Question about the Danish, Swedish and Norwegian Nursery Rhyme “Ride Ride Ranke”

Pamela wrote me about a rhyme that I’ve been asked about many times. Here’s what she wrote…


I am interested in finding a nursery rhyme in the Danish language which I learned as a child and have passed on to my children as well. I hope you can help me locate this rhyme. It is about an alligator or crocodile sneaking up on someone sitting on a log at the edge of a lake. I am probably not remembering the Danish words correctly, and I don’t speak Danish at all, but it sounds something like this:

A rita, rita, runkin
Demile hans hoose,
Devoon yemoon
Kot on a moose
On little wahoon
Syin on a bankin
Slick upon a slick a sow
Woof! Woof! Woof!

I have probably completely ruined the rhyme with my bad memory, but I am very interested in learning it correctly. The Woof! Woof! Woof! Part is where the alligator eats the person.

Thank you!

If anyone knows this rhyme, many people out there would be grateful for the corrrect words. Please comment below or email me with the correct version!



UPDATE: I posted one Swedish version of Rida rida ranka on my Swedish Song Pages, one Danish version of Rida rida ranke, and 2 Norwegian Versions of Rida rida ranke on Mama Lisa’s World’s Norway pages.

More versions in the comments below…

This article was posted on Saturday, December 31st, 2005 at 6:38 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, Danish, Danish Children's Songs, Danish Nursery Rhymes, Denmark, Languages, Norway, Norwegian, Norwegian Children's Songs, Nursery Rhymes, Questions, Rhea Rhea Runkin, Sweden, Swedish, Swedish Children's Songs, Swedish Nursery Rhymes. 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.

118 Responses to “Question about the Danish, Swedish and Norwegian Nursery Rhyme “Ride Ride Ranke””

  1. Lisa Says:

    Here’s another request, possibly about a Swedish version of this rhyme…


    I am writing this in hopes to find lyrics to and old Swedish song my grandfather used to sing to me when I was very young, This is probably a needle in a haystack but here are the words I remember.

    Rhea rhea ronka, hester sue ? blanca, ? ? ? ,
    Rhea rhea rhea. Cluck Cluck Cluck.

    I know my spelling is way off and this may or may not make any sense to you, but I had to at least try. All I know is it is about a rocking horse or I assume it is.

    Thanks in advance for trying! Melody

  2. karen Says:

    I am also Swedish and learned this as a child…rhea rhea ronkin, hesta hista blunkin, something poyka po, woof woof woof. I thought it was about a boy and his dog. Anyone find it online?

  3. Marybeth Says:

    I am Norwegian/Swedish. My grandmother used to sing this song. She was Norwegian… I am not sure if it’s Norwegian or Swedish and my spelling is horrible but it goes like this:

    Rita Rita Ronka
    permellidin heuse
    enging ona yemmin
    en liten catapeuse.

    Loosely translated it means, I went to Rita Ronka’s house and no one was home but her pussy cat.

  4. Alan Johnson Says:

    Well, I heard a version of this from my father many many years ago and it went (spelling not assured)
    Rhea Rhea Runkin
    Has a nitter Blunkin
    Hos cot a Rhea
    Studa Studa Fria
    Hunsen go
    Woof woof woof woof

    I am trying to find the meaning of it as it was never translated to me as I bounced on Dad’s knee. From the above postings I assume that it means that we went to Rita Runkins house but she was not there, everything was cold but her little dog came out and barked at us.

  5. Lisa Says:

    I was speaking with a Swedish woman today, who said maybe the first word in this song is “rida”, which means ride, like a horsy. I looked up horsey in Swedish, and found häst (a child’s way of saying horsey) and hästlik. A word for horse in Danish is “hest”. Could this be one of the words in the 2nd line?

    If anyone would like to explore Swedish words some more to help figure it out, there’s a pretty good Swedish/English dictionary online at .

    Perhaps the version with “rhea” is a different version?

    This song seems like it might have several versions and might exist in Swedish, Danish and Norwegian.

    Here are 2 other emails people have sent me about this song…

    I’m looking for the words to a Swedish nursery rhyme a family friend taught me as a child. Now that I have a son, I’d like to teach it to him. However, I don’t remember all the words and the Swedish friends have passed. I remember it went something like this…

    “Ria, ria ranka
    Heston hit the brunka
    Voska da rita

    I realize the spelling may not be correct. Thank you in advance for your time and help.

    Best regards,



    Hello Lisa! I am from the US, and am trying to remember a Swedish nursery rhyme my grandmother used to recite to me as she bounced me on her lap. All I can remember is that it was about two dogs, a big one barked a deep “whoo, whoo, whoo” and a little one who went “yip, yip yip”. The first line sounded like this:

    “Rita, rita runken
    Hesten a blunken”

    Thank you for your time.


  6. Brad Bainey Says:

    I just found this site today, what a coincedence. We were making lefse this weekend and we were all trying remember the norwegian nursery rhyme that our Grandmother (from Norway) used to sing to us as she bounced us on her knee.

    This was 45 or 50 years ago. We remembered it as “Ria Ria Runkin Hasta Heat the Brunkin, a vee a vee avista dee…….”

    We would really like to know the real words, any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!

    Brad Bainey

  7. Brenda Says:

    This is really funny, my grandmother was swedish and used to sing this song to me. I do not know what the song means, but my father knows ll some of the words…I am sure that I won’t be spelled correctly

    Rita rita ranka
    hestin hista blunka
    hestin hista rita sow
    hestin hetin apple grow

    he is not sure how it goes after this.

    I called my friends mother who is from Sweden and she says the song goes like this:

    Rida rida ranka
    hasten heter planka
    vad skall hasten rida
    till en liten piga
    vad skall pigan heter
    jungfrau margarita

    The song is about a horse whose name is planka, the boy asks where he “(the horse) is going…the horse replies he is going to find a maiden named margarita….

    She was not aware of the first version I had typed..but my father insists that is how it went. I will follow up to see if anyone else comes up with something similar….hope this helps-Brenda

  8. Lisa Says:

    I just found this version of Ride, ride, ranke in Danish. If anyone would like to provide an English translation, I’d be more than happy to post it…

    Ride, ride, ranke
    by Nikolaj Ulrik Krossing (1798-1872)
    Tune: J. C. Gebauer

    Hop, hop, hop, hop,
    hop, hop, hop, hop!
    Ride, ride ranke!
    Greven er så højt på strå,
    bonden må med træsko gå.
    Ride, ride, ranke!

    Hop, hop, hop, hop,
    hop, hop, hop, hop!
    Ride, ride, ranke!
    Junkren på sin høje hest,
    som kan danse, ret gør blæst.
    Ride, ride, ranke!

    Hop, hop, hop, hop,
    hop, hop, hop, hop!
    Ride, ride, ranke!
    Frøknen sidder let som fjer,
    som min lille rytter her.
    Ride, ride, ranke!

    Hop, hop, hop, hop,
    hop, hop, hop, hop!
    Ride, ride, ranke!
    Hvorhen skal nu vejen gå?
    Bedstefar besøg skal få.
    Ride, ride, ranke!

    Hop, hop, hop, hop,
    hop, hop, hop, hop!
    Ride, ride, ranke!
    Og når vi så stiger af,
    siger vi: go’ da’, go’ da’!
    Ride, ride, ranke!

    Hop, hop, hop, hop,
    hop, hop, hop, hop!
    Ride, ride, ranke!
    Bedstemor af hjertesgrund
    trykker os et kys på mund.
    Ride, ride, ranke!

    Hop, hop, hop, hop,
    hop, hop, hop, hop!
    Ride, ride, ranke!
    Nu til onkel i galop.
    Er han hjemme? Ja, så stop!
    Ride, ride, ranke!

    Hop, hop, hop, hop,
    hop, hop, hop, hop!
    Ride, ride, ranke!
    Tantes stuedør vil vi
    heller ikke gå forbi.
    Ride, ride, ranke!

