Can Anyone Help with Some Italian Nursery Rhymes and Songs?

I get a lot of requests for help with Italian rhymes and songs. It seemed like a good idea to post a few together as the writers may even be able to help each other! Most of these are from the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of Italian immigrants to the United States who remember being sung these by their parents, grandparents and great grandparents. These are special memories!

The Italian is mainly written phonetically below. Here are some of the emails I’ve received…

1) Hi Lisa,

My mother and my grandmother used to say a nursery rhyme to me when I was a little girl. They would put me on their lap, facing them like I was riding on a galloping horse. The rhyme is: (Keep in mind my spelling is all wrong)

Ki Ki Ki cavallo,
la mama vien al ballo,
da scarpieta sienna….

And it goes on. My mother and grandmother were from Trieste, so it could be in dialect. I’d just like to figure out the words and meaning of the rhyme to teach my granddaughter. Hope you can help me.

Many thanks,

Sue Henry

2) My great grandmother was from the Abruzzi Region and used to sing us a song that started out (phonetically):

Di say comati….

I don’t remember any of the other words but know that she used to rock us on her lap during the song and then at the end would say ‘di di di di deeeee’ lean over so we would fall back and up-side-down.

I realize that I’m not giving you much to work with! Any help would be appreciated.

3) My mother used to sing an Italian nursery song to my girls when they were young, but now my mother has Alzheimer’s and can’t remember the words to teach my daughter so she can teach them to her girls. It was “mane mane manutsa vene papa, boite gozi sini va….” something to that effect, general meaning: clap hands clap hands, daddy’s coming home and bringing presents…” something like that.

It’s all my daughter has of her grandma to pass on. Please help if you can. My grandmother was from Palermo and very poor, so the words and the dialect would be home Italian versus book Italian.

Thank you.
Nan Juday

4) I would like to know if anyone knows of a song my grandmother used to sing to me. I can only remember it as the Tick Tock Song. One line sounded like:

“Quando se qiere peccina bambina,
mia cuore tica tic, tica toc.”

Mind you, I have no idea if these are the actual words or if they are spelled right! I think it meant “when you need me my pretty baby, my heart goes tick tock. Thanks for your help.

Carmen Akridge

5) Hi

I came across your site while searching for a song my nonna used to sing to me when I was little. She died in 1971 when I was six. I would lay across her lap and she would tap her fingers on my back and sing something like this:

Lena lena
sopa sopa
cuanta pena tena ungoupe
en e mene mah cuanta su

There are sections missing. It was a guessing song. How many fingers do I have on your back… kind of thing. It was such a special memory for me. I wish I could find an accurate version. She was 84 when she died. She emigrated to the US in 1907.

Lisa Sebelle

6) Hello Mama Lisa. I wander if you could help me find this song… do you know who wrote it? or who sang it?

Sorridi alla tua mamma,
amore… sorridi a che te adato il cuor…
nina nana

It’s a very old song that my mother used to sing to me….

Thank you

7) Hi,

I have just come across your website and was wondering if you could help me?

I am after an old Italian story that my father and grandfather used to tell us when we were little. I can only remember bits and pieces. Below is some of it in English……

Once upon time there was an old man who swept the church, he found some money…….bought some milk but the mouse drank it and the old man pulled off his tail…the mouse said, give me back my tail and the man said give me back my milk…….

Hope you can help me.


8) I came across your website when trying to look for a song my grandma used to sing and hoped maybe you could help or could post this and maybe someone else would know. It’s an Italian children’s song along the same idea as “this little piggy went to market”, but it talks about a duck and as you pull each finger it says this one catches it, this one cooks it, this one eats it and so on. I can only describe the Italian as it sounds from my memory and I’m not sure of the actual spelling so if anyone could help, it would be greatly appreciated. This is how I would sound it out in my head, but I would really like to know how it really goes.

Rina sta fundanelle
Ghista na ba ba della
Ghistan gop
Ghista schpen
Ghista sta goscha
Ghista sa manga
Chista digz
Bi bi bi bi nu boga min
Bi bi bi bi nu boga min


9) I have been looking for Manzoline de Fiore and can’t find it. Any help = my mother used to sing this song all the time when we were little.

Rose Montagner Bundra

10) Hi, Mama Lisa,

Do you know of an Italian Lullaby song with the words:

“Bolla, bolla,
pane e cipolla.
Cipolla cucinare;
(name) e sudare…”

Literally: “Dance, dance,
bread and onion.
Onion is cooking
and the cook is sweating!

My father-in-law sang it to all our children and we just want to know more information about it. Thanks!


If anyone can help out with any of these questions, please comment below. Give the number of the question you’re addressing so it’s clear which is being answered.

Thanks in advance!

-Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Thursday, January 10th, 2008 at 11:01 am and is filed under Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, Italian, Italian Children's Songs, Italian Nursery Rhymes, Italy, Languages, Nursery Rhymes, 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.

185 Responses to “Can Anyone Help with Some Italian Nursery Rhymes and Songs?”

  1. Nan Juday Says:

    Re. # 3

    My mother had one little coherent moment, which happens from time to time, and she remembered the last lines of the mane manutsa song. So, for anyone else who remembers it as a child, and remember, the spelling is ?

    Mane manutsa vene papa,
    boita gosi sini va
    boita menali ena shiiti
    bichicadi bichididi
    mane manutsa vene papa
    boita gosi sini va.

    She said it means papa’s coming home and is going to bring presents and nuts, and then will go away again.
    I have passed it on to my daughter, who is now teaching her daughters!

    Nan Juday

  2. Lisa Says:

    Re. #3

    Hi Nan,

    Glad you got the words. If you or your daughter would like to sing it, I can post a recording – it may help with finding the spelling. Plus I’d love to hear it!


  3. Dee Says:

    My mother used to sing this song to us as small children. I’m sure the spelling is incorrect, but I’m going to give it my best shot. Please if anyone knows this song, translate it for me. Many thanks.
    “doe and doe and mustran doe,
    chico petzo undevo.
    That is all she even remembers of it.

  4. Deanna Says:

    My grandmother was from the Abruzzi region as well. All the grandchildren would take turn and we would also sit on her knees facing her and she would rock us back and forth singing some Italian song that started like this

    Se camile (sounded like Say Kay-ME-Lay)

    and it ended with
    la viva la donda comulbus…….

    I actually have lost much memory of this song over the years but my mother once told me it had to do with beautiful girls who made all the boys stop and stare. If anyone knows of this rhyme or could help me remember the words I would greatly appreciate it.

  5. simonetta Says:

    Stella stellina
    la notte si avvicina:
    la fiamma traballa,
    la mucca è nella stalla.
    La mucca e il vitello,
    la pecora e l’agnello,
    la chioccia coi pulcini,
    la mamma coi bambini.
    Ognuno ha la sua mamma
    e tutti fan la nanna

  6. Tiziana kontopoulos Says:

    To Sue Henry

    My Italian is terrible my parents were from Trieste our version of Ki Ki Cavallo was ( my parents passed away many years ago and only spoke Triestine and since I speak rarely this is how it goes)

    Ki Ki cavallo
    la mamma vien al ballo
    co le tettine piene ( with her tities full)
    per darvia le putelle (to give to the little girls)
    le putelle noi le voi (the little girls do not want)
    buttare le scovarson ( then throw them in the bin, I tried to use a italian english dictionary the word scovarson is garbage bin but nothing in the dictionary sounded like the word my mother said.

    Hope this helps.

    While on here my mother used to sing a lullabye the only words I remember were as follows I did look up on internet but none seemed to have these words.

    Nina Nana
    coccolar de mamma coccolar de papa (coccolar meaning cuddle pie or some such thing.

    I constantly repeat this to my 19mth granddaughter and she is now repeating it which make me cry. If anyone could help much thanks


  7. Joanne Says:

    What a great site! In response to #9 “Manzoline de Fiore” ..The correct title is “Quel Mazzolin Di Fiori” I remember my dad singing this song when I was a child. I found the song on Youtube and also see lyrics (variation) below. Hope it helps.


    Quel mazzolin di fiori
    che vien dalla montagna
    Quel mazzolin di fiori
    che vien dalla montagna

    E guarda ben che non si bagna
    chè lo voglio regalar,
    E guarda ben che non si bagna
    chè lo voglio regalar,
    Lo voglio regalare
    perchè l’è un bel mazzetto,
    Lo voglio regalare
    perchè l’è un bel mazzetto
    E guarda ben che non si bagna
    chè lo voglio regalar,
    E guarda ben che non si bagna
    chè lo voglio regalar,

    lo voglio dare al mio moretto
    stasera quando vien,
    lo voglio dare al mio moretto
    stasera quando vien.
    Stasera quando vien
    gli fo una brutta cera sara una brutta sera
    e perchè Sabato di sera
    lui non è vegnù da me,
    e perchè Sabato di sera
    lui non è vegnù da me.
    Non l’è vegnù da me,
    l’è andà da la Rosina…
    Perchè mi son poverina
    mi fa pianger e sospirar,
    perchè mi son poverina
    mi fa pianger e sospirar.
    Mi fa piangere e sospirare
    sul letto dei lamenti
    e che mai diran le genti,
    cosa mai diran di me,
    e che mai diran le genti,
    cosa mai diran di me.
    Diran che son tradita,
    tradita nell’amore
    e a me mi piange il cuore
    e per sempre piangerà,
    e a me mi piange il cuore
    e per sempre piangerà.
    Abbandonato il primo,
    abbandonà il secondo,
    abbandono tutto il mondo
    e non mi marito più,
    abbandono tutto il mondo
    e non mi marito più.

  8. Valeria Says:

    Does anyone know the tongue twister that talks about a goat on a table and under the table… something like this (sobre la panca la copra compa, sobre la panca la copra crepa…). My Nonna taught it to me a LONG time ago. She, and her brother would say this to me but they just recently passed away so I am unable to find this out. Grazie!

  9. Cynthia Says:

    Does anyone know a song that was like Chili ama di Pasquale Chili ama passa john chili ama de amore chili ama de janon. And then there is another verse in Elglish One day a cat walked in my yard and ate up all the yarn and when he had four little ones they came with mittens on. and so it goes with a mouse and a goat and what ever animals you can throw in!

