Can Anyone Help with a Slovak Nursery Rhyme called “Stary Baba”?

Jen wrote:

Hi lisa –
i am looking for the words to a slovak nursery rhyme called “stary baba.” it is basically the slovak version of “this little piggie” but is about an old woman who made porridge and then gave it to her children in a cup, a dish, a ladle, etc.

do you know of this rhyme? any help would be greatly appreciated! my great aunt margaret used to tell it to me when i was a child. now that i just had a daughter of my own named after her, maggie, i would love to keep this tale alive.

thank you!
jen mcconnell

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


Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 at 9:04 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, Languages, Mama Lisa, Nursery Rhymes, Questions, Readers Questions, Slovak, Slovak Nursery Rhymes, Slovakia. 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.

15 Responses to “Can Anyone Help with a Slovak Nursery Rhyme called “Stary Baba”?”

  1. Says:

    Hi, I don’t know about a folk song called “Stary baba”, but it’s gramatically incorrect, so I guess you maybe remember the song “Jedna stara baba” = One old lady/grandma?

    The lyrics are as written here:

    For more Slovak folk songs, look here:

    Hope this helps…

  2. Lucy Says:

    Hi there,

    My mom would tell me a similar tale. However, it was not called “stara baba” (old lady), but the name was “Varila misicka kasicku”, which means “the little mouse was cooking porridge”. Below is a translation of the poem for you, my guess is that your aunt would say

  3. Arlene DiFiore Says:

    My Slovak Grandmother (Mama Stara) would do this version, circling the child’s palm with her index finger, then holding the child’s thumb and each finger, then tickling up the arm to the neck. I think she started by kissing the child’s palm. My spelling is phonetic. “Vareela” also sounds like “Vadilla.”

    “Vareela, vareela, Mama kashichku.”………….(She cooked, Mama,
    …………………………………………………………..pudding (kasha).
    “Tomto dala na lozichku.”………….(To this one she gave on a spoon.)
    “Tomto dala na mistichku.”………..(To this one she gave on a little dish.)
    “Tomto dala na ryenichku.”………..(To this one she gave on a little pan.)
    “Tomto dala.”…………………………..(To this one she gave (some).)
    “Tomto nedala.”,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,(To this one she gave not (any).)
    “A tomto keeeeeeekal, keeeekala, keeeekala!”……(And to this one tickle, ……………………………………………………tickle, tickle!) in a high voice…

  4. jenny mac Says:

    thank you arlene! this seems pretty close to what i remember. :)

  5. Lisa Says:

    Can anyone help with this question below?

    “I’m trying to find an Slovak rhyme that says something like: Hojda Hojda padla myska z pojda…

    I would like to find a CD that has this chidrens rhyme and the lyrics if possible.
    Please contact me if you have it or if you know where I can find it.
    Thak you very much for your great help.”

  6. Hana Says:

    You can hear “Hojda, hojda…”
    if you click on the picture of the stave at the bottom of that page:

    Hojda hojda

    Hojda, hojda, hojda,
    spadla mačka z pôjda.
    spadla na koláče,
    teraz v kúte plače.
    Hojda, hojda, hojdice,
    plačte všetky mačice.

  7. Rebecca Says:

    Yes, I have this written in my grandmother’s handwriting. If you still want it, I can look for it. It’s about making bread and cutting it, I was told.

  8. Jes Says:

    Hahah I found this forum while looking for a song my grandmother still sings, sometimes—that HER mother used to sing. I think it might be a variation of this song or maybe some other lullaby/child’s rhyme that she changed the lyrics to. My grandmother only ever knew it phonetically (she doesn’t really speak Slovak besides a word or saying here or there & the spelling of words is always a challenge). She says the rough translation is/was “Old Lady Music: if she’s not farting, she’s peeing” (HAHAAH!), but it sounds, phonetically, like “stada baba moo-sick-a, yedna [less certain about this part] perd-sky tashee-ka” but I already know that it’d be closer to accurate to spell it like “stary baba [maybe] misicka, jedna…”.

    Has anyone ever heard of such a thing? Or was my great-grandmother just kinda switching the lyrics of a common lullaby to something comical & slightly vulgar to make fun of her own “if she’s not farting, she’s peeing” state? (it DEFINITELY was self-referential, that’s part of the family lore/history that was passed on to me—it was like a self-deprecating joke-song she’d sing while doing housework.

  9. John Says:

    Hi Jes. I had a flashback with a smile when reading this. My Grandmother, born 1909 & passed 2004 used to say often but not sing it – stada baba moo sicka. I never inquired about it and kind of regret it now. Once the old folks are gone it’s too late to ask questions. Anyway thank you for a GREAT walk down memory lane.

  10. Lisa Says:

    John Kovach wrote:

    I am looking for the lyrics of a song my father sang to me when my siblings and I were children. It is a song about a young girl looking into a pool of water and she sees her reflection. I think the name of the song is “Pri Stu Jenke”. I probably butchered the spelling. Hopefully someone will have enough information to recognize what I am looking for. If possible could someone provide the Slovak lyrics and the English translation?

    Thank you.

  11. Karen Says:

    Jes, I’m 54 and both my grandmother and great grandmother taught me Studda Baba Musicka. The fart and peeing song as a little girl. This brought back great memories. My great grandmother was born in 1872 and my grandmother in 1914 so the rhythm is old.

  12. Kristy Says:

    Jes – I’ve been trying to identify that rhyme for decades now. My grandmother taught it to me when I was little but I only remember the first line now. She said that it was about an old woman who peed in an alley and got a stye on her eye. I’d love to see the whole thing written in Slovak, and to relearn it.

  13. Allyson Says:

    My great grandmother still sings this song! She’s 85 and claims it’s Lithuanian even though it seems to be Slovak. Any other info? I can only write phonetically how she says it:
    “Hey studda bubba musicka una checka topair sha” and claims it is about a fat old woman who’s a jackass or something like that.

  14. Lisa Says:

    Perhaps there’s a Lithuanian version.

  15. Grace Says:

    My grandmother always used to tell me about this one rhyme, and it goes like Stadda Baba musicka yoke napeshi tashika. I’ve been looking all over for the translation but never have I found it….

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