Kids Song from Botswana

imageYesterday, I mentioned that I’ve been reading a series that takes place in Botswana called The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith.

In the 3rd book of the series, called Morality for Beautiful Girls, there’s mention of a traditional children’s song that kids in Botswana sing.  It’s about cattle.  In the past especially, cattle has been important for Botswana, both economically and socially.

Here are the lyrics to the cattle song…

The Cattle Come Home

The cattle come home,
One, two, three,
The cattle come home,
The big one, the small one,
The one with the horn,
I live with the cattle,
One, two, three,
Oh mother, look out for me.

It seems like this really is a traditional kids song from Botswana.  Since the author visits the country every year, one would assume he would use an existing song.  We’d love for someone familiar with the music of Botswana to confirm this for us.  If anyone knows for sure if this is indeed a traditional Motswana song, please let us know in the comments below.

We’d also like to know if it’s originally in English, Setswana or another language.  If it’s in another language, we’d love to learn the original lyrics.

Thanks in advance for any help!

Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Thursday, January 12th, 2012 at 9:27 pm and is filed under Botswana, Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, Languages, Questions, Readers Questions, Setswana, Tswana. 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.

2 Responses to “Kids Song from Botswana”

  1. Anjali Says:

    Querida Mama Lisa,

    Thank you so much for your lovely website and blog. Yours if the most coprehensive compilation of songs and rhymes from around the world. It is a wonderful service of parents and teachers alike!

    Sincerely yours,

  2. Norma Says:

    I am a K-6 music teacher at a Colorado charter school that seeks out culturally diverse materials to teach with. Having just been working on Chinese New Year with my young children, I showed the Warner Brothers movie: the Amazing Panda Adventure. In the movie, about 3/4 of the way through, there is a village celebration in which children and older girls sing and dance to a song that is not part of the composed-to-order sound track. If anyone knows the origin, lyrics, and context of this song, I would love to know more about it. I have succeeded in transcribing the tune, but would like the words, either a specific or loose translation.

    I go to MamaLisa’s all the time to look for songs and rhymes to use at my school. LOVE your site.


Leave a Reply