    Hop, hop, hop, hop,
    hop, hop, hop, hop!
    Ride, ride, ranke!
    Men nu er det aftenstid,
    lille hest, i stalden hid!
    Ride, ride, ranke!

    Hop, hop, hop, hop,
    hop, hop, hop, hop!
    Ride, ride, ranke!
    Til i morgen stå i ro,
    havre først: et kys ja to!
    Ride, ride, ranke!

    You can hear the tune to Ride, ride, ranke at

  9. Jeff Says:

    My Nana, Mom and Aunt used to do this one all the time.
    She provided me with a “phonetic” form of Norwegian.

    It starts off bouncing the toddler on the knee:

    Reeda reeda rankin
    Til Mellan’s hoos
    Der var ingen yemma
    Men leeten katta poos
    Han low unner benken og (sounds more like an a)
    Nadden po lanken og
    Sa-wee mew, mew, mew, mew (that’s when you drop the unsuspecting kiddo between your legs)

    The Translation is basically the same as Marybeth’s. It sounds like there are a lot of versions out there, but I suppose the only one that matters is the one you remember : )

  10. Lisa Says:

    I agree with Jeff, it’s interesting to find the original version of songs and rhymes, but as they change, as they go from culture to culture, and even from family to family, they become our own. The versions of songs that we personally remember are the ones that are most dear to us.

  11. Dnayea Lamont Says:

    My grandfather and mother as well have both relayed a version of this rhyme and as far as I was informed the translation was about two older people sitting on their porch on a spring day and a big dog comes by and barks at them. The rhyme is as follows but now that I see others versions and stories, I realize that makes no sense! Anyways, this is the version I learned (Spelling is how it sounds recited, not correct at all!)

    Ridda, Ridda ranka
    Hasen yetta blunken
    Hassen etta yupagrow
    satten eten yunkanpo
    worskin yunka ria
    tkung un scora freeie
    sinkin woof! Woof! Woof!

    thanks for humoring me! And for this awesome site!

  12. Patte Says:

    My sister and I are trying to find this Swedish rocking horse rhyme too. Our father would sit our kids when they were little on his knee like a rocking horse and say something like…

    Rea, Rea Runkun
    Hess en hit the blanca
    Vask a gerea
    Star a frea
    Vasca de hen
    Star fish en then
    Ya, ya ya, ya, ya.

    He is 100% Swedish and this song was sung to him as a child. We would love to get the proper word and pronunciations if you have any more luck.

  13. Martine Says:

    It was really funny to read all the different versions of “Ride, ride ranke”. There are a few versions of Ride ride ranke. Here is one:

    Ride, ride ranke
    til møllerens hus.
    Der var ingen hjemme
    uten en liten kattepus.
    Hanen til å gale.
    Mølleren til å male
    Og tre små hunder sier Voff, Voff , Voff

    Another one is:

    Ride ride ranke
    Si meg hvor skal veien gå.
    Bestefar besøk skal få.
    Ride ride ranke.

    Ride ride ranke
    Nå til onkel i gallop
    er han hjemme,
    ja, så stopp.
    Ride ride ranke

    Ride ride ranke
    og når vi så stiger av
    sier vi God dag, god dag.
    Ride ride ranke

  14. Lisa Says:

    I asked Martine if she could provide translations for the above versions. Here’s what she wrote…


    The versions are from Norway. I am currently living in Ireland and work in an Irish pre-school. I was looking for English versions of Norwegian children’s songs and rhymes to teach to the children.

    Translations are very difficult. Ride ride ranke for example does not mean anything. But “ride” is “ride” in English (to ride a horse).

    I will give it a try:

    Ride ride ranke
    To the millers house.
    Nobody was home,
    but a little pussycat.
    The rooster will crow.
    The miller will grind.
    and three little dogs say Woff, woff woff

    The second one goes something like this:

    Ride ride ranke
    tell me where we’re going.
    We are visiting grandmother
    Ride ride ranke.

    Ride ride ranke
    then we ride to uncle.
    If he is home
    yes, then stop
    Ride ride ranke

    Ride ride ranke
    and when we make our stop.
    We will say : Good morning, good morning Ride ride ranke.

    There is also a third version I know from my childhood. It does not make much sense but it is also a Ride ride ranke. I am not sure of the lyrics because I don’t know it in writing.

    Best regards

    Thanks Martine! – Lisa

  15. Amy Says:

    I wish I had more to offer than another strangely spelled version of this rhyme, but maybe it will jog someone! My great-grandfather and then my grandmother, both Swedish, sang me a version while bouncing me on their knee I can only vaguely remember the first two lines (phonetically, of course)

    Rhea Rhea Rhunka
    Heste maya blunka

    My daughter is doing a report in school and sadly, I didn’t have my grandmother clarify this while I could, and I would hate for this little bit of family history to be lost. Thanks!

  16. Jeanette Says:

    Please, please, please – if there is anyone out there who can contact me with the reda reda runka phonetic spelling of this wonderful song, I would appreciate you giving me a way to get that. My father would rock me on his knee and sing this wonderful lyric – I only remember the first part because I was always so busy hanging on, but would love to put something besides reda reda runka along with the tune as I enjoy my grandchildren on my “pony” knee.

  17. Danna Says:

    I am shocked to find that I’m not the only one who holds the memory of this song so dear. I found out sadly that my Grandmother passed away just yesterday, and I am desperate to understand this song in hopes of passing it along to family and friends during this difficult time. I can certainly remember hangin on as she bounced us around, and holding on while giggling when we would drop suddenly between her knees, but the words become jumbled in my memory. I cleary remember the
    “rea rea ranka”
    “hestin hut da blanka”
    “tom pron fria”
    “sia litta pia”
    “tom pron fretta” (then a small pause)
    “Whoop ala greta” — we’d toss into the air to be caught by her smiling face and open arms. Thank you all for helping us to revisit these special memories and hold onto our relatives. I will continue to search for more!

  18. Beth Says:

    My father was of Norwegian descent and would bounce us all on his knee with a similar verse.
    Ria Ria Ranken (Galloping, galloping rough rider)
    Hesten Var en Branken (Horse was a bronco)
    Hester Var en Rabelgra (Horse was a dapple grey)
    aa sat en Liten (child’s name) pa (and sat a little ______ on)

    The ending of the verse was an extra bounce that would cause us to fly in the air like others have remembered.

  19. Nicole Says:

    Hi everyone,

    I have a couple of minor corrections to Lisa’s translation to Martine’s 2nd Norwegian song. My Grandmother is also from Norway and I lived there for 1 year in High School and quickly had to emerse myself in the language to get by!

    The third line down: Bestefar is actually Grandfather, not Grandmother. That would be Bestemor. Far is Father and Mor is Mother in Norwegian. MorMor and MorFar is a Grandmother and Grandfather on the mother’s side and FarFar and FarMor is Grandmother and Grandfather on the Father’s side. Bestefar or Bestemor would be an endearing/loving name for a grandparent.

    The fourth line down at the end of the poem: God Dag is actually Good Day. Good Morning would be God Morgen.

    Otherwise, it’s a great translation! :)

  20. Nicole Says:

    Hi again,

    If anyone wants to learn some easy Norwegian words and sentences, you can go to the Sons of Norway website.

    Lykke til og ha det bra!

  21. Lisa Says:

    I’m happy to post any recordings of Rita Rita Runkin.

    It may help people find the versions they’re looking for!


  22. Diana Says:

    My mother-in-law is gravely ill and my daughter remembers her singing this song. I can not remember the whole song. Can you help .
    Rita Rita Ronka
    Hista hista Blanka
    Hista little boo woo
    woof woof woof.

    I hope you can help me my daughter wants to be able to teach her children this song.

    Thank You

  23. Ingela Says:

    I am from Sweden and was quite amused to read all these versions of rida rida ranka! i don’t know the whole rhyme, but I know that the first lines in the Swedish version are “Rida rida ranka, hästen heter Blanka” (ride, ride, ranka doesn’t mean anything, the horse is named Blanka)

  24. RH Says:

    A long Swedish version is written out on the wikepedia website and this is the link:,_rida,_ranka.

