A Peruvian Children’s Song – “Once Upon a Time, There Was a King”

Yesterday Cecilia Campos, who’s originally from Peru, sent me the Peruvian rhyme below.

Here’s what she had to say about it…

The story is about a Viceroy, (the representative of Spain’s King in the old times) who had 3 daughters, and some pirates wanted to take them away from him. So in a rush, he hid them in a big pot, and covered them with fish so the pirates wouldn’t check inside (they would get all smelly touching the fish if they checked inside).

This story had been told to me by my mother, and she said it was told to her by her mother, and so on. I taught my child this rhyme when he was two. He’s now 3, and he loves to say it. It really doesn’t make any sense out of the context of the story and has to be told in Spanish to rhyme.

Here’s the rhyme in Spanish with an English translation…

Habia una vez un Rey
(Spanish)

Habia una vez un Rey,
que tenia 3 hijas,
las metio en una botija,
y las tapo con un pez,
quieres que te la cuente otra vez?

Once Upon a Time, There Was a King
(English)

Once upon a time,
There was a King,
Who had 3 daughters.
He hid them in a big pot,
And covered them with a fish,
Do you want me to tell you the story again?

Many thanks to Cecilia Campos Siuffe & Daniel Siuffe for contributing and translating this rhyme!

Come visit the Mama Lisa’s World Peru Page for more Songs from Peru.

This article was posted on Tuesday, April 18th, 2006 at 5:21 pm and is filed under Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, Habia una vez un Rey - Once Upon a Time..., Languages, Peru, Peruvian Children's Songs, Spanish. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply