Songs and rhymes from and for the Ukraine Emoji L-Z


These are children’s rhymes and songs that I have either translated into English from their original language or songs written by myself in response to the terrible war now happening in the Ukraine.

*** Songs by Dany Rosevear.

Light a loving candle ***

Little bean, baked bean

Little kitty, where have you been?

Magpie sits on a stove

Pigs in the peas

Quiet in the forest

Set the little dove free***

Sleepy fingers

The house with five floors

This thumb is grandad

Tooty tam

Two roosters

Last updated: 7/25/2022 2:30 PM

Please let me know if there are other simple Ukrainian children’s rhymes / songs you would like me to translate and also let me know if my translations varies from the spirit / meaning of the original – mine are rarely literal so they can scan / rhyme / make sense!

The songs below are compiled, adapted and translated by Dany Rosevear

*** Original songs by Dany Rosevear in response to the current war in Ukraine.

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To listen to music from these songs click on 🔊

To watch the author sing a song click on the title at:


© Dany Rosevear 2008 All rights reserved

You are free to copy, distribute, display and perform these works under the following conditions:

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·       any of these can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder


Your fair use and other rights are no way affected by the above.



Light a loving candle 🔊



A universal song for those who weep and feel helpless.

There is so much beauty in this world but it still comes as a shock to those of us from the post WW2 generation, to see how quickly ugliness can take centre stage time and time again in fair and lovely lands.

This song is a universal one but is inspired by the terrible war happening now in Eastern Europe and refers to the symbolism of that land.

The flag of Ukraine has two horizontal bands of yellow and blue to represent the wide blue skies and the far ranging wheat fields; blue also symbolizes calm and yellow joy. Sunflowers are Ukraine national flower and a symbol of strength and resistance; the poppy symbolizes beauty and youth.There is so much beauty in this world but it still comes as a shock to those of us from the post WW2 generation, to see how quickly ugliness can take centre stage time and time again in fair and lovely lands.

My family, like many others, got caught in the tides of history. During the Russian revolution my grandmother escaped from Russia to Poland where she set up a sewing school and married a Polish officer.

In 1940 my Polish father, a young man, with 1,700,000 other Poles was deported to Siberia after an agreement between Stalin and Hitler;The WWII Polish deportations – still an untold story – Polish at heart

Later a pact between Russia with Britain enabled the release of thousands of Poles who traveled with ‘Anders Army’ to fight in the British war effort, here my father became a pilot. There were scars left, of frostbite on his nose, not being able to return to Poland during the Cold War and he was never able to eat cabbage again!




























































Out in the moonlit garden there’s a birch tree so fair,

It’s tiny leaves are trembling in sorrow and despair;

For far away there’s weeping and sadness through the land,

As old bear rants and rages in his dark and lonely den.


Chorus: Oh, light a loving candle,

A precious, flickering candle;

Hold it steady for the brave and strong.

Lullay lullay, lullay lullay,

Hold it for peace and its silent song.


Oh, where are hopes and dreams and where has freedom gone,

And where are dancing children as springtime days grow long?

Will poppies greet the waving wheat as blue skies come and go,

Will fields of sunflowers rise again, will rolling rivers flow? Chorus


May shoots of life and beauty among the ruins grow,

May wanderers return to the home they love and know.

May those who seek to conquer find in their soul a nobler way,

May each child awake to happy times and welcome every day. Chorus



Little bean, baked bean



A Ukrainian toe play rhyme for the very young. (Бобик, фасолька) I have translated it to reflect familiar names of beans in the UK. Similarly in other parts of the English speaking world use popular names of beans grown there in order of size.

Can be played on the hand too.


Wiggle and name each toe starting with the little one. With the big toe move it from side to side and throw it with a ‘Whoosh!’ over the shoulder.

















Little bean, baked bean,

Kidney bean, broad bean,

And you, great big old bean.

Whoosh! Throw it over the fence!



Little kitty, where have you been?



Коточку, де ти був?

This Ukrainian rhyme, I presume, is traditionally chanted when feeding the baby as the mother strokes the child’s cheek.

It can also be played as a question and answer rhyme. Older children can take turns to ask, reply and sneeze to finish, with arm crooked of course!



















"Little kitty, where have you been?"

In the larder.

"What did you do there?"

I drank milk.

"Did you leave some for me?"

Oh, I forgot.

Oh, you naughty kitty cat!

Atchoo! Atchoo!

Atchoo! Atchoo!


Коточку, де ти був?

- У коморці.2

- Що там робив?

- Молочко пив.

- А мені залишив?

- Забувся.

- Апчхи! Апчхи!

- Апчхи! Апчхи!




