Chris sent me this email:
Greetings! Google led me to your website when I was looking for help. I hope this request doesn’t end up being too difficult!
I’m not a fluent Dutch speaker (in fact, I know very little Dutch at all beyond the basics). But my grandmother is the daughter of a Dutch immigrant, and she was raised as an “American Dutch girl” in Iowa.
She just celebrated her 94th birthday, and we’ve seen a decline in her mental faculties over the last decade or so. But one thing she still remembers – are the old children’s songs that she heard as a girl from her father. She remembered the song well enough that she could even sing it to my two-month-old daughter when we came to visit!
Unfortunately, because of her mental condition, she would not be able to write the song down. But she dictated the original words (along with what I think is a non-literal English translation) to my mother, who did her best to write down the Dutch sounds phonetically. We have no idea if her phonetic words are even close to the original Dutch words.
Another complication: the language might not actually be Dutch, but Frisian, since her father came to Iowa from Ternaard, in Friesland. But if it’s possible, I’d like to find the original words to the song, as well as a more literal English translation. Here goes our best attempt at writing down the song:
Original Dutch (?):
Suza nona Popkin
Kelta lyin gropka
Mam in huis Sofear van hoos
See caneet verrupke
Just a little calf, there
Lying in the straw there
Mother and father so far from the house
They can’t hear him crying.
Thanks in advance for any direction you can provide!
If anyone can help out Chris, please comment below.
Thanks in advance!
This article was posted on Saturday, June 7th, 2008 at 10:05 pm and is filed under Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, Dutch, Dutch Children's Songs, Friesland, Frisian, Languages, Netherlands, Questions, Readers Questions. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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