Does Anyone Know a Dutch Children’s Song the Title of which Sounds like “Saitcha Fara”?

Elyse wrote:

Does anyone know anything about an old Dutch children’s song about girls and boys picking flowers, drinking tea and sweet milk with honey, giving chickens water, and the clock striking ten? My grandmother sang it to me years ago. The title sounds like “Saitcha Fara” though no such Dutch words with those spellings exist in my dictionary. I’ve never seen the song or the title in writing.


If anyone can help out with this song, please comment below or email me.


Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Tuesday, April 29th, 2008 at 8:43 pm and is filed under Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, Dutch, Dutch Children's Songs, Languages, Mama Lisa, Netherlands, 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.

12 Responses to “Does Anyone Know a Dutch Children’s Song the Title of which Sounds like “Saitcha Fara”?”

  1. Mica Says:

    Hi I think you mean: Schuitje varen, theetje drinken, varen we naar de overtoom, drinken we zoete melk met room, zoete melk met brokken, kindje mag niet jokken.

  2. Elyse Richards Says:

    Dear Mica,

    I assume that the words in your reply to my question to are the correctly spelled Dutch translation of the phrases that are in the song “Scuitje varen”. I appreciate your giving me this but I would like to know if you’ve heard of the song. If so, can you write in English and in Dutch all the words that are in the whole song?


  3. Paula Says:

    Dear Elyse

    I’m not really good in English but it means something like this:

    schuitje varen sailing in a boat
    theetje drinken drinking a cup of tea
    varen we naar de overtoom we sail to the other side
    drinken we zoete melk met room we drink sweet milk with cream
    zoete melk met brokken sweet milk with chunks
    kindje mag niet jokken little child may not lie


  4. Harriët Says:

    Beste Elyse (meaning Dear Elyse)

    Yes, I do know the song, which I learnt as a little child in the Netherlands. Paula is correct with most of her translation, just a few details:
    Schuitje varen: We are boating
    Theetje drinken: We are drinking a little tea
    Varen we naar de overtoom: We are sailing across the river
    Drinken we zoete melk met room: We are drinking sweet milk with cream on top
    Zoete melk met brokken: Sweet milk with lumps in it
    Kindje mag niet jokken: The little child is not allowed to tell a fib

    I had hoped I had the melody for the recorder written down somewhere, but I don’t appear to have it anymore. I’ll see if I can find it somewhere for you if you like.


  5. Elyse Richards Says:

    This is a reply to both Paula and Harriet or anyone else that could help. Would you mind or could you write down ALL the Dutch and/or English words? The Dutch words alone could also help as I have a Dutch-English dictionary. Here’s how much of the English words I know: We are boating. We are drinking a little tea. We are sailing across the river. We are drinking sweet milk with cream on top. Sweet milk with lumps. The clock starts to strike ten. Ten o’clock, ten o’clock. [Then, sounds like – “De meistes (little boys or girls) mit de sura. De yumakes (maybe girls or boys) mit de water de hal (haul or bring the water), und de kippeches mut de drinke. (so the chickens can drink?) I know I’m not spelling the words correctly but this is the way they sounded when my grandmother sang the song.] Thank you.

  6. Elyse Richards Says:

    This is a supplement to my last post. I left out a line of the song. It comes after “We drink a little tea.” I believe it’s “we pick flowers” in English.


  7. Peter Says:

    With some help of google, i think i found what you mean. As for all old songs, a lot of versions seem to exist. Personally I knew only the version that was posted earlier, but i think you refer to this one:

    Schuitje varen,
    Theetje drinken,
    Blommetjes plukken, (picking flowers)
    Bestje met krukken, (granny with crutches)
    Dom, dom, dom.
    Dan gaan we naar den Overtoom,
    Daar drinken we zoete melk met room,
    Zoete melk met brokken.
    Tien slaat de klokke;(ten strikes the clock)
    En als de klokke tien slaat, (and when the clock strikes ten)
    Dan komt de klapperman op straat. (the “klapperman” comes in the street)
    Elf, elf uren, (eleven, eleven hours)
    De meisjes moeten schuren, (the girls have to grind)
    De jongens moeten water halen, (the boys have to fetch water)
    Achter bij de buren. (behind at the neighbors’)

    The whole song is filled with archaic language: Overtoom is not the other side, as people suggested, but it is an installation to drag a boat (by hand) across a dyke. The most well-known one doesn’t exist anymore, but was just outside of Amsterdam. Later a whole neighborhood developed around the “overtoom”, and now — though the overtoom itself doesn’t exist anymore — it is just a neighborhood in amsterdam. This is what it looked like:

    I think “klapperman” refers to someone who read the news in the street; he used to come in the morning, signalling his presence with a “klapper”, a sort of ratchet, designed to be noisy.

    “bestje” is a really old word for grandmother, short for bestemoeder. I never heard of the word, but found it in a historical dictionary.

    “Schuren” means to grind or to sand (with sanding paper). I have no idea what it refers to here.

    This version of the song, and some others, can be found here:
    This is from a collection of traditional songs published in 1895(!).

  8. Ton Says:

    Try this URL for a version:

  9. gerrit Says:

    live in dad would sing a song in fries went something like this .you are not coming out of the house tonight because your pants are ripped and your shirt hangs out ,can anyone help me find this song

  10. Lisa Says:

    Marjolein wrote:

    The title is “Schuitje Varen”

    Schuitje varen, teetje drinken, varen we naar de Overtoom,
    drinken zoete melk met room,
    zoete melk met brokken, kindertjes mogen niet jokken!

  11. Lisa Yannucci Says:

    We have this on our song pages…

  12. Lisa Says:

    Does anyone know the Dutch children’s song about “Hannika and Jannika” who waaren dicka frinchas. Not all my spelling is correct. But it is about two girls who were very close friends.

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