Can Anyone Help with Some Swiss German Songs?

Renee wrote:

I’m looking for three children’s songs my grandmother sung to me.

One was: Here comes the bear, where does he want to go? He wants to go to (name of child)’s
house. She would say this in Swiss German.

The next was: Rumpity bumpity halter stock, vermind. She would also speak in Swiss German and I am unsure of the rest of it. The middle of the song she asked how many fingers she held up. If you were correct, the song continued, if not, she went back to the beginning. But the end was: What do you want water or wine? If you wanted water she would vigorously rub your back. If it was wine she would tell you were too young for wine and slap your behind.

The third was a song she would sing while walking with us. She would hold both our hands and she would criss cross hers and swing us from side to side while saying (hail a room boom boom) and I think it referred to the kaiser – something about kick him in the pants.

If you could help in Swiss and English I thank you.

If anyone can help Renee with any of these songs or nursery rhymes, please comment below.



This article was posted on Tuesday, October 30th, 2007 at 9:21 am and is filed under Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, German, German Children's Songs, German Nursery Rhymes, Germany, Languages, Nursery Rhymes, Questions, Readers Questions, Swiss Children's Songs, Swiss German Dialects, Switzerland. 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 Some Swiss German Songs?”

  1. Renate Says:

    Hi Lisa, hi Renee

    I was a swiss exchange student in Connecticut some twenty years ago and just got your request by e-mail from my american host-father. I think I can help you with tho of the requested children songs/rimes:

    The bear rime: “es chunt en baer, wo chunt er her, wo gat er hi, zum… (name of the child) buecheli, buecheli, buecheli. We usually do this rime with babies and very small kids, for example while changing the diapers. Translated it means: there comes a bear, where does he come from, where does he go? to (child’s name) little belly, little belly, little belly. While saying the rime you use your fingers a to first “walk up” the leg of the child and then, while saying belly, you tickle his/her belly. There is also a version without the belly thing, it then ends with the name of the child. The finger walking and tickling is the same though.

    The second song you ask about I unfortunatly never heard of.

    The third song, I know, or at least something similar. My grand-mother used to do it with me and my mum now does it with my dauther. The text is somewhat different from yours exept for the kaiser thing but the movement is exactly it. It sais: chum mir wei go wandere, vo einer stadt zur andere und wenn de Koenig Kaiser chunt dänn chered mer wieder um, um, um. Translated it means: come, lets go for a hike, from one town to the other one and when the king emperor comes then we turn back again. While saying the rime you walk together side by side holding each other by crossing the arms in front of your chest and walk briskly in the rythm of the song. When saying “chered mer wieder um” (turn back) you pull each others arms in order to turn around suddenly. Then you can start the rime anew in the other direction. I grew up in the area of Zurich. Can be that this rime exists in different versions in other areas of switzerland. Also the swiss dialect waries some from one area to the other.

    Hope this will help you!

    Best regards from Switzerland


  2. Renee Says:

    Renate, Thankyou, Thankyou, Thankyou and have a blessed and prosperous New year.


  3. Roland Zoss Says:

    As a professional singer songwriter for Swiss children lullabys i turned the verse your nanny did sing into a song. You find the “Bär” on the album XENEGUGELI on my homepage and many more new Swiss Lullabys.
    All the best to you and your kids.
    Roland Zoss

  4. Lisa Says:

    Thank you for helping Renate! We’ll be putting these songs on the Mama Lisa’s World Switzerland Pages with our other Swiss children’s songs.

    Best wishes,


  5. Sonja Says:

    Hi Lisa and Renee

    I was looking to refresh my memory on some English nursery rhymes when I stumbled across your Swiss rhymes. I just played “De Baer” with my son at bedtime tonight . It used to be sung to me by my Aunt, her version is a bit different than Renate’s: “Es chunnt e Baer vo Konstanz haer” (in a deep voice)… (walk fingers) “wo wot er hii?”…. “zum Buucheli/Oehreli/Naeseli!” (etc. high pitch). Translated: there comes a bear from Konstanz, where does he want to go? To the little belly/ear/nose etc.
    The baby never knows where the bear will “go next”, the surprise generates lots of laughs :-)

    Love your site, keep up the good work!


  6. Anna Says:

    Hello, I am also looking for a swiss german song that my husband’s nanny used to sing to him. He now sings it to my chilren who would love to hear the original version. It goes something like this: ‘yola touli, yola touli, touli touli touli touli yola- Ich heisse…’ – that is all he remembers and sinds this over and over again! Does anyone recognize this? We have looked for it on the internet and cannot find anything!
    Best regards, Anna

  7. Doris Says:

    Hey there, I’m from Switzerland and might be able to help you with your “yola touli” song. It’s actually a song about a white goat and goat means “Geiss” in German, so there could have risen come confusion between “ich heisse”, wenn actually it means “wissi Geiss”…
    The Lyrics are of the song are:

    Dert äne em Bärgli,
    Dert steit e wyssi Geiss.
    I ha se wölle mälche,
    Du haut si mr eis.
    Holeduli duliduli
    Hole duli duli duli duli
    Holeduli duli duli
    Holeduli duliduli o.

