Kasia sent me this song with the note, "This is a lullaby I remember my mother used to sing to me when I was little..."


*'A-a-a', or 'Ah-ah-ah' is supposed to denote a lengthy sound that we use
to hush the child that is trying to fall asleep.

This is one of the most popular Polish lullabies. It may date back over a century. I believe there's a reference to it in a novel from 1908 called, Byli i będą: powieść z niedalekiej przeszłości (They Were and Are: A Novel of the Recent Past) by Maria Rodziewiczówna. If anyone knows more about early appearances of this song in print and any early versions of it, please email me. Thanks! -Mama Lisa

Kate sent another translation with the note:


I'm writing to you 'cause I've noticed that one of the Polish lullabies have been translated into English in a way that makes it nearly impossible to sing. I'm sending you my translation. As you can see it is possible to sing it in English AND keep the original melody & rhythm. Hope you'll like it.

Best regards
Kate R.

Ah-ah-ah, two little kittens
Ah-ah-ah, ah-ah-ah,

There were once two little cats.
Ah-ah-ah, two little cats,
Gray and brown oh both they are.

Oh, sleep, my darling,
If you'd like to have a star – you'll get it.
All the children, good and bad,
Are now sleeping in their beds,
Only you are still awake.

Ah-ah-ah, ah-ah-ah,
There were once two little cats.
Ah-ah-ah, two little cats,
Gray and brown oh both they are.

Oh, sleep, 'cause you see
The moon is yawning and he'll soon be sleeping.
And when the morning later comes
He will feel ashamed because,
He fell asleep but you did not.


Lisa Dickinson wrote:

"I was just thinking of this song which my grandmother used to sing to me. I'm sure it is quite older than 1908 as my grandmother was born in 1898 and said her mother used to sing to her. I'm not sure you have all or the original lyrics to the song tho, my Gram used to say it was about two kittens (we didn't learn polish) rolling and tumbling. The grey and white part is correct. The rest I'm not sure. She couldn't remember all the lyrics but it is charming! Thanks for curating. Lisa"

Would anyone know if there are more lyrics to this song? Please email me if you know of any. Thanks! Mama Lisa


Kasia wrote: "I used to really like this song as a child. Now, while singing it myself, I keep inventing lyrics of my own, but the above is the most original version I can recall.

Michael Malik from Argos Document Translations, sent this version and translation:

Original Polish version:

A, a - kotki dwa

A, a - kotki dwa,
szare, bure obydwa.
Nic nie będą robiły,
tylko dziecko bawiły.
Jak się kotki rozigrały,
to dziecinę kołysały.
Jeden szary, drugi bury,
a ten trzeci myk! do dziury.
Żeby tylko jeden był,
to by z dzieckiem mleczko pił.

English Translation:

A, a – two small cats

A, a – two small cats
Both are gray both are sad
They don't have a thing to do
They just want to play with you
When the kittens began to meddle
They soon started to rock the cradle
One is gray, the other's dark,
And the third one runs and hides
If there'd only be one kitten
he'd drink some milk and be smitten.

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Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Kasia Koscielska for contributing and translating this song. Thanks to Kate for the 2nd translation. Thanks to Michael Malik from Argos Document Translations for the second version.