Can Anyone Help with a Greek Translation of Palamakia (Clap)?

We received a Greek kids clapping song called Palamakia that we could use a little help with. Below is the Greek text, a transliteration and a rough translation. We’d like to know if the English translation is okay or if it needs to be changed at all…

Greek Text


Παλαμάκια παίξετε
κι ο μπαμπάς του έρχεται
και του φέρνει κάτι τι
κουλουράκια στο χαρτί

Παλαμάκια παίξετε
κι η μανούλα έρχεται
να το πάρει αγκαλιά
το μικρούλι της παιδιά.

Παλαμάκια, παλαμάκια
παίζουν όλα τα παιδάκια
Παλαμάκια και χορό
νταχ ντιρντι και
νταχ ντιρντο



Palamakia Peksete
Kai o babas tou erhete
Kai tou ferni kati ti
Koulourakia sto harti

Palamakia Peksete
Kai i manoula erhete
Kai ta perni agalia
Ta mikroulia tis pethia

Palamakia Palamakia
Pezoun ola ta pethakia
Palamakia kai horo
Tihdidi kai Tihdido

Rough English Translation by Penelope Karagouni (with some editing by me)


Clap your hands
His dad is coming
To bring him something,
Cookies in a paper-wrapper.

Clap your hands
Mommy is coming
To get the little one
To hug the children!

Clap, clap,
All the children clap
Clapping and dancing
Dah didrdi and dah dirdo.*

*Dah didrdi and dah dirdo’ are sounds only with no meaning.

You can hear part of the rhyme in the 2nd part of the YouTube Video below…

If anyone can help with the translation, or let us know if it’s okay, please let me know in the comments below or by emailing me.


Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Saturday, October 24th, 2009 at 5:18 pm and is filed under Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, English, Greece, Greek, Greek Children's Songs, Languages, Mama Lisa, Palamakia - Clapping, Questions. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

6 Responses to “Can Anyone Help with a Greek Translation of Palamakia (Clap)?”

  1. Ioannis (Yanni) Zervoudakis Says:

    I was just googling translation sites for Greek and/or English when I came up your post.
    I have written a reply but it’s in Microsoft Word 2007 which, unfortunately, can’t post here, since it contains comments.
    If you’ll be kind enough to give me your email address, I can send it to you.
    Also, let me know if you need any more Greek Children’s Songs and/or Fairy tales in Greek (Aesopus) and other contemporary ones since I have plenty. I kept them all so my son can continue the tradition when he becomes a father!

    Best regards,


  2. margarita Says:

    palamakia is the best song for me and my baby

  3. Sophia Moustakas Says:

    Some minor corrections to the translation. Corrections in parentheses after each line.


    Clap your hands (literally means play the clapping hands game)
    His dad is coming (Daddy is coming)
    To bring him something, (to bring YOU something)
    Cookies in a paper-wrapper.

    Clap your hands
    Mommy is coming
    To get the little one (to take the little one on her lap, or pick him up)
    To hug the children! (her little one, children)

    Clap, clap,
    All the children clap (all the children are playing)
    Clapping and dancing (literally clap and dance)
    Dah didrdi and dah dirdo.* (kind of like tra la la, la la la, probably from a Turkish word or sound)

    *Dah didrdi and dah dirdo’ are sounds only with no meaning.

  4. Pauline Says:

    I am English and live in Greece. My children grew up with these songs so
    here is my version of this traditional childrens song adapted into English

    Clap clap clap your hands and play,
    Daddy is on his way,
    Is he bringing something with him?
    Yes, a little bag of cookies

    Clap clap clap your hands and play,
    Mummy is on her way,
    She gathers the children into her arms,
    and cuddles them

    Clap clap clap your hands and play,
    All the children are playing,
    Clapping and dancing,
    Tra la la, tra la la ……

  5. Lisa Says:

    Thanks Pauline… nice translation!

  6. Ellen Koskinas Says:


    The best translation in meaning that I know of for “palamakia” in English is “patty-cake” As in: “Patty-cake, Patty-cake, baker’s man, bake me a cake as fast as you can, pat it and prick and mark it with a B and put it in the oven for baby and me” in this English nursery rhyme you play “patty-cake” like “Palamakia” in Greek.

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