    The one below is what my Mom used to sing to me and I too am amazed at how many versions there are and how many people have a happy place from their childhood and ancestry in these words.

    Translation anyone?

    Rida rida Ranka
    hästen heter Blanka
    Vart ska vi rida?
    Till en liten piga
    Vad kan hon heta?
    Jungfru Margareta
    den tjocka och den feta

  25. lila Says:

    My Swedish cousin, says that he knew the last version, submitted by RH, and he translates it as

    Ride, Ride Ranka
    The horse’s name is Blanka
    Where are we going?
    To a little maid
    What is her name?
    Virgin Margareta, the thick and fat one.

  26. John Brungot Says:

    my grandfather sang me a song similar to this when i was young, and his father to him, and I’m sure it goes back further than that too, it’s a little different than any version writen up here so far though, seeing as how my relatives are Norwegian (I live in America though) this is most likely a little bit of a messed up version of the Norwegian version.
    A rita rita Runkin,
    Hesta hida plunkin,
    Hesta hida huplika,
    Sita nida yunkinpa,
    skul skul a rida,
    yuntin grunt a rida,
    evi in a yama,
    on de tus me oma,
    de ni nit buff buff,buff, buff, buff buff, buff buff!
    again, this songs been going through my family for a while, and im sure it’s been distorted a bit along the way

  27. John Hetland Says:

    My grandparents were from Norway and it was presumably from them that my father learned this song and sang it for every little kid he knew, bouncing the kid on his knee, and at the final “VOOV! VOOV! VOOV!” the kid would be bounced way in the air. I’ll be happy to send a MIDI file of the tune I remember; tell me how.

  28. Jim Hetland Says:

    We remember this one too, our father used to bounce us on his knee, with a BIG BOUNCE at the end, with the Vov! Vov! Vov! of the little dogs.

    I found this version here.
    It’s pretty close to what I remember.

    Ride, ride ranke,
    til møllarens hus.
    Ingen annan heime
    enn ein liten kattepus.
    Hanen til å gala,
    mølla til å mala,
    To små hundar
    seier vov, vov, vov!
    to små hundar
    seier vov, vov, vov!

    Roughly it translates (I don’t speak Norwegian):

    Ride, ride, (bravely? strongly? probably something like “ride hard”)
    to the miller’s house
    the animals are home
    and a little pussycat
    The rooster’s at/in the gala (fair?)
    the miller’s at/in the mala (no translation)
    Two small dogs
    say woof woof woof!
    two small dogs
    say woof woof woof!

    But my dad didn’t repeat that last line.

  29. John Hetland Says:

    You can hear our Dad’s melody (give or take a few syllables) here:

  30. Lauri Says:

    RH – yours is the version I remember. My Swedish grandfather used to sit me on his leg and bounce me up and down as he sang this to me. I never knew what it meant, but knew it was something about riding a horse. Thank you for making my search for the whole rhyme. I could only remember the 1st two lines.

  31. Dean Jones Says:

    My grandmother, who grew up on the southern coast of Sweden, came to the US at the age of 13, in 1893. She bounced each of her children and grandchildren on her knee to a “Rita rite ranka” verse of four lines.

    I did the same with my four children and now discover the verse has been well applied to my grand-daughters.

    I know no Swedish, but have always repeated what I heard by spelling it phonetically as one would in English. As follows…

    “Rita rita ranka,
    hista mista plunka.
    Voskee hoota,
    on non Margreta” (Margrethe, I assume.)

    The only other thing I know about this was that my mother later told me it was about Margrethe falliing off her horse.

    If anyone knows more about this rhyme, how it is properly spelled in Swedish, and exactly what it means, I would be most grateful to see it appear here … or to my e-address:

    Many thanks, Dean Jones

  32. Karin Hakanson Says:

    I was born in Sweden, and in my youth we sang Rida Rida Ranka:

    Rida, rida ranka.
    Hästen heter Blanka.
    Liten riddare så rar,
    Ännu inga sporrar har.
    När han dem har vunnit.
    Barndoms ro försvunnit.

    Så sjöng hon för sin älskling
    Om livets äventyr,
    Och log emellan tårarn Fru Blanka af Namur

    Och när Kung Hakan vunnit
    Båd’ sporrar och spjut
    Han mins då med vemod
    Den barndoms sångens ljud

    There is a lovely painting of Fru Blanka af Namur rocking her little son on her knee.

    In English:
    Rida rida ranka
    The horses name is Blanka
    Litttle rider so dear

    Doesn’t yeat have his spurs
    And when he has won them
    Childhood peace is gone.

    So she sang for her darling.
    About lifes adventures
    And she smiled amid her tears
    Fru Blanka af Namur.

    And when king Hakan had won
    Both spurs and spears.
    He remembers with sadness
    His childhood’s lullaby

  33. Jennifer Says:

    I was amazed at how many people shared this childhood memory in the US and how many different versions there are! My grandfather (who passed away three days ago) used to bounce us on his knee doing a version of ride ride ranke, which I have not yet seen here, so I thought I would add to this wonderful collection. He was of Norwegian descent (a purebred) :o) I’ll do my best on the spelling.

    Ride ride ranke
    Hesten hete blanke
    Hesten han halt ag grå
    Siten liten ung kar på
    Slå han tå
    La han gå
    Siten liten (insert child’s name) på

    Ride ride ride
    The horse’s name is blanke
    The horse is lame and grey
    On it sits a little boy
    Throw him off
    Let him go
    And sit little (insert child’s name) on

  34. Uma Soderlund Says:

    Dear Lisa

    what fun blog you have! I was looking for good links to my new website (coming soon!!) and found this treasure. Do you let me have this link on my website?

    If you wish to see the most loved painting in Finland, click the link.

    This is OUR queen, Blanche de Namur, Drottning Blanka and her little son Håkan painted by our beloved master Albert Edelfelt.

    And the song in finnish goes like this:

    Aja, aja, aja, Blankan ratsastaja.
    Minne pojan vienen?
    Sinne missä tiedän morsiamen pienen.
    Mikä nimi armaan? Margareta varmaan.

    So, mother Blanche was ‘brain washing’ her son to marry Margarethe of Denmark (the Union Queen to be).

    I myself live in the swedish speaking southwestern archipelago of Finland, where Queen Blanche threw her golden crown to the sea, because only the most beautiful was to keep it. Even today we have an island and an open water called Gullkrona, The Golden Crown.

    Her crown is still proudly presented in our municipality emblem (Nauvo).

    I have two mother tongues (like most of us on the islands), swedish and finnish, and we have many versions of the song in swedish, shorter and longer, but always the same content: Håkan is to marry queen Margarethe.

    I hope my website will be ready and launched soon, there will be many fotos and links to Gullkrona, Nauvo and our beloved queen.

    All the best, big hugs!


  35. Uma Soderlund Says:

    Dear Lisa

    I also found this translation:

    Love Uma

  36. Carly Says:

    Dear Lisa,
    I too have been searching for this song because my great uncle used to sing this song to my sisters and me when we were children. My great uncle isn’t doing very well and I would like to know this song before he passes. Although it was a different version where he would bounce us on his knee and it was about a horse. I still found it here on your blog though, posted by a Jennifer. Thank you so much for having this blog, it really means a lot to me beings my fathers side of the family is full blood Danish. Thank you again and again.