  10. Trish Says:

    Hi, my sicilian uncle used to sing a song to his grand children and it goes something like this..Please excuse my translation of the italian language..actually shall type it how it sounds to me : Sem men nan na nina vene lupapa, chi chi chocolata (grandchild’s name) munjera and clap all the time of singing it..Please forgive me for this tragic translation..but would anyone out there have any clue to what song I am trying to remember..I sing it to my grandaughter and she stops crying and starts to smile as soon as I start singing it to her. Would love to know the proper italian words. Thank you.

  11. Tatiana Says:

    Hallo!the tongue twister that talks about a goat on a table and under the table is:
    “Sopra la panca la capra campa,
    sotto la panca la capra crepa.”
    That in english is…
    “Over the table the goat is alive,
    under the table the goat dies.”
    or something similar!Sorry, my english is a little bit rusty!!
    But I am sure about the italian version, because, well..I am Italian!:)

  12. Giovanna Says:

    Is anyone familiar with this song? If so, does anyone know where I can find it? It’s a song my mother sang. I will try to write the lyrics here. It is in Siciliian.

    Didu li e didu la, bedda figghia che tene mama, no ni voigghiu no ni chiu, bedda, bedda, bedda tu.

  13. Jackie Portaro Says:

    Hi Trish,

    I wonder if the rhyme your uncle sang is the one that I grew up with and now sing to my grandson (I was born in Sicily).

    Battiamo le mannine (clap your little hands)
    che adesso vieni papa (daddy will soon be home)
    porta le cioccolatini (he will bring chocolates)
    e (insert child’s name) le mangera (and you will eat them up)

    I think there are a few versions of this rhyme.

  14. Josette Says:

    I don’t know if this helps anyone, but maybe you could also help me if the following songs are not correct. Unfortunately, when my grandparents came here from Italy, the motto was, “Speak English” -which meant “Lose Italian”. I teach English as a Second Language and unless a child has other learning concerns, I encourage the parents to continue speaking their mother tongue. Those of us who have parents who understand yet cannot speak, and we who cannot understand are at such a loss. It is important to remember the songs, especially with the “globalization” of English and of formal Italian in Italy; in my opinon, the dialects are becomming “dead languages”.

    Here are some songs I remember…

    My maternal grandmother, Antoinette, came from Pietra di Fusi (spelling?) near Naples and she would sing this song; I remember her singing it to my sister who is nine years younger than me. Please excuse if it is not correct; I am appreciative of constructive criticism:

    Sorrelina vuoi giocar(e)
    En di mani divida
    (?) Ogni cua, (?) ogni la
    En digiro
    tra – la – la

    The next two are from my ex-husband’s family. My daughter and son are young (7 & 5) – so I remember this more clearly, although my Calabrese may not be correct. This song was sung while clapping hands, either the singer’s or the baby’s:

    Battiamo le manine
    Che adesso viene Papa
    Ci portala ciocolatine
    Per _______ (name) si mangiara

    Another one is :
    Bella bianca
    Vuole vuole
    ma non si stanca…

    (I don’t remember the rest but may refer to this site for the lyrics.)

    This is a great site – let’s keep it going and keep the tradition alive!!!

  15. Kate Says:

    My grandmother used to sing me a song, and I am dying to find it. I only know it phonetically…this is what I remember;

    Sa-ta Mal-ay-ta
    Ya-ma Kai-ay-ta
    Kitchiyama fa
    Agalina zopega

    Ring any bells?

  16. eric rizzo Says:

    my father and grandmother also used to sing me the one with the horse. my grandmothers family was also from trieste. but i remember the song starting

    yo yo cavallo

    do you know how the rest goes?

  17. Angela Archer Says:

    Re #3 I can’t believe I found this question about a rhyme my mother & father used to recite to me & I to my children. My daughter is expecting her first child & wants the words. I believe it went like this, while clapping hands:
    Bata manucha
    que veni papa,
    porta cozi, senvi va,
    porta buhma, eh bacalelli
    per giocarri filli bella,
    My spelling is probably not right, but close. I would love to hear a reponse if anyone else knows this.
    Also I’m needing more verses to a Scilian song about wolf and a lamb. It starts like this:
    Adallo, adallalino, Lu Lupo se mangio la pegarino.
    I don’t know the rest, I just kept singing the same verse over and over. That’s all I can remember. Anybody can help me out,here?

    Thank you, Angie A.

  18. Louis Says:

    I am trying to find the words to a song my mother sang. It goes something like this:

    Chorus: Thi ri ni Thi ri na
    filia bella chi tena mama
    e la mama non combri piu
    filia bella como si tu
    Dormi dormi domri dormi dormi do-ormi

    Quanda la mama la meta dorma
    La Angeletti e stanna guarda
    e tutti insieme ce mater ne due dica
    filia bella chi tanna mama


    Quanda chi cresha sta belle fiola
    tua si caro amora mia
    la mama la monda la schola
    quando si turna si conta cousi


    I realize these words make no sense and would appreciate any help in finding the true lyrics. I would like to pass these on to my daughter and grand-daughter.

  19. Francesco Says:

    Hi all
    My dear departed mother was from a very proud town called Viggiano (Pz) in Basilicata. Viggano was famous for its musicians and she used to sing me a rhyme called Ciccio pasticcio.

    Ciccio is the nick name for Frank or Francesco. It went something like:
    Ciccio pasticcio
    Berocca en coulo (? spelling)

    Any help with these lyrics appreciated!

  20. Phil Jordan Says:

    Hi – my grandmother used to sing me a song – she said it was about a wolf. I don’t speak Italian so I’m writing phonetically!

    Ninni na nonna sanco kino di mama, e di mama y papa…

  21. Mary Vella Says:

    Batti manine che viene papa
    porta cose e se ne va
    porta mandorle e nocciole
    per giocare questa bimba bella

    Le le

    The following my aunt taught me on her lap when I was very young. Basically you say it to ward off the evil from your home when it thunders and lighning are all around the house. I still say it. It is very comforting.

    It says loosely translated. Thunder and lightining go away. This is the house of Master Ignatius and Master Simon and our Lord.

    Troni e lampi vattini arrasso chista e la casa di mastro Ignazu, mastro Gnazu e mastro Simuni, chista e la casa di nostru Signuri.

  22. Mary Vella Says:

    San Martino campanaro, suona tu,suona tu. Suona le campane,suoana le campane, ding dong, da, ding dong da.

  23. Paulina Says:

    I found this site which lists a bunch of nursery rhymes in Italian:

  24. Jen Puccio Says:

    Question #5
    My grandmother played a counting game with me that went something like” godsa nedsa sopa sopa cuanta pena tena ungoupe yente vene insci-quatre, une, due, tre, quatre” phonetics probably not exact as well. I havent been able to find the song anywhere, my grandmother, now passed,she came from the Calambria region, said it was about how many feathers a chicken had. We would play it on our fingers and whoever had the last finger standing, won. I would love to find the origins of this, if you come across it please let me know.

  25. Rosanna Says:

    HI! can anyone helpme? My nonna was from the Trieste area and she used to sing me a song, but I cant remember the rest! If someone has heard it, I would LOVE it if they could tell me the rest please!!! thx. it goes like this:
    “Tre bambine sul balcone, una cuccia, una taglia, una fa capel di paglia…” (three little girls on the balcony, one sews, one cuts, and one makes a hat of straw..”)

  26. Sunny Says:

    I am looking for help. My family and I are trying to put together a special slide show for my grandma’s birthday. She will be turning 90 years old. We are looking for a song she says her mom used to sing to her. Though, I do not know Italian and I am not sure I am hearing her correctly when she is singing the portion of the song. What I can gather sounds like she is saying “chitti bitti bee” and she told me that it means “beautiful baby”. Does anyone know the song I am looking for? If so please email me at I hope someone can help.

    Thank You,

    Sunny Peyton

  27. Jan Smith Says:

    I also have a, I guess nursery ryhme that we cannot figure out. My Grammy and Nana used to sing it to us and now that they are gone we do not know how to spell it or what it means. Here goes… Cotathe Motathe chetta bletta ( can’t remember sounded like kitty kitty) then checkuslamung ( which Nana said was slap on the hand.) this was said while rubbing the palm of our hand when we were kids. We all joked that it might have been a curse and nobody knew it. Anyone else ever hear of this sort of thing. My Nana came from Southern Italy and her entire family is believed to have been killed in a mudslide a loooong time ago. It would be great to figure this out before my Pop leaves us. Thank You, Jan Smith ( Tarro/ Ronchetti)

  28. Nina Says:

    I am first generation Sicilian. My Nonna used to sing this to me. Josette wrote about it in May:

    farfaletta bianca bianca
    vuola vuola mai si stanca
    gira di qua e gira di la
    sopr’ un fiore va posa.

    White little butterfly
    flies and flies and never tires
    turns here and turns there,
    and places herself upon a flower.

    My Zio Toto used to sing this one. Well, it was more like a chant we would say when we were out walking to the park:

    Passegiamo che lupo non c’e
    Passegiamo che lupo non c’e.

    “Let’s walk, there is no wolf! (or the wolf’s not here!)

    My Nonna used to tell me stories of Sbirriddu. He was like a naughty little boy like Jack and the Beanstalk, always getting himself into trouble. ANyone remember hearing about Sbirriddu?

  29. cammy Says:

    I am looking for a song that sounds a lot like “Nazita Nazita bolito”(phonetically sounds like N-u(short)-z- e(long)-t-u(short) and B-o(long)-l-e(long)-t-o(long)) you sit face to face with the child and rub noses while singing it and then you give two kisses on the cheek….you then sing it again(rubbing noses) ending with two kisses on the other cheek…I have probably spelled the words wrong but am interested if there is more to it and its meaning if anyone knows…thanks so much

  30. lina filannino Says:

    giro giro tondo, quando e bello il mondo
    un mazzo di viole li do a chi le vuole
    li do alla regina
    si inginocchia la piu piccina
    ( this is the round the rosie}
    my mother used to sing to me when i was little in Sicilia

    This is a sleep lullaby
    Ninna Ninna cuore di Mamma
    fai la ninna per la mamma
    (baby name)bella dorme dorme
    che l’angioletti sono con te.

