The oldest version of this song was collected in the Netherlands circa 1850.

'K Zag Twee Beren Broodjes Smeren - Belgian Children's Songs - Belgium - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image


Niklas wrote the following notes about the song:

"The 'k is a short form of 'ik' (I), the 't a short form of 'het' (it). Abbreviations like this are often used in rhymes and songs to preserve the rhythm, an example in English would be the 't in 'T was the night before Christmas...

'Wonder boven wonder' (wonder on top of wonder) is a Dutch expression roughly equivalent to the English 'Lo and behold'.

The song is a collection of silly rhymes on animals. The verses all follow the same pattern:

I saw two -x- do -y-
Oh it was a wonder
't was a wonder on a wonder (Lo and behold, what a wonder)
that this -x- could -y-
hi-hi-hi. ha-ha-ha
I stood there and watched them."

Niklas wrote:

Re. The 2nd verse - "I often sang a variation:
'k zag twee apen nootjes rapen - I saw two monkeys collecting nuts (because the 'rapen' makes a better rime then the 'kraken')."
Re. The 13th verse - "I remember a version with a better rhyme:
'K zag twee uilen kaartjes ruilen - I saw two owls trading cards."
Re. The last verse - "Kwelen is a pejorative for singing... like butchering a song."


Petra wrote, "We are all from Antwerpen in Belgium originally now living in the UK and my mum sings this to my daughter so we can teach her Flemish."


Hunter sent this lovely note with the recording below...

"I recently stumbled upon your site 'Mama Lisa's World of Children and International Culture" and really appreciate the project. With the help of your site I learned how to play the Dutch children's song 'K zag twee beren' much to the delight of my friends in Belgium. I noticed there were already videos posted I thought I would at least pass along the recording I made of a handful of my favorite verses in case you find it useful.

Thank you for your wonderful contribution to the internet and the world connected."


Many thanks to Hunter Jeffreys for singing this song for us!

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Sheet Music

Sheet Music - 'K Zag Twee Beren Broodjes Smeren

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Thanks to Tine Deschryver and Kim Welkenhuysen for contributing this song. Thanks also to Petra for contributing the second verse. Thanks to Niklas Oberfeld for the longer version of the song, a score and his comments. Translation by Niklas Oberfeld and Lisa Yannucci. Image graphically edited by Lisa.

Dank u wel!