Pigs in the peas



A Ukrainian clapping rhyme in English. ‘ Тосі-тосі cвині в горосі’

So many Ukrainian children’s rhymes have food / farming links, hardly surprising for a country that is famed for its agricultural land and is known as one of the “breadbaskets of the world”.

Buckwheat is an ancient grain with a long history eaten in Asian and Eastern European countries for centuries. It is not a cereal grain but a fruit seed related to rhubarb and sorrel

Translation by Dany Rosevear, I also added ‘sheep in the radishes’ as a rhyme for ‘cabbages’.


Clap the rhythm of the words. Place hands on the head.





















Clap, clap, clap, clap.

Pigs in the peas

Piglets in the buckwheat,

Calves in the cabbages,

Sheep in the radishes,

And Galya (Child’s name) in a handkerchief!



Свині в горосі,

Поросята в гречці,

Телята в капусті,

А Галя у хустці.



Quiet in the forest  🔊



A Ukrainian hand play - "Тихо в лісі".

This may well be a children’s folk song, if it is an original please contact me.

It was initially translated by my brother, Lee Markham who lives in Paris, using his knowledge of Polish and Russian to tease out the words!  Arranged to be sung in English by Dany Rosevear. There is possibly some poetic licence here over whether it is Mother owl talking to her young one or little owl itself who is wide awake!

Hear it sung beautifully in Ukrainian by Irina Tarasevych: where you can also find the words in its original language.

Verse 1. Finger to lips. Hands over head. Hands to cheek. Circle eyes. Hands open and close. Chorus: Open and close hands. 2. Spread hands. Hands to cheek. Circle eyes. 3. Flap elbow wings. Throw out hands. Shake finger. Shape two hand sun with fingers spread and make it rise. Hands to cheek.









































Quiet in their forest home,

Animals are sleeping,

Little owl is wide awake,

With its big eyes blinking.


One, two, blink!

Three, four, blink!

One, two, three, four, blink, blink, blink! x2


In the marshes you will find

Every frog is resting,

Only owl stays wide awake,

With both eyes still open.


Dearest owl it’s nightime now,

Why are you not sleeping?

“I wait until the sun comes up,

Day is best for dreaming!”



Set the little dove free 🔊



The way the world should be.

There are some wonderful musicians who through technical expertise and sound engineering have produced some magnificent global performances that bring us together in a way only music can; one of the foremost of these are Playing for change / Peace through music:

Equally Zoom (and other platforms) and Covid lockdowns have allowed people from many regions to gather together and sing, lifting spirits through some dark days. This is a humble homage to those folk.

Words and music by Dany Rosevear.
































































Let peace come a-calling, set the little dove free! x2

Intro: La-la-la-la, la-la-la-la-la,

La-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la-la!

La-la-la, la-la-la, la!

Chorus: One world, one song, one big family,

Singing our hearts out in sweet harmony,

Not a border or fence that we can see.

Together as one, the way it should be,

Together as one, the way it should be.


For we each share the stars, we each share the moon,

We each share the blue sky on a warm afternoon.

We’ll raise up our voices, when peace is the prize,

For truth, hope and happiness, so little dove can fly. x2 Chorus


And we all love the flowers, we all love the trees,

We all love the ladybugs, the crickets and bees,

And we need one another whereever we be,

To bring love and joyfulness to our big family. x2



We’ll sing songs that move mountains, songs that move hearts,

And songs that will shape us so we each play our part;

As the river runs on, racing down to the sea,

Come with us, sing with us, walk with us, talk with us,

Let peace come a-calling, set the little dove free! x2

Intro + last line x2



Sleepy fingers



A Ukrainian finger play for bedtime. ‘Цей пальчик хоче спати’

There are several versions of this one for preschoolers.


1.-5. Lower fingers one at a time starting with the thumb. 6. Put finger to lips. 7. Shape two hand sun with fingers spread and make it rise. 8. Raise one finger at a time and wiggle them. 9. Walk hand along palm of the other hand.
















This finger wants to sleep.

This finger goes to bed.

This finger yawns.

This finger has gone to sleep.

This one is sound asleep.

Be quiet fingers, make no sound.


The red sun will rise,

And morning will come.

My fingers wake up – Hooray!

It’s time to go to kindergarten / preschool.


Цей пальчик хоче спати.

Цей пальчик ліг в ліжко.

Цей пальчик трохи задрімав.

Цей пальчик вже заснув.

Цей міцно-міцно спить.

Тихіше, тихіше, що не галасуйте.

Сонце червоне зійде,

Ранок ясне прийде.




The house with five floors



A traditional Ukrainian ordinal number play to five.


Display fingers vertically, little finger at the bottom.

1. Count fingers starting with the small one. 2. Twiddle each finger upwards and then back down again. 3. Intertwine fingers to make a hedgehog.





















