Can Anyone Help with Some Polish Songs and Nursery Rhymes?

Here are three requests for help I’ve received about Polish nursery rhymes and songs…

1) Carol wrote:

I am trying to find nursery rhyme, from Poland, my mother use to tell us in Polish. It was about a hen and my mom would peck on the palms of our hand saying in Polish – tim o dawa tim o dawa – that’s what it sounded like to me but the spelling may be different in polish. I would appreciate it if someone could let me know if they have heard this. Thank you Carol

2) Shifra wrote:

My husband’s grandmother used to sing in Polish to the children – we continue to sing the one “Stuck” – I have tried in vain to discover what it means – if anything…

Here is the mangled version:

Choo choo baba, choo choo baba, choo choo baba, choo choo baba, (tapping on the palm of the baby’s hand)
Tommy tella, Tommy tella, Tommy tella, Tommy tella, Tommy tella, (holding and ‘wiggling’ each of the baby’s fingers)
Feesala feesala (tickling up to the elbow twice)
Polychava!! (tickling all the way.

Usually followed by a very enthusiastic “again!!” by the child.

Any ideas?

We thought “train baby, train baby”… didn’t get much further.

Thanks in advance.


3) Abi wrote:

Hi, my grandad used to sing a polish nursery rhyme to me but all i can remember is the english translation of the first line which is something like ‘a dog ran into a kitchen and stole a piece of meat…’ I can’t find it on the internet, any chance you’ve heard of it because i would love to remind him of it?


If anyone can help with the original lyrics and/or translations of any of these songs and rhymes, please let us know in the comments below.


Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Wednesday, March 17th, 2010 at 8:22 pm and is filed under Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, English, Languages, Mama Lisa, Nursery Rhymes, Poland, Polish, Polish Kids Songs, Polish Nursery Rhymes, 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.

25 Responses to “Can Anyone Help with Some Polish Songs and Nursery Rhymes?”

  1. Carol Says:

    Thank You Shifra thats the one I think

  2. Lisa Says:

    Agnieszka Magnucka wrote:


    It’s one of the versions of…

    I also know this:
    A TEMU NIC NIE DALA (as on website)

  3. Sue Says:

    When I was young my grandparents would sing this song while bouncing me on their leg..I dont know the Polish spelling only english phoentic version…can u help?

    hooshu hooshu
    stary trushu…nie be **** ****** (the rest is blank)

    another was

    Oolie oolie Anka Clenknie na kolanka
    po tem cie se bochkie
    ****** varcockie

    Ring a bell? Any feedback appreciated! :)

  4. Armen Says:

    you can find a lot of Polish songs and books in this Polish Bookstore

  5. Marie Says:

    Carol, I too would like the words to the poem about pecking the palm of the hand with the words that began with “the mu dala”. You got a reply from Shifra. Thank you.

  6. Nina Blank Says:

    My mother’s family came from northern Poland in the Bialystok area. She did what sounded like “tu, tu, tu, kaska, tu, tu, tu, kaska (in the palm of my hand), then pulling gently on each finger “temu dolla (5 times). Touching the inside of the wrist: “to sank; the inside of the forearm: “to pyank”; touching the inside of the elbow: “to kloda”; touching the inside upper arm: “to voda”; and then tickling under the arm: “to ZHMNAVADA!!!”. Shifra’s reply was helpful in the translation, which no one in my mother’s family could really remember. Perhaps there are variations on rhymes and songs as there are in the US. If anyone knows more, bring it on please.

  7. Paula Says:

    Tu kokoszka jajeczko znosila
    Temu dala bo byl maly
    Temu dala bo byl grzeczny
    Temu dala bo byl ladny
    Temu dala bo byl glodny
    A temu nie dala
    Wytargala go za uczy i “frrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrruuuuuuu” odleciala

  8. Kasia Says:

    Reply to the comment from March 2010

    The second rhyme goes:

    Moja Ulijanko, klęknij na kolanko,
    Podeprzyj se boczki,
    Chwyć się za warkoczki,
    Umyj się,
    Uczesz się,
    i wybieraj kogo chcesz,
    Czy dziewczynke czy chlopaka czy samego karkowiaka.

  9. Monique Says:

    Kasia, could you please translate it for us?

  10. JC Says:

    When I was little it went:
    Moja Julijanko,
    Klęknij na kolanko,
    Ujmij się pod boczki,
    Chwyć się za warkoczki,
    Umyj twarz,
    Włoski czesz,
    Kogo chcesz,
    Tego bierz.
    And it meant something like:
    My Juliana,
    Kneel on one knee,
    Hold your waist,
    Grasp your pigtails,
    Wash your face,
    Brush your hair,
    And who you want,

  11. Marta Says:

    I know this version:

    Tu kokoszka kaszkę ważyła
    ogonek sparzyła
    temu dała na miseczkę
    temu na łyżeczkę
    temu w talerzyku
    temu w skorupeczce
    a temu główkę (or: ogonek) urwała
    i frruuuuu tutaj się schowała!

