Can Anyone Help with a Norwegian Lullaby That Sounds Like “Be a lulla barna”?

Rachel wrote…

Hi there Lisa,

I was hoping you (or someone on your site) could help me. I’ve been trying to find the translation and/or the rest of the lyrics to a Norwegian lullaby my Grandpa used to sing to me. Pardon the lack of correct spelling, but it sounds like:

Be a lulla barna
Papa nesta garna
Mama sing a lullabru
Be a lulla barna

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks so much for your time.


If anyone can help Rachel, please let us know in the comments below.

Thanks in advance!

Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 at 8:12 pm and is filed under Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, English, Languages, Lullabies, Mama Lisa, Norway, Norwegian, Norwegian Children's Songs, Norwegian Lullabies, Questions, Readers 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.

8 Responses to “Can Anyone Help with a Norwegian Lullaby That Sounds Like “Be a lulla barna”?”

  1. Liv Skoglund Says:

    Yes, you are into the stuff norwegian lullabies are made from.
    However, there is not one version that is the correct one, lullabies are made up on the go, different from family to family. If the child falls asleep, your singing is a success!

    If I tidy your text up to contemporary standard spelling, it would run something like:
    Bya lulla barnet
    Pappa nøster garnet
    Mamma synger lullaby
    Bya lulla barnet

    Where Bya lulla is nonsense words,
    barnet=the child,
    nøster garnet=making the newly spun wool into a thread ball,

    Similar texts often also contains the sentence
    Gryta henger i jarnet=the kettle is hanging in the iron (that is, over the fire)

    The very most typical start of a Norwegian lullaby would be byssa, byssa barnet, byssa meaning a rocking movement.

    Folk singer Unni Løvlid has made a beautiful CD with traditional children songs:

    Liv Skoglund

  2. Lisa Says:

    Thank you Liv! That CD is available for download at Amazon too. The link is So Ro Liten Tull by Unni Løvlid.

  3. Rachel Says:

    Thanks Liv! Your help is much appreciated :o)

  4. Brian Says:

    Can Anyone Help with a Norwegian Lullaby That Sounds Like “OOOhha Ooohha barna, nooska barna sofe”?

  5. Jo Says:

    This is what my mother and grandmother sang to me:

    Byssa byssa barnet
    Mamma noster garnet
    Papa gar i ville skog
    og jaeger bukken og bjornet

    Sorry, I had to use all English letters.

  6. Gwenn Says:

    I have been looking for years for a lullaby that sounds like this

    Byssa Byssa Bonna
    Mama nes a gonna
    Papa lof a lunda voo
    siva bonna neis sku
    neis sku a spenda
    sova bonna langa

    My norwegian uncle used to sing it to me all the time

  7. Gwenn Says:

    forgot to check the email response box. Thanks to any one who can help

  8. Lisa Says:

    Siri wrote:

    I believe the Norwegian lullaby goes like this:

    First version:

    Bya, bya, barnet
    Mamma nøster garnet.
    Pappa går til Langebro,
    kjøper barnet nye sko.
    Nye sko og spenner.
    Så sover barnet lenger.

    ”Bya” can be used instead of the more widely used ”byssan”.

    This verse translates into:

    Lulla lullay child.
    Mommy is winding/twisting the yarn (into a ball/skein/hank/bundle).
    Daddy goes to Langebro (Long bridge)
    Buys the child new shoes.
    New shoes and buckles.
    Then the child will sleep longer (for a longer period of time)

    You can listen to a recording of Bya bya barnet here.

    Second version:

    Byssan lull mitt lille barn!
    Mor hun sitter og nøster garn.
    Far han går på Langebro,
    kjøper barnet nye sko,
    nye sko og spenner,
    så sover barnet lenger.

    You can listen to a recording of Byssan lull mitt lille barn here.

    Danish version:

    Visselul, mit lille barn!
    Mo’er sidder og vinder garn,
    fa’er går på Langebro,
    køber barnet nye sko,
    nye sko med spænder, –
    så sover barnet længer.

    Best regards,

    Siri Randem

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