  31. Mia Says:

    Question #5 and Jen Puccio

    I think this is the same song I am trying to remember from my Nana who was from Calabria as well. I remember the word – phonetically – Chickee-nayla in it as well – which makes sense if it was about the chicken and his feathers. And maybe something like – “porta copa” in it as well. I will ask my daughter’s Italian teacher next Monday if she knows. Keep you posted.

  32. Cathy Says:

    Does anyone know the italian nursery rhyme that starts, “Questa bella piazza…” circling around the palm and ends with a tickle going up the arm and to the neck and “baa, baa, baa” which makes me think it’s about a sheep or lamb. My mother-in-law would do this with my children and grandchildren. I always wanted her to teach it to me, but I could never get it quite right. She recently passed away and I would really like to carry on the tradition to future generations.

  33. linda Ribezzo Says:

    I am searching for the lyrics and title to a nursery rhyme actually a lullaye sung in Italian…….which my grandmother use to sing some 40 yrs ago. Some of the lyrics are as followed
    Fella nonna coo coo…..Noveni Papa ………That is all I can remember..Does it sound familar to anyone?

  34. Alessy Says:

    I don’t know if you got the song already but I’ll post it anyway..

    Batti batti le manine che arrivera’ papa’, portera’ i cioccolatini e Julia li mangera’…

    Hope it’s the one you were looking for!


  35. Adel Says:

    I need help! My mom used to sing a song when we were growing up that her grandmother used to sing to her when she was a child. Her grandmother has since passed away, and now with us having a new addition to the family, I would love to find the lyrics to the song. I definitely do not know how to spell any Italian, so please bare with me…It goes something along these lines…

    Pidipi Pidipa Del a si, a telle mama….(etc)
    Dorme dorm (?)..

    Any suggestions, it could be absolutely wrong, but any suggestions would be great!

    Thank you!

  36. Erin Says:

    What about this one? I was visiting family and my Nona and uncle were laughing about how she can’t remember the whole thing, but this one lyric. I can’t even find it on youtube! (I didn’t realize that was possible!)

    Nina Nonna, Nina Nonna,
    Bella De la Nonna…

    Nina Nonna, Nina Nonna,
    Bella De la Nonna…

    any help or thoughts would be much appreciated and welcomed!

  37. Toni Poloni Says:

    Hello – My grandmother from Trecate (near Milan) used to sing me a song about a young girl asking her grandmother what happened to her little bird or a bird. The song tells of the bird flying to France. The young girl asks her grandmother for her help in finding the bird (canary?) that flew to France. Any help with the words in Italian would be greatly appreciated. I should have been a better study as a child.
    Grazie. Toni

  38. Josh Says:


    I hope someone can help me. My nana and nanu, who came from the agrigento region, cianciana to be exact used to sing us a song as kids. I am spelling this phonetically but if anyone knows it i would really appreciate it.
    quande bedda sti fiu…
    chamma catate le visti nedu
    ti di ni ti di na

  39. jack Says:

    looking for some grandma from sicily used to sing a song
    when i was a went something like this
    boba besta gu si tu
    u…..grandma…i am having a baby and would love to sing it to him

  40. kimmee carbone Says:

    i’m having trouble remembering a song that my nonnie sung to my sister and i at night….

    bella mi nina
    bella mi nina
    bella mi nina…..

    and then there was something else. she would rub our hands with hers while she sang the song very slowly. if anyone knows i would love it! thank you!!!

  41. jess Says:

    Hi, my nonna used to sing me nursery ryhmes when i was younger, and i’d love to be able to share the same experience with my lil one, there are two songs, does anyone remember them and know how to finish them off?
    baci baci lemonia…

    pizza pizza tata, mama la fritata …….. something…. facia?

  42. Elizabeth Says:

    Hi! My mom always talks about an Italian song her Nonna would sing to her when she was young. My mom doesn’t know any Italian, so the way she sings it is just based on what she remembers.. I took Italian in school, but can’t seem to figure any of it out. This is somewhat phonetic. Please help!!!!

    Finche fiocca
    A sta manietta
    La incetta, a la incetta
    la vostro na


  43. Sandra Says:

    I am from Split, Croatia.
    My nonna who spoke well italian, used to sing these:

    De, de, de cavallo
    la mamma va al ballo
    la mamma va al ballin
    con cavallo cavallin!

    Din, don, campanon
    tre putelle sul balcon!

    Pimpinella-lla, pimpi-na, tutti a becci e mali non a.
    Meterremo les manni a scarsella
    troveremo la pimpinella.

  44. Toni C. Says:

    Responding to post 3: (But I hope everyone enjoys it!)

    Hello. I’m Sicilian American, from just outside of Palermo, am quite familar with the song you were inquiring about.

    Here is the Sicilian version (dialect):

    (clap throughout song in rhythym-like pattycake)

    Batti manuzzi ca veni Papa!
    Poita cusuzzi e si nni va
    Poita miennuli e nuchiddi
    Pi accuiddari sta picciridda (stu picciriddu—for boy)
    Saleeeeeee! (hand go up onto face gently squishing cheecks)

    Here is the Italian version:

    Batti manini che vieni Papa!
    Porta cosine e se ne va
    Porta mandorle e noccioli
    Per accordare questa figliola (questo figliolo—for boy)
    Saleeeeeee! (hand go up onto face gently squishing cheecks)

    (Rough) English Translation:

    Clap your little hands because Daddy is coming!
    He’ll bring little things (gifts) and then he’ll go
    He’ll bring almonds and hazelnuts
    To please his daughter (son)
    Saleeee! (a gleeful exclaimation—pronounced Salay)

    I am glad to see there are so many other Italians trying to preserve our culture and our heritage. In an age where it is common to present Italian culture as a joke, it is refreshing to have a place dedicated to its true preservation.

  45. stephanie cochetti Says:

    My cousins and I are trying to remember a rhyming game our grandmas did with us when we were kids. There were two diff. ones, one involving the face/cheeks and the other involving making a circle in the palm of the hand and moving along each finger. All we can remember is words sounding like “pisha del, doosie sta, tae von, tetica and que chana bon and denanagese” Does anything sound familiar or ring a bell with anyone. Our grams were from the Calabria region of Italy.

  46. Teresa Pecorella Says:

    Hello All, I hope someome can help me out. I’m Siciian American & my Grandparents was from Palermo,Sicily. My Grandmother & of cause my Mother sang us a song I can’t remember all the words to. My Mother passed recently & I do not want to lose my Sicilian Italian Dialect for sure. My Goddaughter is having her first baby & I want to sing the song my Mother sang to all of us when we were young. Here are some of the words to the song, Please forgive the spelling. ” I una copa trussa gabadda sabudia —— enu me la matta— tutta mi saluta bongorno sarbnata”. All the —– are words I can’t remember At the end of the song we all saluted. I think it’s about a soilder or a policeman I’m not sure. I hope someone can help me out & Thank You. (Toni C. you bet I am & just one cousin is trying to keep our culture, heritage & traditions. I have no brothers & my sister passed. When I say something in Italain people look at me like I said a curse, it’s unreal.

  47. Nick Says:

    There was this song that my sister remembers our grandmother singing to her as a baby, She was Austrian, but I think this is Italian, I’m probably going to spell it wrong, but does anyone know what song this is? Or what is means? If you think a word is spelled differently or know the song, let me know please. “Nina nana bell popín, falla nana suko sín.” I’m really really anxious to find out just what it means, and what the song is called. When I search “nina nana” sooooo many different things come up that I’m beginning to think it’s imposible to find this song/ryme/whatever it is.

  48. Lisa Says:


    You just needed to spell it a little differently to find it:

    Nina nana bel popin
    pien de caca e de pissìn
    fa la nana sul cossìn
    su ‘n te ‘l pra’ de me cosìn.

    Mé cosìn no ‘I vol che bala
    perché è mort la so cavala
    perché è mort el so bobò
    per dispeto balerò.

    Ninna nanna bel bambino
    pieno di cacca e di pipì
    fa la nanna sul cuscino
    su nel prato di mio cugino.

    Mio cugino non vuole che balli
    perché è morta la sua cavalla
    perché è morto il suo cane
    per dispetto ballerò.

    English Translation by Monique:

    Sleep sleep pretty baby
    full of poo and pee
    sleep on the cushion
    in my cousin’s meadow.

    My cousin doesn’t want me to dance
    because his mare died
    because his dog died
    but nevertheless I will dance.

  49. Colleen Helm Says:

    I’m looking for a song my great grandmother sang to me. While sitting on her bent knees facing her she would dip me back and then pull me forward and end the whole thing with tickles. It goes phoenetically and (some) Italian. Seek a seek a luma lean, a mange pane, a no fedeen. Any ideas?

  50. mandi Says:

    re: number 2
    this is the same lullaby im looking for, my grandmother sang it to me it sounded like this
    dee dee deeeee
    dee dee daaaaa
    o kay fee-yo ke-cha mama
    el amano na’voya pew
    see oh …. como say tu


  51. Stephanie Says:

    Hi! my nonni used to sing me a song called batti i manini and it went ‘batti i manini che vieni papa, porta pesce baccala’

    i cant remember what the rest goes. can you help???

  52. alex elliott Says:

    i think it go’s like this im mainly english now but my nonna used to sing this to me forgive me if the spellings wrong i only have the words in my head

    scapa la papa pee ,scapa la papa pee ,scapa la papa pee facho ondele facho scappa no onde de facho no

    sorry i coulsnt be any more of a hand

  53. John Says:

    My grandparents were from the Potenza region and had a song they about baking bread. As best I can remember it goes like this:
    Se gasi gats
    Un bon a nula fats
    se dice Catherine.

    Does anyone recognize it or know how it really goes? Thank you.

  54. Linda Vilardi Says:

    My Father passed away April 2010. He came from Corneo Ausonio, Frosinone Province. He always sang a song to all the grandchildren where he would place their hand flat on the table anf with his fnger he would sing the song while tapping each finger. When the song was finished, the last finger that he touched would be folded under their hand and the song would start over again. The song started: Rinzu, Rinzu. I am trying to find the words to the song to give to all the grandchildren and great grandchildren. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

  55. SaraSun Says:

    My mother used to sing me this song when I was a kid, and her mother taught it to her. She would run her hands down my cheeks and it ended in a tickle. I’ll spell out the words the way I remember hearing them:

    a meshia mazille, a bonacizille, a numaneez, bucarefoeas, a frista frista frista

    sound familiar ?

