Can Anyone Help with a Polish Song that Sounds Like, “Mischka mischka mischka”?

Kari wrote:

Do you know the Polish song I think goes, mischka mischka mischka timidowa?

It was told to kids by holding their hand and making circles on their palm, then squeezing their fingers and then going up their arms saying something like poli vally Vicki.

Any help would be great to know what the song is and what it means.

Kari Koenig

If anyone can help Kari with the original lyrics and/or a translation, please let us know in the comments below.


Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Sunday, March 28th, 2010 at 8:32 pm and is filed under Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, Languages, Mama Lisa, Poland, Polish, Polish Kids Songs, 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.

29 Responses to “Can Anyone Help with a Polish Song that Sounds Like, “Mischka mischka mischka”?”

  1. joanna zaranska Says:

    It doesn’t sound like Polish. It must be Russian. Mischka in Russian means little bear. Although I speak Russian I don’t know this song.

  2. Lisa Says:

    According to Wikipedia

    In Russian Misha is a diminutive for the Russian male name Mikhail. Most bears appearing in Russian fairy tales have this name, because it is quite similar to Russian word for Bear – Miedvied (Russian Медведь).

    Olga said on Yahoo:

    Mikhail is first name of many males in Russia. His friends and relatives can call him Misha. And his really close friends can also say Mishka.

    But, from the other side, ‘bear’ in russian is ‘medved’. And also we can say, for example “what a cute ‘mishka'”, meaning a little and funny bear.

    However, I also found a book on Amazon in German called Mischka, der Bär (Mischka the Bear). So Mischka may have “”traveled” to other countries.

  3. Francesca Says:

    Hi, Mishka means teddy bear in Polish. It sounds very similar to:

    Round and round the garden
    Like a teddy bear,
    One step, Two steps
    Tickle you under there

    Which is the English song version.

  4. Jill Says:

    My mom who passed, always played a hand game with the kids where she would hold their palm upward, make little circles on it and then skurry up the arm with her fingers in a tickling motion. While she did this she said,

    (forgive the spelling or lack of)

    Keez a la Mizala
    A bish garborzala mizala….

    all the way to (said the child’s name)

    (I thought it had yiddish origins – if anyone has info – please pass it on… thanks

  5. iza Says:

    I know exactly what you are talking about although there is no Mischka here but Kaszka (semolina)
    Here it goes:

    Tu tu tu sroczka kaszke warzyla, dzieci swoje karmila

    jednemu dala na lyzeczke
    drugiemu dala na miseczke
    trzeciemu dala do kubeczka
    czwartemu dala z wiadereczka
    piatemu nic nie dala
    i frrr….r poleciala!

    it loosley translates into:

    A little magpie was feeding some semolina to her children,( you open a child palm and make circles with your finger)

    The first one got it from a spoon (you point to child’s thumb)

    The second one got it from a bowl (point to the index finger)

    The third one got it from a mug (point to the middle finger)

    The fourth one got it from a bucket (point to the wedding finger)

    The fith one got nothing (you gently pretend to be pulling that finger out before moving your hand away making a circle in the air and quickly returning your hand to walk it up the child’s arm and tickling them before finishing off with:

    Frrrr and then she flew away!

    This little ‘poem’ does not really rhyme when translated straight into English although it does in Polish. Please note that not all characters have displayed here in Polish.
    Hope This helps.

  6. David Says:

    Our grandma did that with us. It was something like

    (while making circles on our palms)
    “Kasha y Mischka pok pok pok” (with each pok she tapped our palm
    “gotowana kluski pok pok pok” (were cooking noodles)
    (the next lines were pinching the tips our finger tips I don’t remember the whole phrase but it was something to do with głowę. My grandma said it means off with your head for the first four fingers and the last one is something like, your head can stay on)
    (then when she would go from our hand to the crook of our elbow)
    “do (something that sounded like peench) do domu” (home)

    and then we got tickled.

    It seems as though there are dozens of variations of these gestures with different words.

  7. agata Says:

    I am not sure if this is the one you were looking for, but it came to my mind
    as the first idea- it is about how very important thing is to have healthy teeth!

    Szczotka pasta,kubek,ciepła woda
    tak się zaczyna wielka przygoda
    myje zęby,bo wiem dobrze o tym
    kto ich nie myje ten ma kłopoty…

    Żeby zdrowe zęby mieć,trzeba tylko chcieć.
    hej szczoteczko o!o!o!
    Zatańcz ze mną tańcz w kółeczko.o!o!o!
    W prawo,w lewo, w lewo,w prawo.
    o!o!o!Po jedzeniu kręć się żwawo.o!o!o!
    W prawo,w lewo, w lewo,w prawo.o!o!o!
    Po jedzeniu kręć się żwawo.o!o!o!
    Bo to bardzo ważna rzecz żeby zdrowe zęby mieć!