    Si het mr eis ghaue,
    Das tuet mr so weh.
    Jetzt mälch i myner Läbtig
    Ke wyssi Geiss meh.
    Holeduli duliduli
    Hole duli duli duli duli
    Holeduli duli duli
    Holeduli duliduli o.

    Jetzt gan i i ds Stedtli
    U chouf mr e Geiss,
    kei wyssi, e bruuni,
    Die hout mir e keis.
    Holeduli duliduli
    Hole duli duli duli duli
    Holeduli duli duli
    Holeduli duliduli o.

    Vo Bärn bis uf Bümpliz,
    Da hets es Tunäll,
    We me ine chunt wirds dunkel,
    We me use chunt wirds häll.
    Holeduli duliduli
    Hole duli duli duli duli
    Holeduli duli duli
    Holeduli duliduli o.

    My Vater und d Muetter
    Sy sparsami Lüt.
    Si flicke mr d Hose
    Mit Härdöpfelhüt.
    Holeduli duliduli
    Hole duli duli duli duli
    Holeduli duli duli
    Holeduli duliduli o.

  8. Anna Kotchoubey Says:

    This is precious!! Thank you very much – this is a flood of memories for my husband! And we will pass this onto our children now thanks to you!!
    With warmest regards,

  9. pedro de felipe Says:

    Dear Anna Kotchoubey:

    Happy birthday today on March 14th!

    It has been too long and I just want to say : Vi gratulera, vi gratulera…
    bla, bla…

    Hoping your children and husband are super and healthy,


  10. Natalie Says:

    Hi Renee,
    As to your second song: Rumpity bumpity halter stock
    I remember it as: Rumpedi, bumpedi, Holderstock, wie viel Hoehrner streggt dr’ Bogg (how many horns does the goat hold up or show)? Child sits on floor with head in lap of the adult/singer of the song. Singer sings the song and places fingers on the back and as you rember “asked how many fingers she held up. If you were correct, the song continued:” Das hesch du sehr guet verrote ich due dir e Hienli broote. Wie wilsch du es aesse? Mit dr’ Gable (shape fingers and hand into a fork and tickle the child around the tummy), mit d’ Maesser (shape the fingers and hand into a knife and tickle/rub the child around the ribs) mit d’ Loeffel (shape the hand into a spoon and give the child a loving pad on the bottom). This is how I remember the song from when I attended my Swiss kindergarten in Basel many, many years was one of my favorite songs/verse/game. As to the spelling…I am not sure and this is my best guess!

  11. Lisa Says:

    Miley wrote: “I am looking for the words to a lullaby that my grandmother used to sing to me. She was Swiss German. It began ‘nenali nanali bushali schlauf…’ HELP”

  12. edie Says:

    My husband sings the “bear” song to our baby too, but in his version the bear comes from Zurich!

  13. Sara Says:

    Thank you for the translation!!! My grandmother sang the bear song and we sing it to our kids too! My version comes from either Bern or Luzern. Merry Christmas!

  14. Chip Says:

    Could someone please translate the following lyrics to English (is this Swiss?):

    Jetzt gan i i ds Stedtli
    U chouf mr e Geiss,
    kei wyssi, e bruuni,
    Die hout mir e keis.

  15. Lisa Says:

    Monique responded to Chip as follows:

    “It is Swiss, from Bern. It’s called ‘Dert äne em Bärgli’ – you can see the full version in the comments above by Doris (March 19th 2009).

    To translate it into English is quite another story!”

    Can anyone help with a translation for Chip?

    Thanks! -Mama Lisa

  16. Monique Says:

    I asked my German friend and art teacher Christina, she sent me the song in standard German and a translation into French. Below are the lyrics in German and an English translation.

    Dort drüben am Berglein
    Da steht eine weisse Ziege.
    Ich wollte sie melken
    Da haute sie mir eins.

    Sie hat mich gehauen,
    Das tut mir so weh.
    Darum melk ich meiner Lebtag
    Keine weisse Ziege mehr.

    Zwischen Basel und Zürich
    Da hat es ein Tunnel
    Wenn man rein fährt wird es dunkel,
    Wenn man raus fährt wird es hell.

    Mein Vater und meine Mutter
    Sind sparsame Leute
    Sie flicken meine Hosen
    Mit Kartoffelhäuten

    English translation

    Over there, on the little mountain
    There is a white goat.
    I wanted to milk her
    When she hit me.

    She hit me,
    It hurt me so.
    Therefore will l, for my whole life,
    Milk no white goat.

    Between Basel and Zurich,
    There’s a tunnel.
    When you go into it, it’s dark,
    When you go out of it, it’s light.

    My father and my mother
    Are sparing people,
    They patch my pants
    With potato peel.

  17. Sandy Says:

    Lisa, my grandmother sang that song to all of us. It was nina, buschali shlauf, oft a mata Whita jove, in a sheera lambeli, bir to Godt mi sangeli. I have no idea how to spell any of it, but that’s how it sounded and it was something about a little child and little lamb. If you know the words or any more about it, I’d love to know. She was born in Alsace Lorraine,but was Swiss and grew up in Basel.

