Can Anyone Help with a Version of the Russian Song Called Ladushki?

Guido wrote asking if anyone can help him find a childhood song that’s Russian.  Here’s his email:

Hello! First of all, let me introduce myself: Guido Ruzzier, born in Trieste, Italy, in 1934.

My father, Silvio Ruzzier, was born in Pirano, a small town near Trieste, in 1895: when he was born, and until the end of WW1, both Trieste and Pirano belonged to the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Both my father’s and my mother’s family belonged to the Italian national group in the Empire.

In 1915 he was drafted into the Austrian-Hungarian Army, and was sent to the Russian front. He was soon made a prisoner, and later sent to work on a farm near Kozlov (now Michurinsk). He returned home in 1918 – by then, Trieste and Pirano had become part of the Italian kingdom, and he had unwittingly become an Italian citizen.

One of the things that he brought back, along with his life, was what I believe to be a version of the Russian nursery song, "Ladushki, Ladushki".  I knew about that rhyme (at the link), but apart from using the same word, the two are completely different.

When WW2 came I was 6. Winters in Trieste were chilly, and it was difficult to find something to burn in the stove (you should’ve seen what was left of the beautiful parks and woods which had surrounded my hometown – I was an accomplice in the pillage). To keep warm at home, my mother and I would march up and down the short corridor in our apartment, shoulder to shoulder and holding each other’s hands so that, when we had reached the end of the corridor, we would turn around still holding them.

We marched singing something like "ladushki ladushki ladushki laki to" (I’ve tried to give you an idea in this recording). I know what "ladushki ladushki" is, but I have never found the whole group of words, much less a description of anything similar to what we did with it.

I have no idea whether my father picked the rhyme up while in Russia, or made it up with his fellow POWs – it must’ve been pretty cold out there too.

Can you help me?

Thanks a lot, and best regards,

Guido Ruzzier

If anyone can help Guido with his rhyme – even in a small way to point him in the right direction – please comment below.

Thanks so much!

Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Thursday, October 24th, 2013 at 11:51 am and is filed under Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, Languages, Questions, Readers Questions, Russia, Russian, Russian Children's Songs. 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.

7 Responses to “Can Anyone Help with a Version of the Russian Song Called Ladushki?”

  1. Megan Says:

    Hi Guido,

    I have sent your story to a Russian family friend, Vladimir Luganov, in Kazakhstan.
    In 1992, at my daughter’s first birthday party in Toronto, Vladimir taught us the Ladushki song. I remember the jaunty tune and that ladushki rhymes with babushki. I think the story in the song was something about going to grandmother’s (babushka) and the food eaten there.

    If Vladimir can answer me back, I will send it to you. Perhaps you already received a reply. Can you send me your email? I’m glad you’ve asked this question. I’d like to have all the words again too.

    Best wishes, Megan Williams

    Teacher, Parent Child Mother Goose Program
    Toronto, Ontario

  2. Alena from Russia Says:

    Hellow) I am liv in Saint-Petersburg? and I know English very bad(((
    Ладушки, ладушки, (хлопки в ладоши)
    Где были?
    У бабушки.
    Что ели?
    Что пили?
    Полетели, полетели, (быстро махать ладонями)
    На головку сели. (опустить ладони на голову).

    P.S. “Ладушки” – this is a hand
    “Бабушка” – grand mother
    “Бражка” – ?????A Russian light alkogol drink

  3. Natasha Says:

    Ladushki song belongs to so called ” poteshki”, short songs to entertain toddlers and very small children, to sing and act out. The lyrics are correct in the previous comment. Normally, hands are clapped together at the word ladushki.

  4. Erin Says:

    Here’s how the dong goes:

    Ladyshki, ladushki, gde bili – u babushki,
    shto vi eli- kashku,
    shto vi pili – brazhku,
    popili, poeli – na golovku seli,
    poleteli, poleteli.

    And what does it mean? Something like this (my translation):

    (clapping)palm, palm, where were you – at grandma’s
    what did you eat – kashka (cereal)
    what did you drink – brashka (weak wine)
    drank, ate, – stood on our head
    flew away, flew away

  5. Lisa Says:

    There are more versions here with a recording.

  6. Christiane Says:

    The version with poleteli poleteli is the version from my childhood.

  7. Guido Ruzzier Says:

    Dear Friends:
    I must apologise for not having thanked all of you and your guests for your most interesting information about the song my father had brought back from Russia, and which I thought had the word “Laduschki” in it: I very seldom visit the net, and only recently looked for replies to some matters I had inquired about time ago. The information you supplied was very useful – my granddaughters appreciated it!
    Thanks again, and best regards,
    Guido Ruzzier

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