  8. Pam Says:

    My polish grandma used to do this all the time with us, but I think she forgot the words because she used to say:
    Timodowa, timodowa, timodowa, timodowa, negelacki, negelacki (circles in the palm)…oh! Powichowa!
    I’m sure my spelling sucks. But that’s what it sounded like.

  9. Chris Weal Says:

    My father used to play a hand game very similar to all the ones mentioned above except this one was about a mother bird who bit the heads off her little bird children and they all flew to heaven. It started with
    “Tu, tu, tu, tu (something something something)”. Then he’d tap his finger in my palm and say, “Timodowa, timodowa, timo?webeckudvawa, ee-sama few dyah-neba.” I’m pretty sure that last part is supposed to be “they flew to heaven”. I only have one Polish relative left and he’s 99 years old and in a nursing home so I have no one who remembers this nursery rhyme. I would sooooo love to know the correct words. Can anyone help?

  10. Karolina Says:

    The first request fingerplay might be Russian but it can also be the Polish one mentioned by many below (just the words might be mixed up and not remembered well). This rhyme has got many versions depending on the region of Poland that’s why the words you remember are different. It’s all about the
    Magpie and you can find this rhyme among the basic polish rhymes on the main page.
    it goes like this in Polish alphabet: (and how you read it)

    tu tu tu sroczka kaszeczke wazyla (tu tu tu srochka kashechke vazhywa)

    temu dala na lyzeczke (temu dawa na wyzhechke)
    temu dala na miseczke (temu dawa na meesechke)
    temu dala do kubeczka (temu dawa do qubechka)
    temu dala z wiadereczka (temu dawa s vyaderechka)
    temu nic nie dala (temu nitz nye dawa)
    i frrr….r poleciala… (i frrr poletzyawa)

    It means: Here, here, here megpie was weighing grain
    To this one she gave [some] on a spoon
    To the other on bowl
    To this one in a cup
    To this one in a bucket
    To this one she gave none
    and frrr…she flew away

  11. sharon Says:

    Oh my goodness! My grandma (who was Polish) used to tell me this rhyme when I was very young and used to crawl into bed in the early morning! I still remember her explaining the rhyme to me, but she said that the bird that didn’t get anything went to heaven.

  12. Lisa Says:

    Yolanda wrote:


    I am thinking about a game my Dad used to play with us when we were is the one you describe but I can not even spell the words he used to say because it all used to disappear in a kind of gobbledegook as his hand went up to the neck..

    It went like this:

    ‘meezhali maazhali meezhali maazhili'” etc etc until the last few words which were undecipherable but there was something like ‘a terra GOOP ti li ……….????’

    I got the impression it was Polish or Yiddish.”

    If anyone can help with this rhyme, please let us know in the comments below. Thanks! -Lisa

  13. Dara Says:

    I called my 95 year old Yiddish polish Russian bubby to get the answer;)

    patche payche kichalach
    die mame (vet) keifen shichalach
    die pape (vet) bringen zekalach
    zein gezunt die bekalach!!!

  14. Stacy Says:

    My Polish great grandmother used to do this:
    I would hold my hand out. She would take her finger and make circles in the palm of my hand. I think it was a song about a mouse. I remember these words “Timodowa, timodowa, yoshi, yoshi” and then at the end she would say “balla balla bing” and touch my nose!

  15. marie Says:

    Theres a nursery rhyme in polish that involves finger play. You basically go around the palm of the child’s hand and say something like
    Smazua mushka smazuz mushka….then fold the pinky finger down to the palm with a polish verse ..then ring finger down with polish verse and so forth til you reach the thumb…and then it basically twists the thumbs and translates to something like rip the head off and throw it away…and both hands go in the air saying ” y nie me” (and no more) ive been searching for days please does anyone know what rhyme this could be.

  16. Christine Wozniak Says:

    What I remember from my Mom (& I taught my 4 grandchildren) is not a song as such :)~~ child sits on your lap facing you & you take their hands & rub their cheeks saying: Kysziu myziu (can say a few times), Gdziesz ty była ? ~ W komurecze mleczko pilam ~ then raising your hands in question you ask: A czemu zesz mi nie zostawila ? then you gently pat their cheeks & say : A pszik, a pszik a pszik :) & the child laughs saying “Again Again” & then you have them do it to you <3

    Christine :)
    I can speak Polish much better than write it :)

  17. Kevin Kaplan Says:

    Its Myszka, not Mischka and that us part of the confusion here. Mysz is mouse. Myszka is little guy/mouse.
    And that is what my mom understands it to mean. There truly is a lot of cultural blending and language dilution leading to many variances. However, my mom is 67 and grew up speaking polish and did this to me as a kid. Luckily shes still alive today and she can recite just about all of it. Id like to get all of it recorded and written so i could share.
    Hope this helps a little.
    Again… Myszka not Mischka

  18. Lisa Says:

    Thanks for your help Kevin! We’d love to post a recording of this song if you’d like to share one! :) -Mama Lisa

  19. Debbie Says:

    My mother did a similar game where she held our hand and made circles in our palm with her finger. Then she would pinch the end of each finger and then run up the arm to tickle. I’ve been trying to figure out the words but have only found some of them. Something about a mouse and cat I think. Please let me know if you’ve heard of this. I’ve played this with my children and now my grandchildren and would really like to know the translation. Don’t know what vazny, koopky, or letchy means or if they are spelled correctly. Thanks!