  37. Carly Says:

    Dear Lisa,
    Guess what? I was doing some searching and I found the translation for the danish Ride Ride Ranke. Here you go:
    Ride Ride Ranke
    See His Highness on my knee
    Looking down his nose at me
    Ride Ride Ranke

    Ride Ride Ranke
    Now Sir Knight with shining lance
    Wheels his horse and makes him prance
    Ride Ride Ranke

    Ride Ride Ranke
    Like a feather sits my Dame
    Isn’t this a funny game?
    Ride Ride Ranke

    Ride Ride Ranke
    Take the bumpy road today;
    Visit Grampa on the way!
    Ride Ride Ranke

    Ride Ride Ranke
    Say, “Hello,” and then like this:
    “Goodbye Grampa,” with a kiss
    Ride Ride Ranke

    Ride Ride Ranke
    Off to Uncle’s house we go.
    Stop a bit; he’s home I know
    Ride Ride Ranke

    Ride Ride Ranke
    Now that eventide has come,
    Little horse is trotting home
    Ride Ride Ranke

    Ride Ride Ranke
    Sleep til morning, both of you
    Oats for one and kiss for two!
    Ride Ride Ranke


    Now I really hope that is right, I found it off of another site but I hope this works for you. Thank you for posting where the melody is too, it somewhat helped me although I remember it being quite faster on my great-uncle’s knee, :P. I remember when ever I would see him i would run over to him and wait for him to pick me up and bounce me around on his knee. I used to remember the song so good I would sing along with him. Time has passed though and I just couldn’t remember it much anymore, and of course I really appreciate you having this site. Especialy because my great uncle isn’t well. Thank you so very much.

  38. Cassidy Says:

    Thank you so much for this information! My husbands grandparents are swedish and even they can only remember the first two lines of the poem now. I have pictures of grandma with my daughter and I wanted to scrapbook this poem with the picture ( of grandma singing and bouncing my daughter.) Now I have the information I needed! Thanks again. :)

  39. Egil Says:

    The Norwegian version I was brought up on followed the

    “Ride, ride ranke
    til møllerens hus.
    Der var ingen hjemme
    uten en liten kattepus.”

    …pattern but the verse ended in “KI-ki-ri-ki-ri” which is Noregian for “Cock-a-doodle-doo”. Does anyone happen to know the stanza that comes between “liten kattepus” and that?

    Also, I always thought that “Ride, Ride, Ranke” meant ‘Ride, ride, proud. (meaning with a straight/erect back)


    I never heard the ‘horse named Blanka’ or ‘Vof vof vof’ versions.

  40. Annette Says:

    Yep, I,m looking for yet another version of “Ride ride ranke…”
    The one I remember starts out

    Ride ride ranke
    hesten heta blanka

    (something something something..)

    There is a line that sound something like

    Horst coma reera

    which I always thought meant the horse reared up

    and this version ended with what I recall as

    “Whee! Whee! Whee!”
    which my aunt says is absolutely not so.

    Anybody else familiar with this one or more vaguely remembered parts of it?

  41. John Kennedy Says:

    Here’s what I was taught by my Swedish Grandparents:
    Rida, Rida, Ranka

    Rida, Rida, Ranka!
    Hästen heter Blanka.
    Vart ska vi rida?
    Till se pa liten pega.
    Vad kan hon heta?
    Jungfrau Magretta.
    Nå vi kom dit,
    Där vara ingen hemma,
    Bara utom hund,
    Han koppla i bunken
    Reste i planken
    Och sade, Woof! Woof! Woof!
    rough translation:
    Ride, Ride a Rocking Horse!
    The horse’s name is [Queen] Whitey.
    Where shall we ride?
    To see a little girl.
    What is she called?
    Maiden Margaret.
    Now, we come there.
    There wasn’t anyone home,
    Except only a dog
    Who was tied up near his dish,
    And rose up on the fence,
    And said, Woof! Woof! Woof!

  42. Tom D. Says:

    Our Swedish grandfather used to bounce us all on his knee to this rhyme. He recently passed away in his 90’s and will be missed greatly. Here’s his version of the rhyme spelled out phonetically as I remember it…

    Rhea rhea rhunka
    Kasa neata blunka
    vas ga da ura
    mean lit and flicka
    Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoo

    He always used “flicka” for the girls and something that escapes me for boys. We asked him many time what it meant but as I remember he didn’t really know, just a distant memory from his childhood.

    Always got a big smile from all of us kids.

  43. Greg Fiske Says:

    I learned:

    Ride, ride, ranke (pronounced reed-ah, reed-ah, rankhe)
    til moelleren’s hus
    Der var ingen hjemme
    men en kattepus
    og tre sma bissevover
    en sa woof
    andre sa woof, woof
    den tredje sa woof, woof, woof

    My grandfather ould bounce us on his knee then at the last verse drop us to his ankle.


    Ride, Ride a bronco
    to the miller’s house
    there was no one home except a kitty cat
    and 3 small puppies
    one said woof
    the next said woof, woof, woof
    and the 3rd said woof, woof, woof.

    My grandfather was from Oslo and born in 1895

    He was a wonderful grandfather

  44. Virginia Says:

    I am looking for the Danish version but we are only looking for a single verse. It is Ride, Ride, Ranke
    Hasten Heter Blanka
    ***Something something something***
    Litta (Kids name) sitapa

    we think we have found the third line but could use some help.
    we think it is Var det ingen hemma (of course spelling aside)

    If anyone has heard this version or can help that would be great.


  45. Alan Shank Says:

    Well, this is fantastic. I have a slightly different version that my Swedish grandmother (Thyra Johnson) used to say to me while bouncing me on her knee. Her version ended with something about two dogs, a little one and a big one. It ended:

    vi, vi, vi, vi,vi (in a high voice) sa lilla (or s.t. like that)
    voo, voo, voo, voo, voo (in a deep voice) sa stulla (or s.t. like that)

    My recollection more-or-less matches this:

    Rida, rida Ranka
    hasten heter Blanka
    Vart ska vi rida?
    Till en liten piga
    Vad kan hon heta?
    Jungfru Margareta
    Na vi dom dit,
    Dar vara ingen hemma

    then the next line was something like

    mit tvo hunde i gemel gemma

    Of course, my memory of this is about 55 years old.
    My daughter, Mila Shank, has a two-month-old son, and she would like to recite this to him.
    Alan Shank
    Woodland, CA, USA

  46. Robin Says:

    My great-great grandmother came from Norway in the late 19th century and her daughter wrote down a different version of Rida, Rida, Ranke. The English verse is similar to the one posted on Mama Lisa’s site but I remember hearing it:
    Ride ride ranke
    To the miller’s house.
    Nobody was home,
    But a little pussycat,
    Who washes himself
    and says
    “Meow Meow Meow”

    Has anyone else heard this version?

  47. Lisa Says:

    Reidun sent a link to another version.

  48. Karen Says:

    My parents were from Norway and we lived there for a couple of years when I was in middle school and before that stayed all summer every other year with my maternal grandmother.

    I have vivid memories of sitting on my Mom’s lap when I was very little and she would recite the following as she bounced me up and down on her knees:

    Ride ride ranke,
    Hesten heter Blanke,
    Sitt en liten ungkar på.
    Hvor skal ungkarn ride?
    Til kongens dør og fria.
    Ingen annen heime
    Enn to små hunder,
    Som sitter under bordet og sier,
    Vov, vov, vov, vov vov!!

    Ride, ride straight-backed,
    The horse’s name is Blanke,
    A little bachelor is sitting on top.
    Where shall the bachelor ride?
    To the kings door and propose.
    Nobody else home
    Except two small dogs,
    Sitting under the table and saying,
    Woof, woof, woof woof woof!!

    And then there was “Ro, Ro Til Fiskesjær” — fond memories of her rocking me back and forth on her lap holding me hands singing that one — anyone else remember that one?

  49. Penny Says:

    Hello to all of you fellow bouncees,

    When I sat down at my computer to try to find this childhood favorite of mine, I never could have imagined the zillion different versions. My Grandmother used to cross her legs and bounce me on her foot holding on to my hands. Her parents both came to The States as teenagers, one from Sweden and one from Norway.

    What she sang sounded something like:

    Rida, rida runchon,
    Hesta vanna punchon
    Salivana hist te dee
    woof, woo, woof, woof

    Has anyone heard anything like that?

  50. jan smith Says:

    Im an Australian with absolutely no Scandinavians in my family but I too was taught a rhyme, 60 years ago, that my mother had heard which started ‘ria ria runga’, so Im enthralled to find this website. But the rest of it was totally different… it went (roughly)
    Hessel enna robbelsprung
    Danse kneller neidrior
    Fia mullar, yama kulla
    Yama kanna yokum
    Any clues would be most welcome.