  56. Lisa Says:

    My grandmother did that too! Check it out and hear it at…


    Mama Lisa

  57. Angelina Says:

    My Nonna was from Sicily. She used to sing a song to me about a bed that was so small, even a cricket couldnt fit. it goes something like this:

    Nanu Nanu
    Quada michada
    quada michada

  58. Janet Says:

    My grandmother used to tell us a nursery rhyme similiar to Dorothy….Only it was something like…see the birdy in the fountain, see the hunter with the gun the hunter shot the bird, cleaned the bird and ate the bird….very similiar to this little piggy.

    Does anyone know the Scilian translation to this?

  59. Crescent Says:

    My nonna was from Bessica Di Lorio, on the east coast of the Adriatic opposite the Istrian peninsula (Trieste.) She sung a version of the “Cavallo” song called “Ti-toc, ti-toc Cavallo”. She would sing it while bouncing us on her knees like a little pony. I have no idea what the words were, but it was in the same rhythm as the Ki ki ki Cavallo song, and sounded like this (apologies for phonetic nonsense):
    Ti-toc, Ti toc Cavallo
    En dremon fillia(or fenya?) mano
    En copa remon drio
    on dremon filia scio
    en copa rem un tutti
    topa rem on tutti

    Ti-toc, Ti toc Cavallo!
    Ti-toc, Ti toc Cavallo!

    Any ideas of what the real words might be? Anyone?

  60. Tom Says:

    My father was from Sicily (Mazara del Vallo, near Trapani). He also used to sing the “this little piggy” song, about a bird in a fountain…one shoots it, one plucks, one cooks it, and one eats it”. Pardon the rough translation…Something like Janet’s comment, from Nov 27th:

    Ca’ c’e la fontanedda
    e chistu e’ lu scidruzzu
    chistu lu spara
    chistu lu spinna
    chistu lu coce…
    e chistu se lu mangia! Ahm!

    Anyone know the REAL Sicilian words?

  61. Monique Says:

    Tom, you have a version of this rhyme here and there. An old treasure trove.
    There are some Calabrese rhymes.

    Now, what about you all guys learning some Italian? Even if you don’t learn your family’s dialect, it would help you greatly. It helps me to have some clues about what you post though I took one hour a week class for 3 school years and I’m not of Italian descent! What I can do you guys can also do!

    You first have to know filastrocca (plural filastrocche), ninna nanna (pl. ninne nanne), cantilena (pl. cantilene), canzone (pl. canzoni). Then you put the name of the Italian region into Google and go to the Wiki article in Italian which should give you the adjective somewhere (calabrese, siciliano etc…). Then knowing that the nouns above are feminine, that adjectives ending in “e” are for both genders, that those ending in “o” are masculine, the feminine ending in “a” instead, that the nouns and adjectives ending in “e” change it for an “i” in plural while those ending in “a” change it for an “e”, you should be able to find some sites including rhymes, songs and ditties from your families’ original area.

    Now an interesting link to Italian dialects dictionaries

  62. Vincenza Says:

    My great grandma is calabrese and she used to sing us two different things when we were little. She’s going to be 108 soon (and still in phenomenal health) but its hard to understand her translations, and she doesn’t remember all the words anymore, so I hope someone can help! I’m sorry in advance for the phonetics! The first one started out “cavallo cavallin” and at the end you yell out a number. Its something about “how much does the (horse) ride cost” and if you pick the right number you get bounced on their knees. The second one starts out something like “tita tita tachie” and was something about papa going to buy something at the market? If someone could help me out that would be great!! Please e-mail me at

  63. Lisa Says:

    Please answer here too to help other people looking for the same rhymes. Thanks!

  64. Linda Says:

    I hope you can help me. I’m trying to find the lyrics to 2 Italian rhyming songs my mom used to sing to my children as I now am blessed with a sweet 17 month grandson of my own! My mom was born in Abrizzi & used to sing: “Touche, Touche”…misa touche (?) etc,…& then down, down, down goes child & motion with child to floor. The other was “Cavalla, Cavallari” where child sat on my mom’s leg above ankle. She’d lift her leg as though riding & have them count… 1,2,3…any light you can shed would be great!
    Buon Natale! Linda

  65. Celia Says:

    My grandfather always used to play this game with me where he would sing this rhyme and tap on my back and at the end would put up a certain number of fingers between 1 and 5 and I had to guess. If I guessed wrong he would tickle me.
    I always wanted to know what it means but I don’t speak Italian, I just remember what it sounds like. Would you be able to tell me?
    Pardon my spelling I just sounded out what I heard, I don’t know how this would actually be spelled.
    “Tinga Tingona, Sissibella, sissibona
    sissibona mare dare, an digorno dena grapa”

  66. dee Says:

    i too am looking for the nursery rhyme that starts off as ‘bella piazza..’ and ends up with tickling down the forearm..any help much appreciated !!! also the old prayer…one verse is something like this..

    angelo santo, chi mi stai accanto or something like that???

  67. Monique Says:

    Dee, you should have a look here for some rhymes with “bella piazza” and there for the prayers.

  68. Monique Says:

    Here are one of the rhymes and one of the prayers


    Piazza, bella piazza,
    ci passò una lepre pazza:
    il pollice la vide,
    l’indice l’uccise,
    il medio la scorticò,
    l’anulare la cucinò,
    e il mignolino se la mangiò.

    English translation

    Square, nice square,
    there a mad hare passed by:
    the thumb saw it,
    the forefinger killed it,
    the middle finger skinned it,
    the ring finger cooked it
    and the pinkie ate it.


    “Angelo caro, Angelo santo,
    tu sei il mio custode e mi stai sempre accanto,
    di al Signore che voglio essere buono
    e che mi protegga dall’alto del suo trono.
    Dì alla Madonna che le voglio un gran bene
    e che mi conforti in tutte le pene.
    tu tieni una mano sulla mia testa,
    in tutti i pericoli, in ogni tempesta.
    Guidami sempre sulla buona via
    con tutti i miei cari e così sia.”

    English translation

    Dear Angel, holy Angel
    You are my guardian and you’re always besides me,
    Tell the Lord that I want to be good
    And (tell him) to protect me from the top of his throne.
    Tell the Lady that I love her much
    And (tell her) to comfort me in all pains.
    You keep a hand on my head
    In all dangers and all storms.
    Always lead me on the right path
    With all my dear ones, and so be it.

  69. Grace Says:

    My husband’s nonna was from the Potenza area and would often play this with my daughter. She has since passed on and now we would like to continue the tradition but I have no idea if I am saying it right and what it means so that I can explain it to my children. I hope you can help me. As we say this, we gently pat their cheeks.. Please forgive my phonetics..

    moojamajela… atticatella.. atticatona… boom boom boom boom.

    Thank you!!


  70. Lisa Says:


    Try the one at this link:

    Is this the one you’re looking for?

    Mama Lisa

  71. allyson Says:

    Looking for the italian rhyme my grandmother (Calabrese) used to say to us when we were kids. It’s regarding a mother having eggs/ frittata (pizza, pizza tata, mama la frattata) and dad bringing home a pigeon (papa…piccione) and then insert baby’s name being a “sca bocconi”. Anyone familiar with it?

  72. Monique Says:

    Pizza, pizza a tata
    a mamma la frittata
    a papà gliu piccione
    e a te nu scuppelone.
    … from this school site in Italy

  73. Steve Villanova Says:

    I am looking for one too Goes like this : One day my goat went out in the yard and ate an old tin can and when she had little ones they came in Ford Sedan. Another part is One day my cat went out in the yard and ate a ball of yarn and when she had little ones they came with sweaters on. Both are followed with Italian words not sure if it is a Song or a Lullaby

  74. Monique Says:

    Have a look there but there’s no Italian words. You can find others putting “they came in Ford Sedan” into a search engine.

  75. EJ Says:

    I am trying to find the correct spelling of an Italian song that my grandmother and mother used to sing to me and my siblings. Like a lot of the Italian rhymes, it is done with a baby on the knee, rocking them back and forth. At the last two lines (repeated lines), the baby is tickled or gently shaken.

    I think the translation has something to do with a trashman, and a baby and mother, and at the end someone says “give me back my baby!” (i think….totally guesswork on the translation)

    The words (phonetically….i apologize) go like this:

    Daci, Daci, Daci, Daci
    Staviola gimmenavaci,
    Ella ettera moonezzarra,
    Seela, veela, lor’te larra,
    Ecce vila, mamma say,

    Arenne marenne ma stafiliome!
    Arenne marenne ma stafiliome!

    Does anyone else know this? Thank you!

  76. Sean Says:

    My grandma and grandpa and great aunts used to sing this nursery rhyme to me and my siblings while we rocked standing on their knees with them holding our hands when we were very little. grandma and sisters heritage from Calabria and grandpa’s from Sicily. Not sure which side of the family the song originates from.
    I would like to find real name and possibly recording of it somewhere but all i know is the verbalization we use (probably not accurate italian) please help me identify this song and possibly where to find it if so:
    tesi mani, pit in gani,
    della fita ic a (something) mani,
    tesi gonella piti gonella
    paw paw paw
    paw pi ti paw paw paw

  77. Bob Says:

    I’ve been trying to find the one my mom used to sing to us. She’d put us in her lap facing her and sing it.I know this is all wrong but here’s what my sister remembers (phonetically):

    Saka Saka (say-ka say-ka)

    Masta Cheech

    Boga Vin (a little wine)

    Si Sausiche ( a piece of sausage)

    Ama Ness (a bowl of greens)

    Kee Fagioli (dish of beans… kinda like the soup)

    Jomin Jom (enjoy your food)

    Do tee do (all gone… or maybe just a catchy ending).

    Anyone have anything close to this? Thanks!


  78. Toni Says:

    My grandparents were from Sicily: Marineo and Argrigento. My nonna sang a mani manuzzi song that I learned and have passed down to my daughter and now granddaughter. It sounds like this:
    Mani Manuzzi, pan e figuzzi
    ora viene Papa
    Porte le cosi and mindi ca e se ne va
    Pan e nuccidi
    Pista piccelida!

