August 27th, 2016
Archimusic on YouTube has 25 lovely videos of people in Africa singing lullabies from their childhood. They’re not accompanied by the lyrics. But they’re beautiful all the same! Check it out! -Mama Lisa
March 29th, 2015
The song "Ira Congo" is sung around the world by choirs and Girl Scouts. It’s believed to come from Africa. Below you’ll find the lyrics and some YouTube renditions. Ira congo, Ira congo by ay, Ira congo by ay congo, By ay, congo, by ay. If anyone knows which country this song comes from and/or […]
February 24th, 2015
Claire sent us some lyrics to an African song with a translation that seems much longer than the original lyrics. She’d like to know to which African country this rowing song belongs to. Would anyone be familiar with it? Original Lyrics: Banga titi para biani Banga titi para biani Refrain: Eléléyo, éléléyo, yo, éléléyo Yo, […]
February 16th, 2015
We’re looking for the lyrics and/or a translation of the following Angolan lullaby. We’d also like help identifying its language. If anyone can help please comment below or email me. Thanks in advance! -Mama Lisa
February 3rd, 2015
Maria wrote asking for info about the song, "Zimbole". Here’s her email: I have been trying in vain to find the meaning of the African folk song “Zimbole”. I believe it’s an Zulu word for peace but I’m not sure and I can’t find any information anywhere! There are videos on youtube of kids singing […]
July 2nd, 2014
Mama Lisa’s World has been growing fast! Lately we’ve made a particular push to put up more songs from Africa. Here are some of the more recent African countries we’ve added songs to on Mama Lisa’s World: Kids Songs and Lullabies of Burkina Faso Choosing Rhyme from Cabo Verde (Cape Verde) Kids Songs and Lullabies […]
May 13th, 2012
Here Come Our Mothers Bring Us Presents is a traditional Zulu children’s song that’s sung by Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Here are the lyrics with the Zulu part phonetically written… Here come our mothers, bringing us presents Ngci bo, Ngci bo, Nampayano mame * We can see apples, we can see bananas Ngci bo, Ngci bo, […]
April 13th, 2012
We just added a song from Guinea, Africa. It’s called Tue Tue Mareema and includes a lovely recording by Abi. Check it out!
June 30th, 2011
Karen Mackenzie wrote to me looking for help with a song called Kouralengay. It’s most likely from Tanzania or West Africa. Here are the lyrics, midi tune and score… Kouralengay kalenkana Chum chum pa Koura lengay kalenkana Chum chum pa Ona ding onka Ding ding ding Midi Tune of Kouralengay Kalenkana Listen to a recording […]
January 23rd, 2011
Sheila wrote from North Carolina asking about a circle dance song: I sang this in kindergarten 55 years ago. I don’t know the correct spelling of these words, but this is what the refrain sounded like… Mumbo, hot-toe, mata relay, relay Mumbo, hot-toe mata relay relay roan. It was a circle dance with one child […]
July 17th, 2010
This month, we added the following African countries to Mama Lisa’s World of Songs: Nigeria (Song in Yoruba) Gabon (Song in French) Algeria (Song in Kabyle) We now have songs from 22 African countries!
February 1st, 2010
Here’s a song we received that’s originally from Benin, Africa. The recording is by Élodie Chebat from France. MP3 of Iro ye Iro ye Nou ka ye manao Iro ye Nou ka ye manao Nie nou do nou de Anao Napodenao Akbe la mio nao So yakbe na yoma Many thanks to Élodie Chebat for […]
July 7th, 2009
Delyth Dallimore recently sent me the wonderful video below from The Gambia… The lyrics to the video can be found on our new Gambian song pages. The video is on the Mandinka language. Del is collecting videos of Gambian children’s songs on her YouTube channel. Here’s what she wrote about The Gambia and collecting the […]
March 11th, 2009
This is a protest song and it is traditionally sung at funerals. It was important during the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. Senzenina means “What have we done” with the implication “what did we do to deserve this?” (Also spelled “senzeni na”.) Here you can see the original lyrics, with an English translation and a […]
November 13th, 2008
Miriam Makeba sadly passed away this month. She was 76 years old. Makeba was a wonderful singer from South Africa. She was born in Johannesburg in 1932. She started singing in a choir as a child and by the age of 22 she was a professional singer. In 1959, she appeared in the anti-apartheid film […]
August 28th, 2008
Ronnie wrote: Dear Lisa, Over thirty years ago I worked in South Africa and learned a children’s song verbally. Whilst I still remember the tune, the lyrics have probably eroded in accuracy over the years. It was so popular at the time that you could sing the first line out in the street and “someone” […]
May 1st, 2008
Susan Arnold wrote to me with a question about a song: I am looking for an accurate translation of the song “Aweneh Makole”. The only thing I know about the song is that it is call and response. I’ve known it for ages and it’s used quite a lot in schools here in the UK. […]
May 12th, 2007
Karen wrote: Do you know the words to the African song – cha, cha coola (the a’s are long vowel sounds)? Karen If anyone can help out, please comment below. Thanks! Lisa
April 12th, 2007
A while back Cathie wrote me: 2 years ago I went on vacation to the Canaries. At night the children danced to a song which spoke about a house and roof. They made gestures to mime this song. It was in Spanish. Could you inform me about the lyrics and title of this song? It’s […]
July 24th, 2006
Michelle wrote me… Hello! do you by any chance know of the song named Guru Ndiani from Zimbabwe? It is a children’s game song similar to a ring around the rosie type of song. Thank you, I appreciate it. Michelle If anyone is familiar with this song, please post it in the comments below. Thanks! […]
May 31st, 2006
I’m happy to announce that I’ve added Cameroon to Mama Lisa’s World! Here are links to the new pages, where you’ll find six new songs… Children’s Songs from Cameroon & Children’s Songs from Cameroon with French Translations I particularly like Bring Back, which you can sing with children when they’ve lost something, like a teddy […]
May 30th, 2006
Here are two versions of a song called Mr. cocoji I received from Cameroon. They’re in Pidgin English. I can understand parts of the lyrics, but not all. This is the version of Mr. cocoji from the north west province… Mr. cocoji (Pidgin English) Mr. cocoji ih begin di follow goat ih nack ih oneside […]
May 27th, 2006
I received this song from Cameroon a while back. It was identified as coming from the Bali tribe. Unfortunately, the language wasn’t identified, and an English translation wasn’t provided. The Bali tribe speaks Mungaka. But I’m not sure if they speak any other languages also. Here are the lyrics in the original language… Moni mbebela […]
Please contribute a traditional song or rhyme from your country.
More about African Children’s Songs...
100 Songs With Sheet Music And Links To Recordings
Whoever the children are in your life - your kids, your grandkids, your students, even yourself (in your heart) - Kid Songs Around The World is a wonderful way to help them experience other languages and cultures.
In Kid Songs Around The World we've gathered 100 of our favorite songs and rhymes from all the continents of the globe. (Over 350 pages!)
Each song includes the full text in the original language, with an English translation, and most include sheet music.
All include links to web pages where you can listen to recordings, hear the tune or watch a video performance.
Each includes a beautiful illustration.
Many have commentary sent to us by our correspondents who write about the history of the songs and what they've meant in their lives.
We hope this book will help foster a love of international children's songs!
This is a downloadable e-book, which you will gain access to immediately. (It is not a physical book.)