  51. jan smith Says:

    I have no Scandinavian background but 70 years ago I was taught a song by my mother which started ‘ria ria ranka’ (more or less). I dont recall any bouncing on knees
    The rest of it was totally different , ie ..
    Hessel enna robbelsprung
    Dense knaller nedrior (which sounds like suddenly falling down?)
    Fia mulla, jama kulla (a cat meowing?)
    Jama kana yokum

  52. Kristi Says:

    My Great Grandfather came to America from Sweden when he was 17. He used to sing a song in Swedish to my grandfather who in turn sung it to us years later. My Grandfather passed away many years ago and we have lost the song forever I’m afraid. When he sang it to my Aunt when she was a little girl he would sing a few lines in English, so if this sounds at all familair please get back with me and let me know the swedish version and what it says. “Go to sleep little one and when you wake you’ll patty patty cake and ride a shiney pony.

  53. Bruce Anderson Says:

    Hello Lisa: This is really comical- so many versions of Rida Rida Runka. My grandfather was a pioneer Lutheran minister- organized 12 country churches for Swedish immigrants in NW MN. My mother and aunt would recite this rhymne. I have a video of my mother bouncing a great-granddaughter on her knee while singing this song. I do not have the Swedish handy, but the translation that was given to me is as follows:

    Ride, ride on my knee
    The horse’s name is Blanka
    Where are we riding?
    Riding away to woo a little girl.
    What will be her name?
    Maiden Margareta- the fat and chubby.
    When we came to her house, no one was home
    but an old woman who taught her daughter to spin
    “Spin spin my daughter. Tomorrow your suitor will come.”
    The daughter spun and the tear ran, but the suitor never came
    until the year – – with golden ribbons in his hair.

    I note some similarities in the various versions with respect to Margareta. Brenda’s Swedish version (Jan. 23,2006) sounds familiar but not sure.

  54. Lisa Says:

    That’s neat Bruce! If you’re able to get me a recording of your mother singing the song, I can post it. I think someone would be able to help you with the Swedish lyrics then.


  55. Christine Jespersen Says:

    Ride, ride ranke,
    Gesten heder blanka
    Folet heder Abilgra
    Det skal (child’s name) ride paa.

  56. Halfnelson Says:

    The version I learned sounded like:
    Rea rea runkin
    tuska tuska brunkin
    tusk ina row
    tusk ina row
    come a rea pola into town.

    The 2 versions I pasted below sound the closest to mine. In Swedish how is the D in rida pronounced? My father would ‘roll’ the D like some languages roll the R sound.

    Rita rita ranka
    hestin hista blunka
    hestin hista rita sow
    hestin hetin apple grow

    Ridda, Ridda ranka
    Hasen yetta blunken
    Hassen etta yupagrow
    satten eten yunkanpo

    Thanks. This is a blast from the past.

  57. Antti Says:

    Song is about queen blanca playing with his son. Here is a picture related to song : Queen Blanca and her son playing horseride.

  58. Jenny Alderson Says:

    I have an old family history in which my grandmother mentioned a poem very similar to “Rida Rida Ranke!” but I am not sure if it is the same because it goes “Ria, Ria Ranken! Hasten hetta Blanken!” with two dots above the “a” in Hasten. I’m wondering if this is a different dialect or a (forgive me) typing error. I also want to know if there are other sources for old Swedish nursery rhymes which include their translation into English.

  59. Jenny Alderson Says:

    I hope this allowed; I have a second rhyme I’m curious about. Again, I have only the first line: “Lusity, Lusity Lus.” It’s supposed to be about a rabbit.

  60. Julie S Says:

    My mother would sing this version to my children ( now 27 years old)

    Rhea, Rhea Runtin
    hester hetta blunkin
    um comostin,
    woo woo woo woo,
    that is as close as i could come to remember, my mother was norweigan,

    my mother said it was about a little dog going down the lane comes across something? and barks woof woof woof.
    i wish I knew the correct version

  61. CT Olson Says:

    Anyone know of the song about Noah?

    Gubben Noah, Gubben Noah,
    var en hedersman.
    När han gick ur arken,
    plantera han på marken.
    Mycket vin, ja, mycket vin,
    ja, detta gjorde han.

    something something something? Dunno the translation though or how it’s supposed to sound.

    I found you looking for Rida Rida Runka which of course my Swedish grandmother and her mother sang to us (who we called Moonoo because we couldn’t say mormor when we were little).

    There was another one – a song about 3 dogs barking on the yard or something. Any ideas?

  62. Kay Sheldon Says:

    I’m C T Olson’s aunt.
    Rida rida ranka
    hästen heter Blanka
    Vart ska vi rida
    Till en liten piga
    Piga var inte hemma
    Dit Står tre hund
    en sagt,Woof
    en sagt Woof, woof
    en sagt Woof, woof, Woof

    My grandmother taught this to us. She came from Nora in Västernorrland, but her mother was from Sunne in Värmland. The only other time I have heard this version was from another person from Sunne.

  63. Paul N Thompson Says:

    I have memories of this but it was always about 2 small dogs at the end which apparently scare the horse and the child “falls” off at the end, which they love, of course. My memory:
    Rita rita runken,
    Has anetta blunken;
    Lang skad o ria,
    Du gum latte spia;
    Two small hunde,
    Legge unde begge say;
    Wuv, wuv, wuv, wuv, WUV!
    (On the last WUV (like bow wow) then the knees come apart and the child “falls” in between them – akin to falling off the horse…)
    The spelling, of course, is wrong.

  64. Gary Black Says:

    My great-grandmother who came from Denmark in 1880 used to sit me on her knee and do this song. The following is what I remember in Danish, and this is my own spelling so must be very incorrect.
    A rita, rita runke, d millers house. a der lee la heming a little cat and mouse. Der sits a vowhund( dog) sittin on a bencka (bench) a vos a linka a vos e hund. woof, woof, woof.
    I really enjoyed bouncing up and down on her knees when she would do this. I dont remember the tune though and would love to know that too. Thanks, Gary

  65. Andrea Says:

    I just emailed my Mom to ask her Mother to send me the English and Swedish lyrics to the song she used to sing to Grand kids I know I wont spell this right but it went like a lot of these other posts

    rita rita runkin
    hester hader blunkin
    first galderia ita ita pita

    I know I know, way off but she always told us that it meant a little fat girl on a horse??? I wonder if it’s different than what everyone else is think of.

    Hopefully she will get the words to me so I can sing it somewhat correctly to my kids.

  66. Can Someone Help with 2 Danish or Swedish Nursery Rhymes? We Have a Recording of Them! | Mama Lisa's World Blog Says:

    […] We know the first rhyme is a version of Ride ride ranke, and Lori checked the versions posted on the blog, but couldn’t find it […]

  67. Lisa Says:

    Lori recording this rhyme and another one and is asking about them at…

    If anyone can help Lori, please respond at that link.


    Mama Lisa

  68. Are There “Correct” Versions of Traditional Nursery Rhymes and Songs? | Mama Lisa's World Blog Says:

    […] Unless a song has an author who left a copy of his work, when a song/rhyme has variants, there is only a” MOST KNOWN/SPREAD version”. Some songs have tens of versions… so imagine all the nursery rhymes or finger plays that every mom sings to her baby multiplied by all the mothers out there! (Check out the many versions of Ride Ride Ranke.) […]

  69. charity Says:

    this is probably all wrong as it has been sung throughout the generations and totally changed i’m sure. i’d like to know the real words to teach to my children, but this is how it sounds to me. i was told it was something about a dog hiding behind the stove and when his master comes home he jumps out and says woof woof woof.
    rida.rida runken hasten blisten blunken nus cuma ria…..something,something?…..usma tusma hunda, so lik unda stovus sonasia…woof woof woof. please translate

  70. Jo Ann Pappas Says:

    There is a gift shop in Lindsborg, KS that sells plates and mugs with this poem written in English. My husband and children were raised bouncing on a knee while listening to ria, ria runken…… and I was so excited to find the plates. I don’t remember the name of the store but Lindsborg is not very large and the store also sells the red horses that hang outside doors.

