Can Anyone Help with a Polish Nursery Song about "Mon Kapitan"?

Liz wrote to me asking for help with a Polish nursery song.  Here’s her email:

Hi Mama Lisa!

My name is Liz, and a good portion of my family comes from Poland, but I didn’t grow up speaking Polish at all, and a lot of the family’s history never got written down…

My Nana, Mom’s mom, always used to bounce me up and down on her knee when I was a baby and sing about "mon capitan" and it was always so much fun to be able to do it with my younger brothers when they were small.  I never got to ask her what the actual lyrics meant before she died, if she even knew them.  I’ve been wondering about them for a few years but I don’t get any search results when I put in "mon capitan" into Google.

And so I turn to you!  I have no idea how to write any of the lyrics, and I can only guess that they’re actually Polish since she was basically of 100% Polish ancestry.  But I’ve recorded an audio file for you with the lyrics to listen to and maybe figure out, or have someone you know figure out.

I hope you can help me solve the mystery so I can continue singing it to little children I encounter!


Liz Hamilton

We asked our Polish friend Agnes about it. Here’s what she wrote:

Thank you for your email. I don’t know this rhyme at all.  I’ve found something like this on the internet:

Jedzie pan Kapitan
a za panem Kapitanem jedzie sluga ze sniadaniem
a pies z workiem, podwieczorkiem
Patataj patataj patataj

English Translation:

The captain is going
After the captain there is his servant going with breakfast
and a dog with a bag and with afternoon tea
Patataj (…) – (An onomatopoeia of the sound of the horse’s hoofs.)

I’m not sure whether it’s what she remembers.

All the best,


We sent the rhyme that Agnes found back to Liz, she wrote:

Would it be possible to get a recording for this particular rhyme?  I can’t understand what the written Polish words sound like in Polish…. and I don’t know any Polish except "kapitan".

We haven’t been able to find a recording. If anyone can recite this for us, or help with Liz’s rhyme in any way, please comment below or email me.

Thanks in advance!

Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Tuesday, September 6th, 2016 at 6:02 pm and is filed under Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, Languages, Nursery Rhymes, Poland, Polish, Polish Kids Songs, Polish Nursery Rhymes, 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.

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