"This is a Yiddish children's song about animals doing human chores, much like the Dutch 'k'zag twee beren broodjes smeren'. Like the Dutch song it is a witty rhyming game where certain animals rhyme with a certain activity like 'Beren / broodjes smeren' in Dutch, 'bern/shtiber kern' in Yiddish or 'bears/sweeping stairs' in English (if there were a song like this).

Compared to the Dutch song, this song seems to concentrate on household animals [found on a farm] doing household chores: oxen, goats, dogs and chickens - with the odd bears thrown in- compared to the Dutch, bears, lions, foxes and minnows. Also, this version likes to repeat the key line from the previous strophe with every new one adding a 'memory' game to the singing challenge." -Niklas

Notes

*In a cradle
**Tinder

Niklas wrote, "Below is my own attempt at making an English version of the song. Unfortunately I did not find anything rhyming with oxen, so I had to swap them out for kittens. If you find something for oxen, or even cows or cattle will do, be my guest and insert this as the first strophe. In the meantime, here is what I have…"

Got a Pair of Kittens

Got a pair of kittens, kittens
See them knitting mittens, mittens
What a wonder on a wonder
That those kittens are knitting mittens
Ay, it's quite a wonder
Ay, it's quite a wonder.

Got a pair of bears, bears
See them sweeping stairs, stairs
What a wonder on a wonder
That those bears are sweeping stairs
And those kittens knitting mittens
Ay, it's quite a wonder
Ay, it's quite a wonder.

Got a pair of fishes, fishes
See them cleaning dishes, dishes
What a wonder on a wonder
That those fishes are cleaning dishes
And those bears sweeping stairs
And those kittens knitting mittens…

Got a pair of poodles, poodles
See them cooking noodles, noodles…

Got a pair of foxes, foxes
See them stacking boxes, boxes…

Listen
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In the video below the person sings the 1st two verses and then adds on some variations as one-liners...

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Thanks and Acknowledgements

Thanks to Niklas Obee for sharing this song with the translation, the midi tune, the English version in the notes and all the commentary!

Ich dank aych zeyer!

Thank you in Yiddish