  71. Liobhan Says:

    It’s usually, in Denmark, a game in which a small child rides on your foot or knee while you bounce them and chant the rhyme.

    There are lots of them because the adults involved make them up spontaneously in many cases.

    Ride ride ranke,
    Hesten hedder blanke,
    Føllet hedder Abildgraa,
    der skal [child’s name] ride paa,
    ride ride ranke.

    The spelling is very bad, but it means roughly,

    Ride ride ???
    The Hessian’s hide is white
    The little foal’s hide is applegrey.
    that one shall [child’s name] ride!

    One csn keep up the game until the child gets tired of it or you leg gives out, whichever comes first.

  72. Shane Says:

    My family is Danish. I remember a song from childhood, now I believe it is a spin-off of Ride Ride Ranke, but I remember it sounding (phonetically) like:

    Hup Hup Hup
    Hup Hup Hup
    Ride Ride Ranke
    Hesten hither abelcouth
    de skal (kids name) ride poh
    ride ride ranke

    I think the 3rd line is supposed to mean “the horse’s name is Applesauce”. Love it!

  73. Susan Ashcraft Says:

    I am so happy that my husband just found this site! My Danish grandfather sang Rita, Rita runka to us while bouncing us on the knee, then dropped us to his ankle at the end. I am 52 and soon visiting my Danish cousin in Denmark! It is fun to read how many of us have this happy childhood memory. My great-grandparents immigrated to Gothenburg, NE around 1881 from Ringkobing, Denmark area. I can’t wait to visit there!

  74. Marianne Says:

    My Nana’s mother came from Sweden in the late 1800’s and this nursery rhyme was sung to me many times as I bounced on Nana’s knee. Just before she died in the 1980’s at age 93 I had her recite the little verse to me one more time, and I wrote it down phonetically. Years later I had some Swedish people listen to me read it and they understood it pretty well. Here is our version:

    Ria ria runken
    hesten heeta blunken
    varskaal vee ria
    tu en litten pia
    varskaal un hetta
    Marta Magretta
    ven vee kam tu Henna’s huse
    der var no engen yemma
    sotten en litten hoona
    sotten po a toona

  75. Karen Says:

    Anyone remember one that starts, “Trafimkin, trafimkin…” I doubt it is how it is spelled, but I would like to know the words. My mother would bounce me on her ankle when she recited it.

  76. Ginny Says:

    I too had a Grandfather from Sweden that bounced us on his knee and sang a Swedish song. Tonight my 8 year old daughter watched the movie “Flicka”. Why sitting at the kitchen table, one of the hired hands calls the girl in the movie “Flicka” and discusses his Swedish Grandfather who sang a nursery rhyme using this word. Anyone else catch this? This month my mother turns 75 and I wanted to find the words to the song for her and all the grandkids to keep. Thanks for everyone’s input. The version I remember is a bit different. I have spelled it as I pronounce it:

    Dia, Dia, Dunken
    Hasa hit da blunken
    Hasto la reia
    See a little flicka.

    At the end of the rhyme he would open his knees and let us “fall” to the floor. It brings back wonderful childhood memories for me. I try to sing it to my kids and they love it.

  77. Laura Holmegaard Says:

    It is so interesting to see all these different versions of the rhyme! :) I’ve never heard it any other way than:

    “Ride, ride ranke,
    Hesten hedder Planke.
    Hesten den er abildgrå,
    Den skal [child’s name] ride på.
    Ride, ride ranke.”

    Anyway, I was wondering where to leave a comment to inform you that the version of “Ride, ride ranke” that is listed on this page as a Danish nursery rhyme is actually Sweedish? I hope it’s okay to do so in here.

    Also, Egil is correct in believing that “ranke” means straight-backed (in the plural. If it referred to only one person, the word used would have been “rank”).

  78. Joann Says:

    Oh my goodness! I have been looking for this rhyme for years! My wonderful Norwegian Great-Grandfather used to sing it to us as he bounced us on his knee! I remember it a little differently, but very similar…and my Norwegian is WAY off…but…can you tell me if I am close AT ALL?? Phoenetically, this is what I remember:

    reeda, reeda, runka, eska needa brunka,
    eske needa rodico, sittin in de yonkepo
    eske nodda reeda,
    reeda, reeda runka.

    My cousin, Bette, who still lives in Norway was not familiar with it. SO…I am a little confused!

    At least now I know I’m somewhat close when I sing it to my grandbabies!

  79. Calley Says:

    Good Morning – I’ve been looking for the words to the verses since my grandfather died. He told me the first two (I wrote them down but only remember the 1st) although I knew there were many.

    It’s so great that everyone had a parent or grandparent that used to bounce you on his knee!!! :-)

    My recollection of the first verse (My Swedish grandfather spelled it for me – but it’s spelled like it sounds)

    Rhea Rhea Runca
    Hasten Heta Brunca
    Bart Scald – a – Rhea
    ta Kunga ana Frheeeah

    (Ride the horse, the horse named bronco – to the castle, ride, to see the king)

    I hope to find the rest as I remember it. My kiddos love this when I bounce them on my knee!

  80. Jim Says:

    # Annette Says:
    March 24th, 2007 at 1:07 am

    Yep, I,m looking for yet another version of “Ride ride ranke…”
    The one I remember starts out

    Ride ride ranke
    hesten heta blanka

    (something something something..)

    There is a line that sound something like

    Horst coma reera

    Anybody else familiar with this one or more vaguely remembered parts of it?

    Of all the versions this is the one that comes closest to what I remember. My Grandfather was from 30 km south of Stavanger and came to the US in the mid 1920s.

  81. Cecilia Says:

    I’m Swedish (living in Sweden) and I sing two diffrent versions of “Rida, rida ranka” to my kids. The first one is shorter and the one I grew up with:

    “Rida, rida ranka,
    hästen heter Blanka.
    Var ska vi rida?
    Till en liten piga.
    Vad ska hon heta?
    Jungfru Margareta,
    den tjocka och den feta”

    In English:

    “Ride, ride ranka (? don’t know how to translate that)
    The horse’s name is Blanche.
    Where are we riding (to)?
    To a little girl.
    What is her name?
    Virgin Margrethe
    the thick and the fat”

    The other version is longer and more beautiful:

    “Rida, rida ranka,
    hästen heter Blanka.
    Liten riddare så rar (little knight so sweet)
    ännu inga sporrar har. (does not yet have his spurs)
    När du dem har vunnit, (when you have won them)
    barndomsro försvunnit. (childhood peace is lost)

    Rida, rida ranka,
    hästen heter Blanka.
    Liten pilt med ögon blå, (little boy with eyes of blue)
    kungakrona skall han få. (kings crown he will get)
    När du den har vunnit, (when you have won it)
    ungdomsro försvunnit. (youthhood peace is lost)

    Rida, rida ranka,
    hästen heter Blanka.
    Andra famntag än av mor, (other embraces than from mother)
    fröjda dig när du blir stor. (give you joy when you grow up)
    När du dem har vunnit, (when you have won them)
    mandomsro försvunnit.” (manhood peace is lost)

    Blanka refers to queen Blanche (born 1320, died 1363) and the little boy she bounces on her knee is her son Håkan, later king Håkan, married to Margrethe of Denmark, who founded the Kalmar union.

