Slovakian Nursery Song

Gini Smith sent me the following email with a Slovakian nursery song…

It is an old song which I know the English and the Slovakian. However, I could not write the Slovak, only phonetically.

My grandmother taught it to us kids and we loved it.

The Slavonic translation may have variations depending on the area the people lived in Slovakia.

The word Dance is tantsui – which is pronounced tant -su

My word Tin-u is like us saying LA LA LA LA or ba bum, ba bum

It is used more like a sound but could be a child’s way of saying tant-su.

Well here it is:

Tin-u – tin-u, tin-u, tin-u
Dido zabyv sviniu (Daddy kills pig)
Mama placheh (Mama cries)
dity scatchit (children jumping)
Tin-u, tin- u, tin-u

The Pig Song
(Full English Translation)

Dance, Dance – Dance, Dance,
Daddy’s killing the pig,
Mother’s crying,
The kids are dancing,
Dance, Dance, Dance.

It was as endearing to me as any other Nursery Song because it came from beloved grandmother – Baba.

Thank you.

Submitted by Gini Smith, Slovakian-American.

If anyone can provide the original Slovakian text, please let us know in the comments below or email me at

Many thanks to Gini Smith for sharing this song with us!

Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Tuesday, January 19th, 2010 at 9:58 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, English, Languages, Mama Lisa, Questions, Slovak, Slovak Nursery Rhymes, Slovakia, Slovakian Children's Songs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

10 Responses to “Slovakian Nursery Song”

  1. Hana Says:

    I am sorry, I do not know the correct version, but in Czech it could be like this:

    Tancuj – tancuj, tancuj – tancuj
    Táta zabil svini
    Máma pláče
    dítě skáče
    tancuj, tancuj, tancuj!

  2. Peter H Says:


    I don’t know the song you are talking about but Slovak translation of what you wrote would be:

    Tancuj, tancuj, tancuj, tancuj,
    Dedo zabil sviňu,
    Mama plače,
    Deti skáču,
    Tancuj, tancuj, tancuj, tancuj.

    Where ‘dedo’ doesn’t mean daddy but grandfather. Daddy would be otec, ocko, tato or tatko

    I hope this helps

  3. jonella Says:

    can someone help us with some childrens songs that our mom taught us in slovak but we do not know what they mean? she passed this past january at the wonderful age of 96… i am not sure how to spell the words but we can print them as phonetically possible…

    koo koo lang ka desi bo la, ke ta tu ha zima bo la, i yi yi, koo koo koo, sed de las sem na bo koo, i yi yi, koo koo koo, sed de las sem na bo koo!!!

    the other song is: sphee pope koo sphee, shey coley shey, mama u zetu, sphee ppope koo sphee!!!

    thank you anyone for your help

  4. Hana Says:

    Hi Jonella

    It is possible to find the lyrics and the translation of the first song here:

    Kukulienka, kde si bola
    Slovak folk song
    Slovenská ľudová pieseň

    Slová :

    Kukulienka, kde si bola, keď tá tuhá zima bola?
    [: Hajajaj, kukuku, sedela som na buku. :]

    Sedela som na tom dube, kde Janíčko drevo rúbe.
    [: Hajajaj, kukuku, sedela som na buku. :]

    Sedela som na tej lávce, kde Janíčko krpce láce
    [: Hajajaj, kukuku, sedela som na buku. :]

    Keď som včera prala šaty, stratila som prsteň zlatý.
    [: Hajajaj, kukuku, hľadajme ho tu i tu. :]

    Vrabec kričí spoza kríčka, že je prsteň u Janíčka.
    [: Hajajaj, kukuku, hľadajme ho tu i tu. :]

    Sova volá spod jedličky, že je prsteň u Aničky.
    [: Hajajaj, kukuku, hľadajme ho tu i tu. :]
    Hajajaj, kukuku, sedela som na buku.

    Lyrics :

    Cuckoo, where have you been, when the severe winter was?
    [: Hajajaj, kukuku, I was sitting on a beech. :]

    I was sitting on that oak, where Janíčko cuts the wood.
    [: Hajajaj, kukuku, I was sitting on a beech. :]

    I was sitting on that footbridge, where Janíčko darns peasant’s shoes.
    [: Hajajaj, kukuku, I was sitting on a beech. :]

    When I was washing clothes yesterday, I lost my gold ring.
    [: Hajajaj, kukuku, find it here and here! :]

    A sparrow is shouting from behind the shrublet, that Janíčko has the ring.
    [: Hajajaj, kukuku, find it here and here! :]

    An owl is shouting from under the fir, that Anička has the ring.
    [: Hajajaj, kukuku, find it here and here! :]
    Hajajaj, kukuku, I was sitting on the beech.

    The second song is a lullaby:

    “Spi dieťatko spi že” or the same meaning is ” Spi bábätko spi”

  5. Yael Says:

    Hi Hana,

    I saw your reply to Jonella’s question above and recognized the sentence “Hajajaj, kukuku, sedela som na buku” from a song my grandmother used to sing to me, but the melody was different from the one in the YouTube video. Do you happen to know another song that has this same sentence?
    I remember the song also had the following words: Kelta kavelka lia bila. But that is all I can remember.

    Thank you in advance!

  6. Hana Says:

    Hi Yael

    what about this melody

    I am sorry, I do not know “your” song.

  7. Yael Says:

    Thank you Hana, but unfortunately that is not the right melody either.

  8. marta Says:

    Hi, Yeal,
    words “Kelta kavelka lia bila” are maybe in slovak “keď tá veľká zima bola”. It’s another version of the verse “keď tá tuhá zima bola”. Meaning is the same. Melody of some songs can vary. If text which you remember is (with some differneces) same like this above, it’s probably the same song.

  9. Josef Friedmann Says:

    Kukulenka desi bola
    Ke tatua zima bola
    Sedelasom nabuku
    A kricsalasum kukuku

    Kohutik jarabik
    Ne hodz tu zachradik
    Vikopes la liu
    Potom ta zabiju

  10. Mary Svetik Says:

    Thank you, wonderful people. My great grandmother (Stalka), my grandmother (Monka) and my mother sang this. My mother sang it to all her grandbabies. My girls would squeal with joy. After my mother passed, I struggled to remember the words! I am now weeping with joy. In my mind’s eye, well ear, I can hear it again fully and completely. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

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