    It’s about a mamma bird that is weighing food (groats) for her little chicks
    each finger is a chick…
    but when she comes to the last, fifth chick – ‘finger’, well, let’s just say she’s cruel to the chick…and so she flies away to hide somewhere
    where she hides is where the child gets tickled.

  12. Janek Says:

    Abi (3)
    Jedna z możliwych wersji:
    Wpadł pies do kuchni, porwał mięsa ćwierć
    A kucharz, co był głupi, zarąbał go na śmierć
    A kuchcik, co był mądry i dobre serce miał,
    Zmajstrował mu nagrobek i taki napis dał.
    (i znowu…)
    Wpadł piesek do kuchni, porwał mięsa ćwierć
    A kucharz, co był głupi, zarąbał go na śmierć
    A kuchcik, co był mądry i dobre serce miał,
    Postawił mu nagrobek i tak mu napisał.

  13. tricia Says:

    Can anyone help? My mother learner a song from a polish neighbor and she can’t. Remember what it means. She keeps singing it over and over. It is something like hoopie shoopie hoopie shoopie donna what’s a makeronna …

  14. Mary Says:

    I am trying to translate a Polish song my Grandmother sang to my mother as a child. My Mom wrote it out phonetically. It’s about little apples, I believe.
    This is how she wrote it out:
    Po swawa mie matka,
    Na gojzie po yapka,Ah ya zg(y?)orie, na pozsirie
    V(U)ysiepava yapa.
    Na gojzie pulzy dzujie
    Subrn chervony yaka
    Ah ya zgorie, na przurie
    V(U)ysiepawa yapkr.

    I think the first line is
    After my mother….
    At the ….of the…..


  15. P. Says:

    Hi Mary.
    first part goes like this:

    Posłała mnie matka / My mother sent me
    Na górę po jabłka /Upstairs to bring apples
    a ja – z góry na pazury / and me – from above to the claws – IDIOM – means falling down or running down.
    wysypałam jabłka./I’ve spilled the apples

    link to this song:


  16. Klaudia Says:

    When I was little it was this

    Kukułka ważyła Jagiełki (finger circling the baby’s hand)
    Temu dała (hold baby’s thumb)
    Temu dała (hold baby’s forefinger)
    Temu dała (middle finger)
    Temu dała (ring finger)
    A temu nie dała bo nie miała wiec łeb mu urwała i odleciała. (pinky finger)

    Basically the cuckoo is weighing kasza jagiellońska which after I believe is called millet in English (I’m not sure correct me if I’m wrong as I’m not English.

    So she’s weighing millet and she gives it to every finger except the pinky finger because she didn’t have enough so she rips of his head and flies away.

  17. J. Wojcik Says:

    Hello Friends. I am searching for a song my Babcia used to sing to me. I know the first line, and please excuse my spelling: “Gdybym byl jesczie chlopiec maly…”. I cannot seem to find this anywhere. This is the 40th anniversary of my Dziadzia’s passing, so would be so happy to get a lead. Thank you! Dziencuje!

  18. Raquel Says:

    My mother used to sing an upbeat song to me that she referred to as “Go Tell Mommy”, phonetically it sounds like Siski Dishki Provna Mommy but I’m wondering if it’s more like
    iść powiedzieć mamie. Any clues?

  19. Lisa Lewandowski Says:

    My bobcia used to do the chicken thing to me too!! I remember it all but can’t spell any of it. I remember it like Carol described it. When bobcia plucked my fingers she’d say (phonically) to peench to qwadda, to peench to qwadda, etc. Then (phonically) timudowa, as she moved up my arm before the tickle. I was mortified when I grew up and my aunt told me it was about killing a chicken lol. I miss my bobcia.

  20. regina Says:


    where did the mama chick peck? (tap the palm of your hand)
    Here, here , here
    gave to this one (the thumb)
    gave to this one ( the index)
    gave to this one (middle finger)
    gave to this one (ring finger)
    and this one got its head ripped off (the pinky)
    flew to alaska and brought back with more food.

  21. Lisa Says:

    Deborah wrote:


    My Mom used to sing a song to us when it was time to sleep, so I’m guessing it was a lullaby. I don’t speak Polish but I’d love to find the song and know its meaning. It had a refrain of …”coo coo la la, coo coo la la, coo coo la, la, la, la, la, la, la.” It was soft sounding is all I know.

    Thank you for any help.”

    -Debra Krawczykiewicz

  22. margaret m garzero Says:

    i am looking for the same song my babci would sing to me..i will also ask my mom

  23. Sarah herzlich Says:

    Looking for a song my mom sang to my kids –
    Choo Choo Choo Choo yagale
    Poyyeegem doe babale
    Temu DALA Temu daka temu nitz
    Nemalla –
    Temu molejala ; ran home

  24. Lisa Says:

    Sarah, I think it’s a version of the rhyme/song at the link below…

  25. Adrienne Says:

    I used to say a rhyme to my son but do not know the English translation. Can someone help. Spelling may be strange: Abraham, nie chodz tam, bo cie mishka, zrobi ham. I think it says Abraham, don’t go there. If you do, the bear/mouse will get you.

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