lot of fun. Children will be giggling and waiting to be picked. Lisa I hope this helps and I hope you have a lot of fun with this neat project. Take care :) Maria Leston."

Thanks for writing! Mama Lisa


William wrote, "I don't know whether you've already been told but in Puerto Rico, there are more verses that go this way below. They follow the first verse. I hope you find it informative and I really like your page." -W. Rodriguez

Tilín, tilán
Allá viene Juan
Comiéndose el pan,
Si no se lo dan
Se pone a llorar

Yo soy la viudita,
La hija del rey
Me quiero casar
Y no tengo (algunas versiones dicen "encuentro") con quien

Pues siendo tan bella,
Y no encuentras con quien
Escoge a tu gusto
Que aquí tienes quien

Contigo sí, etc….

English Translation

Ding, dong (or "Wobble, wobble")
There comes Juan
Eating bread
If he's not given any
He starts to cry.

I am the little widow,
The king's daughter,
I want to get married
And I don't have anyone (some versions go "encuentro" [find anyone]))

Then, being so beautiful
And you don't find anybody,
Choose to your liking
As here, you have some. (somebody or some people)

With you, yes, etc.

Game Instructions

Everyone goes in a circle with one child in the center. The children hold hands and go around in a circle while singing the first verse. The child in the middle runs around the inside of the circle, then chooses a child by pointing at him/her while singing, "Contigo sí", then points to another singing "Contigo no", then pointing to another singing, "Con esta señorita / este señorito me caso yo". The couple then stands in the middle and dances, then the first child returns to the circle, the second chooses a new child to go in the middle and the game continues until all participants are "married".



Many thanks to Brunilda, Estela and Maria for Singing "Arroz con leche"?.


Many thanks to Susan Pomerantz for playing this tune on piano.

Sheet Music

Sheet Music - Arroz con leche

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Mirta E. Pimentel for contributing and translating this song. Thanks also to Michael Jimenez for contributing the second score for Arroz con leche! Thanks to Maria Leston for commenting on this song! Many thanks to W. Rodriguez for contributing the additional verses!

¡Muchas gracias!