    Myszka vazny koopky
    Myszka vazny koopky
    Jeden (1)
    Dwa (2)
    Trzy (3)
    Cztery (4)
    Piec (5)
    letchy letchy letchy letchy

  20. Marlene Riela Says:

    I am trying to find an English and Polish translation for what my mom used to say when she would count my children’s toes. I apologize for the terrible spelling but I tried to write it phonetically.

    Have you ever heard anything like it?

    Thanks for your help with this.

    Rubbing the foot says:

    Schrotchka, schrotchka, schrotchka;

    Je te be wesh

    Jesh ke kasco dowum!

    Then touching each toe says:

    Temu dowum, Temu dowum, Temu dowum, Temu dowum, Temu dowum!

    Rubbing the foot again says:

    Al te mal cheen

    Je te be wesh

    Tobya foot, tobya foot,

    Foot a, foot a, foot a!

  21. Lisa Says:

    Hi Marlene,

    It seems like it’s a version of Tu sroczka kaszke warzyla (Here Magpie Cooked Her Porridge).

    Does it sound like that?

    Mama Lisa

  22. Piotr Says:

    Could not resist giving my proposition – quite probable, I think… So, IMHO the nearest to
    ‘mischka mischka mischka timidowa (…) poli vally Vicki’ would be:

    do komina uciekała,
    a ja za nią po drabinie,
    moja myszka już w kominie!

    You can listen to it by clicking on the speaker icon on the left side:!

  23. Karen Says:

    My Ukrainian Baba used to sing a similar song to me – I have having my first grandbaby this spring and was trying to remember all of the word. It was Mischka, Mischka but she would do the tickles. I loved the song! There was another song she sang where we raised our hands at the end and said Hiho – I am racking my brain trying to remember that one!!

  24. Allison Says:

    My Polish grandmother would sing a song similar to this to us…and it involved the hands. But I remember her gently pinching the tops of my hands while she sang. Definitely something like “Mischka, Mischka…” with pinches and tickles!

  25. Catherine Says:

    My Polish mother used to sing a song like that to me. I thought she was saying “Misha” but “Mischka” would work as well. Her version involved rubbing the child’s cheeks and translated as “Mischka, Mischka, where have you been? [Something something] drinking milk.” Then the cheeks would be gently tapped while the grownup said something that sounded like “Hopczi, hopczi, hopczi!” I wish I had more detail. I loved the song when I was little. There was another song — a lullaby– that she later sang to my daughter, which went something (in English) like “Aaah, aaah, two kittens, one black, one brown, the two of them.”

  26. Catherine Says:

    P.S. And I just found the song about the two kittens on this very website! Thank you — I’ve been looking for it for years!

  27. Bob Trachimowicz Says:

    The nursery rhyme that I recall has many of the same attributes that have been noted above, like the making of circles in the palms, and grabbing the tip of each finger and then running your hand up the child’s arm while tickling. All the “old folks” are gone, so I am only working from my memory. The English translation that I recall of the rhyme is:

    Little mice, where have you been? (Making circles on palm of child’s hand)
    To see mother. She gave us milk. (Making circles on palm of child’s hand)
    She gave some to this one. (Touch tip of little finger)
    She gave some to this one. (Touch tip of ring finger)
    She gave some to this one. (Touch tip of middle finger)
    She gave some to this one. (Touch tip of index finger)
    And she ripped the head off this one ! (Touch thumb and then tickle arm all the way to shoulder)

    Anybody recall this one ??

  28. Kinga Says:

    Right, so I’m Polish and I also know Russian: Mishka in Russian is a little Michael, in Polish we’ve got a word Myszka which means a little mouse, but the nursery rhyme you refer to sounds like “ Tu, tu sroczka kaszke wazyla, tu tu sobie ogonek spazyla…” and then go on with the fingers as described in comments above “ temu dala na lyzeczke, temu dala na miseczke etc.”

  29. Kimberly Says:

    My polish grandma would do that exact same thing, but she said in english:
    “around the mill around the mill went the little mousy, up the hill up the hill in to (child’s name) housey” while circling my palm and then going up to tickle me under my arm. She was first generation grew up speaking polish and English.
    I feel like there’s many different versions of this but the idea is the same and it’s very sweet to remember.

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