  82. Lisa Yannucci Says:

    Allan Hegland wrote:

    I too heard this rhyme when I was a kid from an old Norwegian lady who was a close friend of the family. I have been able to reconstruct the only verse I know as follows in Norwegian dialect close to Nynorsk…

    Ria Ria Ranka
    Two boys were riding to see their girls
    (apparently ria means to go a-courting)
    Hesten heiter blanka
    The horse’s name was Blank
    (blanka is pronounced “blunka”
    Hvor ska vi leie
    Where will we spend the night?
    Dit i smaa kupeet
    over there in that little shack
    Ikkje nokon heima
    (when they got there) nobody was home
    To smaa hunder
    Two little dogs
    hist opp under bord
    sitting under the table
    regge sine beina sine
    gnawing their bones
    buff uff uff uff uff
    saying “buff uff uff uff uff”

    The underlined words are not certain… it’s what they sounded like
    I am of Norwegian descent but only know the language through college courses.

    (I am a professional translator/linguist)

    Allan Hegland

  83. A Scandinavian Rhyme that Has touched Many People | Mama Lisa's World Blog Says:

    […] on to see what I could find out about the rhyme and came across your site. I was overwhelmed with the power of a simple rhyme for so many people after so many years. And your translation with the history is simply awesome. My family cannot […]

  84. Lisa Says:

    I think the official Danish version it’s:

    Ride, ride, ranke,
    Hesten hedder Blanke,
    Føllet hedder Abildgrå,
    Det skal [child’s name] ride på,
    Ride, ride, ranke.

    Ride, ride, sit up straight,
    The horse’s name is White (or Glossy),
    The foal’s name is Fruitgray,
    [child’s name] will ride on it,
    Ride, ride, sit up straight.

    Although it’s a bit weird to translate the names, as they are there for the rhyme.

  85. Lisa Says:

    Anna-Rita wrote:

    Then there is another one that is almost the same (as some above):

    Ride ride ranke,
    til møllerens hus,
    der var ingen hjemme
    uden rotter og mus,
    og en lille hund
    der sad under bænken
    og bed i lænken
    og sage WUF

    I can try to translate the last one:

    Ride Ride sitting straight (on the horse)
    to the miller’s house
    nobody was home
    except for the rats and mice
    and a little dog
    that sat under the bench
    and bit his chain
    and said WUFF

  86. Steve Matson Says:

    From my Norwegian mother,
    The baby sits on your closed knees and you bounce with the rhyme. At he end of the last line, spread your knees so the baby falls til you catch him/her. This can go on indefinitely.

    Ride, ride, ranke,
    Hesten hedder Blanke
    Ride fa Frieda,
    Bow Wow Wow!

  87. Sheri Says:

    My Mom (born in USA) (now 84) used to sing Ride, ride, ranke to our daughters. My grandparents came from northern Norway in the early 1920’s. The version Mom sang was:
    Ride, ride ranke
    hesten heiter Blanke
    Hvor skal vi ri
    til kongen’s gård og fria

    Does this make sense to anyone? Is it grammatically correct in Norwegian? Can anyone translate into English for me?

  88. Lois Stein Says:

    Here is my version. My grandmother was born in 1873 in Norway and came to America in 1904.
    My uncles recited it this way: (with apologies to Grandma Iverson!)

    Rita, Rita Runka
    Hesta bista blunka
    sil borte silk a tee
    peek a borte nest a bee
    so skal (child’s name inserted) ria

  89. Ed Burdekin Says:

    Wow. Put a few of these together and it brings back memories. I’d love for this version actually to make sense. Here is how my 100% Norweigan grandfather use to sing it to me 30 years ago in his thick old accent.

    Rida, Rida, Ranka
    Hesten heter Planke.
    Hesten heter den er abildgrå,
    Sitt en liten Edward på.
    unton tus mahunda ,
    Inna saya vuv and anna say a vov
    you can come back a morrow

    Here are my questions
    #1 Is it heter or hedder?
    #2 Is it Planka Planke or Blanke or just depends on what you want to name the horse?
    #3 Is A) unton tus mahunda or B)”usma tusma hunda” C)”on de tus me oma” or D) a combination of A/B/C????
    #4 I’ve not heard anyone say anything about my “inna saya vuv and anna say a vov” line. I’d love for someone to touch that up in Norweigan so that it would actually make sense if possible. Just listed my best recollection there.
    #5 I can’t remember how the you can come back tomorrow line went. I remember it ended something close to like “tomorrow” . I’d love to see the Norweigan translation for something close to “It will be OK you can come back tomorrow” so I could more properly wrap up the song.

  90. Ed Burdekin Says:

    Wow. Put a few of these together and it brings back memories. I’d love for this version actually to make sense. My grandfather was born about 1920 and was 100% Norwegian. He use to sing it to me 30 years ago in his thick accent:

    Rida, Rida, Ranka
    Hesten heter Planke.
    Hesten heter den er abildgrå,
    Sitt en liten Edward på.
    unton tus mahunda ,
    Inna saya vuv and anna say a vov
    you can come back a morrow

    Here are my questions
    #1 Is it heter or hedder?
    #2 Is it Planka Planke or Blanke or just depends on what you want to name the horse?
    #3 Is A) unton tus mahunda or B)”usma tusma hunda” C)”on de tus me oma” or D) a combination of A/B/C????
    #4 I’ve not heard anyone say anything about my “inna saya vuv and anna say a vov” line. I’d love for someone to touch that up in Norweigan so that it would actually make sense if possible. Just listed my best recollection there.
    #4b Might have been something in between Vov and a morrow. Maybe that is where it would “be OK” or something. Can’t 100% remember.
    #5 I can’t remember how the you can come back tomorrow line went. I remember it ended something close to like “tomorrow” . I’d love to see the Norweigan translation for something close to “It will be OK you can come back tomorrow” so I could more properly wrap up the song.

    I need to sing it to somebody so when we make the words to complete the last two or three verses so it makes sense it actually sounds close to the flow of the song. Best I can do to preserve it to my children

    Sincerely, Ed

  91. Ed Burdekin Says:

    Would help if I actually spell Norwegian correctly. Ugh. Sorry relatives for that one.


  92. Erin Olson Says:

    I grew up hearing this rhyme as a small child from my dad’s family (my great-grandfather spoke only norweigan). This is the version that I heard:

    Ria ria runken,
    Hasta hista blunken,
    Varska la ria,
    Tillen gommen fria,
    Engabad, hemma a da
    To sma una,
    Sa low en da bunken,
    A be de Runken,
    A boo! Woo! Woo! se da una na.

    At boo woo woo, the child would be bounced especially high. I’ve been told my family’s version is surprisingly accurate considering all the non-speaking generations repeating it. I was also told by my mother that it means something like this:

    Ride, ride, Runken,
    To your girl’s house,
    You get off your horse,
    You step onto the porch,
    And under the bench you see
    two small dogs.
    You walk across the porch,
    Runken rings the doorbell
    Bow! Wow! Wow! say the two small dogs.

    I’m fairly sure the translation is totally off, but there it is. Hope this helps.

  93. andrea Says:

    i heard this version from my grandma while she bounced me on her knees

    A ria ria runken hesten eta(said like ate a) brunken punotus te shlisk calu bre comsa skavee dunska comsa skavee dunska a ria ria runken a runken a ree

  94. andrea Says:

    my aunt says it translates this way

    Ride ride my (male)horse The horses name is blunken at night time so it shall be come so shall we dance come so shall we dance ride ride my (male) horse you and me

  95. Wendy Says:

    My Great Grandfather was from Norway and he used to bounce us kids on his knee and sang this song. This is how I remember it and I will try to spell it like it sounds. I remember him telling me it was about a cat and mouse chasing eachother around a barn. I might not remember this right at all. Could anyone help me out?
    Rita Rita Runkin
    Hada hesen plunkin
    moda hitie litie goo
    vetchla cota puse
    cotton a marer
    hanen hongarer
    keke la kee

  96. Robin Says:

    My grandmother was Norweigen. She used to sing this and she said it meant:
    A little boy and little girl sitting by a river bank along came a doggy and he said bow bow. I didn’t spell it right of course but this is how she sang it to us. I like seeing all the different versions and meanings.
    Reah reah runka
    Esta ina bunka
    Eimma Nimma Twosay
    Ohsay Bow bow .