  18. Monique Says:

    It’s “Nina, Buschi, schlof”

    Nina, Buschi, schlof,
    uf der Matte weide d Schof,
    in der Schiire d Lämmeli
    schlof, mi lieb klai Ängeli.

    Nina, Buschi, schlof,
    gib der denn e goldigs Schof
    gib der denn e Lämmeli,
    Bhüet is Gott s klai Ängeli.

    Nina, Wiegeli
    uf em Dach sin Ziegeli
    unterem Dach sin Schindeli
    schlof mi lieb klai Kindeli

    “klai Ängeli” can be found as “mis Ängeli”. You can hear the first verse sung here

  19. Paul Ochsner Says:


    Yes I remember the bear one!!.. All I remembered was something about a bear from Konstanz wanting to come to my house!!… also Hoppe Hoppe Reiter about being a rider on a bumpy horse-where I would be bounced on my dad’s knee and fall at the end!!.. I soon got to big for him to keep doing it!!…

    I was not taught Swiss-German as a child unfortunately and am only just trying to learn it now at 45…

    So I have not heard them for about 40 years and today my Dad died so I thought I would look these up and mention them at his funeral- so pleased that I found this page- it has helped me out!!!…Thankyou!…

    Dad was from Oberhallau.

    Warm regards,
    Paul Ochsner.

  20. Monika S Says:

    ” I gore as gloggli…” Is the start of the lullaby my Swiss German mother used to sing to me…does this ring a bell with anyone ? :))

  21. Monique Says:

    You’ll find many YouTube videos on line and here are the lyrics.

    I ghöre äs Glöggli

    I ghöre äs Glöggli
    das lütet so nätt.
    Dr Tag isch vergange
    itz gang i is Bett.
    Im Bett tuen i bäte
    und schlafe de i.
    Dr lieb Gott im Himmel
    wird ou bi mir si!

    Und alli wo müed si
    händ Friede und Rueh.
    Dr lieb Gott im Himmel
    laht Böses nid zueh.
    I gohne is Bettli,
    eu allne Guet Nacht
    Dr lieb Gott im Himmel
    und s’Aengeli wacht.

    De Tag isch vergange,
    es tunklet ja scho,
    Du lieb Gott im Himmel,
    ich bi ja so froh.
    Ich wott nöd elei si,
    doch du bisch bi mir,
    und Mueter und Vater,
    die wached mit Dir.

  22. Mark Says:

    Great site
    Hope somebody can help this quietly aging American (Basler extraction) guy!
    Looking for the Swiss German lyrics for a nursery song I remember from my grandmother, beginning “Rita, Rita, Restle. .
    Want to be able to sing this to my own, soon to arrive, grandchild.
    Any help or hints are greatly appreciated.

  23. Lisa Says:

    I saw it’s about drizzling rain.

  24. Lisa Says:

    Thanks so much for this thread! I have a 2-year-old grandson in Zurich who’s in Swiss-German-speaking daycare. He loves to sing (can even carry a tune), and many of the songs he sings, not surprisingly, are in Swiss German. My son and daughter in law (whose primary language is English) have tracked down some videos and websites with lyrics, but a whole string like this is quite helpful. His current favorite is the goat song, so now I’m set for their upcoming visit.

  25. swz Says:

    Nice topic – it’s good to remember our Swiss German songs and rhymes. Thank you for that.
    The one with the bear I know in many different version. It’s more a rhyme then a song.

  26. Penny Says:

    My father used to put me on his lap and bump up and down like I was riding a horse with a poem about a Ross. Does anyone know that poem?

  27. Mark Says:

    Hi again
    Follow up to my years ago post regarding a Swiss German song for kids
    “Rita Rita Restli”

    Found a family member who remembered

    Lyrics are – in phonetically recalled Swiss German – no claim to accuracy

    Rita Rita Restli
    Basa stolta schesli
    Amado marasli do
    go do do do do

    Be great if another could offer me the proper spelling in Swiss German and maybe a translation into English

    Thanks again


  28. Monique Says:

    It’s a version of “Ryte, ryte, Rössli” (also “Rite, rite, Rössli”)
    Ryte, ryte, Rössli,
    z’Bade staht es Schlössli,
    z’Bade staht es goldigs Huus,
    da lueged drei Mareye drus:
    Die erschti schnätzlet Chryde,
    di zweiti, die spinnt Syde,
    di dritti, die spinnt Haberstrau,
    bhüeti Gott mis Schätzeli au!


    Ride, ride, little horse,
    In Baden there is a castle
    In Baden there’s a golden house,
    There, three Marias look outside.
    The first cut chalk,
    The second spins silk,
    The third spins oats,
    May God protect my little treasure too.

    There are several versions of this rhyme that you’ll find googling the title either with “ryte” or “rite”.

  29. helen Says:

    My tante taught me Det ana am Bargli but her version was the goat kicked her not gave her ice cream. Are there different versions? what does miner labtig mean. Also my dad would put me on his knee bounce me up and down singing about rossli (horse) does anyone know that song?

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