  79. RZC Says:

    Heres a song my grandmother sings, i have no idea of the name and cant find it anywhere.. does anyone know it??


  80. JP Says:

    response to #8
    Dorothy, my great-grandmother used to sing this to me and would trace the circle in my palm and then pull each finger. I can close my eyes and still feel it. I have been looking for this song and still can’t find it officially. Phonetically, what you posted is exactly what I remembered. I just wish someone else knew it, too!

  81. Deborah Says:

    Looking for all of the words both in Italian, and translated into English for this song about the Master Sawman who saws the wood:
    Boomba baccala zegu zegu master cheech <<<<——- written in my phonetic translation. There was more tot he song, but I have forgotten and wish to teach this one song to my grandchildren.

  82. michele sammartano Says:

    My grandmother always sang to her grandchildren, “Suzy Bambina”. If you know of it and the translation to english, I would greatly appreciate it. My grandmother was from Marsala, Sicily. Also, my family speaks Sicilian, but I don’t speak Italian. Thank you for your help.

  83. Nick Says:

    Hello Lisa, I wanted to see if you know this italian song that my Grandfather used to sing to me when I was younger. I hear it occationally when I am at an Italian restaurant put I can never find it. (The spelling is probably wrong)It sings, “incombatti….isetoo a vistoiletca.” I know its not much to go on and the spelling is off, but I would really apreciate if you could help.

  84. Jess Says:

    there was a rhyme my great grandmother used to sing to me to help me sleep. unfortunately I am not sure these are the correct words. please tell me what it means.

    Nina nona
    La bambina
    auntie momma
    de papa

  85. Momma A Says:

    Hello friends!

    My sisters and I are trying to find an old rhyming song that our Nonna & Aunts would sing and tap our fingers and pat pat pat our hands. We are all trying to remember how it goes to pass on to my children, but it has been so many years and Nonna cannot remember much of it at all.

    All we can remember is at the end they patted our hands over and over and shouted “and maccapiccho and maccapiccho and maccapiccho”

    Does this ring a bell to ANYONE? Please, this was a very special childhood memory. Thanks in advance for the help!! :)

  86. frank` Says:

    I am looking for help on this one, My nonno was from Porto Empedocle in Sicily. when we were little he used to sit us in his lap and sing a song to us. It went something like this: Beetsu beetsu luni manopo lapi luni quando saga magarita de lunum betsu gida and then i believe counting was done by pulling gently on the fingers. Does anyone know the name and the proper spelling and words?

  87. Lisa Says:


    We have a verse of Arre, arre, cavalluccio here:

    Arre, arre, cavalluccio
    Quanne arrive a Murchigliano
    Nce accattammo nu bello ciuccio
    Arre, arre, cavalluccio.

    Someone sent in another verse with this note:

    The spelling will be mostly wrong but this is what I remember.

    il cavaluccio vuo mangiara
    il patrone non puo dare
    Toca cocchier cha Roma se va
    Napoli e bella, na bella cita.

    bara ba ba ba, bara ba ba ba. (while bouncing on knee or ankle)

    Does anyone know the correct spelling and/or what it translates to?

    Thanks in advance!


  88. Paul Says:

    When I was little, my grandmother used to sing a song with my back facing her and she would tap some fingers against my back. The goal of the game, I guess, was to guess the numbers she was holding up.

    The song went something like this:

    kitti kitti botza,
    caati caati ????
    I forget the rest in the middle

    After you’d guess, she sing something like”nopi nopi navy” and I forget the rest.

  89. Lisa Says:

    Someone sent me this which could be in a dialect. Does it sound familiar to anyone?

    La maney la brusa qunto cusa suno fare
    You put your hands up make your finger twirl round

  90. jaimie capello Says:

    my mom would hold our hand and gently pass her hand over it and say panda man, mama faata ban, a doeza mees, a zoota late,agulpa ola vaak. what does it mean and correct spelling if you can in italian. She recently passed and kids and grands want to know to pass on. Please>

  91. jaimie capello Says:

    for previous comment

  92. Jon H Says:

    Anyone know an italian lullaby that kind of goes like this

    Nonni No a nonni ninni
    a lup o say manja la peeka della

    That’s how it sounds to me in english. My mother in law (italian) sings this to my kids when she puts them to sleep.

    I would like to get the real version if possible

  93. Lisa Says:

    Hi Jon – If you’d like to record your mother-in-law singing this song I can post it as a question to help you find the correct spelling and translation.

    Cheers from Mama Lisa!

  94. Monique Says:

    Jon, there are many versions of this one, here, there and you’ll find many more if you put “il lupo s’è mangiato la pecorella” or “o lupo s’ha mangiato a pecorella” into a search engine.

  95. Mark Says:

    Does anybody remember this one: the adult would rub her/his cheek or hands against the childs cheeks and sing (phonetically) Meezh Mazhee, Facha Coosi, Meezh, Meezh, Meezh (rubbing faster on the last three).

  96. Melissa Says:

    I love how there are all different variations of songs yet they are very similar.
    My grandmothers parents were from from Agrigento and Raffadali Sicily and this was her version of “Manna Manu” and the English translation for it:

    Manna manu, ca veni Papa!
    Eta porta cose e sa
    Boom e ledda, bac e ledda
    Piu catti la fiu bedda!

    in English it means

    Clap hands Dad is coming
    He’s carrying something as he opens the door
    He’s bringing candy and ball(toys)
    for you little beautiful girl!

  97. Kathy Says:

    My grandmother used to sing a song to all the babies and little kids and phonetically sounded like this:

    Moosha machell
    Pana cashell
    Pana racott
    Toofalaboot (boot pronounced like foot)

  98. Patricia Says:

    My grandmother used to tell me a story (cautionary tale) along with singing a song about a little girl who fell into a pot of soup…her name was (pronounced) “sadagalle”. I never tired of hearing it…it was the only time my grandmother sang.
    Any information about this would be greatly appreciated!

  99. Patricia Says:

    My daughter is taking singing lessons and I think I have a song some others here have been looking for! We tried to look up her song and haven’t found a recording of it, but I have the lyrics and the sheet music.

    Nina, Nana (Go to sleepy)
    Coccolo della mamma (Mama’s little baby)
    Nina, Nana (Go to sleepy)
    Coccolo del pappa (Papa’s little dear)

    Nina Nana (Slumber Song)

    Arranged by Naomi Stewart
    Translated by Eleanor Chroman

  100. Anthony Says:

    A short one that began with something that sounded like “mischa betz” or “missha mezza”?

  101. Lisa Says:

    I am lost with an old lullaby my nonna used to sing. Again we would sit facing onward her as she would rock us singing this lullaby.
    (In her abbruzze slang) ? Toc a me toc a te quanta farina face n face an metzite (insert name) e rica ric. (Name) e ric e buon. …….. Something about being in a piazza. ….. Passa la pappa se e dice eccola chitilla me!
    Please help

  102. Christine Says:

    I am looking to find out the words to a nursery rhyme my grandmother from Calabria, Italy used to say to me.
    It starts:
    Questo dice capo pane
    Questo dice con chi non.

    Then at the end there is a song that sounds like:
    pidi, pidi pedillo….

    I am not able to spell it correctly or anything, I just remember some of the words and I can hear her voice in my head saying it. She has passed away and I want to learn this nursery rhyme so I can teach it to my children and someday gradchildren. Please help.

    Thank you.

  103. Alexis Says:

    Louis, my great grandmother sang a very similar, if not the same, lullaby to us. You have more words than I do though – have you found out anything more?
    My grandma sang the same song, and then my mom.. with the italian getting muddled more and more with each generation :)

  104. Jennifer Says:

    My grandfather passed away about 10 years ago, and nobody can remember what he used to sing to all the baby cousins whenever he held them. The only part we specifically remember is it starting out (typed phonetically) “Chicka Chicka Yanni”

    If you could give us any help it would be so greatly appreciated, we miss him so and want the song to stay with the new generation coming along as my cousins and siblings have our own children!

  105. Lisa Says:

    Here’s another question sent to Mama Lisa’s World:

    Hi, Just wondering if you know of the Childrens song “La machina per scrivere”. Excuse the spelling. This is an Italian ditty.

    Regards Fred

    If anyone can help, please let us know in the comments.

  106. Christine Says:

    Looking for a children’s lullaby that sounds something like this: ” donde ni dongini
    Di schachi tu figghio figghio mi,schachi tu figghio figghio mi, donde ni

  107. Gabriella Says:

    I am looking for a nursery rhyme that my nonna used to sing to us as kids. She would have us sitting in her lap facing her and would rock us back and forth while singing it and would get lower and lower as she rocked us and at the end would kinda shake us. The song seems similar to Sedia Sediola but the words I remember are a bit different. She was from Northern Tuscany and I remember her saying the actual rhyme doesn’t really make sense but it’s about a boat full of wine or something along those lines… this is how I remember it (phonetically of course!)
    Seda seda
    matim pa della
    bowl ghla volchri na mi nella…. something something..
    …buttare le scovarson (I think)…. (as she shakes us)

  108. Steve Says:

    Hi, I’m looking for a short song or nursery rhyme. My dad used to say it to us. He would hold my hands and put them on his face and say something that sounded like “alisha me” then, still holding my hands, he would place them on my own face and say something that sounded like “alisha you” then I don’t remember where the hands went next but he would say something that sounded like “ida si, sia marie”? Does this sound familiar to anyone? He used to do the same thing to my niece before he passed away and she was just asking me how it went. I’m at a loss. Any help is appreciated.

  109. Jan Says:

    Moosha moushella , atta tella , a do si gouda, che ca vacca, frutte di vacca!! a hand game brushing child’s face then yours and going faster and faster with a tickle at the end..

  110. Jessica Says:

    I’m looking for a song my family used to sing. My family is from the Bari area. The spelling I’m sure is way way off but it was something like “tupa tupa tu che, o patrona” It was such a fun song but I never learned all of the words and would like to know them to pass it on!!!