  97. Karen F Says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading all of these contributions to the nursery rhyme. This is the way my Danish grandma used to sing-song it to me and my siblings–and eventually to my daughter. I’m so thankful I had her write it down and translate. She said it’s not written in proper Danish, but I’d suspect it’s pretty darn close.

    Reede Reede Runka
    Hesten hedde Blanka
    Folge hedde Askegro
    Og den skall (child’s name) Reede Paa.
    Slow hinda ned og lade hinde go
    Slow hinde ned og lade hinde go
    Lige ned e Urets kro.

    Ride ride Runka
    Horse’s name is Blanka
    Accompanying horse’s name is Askegrow
    and that shall (child’s name) ride on.
    Tip her off (to the left) and let her go
    tip her off (to the right) and let her go
    Right down (between you legs) in the Inn’s yard.

  98. Linda Sartori Says:

    Ria, ria ronca,
    Heston heyta blanca,
    Silkedy an savedy

  99. Chuck Johnson Says:

    I’m so happy to find this. It was always chanted in a sing-song manner by my father who I’m sure remembered it from his childhood. I had recalled it as dee-a dee-a dunka (!) but that was 60 years ago! My great grandparents were Swedes from Finland and my father spent a lot of time with them in Norway, Michigan. Thank you, so much!

  100. Oral Communication and “Rida Rida Ranka” | MMM -- Munson Mission Musings Says:

    […] I found several versions rough and smooth at […]

  101. Katie Says:

    This is the version used in my family!

    Rida Rid Ranka
    Hasten Heter Blanca
    Vart Ska Vi Rida
    Till en Liten Piga
    Vad Skall hon Heta
    Jungfru Margareta
    De Tjocka och don Feta

    Boof-deh Boof-deh Boof-deh

  102. Jan Says:

    Here is a link to my Father singing this nursery rhyme. We grew up hearing this all the time. He just died recently, but he was Norwegian through and through. After he sings the song, he translates the meaning for the members of our family gathered at our annual May 17th picnic.

  103. Lisa Says:

    Sorry to hear about your dad. Thanks for sharing.

  104. Corlyssa Says:

    My son is working on a project about our Swedish heritage. I remember fondly the one Swedish song my grandfather used to sing to me while bouncing me on his knees. It is a Rida, Rida Ranka song, but I was under the impression it was about a big dog and a little dog? I will type it out phonetically the way I remember it…if anyone has a similar Swedish version, I would be forever grateful for the correct spelling and meaning.

    Rida Rida Ranka
    Hestan in a Blankan
    Nol starnania
    Pol mensina
    Nellie Kol Him
    Nol in a Brankan.
    Woof Woof Woof (in a high pitched sound)
    Stonna Stolla
    Woof Woof Woof (in a low pitched voice)
    Stonna Stilla

  105. Norma Swanson Says:

    This is what our Swedish grandmother said to us (spelled phonetically).

    Ria Ria Runkin
    Heston hit da blunken
    Varsko de ria
    Tian lita peeka
    Varsko hun hetta
    Anna Margarita!

  106. Jan Pedersen Says:

    Ride, ride Runken
    Hesten heter Blanken.
    Solomon var i silke toy,
    Piken bor i neste by.
    Dit skal vi ride.
    Ingen var hemme.
    To sma hunder sitter under vegan
    Suker seg pa lobben.
    Voof Voof Voof Voof Voof!

  107. Stanford Madsen Says:

    My grandfather was Danish, my grandmother was born in Norway.
    The version I heard was:

    Ride ride Runke
    Hesten hedder Blunke
    Kongens rige
    Hestens pige
    En to, en to

  108. Lisa Says:

    I received this email:

    My grandmother is full Norwegian, and I learned as

    Ride, Ride, Ranke
    to the Miller’s house
    Nobody’s home,
    but the cat and the mouse

    Ride, Ride, Ranke (she pronounced “ride” as “rida”)
    til mollerens hus
    ingen hjemme men
    katten og musa

  109. Melissa Shattuck Says:

    I discovered your site by accident. I was doing some homework on a 6×6 Trivet that came in to my little consignment shop that has Rida,Rida Ranka in English and Swiss. If you or anyone on your site would be interested We have the Trivet priced moderately at 5.00 plus shipping. If you would care for a picture of the Trivet and to find out more information your readers can email I hope that you will allow this post to remain even if you take out the reference to selling because I have learned so much from your postings and really appreciate the love of history and family that your page is generating. Thank you for passing on such a gift!

  110. Lisa Says:

    Kathlene wrote:

    “I came across your page – as I was looking for a nursery rhyme my Norwegian father used to sing to me.

    I am typing it as the words sounded to me:

    Rida rida runkin
    Amelden Poos
    Inna cotty etta ameldin poos
    Milden amalta
    Hilden agalta
    tipesaa – cre, cre cre cre

    The words I found on a YouTube video:

    Rida rida runka (ride ride quickly)
    Tu Mueller Mon Hoose (to the miller mans house)
    Inga von hema (nobody is home)
    mon too small moose (but two small mice)”

  111. Erica Says:

    I have the same story as the rest…grandfather bounced mom on his knee, mom bounced me on her knee and sang:
    (Phonetically spelled!)
    Rida Rida Ranka
    Til Mallen’s hoos
    Der var ingen yemma
    Men leeten katta poos
    Setten on da borde
    Peena en a tail
    Meow, Meow, Meow
    Ah! Woof woof woof

    I never knew what it was about except the part about the cat. There are SO many versions of this rhyme! I love it!

  112. Pam Says:

    Hi Lisa,

    I remember my grandmother (her parents emigrated to Hartford, CT, USA from Sweden; she was born in the US in 1908) singing this little rhyme to me and my siblings while bouncing us on her knee. She said that it was about a little boy who rides to a girl’s home, but no one was there but 3 small dogs, who if you didn’t feed them bread, they would go, “woof, woof, woof!”

    I recall the first couple lines sounding like “Rida rida runkin, hester hitta brunken”.

  113. Lisa Says:

    Hi Pam,

    We have a version of your grandmother’s rhyme at the link below…

    Mama Lisa

  114. Pam Says:

    Many thanks Lisa!

  115. Kathleen Says:

    Thank you all! I feel that I am getting closer to the version my grandpa sang to us…I will spell it the way I remember it sounding…plus a little Norwegian I am learning….

    Rida, rida, runca
    Hesten hed a Blanka
    Hesten hed en appelgro
    Saten liten jenta pa
    Rida, rida, runca

    Anyone have ideas about what the “appelgro” might be?

  116. lory Johnson Says:

    this is how I remember the the little song

    ria ria honkin

    hestin hitan blankin

    con stan ta ria

    most con ta ria

    vooff vaff vooff vaff vooff

    My Swedish / Norwegian parents never tried to tell me what it was supposed to mean
    any ideas ?

  117. Heidi Jorgensen Says:

    Hope this Norwegian version works…

    Ride ride ranke…………….Reeda reeda rahn-kay
    Hesten heter Blanke………Horse’s name is Blahn-kay
    Hesten den var abilgrå……Horse’s look was (abil?) gray
    Satt ei lita jente på………. A little girl was riding it
    Og jenta det var (name)…That girl’s name was …..!

    I have sung this to my kids and grandkids.

  118. Lisa Says:

    Paul Kern wrote:

    “Hello Lisa,

    My mom used to say a poem from her childhood; it appears similar to your Ride Ride Runka entries. However, my mom’s version was something like (please forgive the phonetic errors):

    Ride Ride Runken
    Hesta heita blunken
    Mine hesta kunda spenda
    Deia dunken over enda

    She translated it as:

    Ride ride your horse
    My horse is best
    My horse could kick your doll
    End over end.

    Now, I don’t know if my mom just came from a very unruly family that they would include kicking dolls around in a poem, but that’s how she remembered it (she was never fluent – but her parents spoke Norwegian regularly).

    Do you know of any version that is similar in sound or translation to her version?

    Thank you,

    Paul Kern”

    Does this sound familiar to anyone? -Mama Lisa

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