"San Juan del Deu" refers to Saint John the Baptist that painters pictured with a raised forefinger because the Bible says he pointed at Jesus saying "The Lamb of God".

"I think 'deu' is a different spelling for 'deo' which is 'dedo' (finger) with a muting of the 'd' between vowels as often happens in Spanish." -Monique

San Juan del Deu - Spanish Children's Songs - Spain - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image


Another version

San Juan del Deu,
san Pedro y san Siguan
Jugaban en la era
del trique, trique, tra*.
En el tren va una señora,
y un señorito también.
La señora le pregunta:
-Señorito, ¿qué hora es?:
Las doce menos diez,
la hora de comer. **

*O "triqui triqui tran" o "truqui truqui tran"
**O "Son las diez menos diez, la hora de beber café".

English Translation:

Saint John of the finger,
Saint Peter and Saint Siguan
Were playing in the area
Of the trique trique tra*.
Into the train goes a lady
And a young man too.
The lady asks him,
"Young man, what time is it?"
"It's ten to twelve,
Time to eat."**

*Or "triqui triqui tran" or "truqui truqui tran"
**Or "It's ten to ten, the time to have coffee".

"San Siguan probably comes from the distortion of 'Sanchiuan', itself a distortion of the Catalan 'San Joan' (St John)." -Monique

Game Instructions

Sit in a circle on the floor or around a table and take one of your shoes (or a stone) in your right hand. Sing this song and in time to the tune as you pass your shoe to the next person on the right and pick up the shoe from the person on the left who had placed the shoe in front of you, so every shoe is passed one place around in the circle in time to the beat. However when the line "Triqui triqui tran" begins you hold onto the shoe, bang it down on the left and then pass it to the right. You do the same at the end on "comer".

Sing it faster each time you sing the song.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Sylvia Thorne for pointing out this game and the different versions of the song that goes with it!

Image: Detail of Isenheim Altarpiece by Matthias Grünewald.