  111. Luca Vic Says:

    My grandfather used to sing a nursery rhyme about a mouse if i recall……. Im not sure if the spelling is correct but it may have been called gena gen

  112. Hannah Says:

    My father-in-law used to say a rhyme to the children when they were little. His father was from Calabria, his mother from Sicily, so not sure the origin. He’d stroke his own face, then the child’s, then his own, then lightly clap the child’s cheeks with something close ? to these words:

    Liscia mi,
    Liscia ti,
    Liscia leggazza
    Tia Maria!

    Am I even close? Would love to know what it really was — he is in a nursing home now with Alzheimers and all the grandchildren have been talking about this of late.

  113. Lisa Says:

    Hannah – I got this response from Monique in regards to your question:

    Lisciare= to smooth/to polish.
    Lisciami = smooth me;
    Lisciati = smooth you (thee)
    Liscia le guanze or la guanza in singular is the equivalent in Calabrese to smooth the cheek(s).

    “Tia Maria” keeps me puzzled, as it sounds like Spanish. In Spanish “tía” means “aunt”, in Italian aunt is “zia” and in Calabrese it’s “za” or “atzia”. So it might be “Atzia Maria” – Aunt Maria.

  114. Amy Says:

    I’m looking for a lap rhyme my Sicilian grandmother (from Villarosa in the province of Enna) used to sing to me while sitting on her lap facing her. She would take our hands and clap them together patty-cake style was singing the following (spelled phonetically)…

    Manna ma noot sa lay
    Pasada we jeh day
    portana cosa buona

    and with the last line she would dip us backwards against her shins and exclaim loudly…

    Casca vada free oota coo lava!

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  115. Amy Says:

    For the above, thank you.

  116. suzie Says:

    my family is from augusta sicily and they would sing a song called “nolla nolla nolla”…where you would have to guess the number of fingers they had on your back…if anyone has heard of this version i would love to learn it

  117. aleksander Says:

    does anybody know the lyrics to a folksong called Ciuccio Bellu? It tells about a donkey, and how the donkey shared the grieves of his master by singing to him Ee-Aw, Ee-Aw…
    My grandparents were both from the north, so I follow quite easily the northern dialects, but the southern ones I find harder, and cannot write them down myself. I shall deeply appreciate help on it.

  118. Monique Says:

    It’s “Ciucciu Bellu”. You can hear it sung in this YouTube video. The lyrics below are from Wikitesti. I’ve copied the lyrics following the order of the verses and refrains of the song sung in the video:

    Ciangitilu ciangitilu
    ch’è mortu u ciucciu miu
    cussì ha vulutu Ddiu
    e chi ‘nciavimu a ffà

    Avia nu sceccareddhu
    ch’era na cosa fina
    si la facia ragghiandu
    da sira a la matina

    Cu ragghiu chi faciva
    pariva nu tenori
    ciucciu bellu di stu cori
    comu ti pozzu amà
    Quandu ragghiava faciva
    ia ia ia
    ciucciu bellu di stu cori
    comu ti pozzu amà

    Quandu m’è morta moglima
    non ‘ndeppi dispiaciri
    senza suspiri e lacrimi
    le ietti a sutterrari

    Mò chi m’è mortu u ciucciu
    ciangiu cu gran duluru
    ciucciu bellu di stu cori
    comu ti pozzu amà
    Quandu ragghiava faciva
    ia ia ia
    ciucciu bellu di stu cori
    comu ti pozzu amà

    Nu iornu immu a spassu
    ‘nci misi a brigghia d’oru
    e ammenzu a ddhi signori
    si misi poi a ragghià

    Cu ragghiu chi faciva
    pariva nu tenori
    ciucciu bellu di stu cori
    comu ti pozzu amà
    Quandu ragghiava faciva
    ia ia ia
    ciucciu bellu di stu cori
    comu ti pozzu amà

    Ciangitilu ciangitilu
    ch’è mortu u ciucciu miu
    cussì ha vulutu Ddiu
    e chi ‘nciavimu a ffà

  119. Lisa Says:

    Merci Monique!

  120. aleksander Says:

    Thank you Monique. How lovely of you! That’s the song exactly. I really appreciate your help.

  121. Beverly Says:

    I remember these words:
    Susie Bambino
    Venice la stolla
    Mamma chiama venice la stolla
    Vene chiama di matre vestina
    Susie Bambino, de matre Jesu

    I don’t know if this rings a bell with anyone. Of course, the spelling is incorrect. My grandmother was from Palermo.

  122. Monique Says:

    It must be:
    Susi bamminu
    vattinni a la scola
    la mamma ti chiama
    la missa ti sona
    trentatrì anni
    curuna di spini
    corda e catini
    p’amari a Gesù.

    I’d suggest you to put “Susi bammbinu vattini a la scuola” in a search engine, you’ll find some versions of it.

  123. Van Says:

    My grandmother would sing this to me growing up. I think it is something about a cat in a church?

    This is as close as i remember phonetically …

    la mendana la min delli on,
    …(can’t remember the middle)

  124. nardec Says:

    very interesting im looking for a mma and pappa song from the abruzzi region i cannnot find words for unfortunatley italy is split into dialects of much different lingos it sucks. the web is full or northern and southern dialect eg calo and nap and some northern and the ony central lingo is roman which is international italian

  125. Paula Says:

    Thanks for the chance to find out if anyone might know this little Sicilian nursery rhyme that my grandma sang to coax little ones to eat – Haven’t heard it for about 60 years, and only remember a few words, but it might trigger someone’s memory – the words I remember mean “eat, little one…then I will eat because I’m old”
    Mangia pichiledu…dopo mangia io ca sonu vicciaredu.
    Thanks so much if this rings a bell with any paisans!

  126. gina Says:

    my nonnie who was from sicily, used to say this while i was on her lap..ive seen so many variations! This is how my dad and i remember it..of course spelled phonetically :
    Manu manuzza, che vene papa
    porte ceci piu cara
    chiste piccedere!

  127. JerseyJen Says:

    #10 is very similar to a sing my Grandmother from Avelino and my grandfather from Agrigento used to sing. Our version was something like this: (forgive my spelling)

    Zega bolla
    Pan e cipolla
    Cipolla cucinare
    (Name of child) mi piace
    Piace tonda bella
    Dupaladoooooobalagondella! (Nonsense word I’m sure, but at this point the child would be dipped backward.

    They also sang a version if Nina nonna, which was something like:

    Nina Nonna, baby
    Quando ven a papa
    Portera dolly
    Nina nonna, baby

    I loved reading these posts. I’m on the west coast now. I miss my east coast home so much (and my grandparents, RIP).

  128. Monique Says:

    @ Jen above: I only found that: second to last, it’s in from Southern Italy with a standard Italian translation that looks like the text you give, at least the first lines.
    The second is an Italian & English mix that your grandma probably made up or that Italian American grandmothers used as a variant to “Batte le manine”.

  129. steph Says:

    Hi, I have a song my great grandma sang to me in Italian and I would like to know what it meant in English! I am guessing on the spelling but if you say it aloud exactly how I spelled it that’s what it sounds like: “sin don jelayda beana morca sada jena sada jena coupla boonday alzay moon ecanada gala bean, chicken donny cada deen.” If anyone knows what this means it would be great!!

  130. mary Says:

    Hi, My nonni would always sing a song to us in Italian when she would put us to sleep. I’m not sure what the words are exactly – it talks about “little baby go to sleep”…’s how the song sounded (clearly not written in Italian though). Any help would be appreciated!!!

    buh buh buh
    a jento dumeniwo
    see edo jeno du where dormi
    see dormi de cuado dormi

  131. Lisa Says:

    Patricia wrote:

    My grandmother recently passed away. Her family was from Northern Italy in the Tuscany region. She and my grandfather used to sing me this Italian rhyme while bouncing me on their knee. My mother found it written down while going through her belongings. We’re pretty sure the first line says “Trot Trot, little horse”, but not sure about the translation of the rest. My mom thinks that grandma wrote it down as it sounded, not necessarily as it was spelt.

    “Trotto Trotto, cavelotto
    Ande nemu bartolotto
    A cupare figi-sigi
    A donari putoletti
    Putoletti non e vol
    Burrrrrrr a quat a lol”

    Any help translating would be a great help!

    Monique responded:

    I can see what it means but I can’t spell it properly. It means:

    Trot, trot horsey (trot is a noun, here, i.e. “at a trot, at a trot, horsey”
    let’s go, Bartolotto (pet name = Little Bartholomew)
    to cut dry figs
    to give to the little children (1).
    the little children (1) don’t want any
    Burrr (?) ??? [I don’t know. It doesn’t look like a verb, “a quat a lol” could also be “acqua ??” = water.
    These “putoletti” I couldn’t find anywhere. I did find “putelotti” which means “little boys” hence “little children”.

    If anyone can help please comment below! Thanks! Mama Lisa

  132. Josephine Says:

    Ciao, My cousin’s Sicilian Nonna used to sing ( or recite) a poem to her and we are trying to find the lyrics and meaning. The only info we have is as follows:
    Sono cuicina, cerco mangare
    cerco mangare…
    She only knows it phonetically and we can’t figure out the rest of it.

    If anyone can help we would be greatful.

  133. Lisa Says:


    Monique wrote:

    cerco: I’m searching/looking for
    cuicina: kitchen
    mangiare: to eat

    Our friend google doesn’t know about it.

  134. Phyllis Says:

    To Josephine
    I remember it like this: Sono piccina piccina
    , nulla so fare, Vado in cucina e cerco da mangiare!

  135. Paula Says:

    Hello, I was wondering if anyone could help with a little Italian song my grandma used to sing me. Now with end stage Alzheimer’s she can’t teach me again, but I’d love to teach my kids. This is the best spelling I can figure out.

    Veni Veni Veni
    Ducci Bella Bella
    Ay Gunda Me.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  136. Floyd Says:

    My grandfather sang a song about a person singing, “everyone around come listen to me play my flute, “toot ti toot”, everyone around come listen to me play my Trumpet, “boop be boop”… Violin and so forth…

    I can not remember the song besides some residual phonetics…

    “Eggo batti, a kiza zona, a kiza zone, la trombone, a commazone, la trombone, “boop be boop”, ah dupiddy dupiddy do…”

    Hopefully someone can help.


  137. Floyd Says:

    I found the song…

    “Eh Cumpari”

    Eh Cumpari
    Ci vuoi suonare
    Chi si suona, u friscolettu
    e come si suona
    u frisculettu
    (whistle), (whistle)
    tippity tippity ta

  138. Sally Says:

    Hi All, looking for a lullaby my grandmother and Aunts used to sing. My grandmother was from Bronte, Sicily. The only thing I have for words are, ” The little fellow lies in the middle of the night. And the word , po po po through out the lullaby.

  139. Justin Says:

    I’m looking for this little poem my grandmother used to song to me as a child. She was a Northern Italian from Turin. She would hold my hand or my foot and rub her hand on my palm or my foot and would say

    (This is going to be butchered I can’t speak italian but phonetically this is what it sounded like)

    “menina catena compari baschung”

    and then and the end she would say “chikaslamong” or “chika chika chika”
    while tickling my hand or foot. I’m really desperate for information on this poem/rhyme. It means a lot to me.

  140. Joe Orlandino Says:

    I’ve been struggling with trying to remember and source this Calabrese nursery rhyme one for over 40 years. We face our mother or grandmother when they recited it and at the end they rubbed the cheeks on your face (a the ru-ru-ru part)
    Please bear with my poor phonetics, I was only 3 or 4.

    Muscie mu sciele
    otto tele
    do chi sta
    dov’e chi prete
    chi te tale
    boni cà

  141. Kammy Says:

    My Nonnie would sit me on her lap and bounce me on her knee as if I were riding a goat. She would sing in Italian a rhyme that I would love to have the correct translation or some history on the nursery song. She was from Umbria and it may be a regional song.

    Riding a goat
    Riding with the Pope
    How many horns does a goat have?

    Each time I would say one, then sing it again and answer, Two, then three and we could count to ten in Italian. There was more to the song but can’t remember all of it.

  142. Monique Says:

    @Kammy: I suggest you put the words “capra papa quante corna ha la capra” in a search engine as the rhyme exists in several dialects from many Italian regions. In standard Italian it goes:

    Tu ancora non l’hai detto
    E cavallo e cavallino
    E cavallo del papa
    Quante corna ha la capra?


    E se tre avessi detto
    E cavallo e cavallino
    E cavallo del papa
    Quante corna ha la capra?


    E se quattro avessi detto…

  143. Teresa Ryden Says:

    I am also trying to find out about a nursery rhyme. My mother said the meaning of the rhyme was that “a mother and father were at home, but when the baby starting crying, the father was no where to be found.” I have written the rhyme phonetically. My mother was from the Verona area. You sing the song while putting your child on your knees facing you and bounce them up and down while singing, ending with tipping the child backwards when saying the last line. My one-year old grandson loves this experience, but I would really love to get the lyrics right. Can anyone help?
    Tu-Tu-Tu Mossita
    Mama e la mitta
    Pappa e la domo
    Licko Licko Lomo
    Baby e piange
    Pappa no-ge-na
    Boo-ta-la-zoo par-da-la!

  144. Babs Gallo Says:

    My Mother and Grandmother (whose parents came from the Genoa area) sang a lullaby that goes “Donda corona. San Piedro que la sona. Sona, sonanda, gli angeli vai contanda. Contanda genequo. Piendi, rose et peindi fieurel..” This is written phonetically, of course. I would love to know the whole lullaby — my granddaughter nods off to sleep as I sing it (Luckily, she doesn’t know that I don’t know the whole song! Nor it’s meaning!)

    What I gather from my limited Italian, the song is something like “Lady of Crowns, St. Peter sings to you, sings, singing. the angels go as a chorus, a chorus, kneeling.” That’s my best guess. would be very appreciative is someone recognizes this lullaby and knows the lyrics. Thanks!

  145. Lisa Says:

    Janet and Dorothy both talk about the nursery rhyme that I remember about a bird and a fountain and catching, plucking, cooking and eating the bird. YUM! I also remember the first part of each line sounding something like “ghista la” although I am guessing that it might have actually been “questa/o …” because I seem to remember the translation starting with “this” (i.e. Questa e’ la fontana), but who knows. I also would love to know the actual words a well.

  146. Lisa Says:

    Monique wrote in response to Lisa’s comment above:

    “‘Ghista’ is the way ‘chista’ is pronounced and ‘chista’ is the Southern (Sicilian, Calabrese) word for the Standard Italian ‘questa’.”

  147. Josie Says:

    I think what I’m looking for is a Sicilian nursery rhyme. I don’t know all the words and forgive my spelling, but it speaks of donkeys. So here is just the beginning, “Neo na, neo na, sette scecci as mucca e cu la cudda sa ,,,,,,,,,,”?? If anyone knows this rhyme, please let me know. We are waiting for our first grandchild and would love to remember it all. Thanks 😊

  148. Alli Says:

    Dear Lisa,
    I’m hoping you will be able to help me figure out a little song my grandmother used to sing me when I was a little girl. The grandkids called her Nona and I couldn’t pronounce Nona, so I called her “Nina.” Nina passed away a year ago and I’d like to get a tattoo of it (so accurate spelling is of importance). I will type it out how it phonetically sounds and hopefully you’ll be able to help…and it goes…
    “Nina Nona pipi noota, dolla nina.”
    Thanks for the help! It means the world!
    Love, Alli

  149. Angela Says:

    I do not know the spelling. My papa played this game with me on my back he would tap it with his fingers and chanted
    tupi tupi baeda
    bon a baeda
    tupi tupi baeda
    ally ally copa
    and then he would say guess how many.
    You had to guess how many fingers he had on your back. It was funny since one of his fingers was cut down to the first knuckle so if he had that finger on you, you would have to say something like three and a half. I too wish I could find the correct spelling and then find out what it means.
    Thank you

  150. Whitney Says:

    Hi my boyfriends grandpa always sang this song but never knew what it meant bc he got ALZ before he could officially ask… It goes something like this:—>this is phonetic
    Tye-tuh boo dye-tuh.. or something of that sorts. I want to surprise him so if some one has any info on it I would much appreciate it!

  151. Jennifer Says:


    My grandmother (from Nicastro) would sing a song to us to get us to nap. It had something to do with peas and macaroni. All I remember (and this is phonetic) is:

    Mano, Mano Mineli
    Prepotsa porta piselli
    E piselli macaroni

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  152. Steve Says:

    My Nanny passed away a few years ago, and we were reminiscing about a rhyme she used to tell us. She used her 5 fingers and it started something like:
    (pinky finger) “Questo dice mala mangiare aya nu bolo si ba?”
    (roughly translated to This one says I wanna eat but have nothing.
    (ring finger) “Questo dice non danga”
    This one says I don’t have any (food or thing)?
    Middle finger “Questo Dice, wanna rob?”
    Index finger ( we never understood this one but something like. “Ka zee a napledon?
    (roughly slang translated to what about the boss?
    Thumb ( and she would grab and shake her thumb) – ” Amokle bee lezone”
    translated to we’ll hit him in the head, or something like that…

    Probably not the best nursery rhyme for Nanny to teach us, but she was old school from the old country…

  153. Monica Says:

    To start thank you for having this website!:) My son’s great grandpa is from Italy, Bari to be exact. They would sing this song and I would like to teach my son to sing to his children. I have no clue the meaning either and will most likely spell it all wrong. Thank you in advance, I am very grateful.

    Co-Co, Co-Co,
    Cusafiga bella-bella du papa,
    Oh la la.

    (Repeat x3)
    That’s all I can remember and Nana has since passed away to ask her. Again many thank yous.

  154. Casey Sens Says:

    Hi my nonna learned a song from her mother but the only lines she knows go something like this:

    nani nani poo poo, portala boom boom bebe.

    anyone know this? My great grandmother was calabrese, abruzzese, and langanese?

  155. Ken Zwickl (Amici) Says:

    My grandmother sang a song to me, then sang it for my kids, now I have a grandchild I’d like to sing it to. The song started (pardon my English!) Pizza Pizza tada, Mamma chicolata…..and ended with clapping the baby’s hands to “wee wee wee”. Any help with this would be great!!! Love the site!!!

  156. Diana Says:

    Hello! My great-great grandfather used to sing this song to my grandmother and she taught it to all of us. She’s starting to lose her memories, so she is having a hard time translating it for us, or even being able to spell the words but it goes like this (Spelled out phonetically because I know zero Italian).

    Poo poo cavale, porto saco mamale. Mama leya, poo penda. Tra la mesa deutenstra.

    From what I can remember, it’s about a donkey that falls down because his bags are too heavy and the children laugh. It’s a lap song, where you bounce the child and at the end you tip them back or slide them down your legs.

  157. Paul Says:

    My father-in-law, whose family came from Abruzzo, used to play a little game with infants (1-2 years old). He’d take their hands and stroke them down his face (best done with a bit of beard growth) three times saying something like:

    Jimmy Jimmy Jat
    Kenna mangina bey
    Kena mangina panne na bey

    Then he’d pat the infant’s hands on his cheeks rapidly, saying:

    Veege Veege Veege all the way!

    I’d love to know what the real words are to this game – and what they mean!

  158. Ellie Says:

    I’m a Nonni now to three beautiful grands. My Nonni who immigrated to the US from the Fruglan region very northern Italy. She would bounce me on my knee and
    Chant — Nina Bella _ _
    Anyone know this rhyme ?

  159. Ann Says:

    I’ve noticed Gabriella, on May 29,2013 was looking for the same child’s song as I, The only words I remember while my grandmother rocked me are “seda, seda” and that’s all I can remember. Can anyone help?

  160. Peg Says:

    I am looking for a song that mom sang to my kids, she woul sing it and touch there nose and try to make them laugh. They were supposed to try and not laugh. It sounded like “barbadella barbadella…….

    The purpose was to make the child laugh when they were trying not to

  161. John Says:

    My father taught me a Italian chant that was said to cause the smoke from a small fire to blow away from ones eyes. Phonetically it sounds like: “Baccala baccala boom ba ya”. Does anyone else know of this?

  162. Becky Says:

    Hi Everyone,

    My Great-Grandma was Sicilian and she used to sing a song or a rhyme to us that went:
    (spelled phonetically)

    Wooga, wooga, wooga,
    El Rey la ponse looga
    El Rey y la Regina
    (Say child’s name) ponca geena, geena, geena
    (Tickle the child’s tummy on the last line)

    It was about a king and queen going to the market. Can anybody help me find the correct rhyme?

    Thank you!!

  163. Gloria Says:

    My Sicilian grandpa played a holiday guessing game with mixed nuts. One grabs a handful and asks. “mille foo?” The reply is “Lemmi su”? Then, the asker says “Quanta su?” The above is phonetic. Can you tell me the meaning of the words?

  164. Shelley Says:

    My mom and grandmother from Marche used to sing a rhyme to us while we sat on their laps. They would rock us back and forth while singing, and then on the last line ‘throw’ us backward on their legs (while still holding our hands). It went something like this, but I don’t know the spelling. Does anyone know the real words?
    Ciacia minaccia
    Buta ..(name) piu la piazza.
    La piazza dao bubu,
    Buta .(name) ju ju ju.

  165. Angela Says:

    Would like correct spelling in Italian of the phonetic words I’m about to type. The following was a little diddy my mother and grandmother would sing… would go like this….Fa or Va la nonna, coo coo, mo vana or vanna papa, et ti porta boom booch, fa or va la nonna coo coo, coo coo, coo coo…..and then it would be repeated….

  166. Heidi Says:

    My Nonno, and later my grandfather (his son), used to sing a nursery rhyme to us while standing us on his lap, holding our hands, and rocking us back and forth. It started something like “Se paz y talla, Baby valle scuola.” (I’m sure I totally butchered that.) At the end he’d clap out hands together and cheer “yaaay!”
    I’ve searched for the real words and the rest of the song for years with no luck.

  167. Mirella Wilcox Says:

    Hi. I’m hoping someone can help. My Nona and Mom Would sing this to me and I would sing it to my daughter. I can’t remember all the words but it goes like this:
    Maruzella, Maruzella,
    viena sedia la sidgitella.
    la sidgitella e per bambina,
    che chi dunne pane e vino
    pane e vino per la bambina,
    che chi brusshe la oucuuza.
    La oucuuza e kina de mele
    viva, viva Sain Michelle

    roughly translated to
    maruzella, maruzella,
    come sit in the chair
    the chair is for the child
    what will you give her,
    bread and wine
    bread and wine for the child will burn her mouth
    her mouth is filled with honey
    ***Something about heaven and the holy trinity***

  168. Miguel Says:

    Hi Everyone –

    I came across this site looking for some help. For years I’ve heard my Great Uncle, Nana and Mother sing this song in Italian to us as kids. They would do it as bouncing us on their knees, and now they do it four our kids and they sing it. Unfortunately, none of us know what it translates to – at all. So, I’m trying to track it down and came across this site. I found this song which is close, but not how my Mom pronounces things. I know it starts with Arre, Arre, arre, but the best I can do is give you phonetic spellings of the rest. It’s going to be wrong, very wrong, but I’m really hoping you guys can finally help me translate this in the end:

    Arre, arre, arre (here comes the phonetics) si-mona kak-a-va
    e chuch eh-mon, EH, simona call-eh-ve

    Arre, arre, cavalluccio
    Quanne arrive a Murchigliano
    Nce accattammo nu bello ciuccio
    Arre, arre, cavalluccio

  169. Tony Says:

    Do you know this Italian (Sicilian) nursery rhyme? My mother said it to her niece the other day and I had forgotten it. It’s like patty cake. The thing is that nobody knows the words. Just the sounds. It sounds something like:

    manu manuzze pinuciduzze pindala rama di suzza di chiama
    eh ?????? mattino mattino
    viva viva di suzza bambino!

    and when you say bambino you both throw your hands in the air.

  170. Stewart Says:

    Hope someone might help. Early 70s my P5 class took part in a choir contest in Falkirk. One of the songs we sang was possibly Italian. I only remember the first couple of lines.
    (Phonetically). E nato a si belle, a lui volu donar…
    Anyone help?

  171. Gary Nigro Says:

    I’m looking for info on this possible rhyme.
    Liscia, liscia
    The cat pees,
    The dog poops,
    beautiful face, beautiful face, beautiful face.
    On the words Liscia, liscia, the singer rubs the child’s face.
    On the last line, the singer gently smacks the child’s face.

  172. Jacquie W Says:


    My grandmother was from Abruzzi and used to sing this to us as children while we were on her knee:

    Daci, Daci, Daci
    (Child’s name) vuole ciacci
    E la ciaccia non giusta
    E la tola vacata
    Frusti! Frusti! Frusti! (Said would lightly slapping the cheeks)
    Non e la verde!

    Has anyone ever heard of this song? Or know a translation?

  173. Amy Valens Says:

    My mom and I have been refining the spelling of the songs and clapping games my grandparents sang to me. They were from Cimina, which is not far from Palermo. I can see how they are slightly different versions of songs found here. Here are our versions:

    My grandpa would hold my palm up and make a circle with his finger…

    Ca ce funtenedra

    Then each finger starting with my pinky would be put down for each of the verses:

    Ci vive pecuredru
    chistu lu ferra
    chistu lu scorcia
    chistu lu cocse
    e chistu lu mange
    umm umm umm!

    Oai une cappiduzzu
    e tantu saporitu
    e quannu mi laiu mettiri?
    Quannu mi fazz’u zitu!
    Scinnu pi lu Cassuru
    Scinnu pi li Banneri
    E tutti chi me ricuni
    Bongiorno cavaleri!

    And the version of the clapping song in our home was:

    Manu manuzzi
    pan e figuzzi
    come si chiama?
    Amy si chiama!

  174. Jessamie Says:

    Here are the words In the Siciliian dialect.

    Batti manuzzi ca veni Papa!
    Poita cusuzzi e si nni va
    Poita miennuli e nuchiddi
    Pi accuiddari sta picciridda / (stu picciriddu)

  175. Catherine Hunt Says:

    Looking for a song…old world war nursery rhyme from Northern Italy I believe…
    The kid is sitting on the lap, hands held and it begins like…

    ‘Bolt-ah-lah, bolt-ah-lah saw-mah-tine
    Dog-ah-lah-velah cah-val-een
    Cah-Val-een…( don’t remember the rest)

    This is right before the child slides down the legs of the adult.
    Any help is appreciated!

  176. Melissa Says:

    Hi! This site is amazing. I’m hoping to help my mom find a song her Sicilian grandmother sang to her. Phonetically as best she remembers it:

    Fa me whoa whoa baby
    Ga veni lou papa
    Day vo day va day be
    Fa bene lou baby

    Thank you!

  177. Tony Tesoriero Says:

    Never used this site before. Mom used to sing a lullaby when I was a child with the words
    Tutte le belle dorme na ca studa.
    Not much to go on, but it is all I can remember.
    Anyone know where this might come from?

  178. Mariya R. Says:

    In quasi-answer to Dorothy’s post (#8 above), my grandmother, from a little hill town in Apuglia, used to sing us the duck in the fountain song. I’ll copy what Dorothy posted, then how I understand & remember it:

    Rina sta fundanelle
    Ghista na ba ba della
    Ghistan gop
    Ghista schpen
    Ghista sta goscha
    Ghista sa manga
    Chista digz
    Bi bi bi bi nu boga min
    Bi bi bi bi nu boga min

    “Cuanta ste va la fontanella,
    {ba da ba da} la paparella.
    Cuesto faceva il ____;
    Cuesto faceva il panne;
    Cuesto _________;
    Cuesto _________;
    E cuesto di
    ‘Pippilo pi! Pippilo pi!
    Io voglio mamma mi’!”

    I had this all written out and can’t find it. Can only remember some of the words, and others are blank. Basically, it’s something about being at the fountain and seeing the duck swimming there. “Cuesto faceva il panne” is “This one makes the bread.” The last line translates as “I want my mamma!” My grandmother would trace a slow circle on my palm during the 2 lines at the beginning–the duck swimming in the fountain–and then gently pull each finger in turn, and would hold onto the pinky, shaking it gently & quickly back and forth for the last bit.

  179. PC Says:

    My Nonna passed away this week, and of course now would be the time I decide I want to try and remember the nursery rhymes we enjoyed when I was a kid.

    Pretty sure the first two on this list are the two that she said, though my memory is a little fuzzy.

    Number 1
    I remember two things about this one: my grandma bouncing me on her knee like a horse, but I recall the first line being (phonetically) “ta-toon ta-toon cavallo.” Not sure what the first word was, but that’s how it sounded.

    Actually, I thought number 2 and number 1 were the same, because I remember my nonna leaning over so we’d fall upside down. I know the last line was “tutti!”

  180. Cortney Says:

    Hey everyone. Please please hello My mom passed 8 years ago and used to sing this song to me. I have seen nothing close to it so far on the site. I don’t know the correct pronunciation or dialect region, but the song is about a boy who eats an apple, then poops his pants.

    Starts something like…
    No una feta una ….
    Ends with what sounds like
    Ally zee gaga

    If anyone is familiar, please it would mean the word. Family hails from Sicily

  181. maria Says:

    Zu zu Cavallo
    la mamma vien del ballo
    cho le scazzelle piene
    per dar a le putelle
    puetelle non le vuol
    buttemo in scavazziol

  182. maria Says:

    Does anyone know the children’s song, “O Gesu bellin bellino…..”?

  183. Lisa Says:

    Maria – can it be a version of this song?

    Angiolin bellin bellino,
    con quel capo ricciolino,
    con quegli occhi pien d’amore,
    Gesù mio, ti dono il cuore!

  184. maria Says:

    Unfortunately, I don’t remember the words but this most certainly is as close or actually is the one. Thank you so much for this beautiful memory that my Mom sang to my son many many years ago.
    I can’t wait to tell him!

  185. anne-Louise Scrivani Says:

    Dear Lisa,
    I am looking for the real words to a song my grandma from Naples area used to sing us. She would put us on her knees, hold our hands and rock us back and forth while singing and then tip us back on the last line.
    Phonetically :
    drein dreola
    pane e chipotle
    mane cade

    I would love to know the real words – I do it with my grandtwins and they love it… and sign the words with me now!


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