In this house there are five floors:

I, 2, 3, 4, 5!

On the first lives a family of hedgehogs,

On the second lives a family of rabbits,

On the third, a family of squirrels,

On the fourth a bluetit with her chicks,

On the fifth, an owl - a very intelligent bird!

Well, it's time for us to go back down:

On the fifth, owl,

On the fourth, bluetit,

Squirrels on the third,

Rabbits on the second,

Hedgehogs on the first,

We will visit them. Hello, hedgehog!


У цьому будиночку п'ять поверхів:

На першому живе сімейство їжаків,

На другому живе сімейство зайчат,

На третьому - сімейство рудих білизни,

На четвертому живе з пташенятами синиця,

На п'ятому сова - дуже розумний птах.

Ну, що ж, час нам назад спуститися:

На п'ятому сова,

На четвертому синиця,

Більчата на третьому,

Зайченята - другому,

На першому їжаку,

ми ще до них прийдемо.




This finger went into the forest



A traditional Ukrainian finger play. ‘Оцей пальчик в ліс пішов’ You can find it chanted in Ukrainian here: Пальчикова гра «Оцей пальчик в ліс пішов…» – Дитина Waldorf (

I love this one as it reminds me of the times when my Polish father took us mushroom picking on a nearby airfield in Norfolk, we were the only family that did this as I recollect. It carried on a family tradition from his childhood in Poland but it is likely they would have gathered them in a forest.

Take turns bending each finger down starting with the little one.

1. Make little finger walk. 2. Top ring finger with hand. 3. Cut palm with middle finger.

4. Stir palm with pointer. 5. Move thumb up and down.






















This finger went into the forest,

This finger found a mushroom,

This finger chopped it up,

This finger fried the mushroom,

This thumb ate the lot and got so fat.


Оцей пальчик в ліс пішов,

Оцей пальчик гриб знайшов,

Оцей пальчик різать став,

Оцей пальчик смажить став,

А оцей усе поїв

Ось тому і розтовстів!



This thumb is grandad



A Ukrainian finger play for a baby or toddler. Use the familiar term for grandparents, parents and child.

Older children might twiddle each finger themselves finishing with 

‘And the little one is me and my name is Olenka’.

This would be a lovely way for a child to introduce themselves. They can also use their fingers to introduce their actual family.


Twiddle each finger in turn, finish with a cuddle.


















This thumb is grandad,

This finger is grandma,

This finger is father,

This finger is mother,

This finger is our little girl / boy

And her / his name is Irina / Vanya! (Child’s name)

And here is my whole family


Оцей пальчик наш дідусь,

Оцей пальчик баба,

Оцей пальчик наш татусь,

Оцей пальчик мама,

А цей пальчик наша дівчинка (хлопчик)

А звуть її (його)



Tooty tam 🔊



‘Тут і там’ A simple action song that can be sung in Ukrainian,   

Learn to sing this musically versatile song phonetically in Ukrainian up and down the scales. I have already translated and sung this last week in English as ‘Here and there’: 

Then my granddaughter came to visit at half term and after listening to it in Ukrainian: persuaded me she could teach me to sing it. She has a good ear for language. We also played it on the tongue drum and made a number song to help us. This would also work on a keyboard and has a nice little pattern.

1. Throw out hands. 2. Tap side of the head. 3. Roll arms. 4. Raise three fingers in turn. 5. Flop two fingers over fist. 6. Repeat.







































Tooty tam tooty tam,

Tararam, tararam.

Postory, postory,

Ras, va, tree, ras, va, tree.

Tooty tam tooty tam,

Tararam, tararam.

Postory, postory,

Ras, va, tree!


One, two, three, one, two, three,

Two, three, four, two, three, four,

Three, four, five, three, four, five,

Four, five, six, four, five, six.

Five, four, three, five, four, three.

Four, three, two, four, three, two,

Three, two, one, three, two, one,

One, three, one!


Тут і там, тут і там,

тарарам, тарарам.

Повтори, повтори,

раз-два-три, раз-два-три.

Тут і там, тут і там,

тарарам, тарарам

Повтори, повтори,






Two roosters  🔊



‘Два півники’ A Ukrainian folk song. A great story song to act out as you sing.

Ukraine is the ‘bread basket of Europe’ and famed for its wheat and sunflowers but it grows a huge variety of other crops too. Grinding peas is not a familiar concept in the U.K. and I would love to know more about it.

This translation is by Dany Rosevear. Hear it sung in Ukranian here:


































Two red roosters, two red roosters,

Thresh peas in the farmyard,

Two fine fat hens, two fine fat hens,

Take it to the mill

Where Billy goat grinds it

While Nanny goat is pouring,

Little kid so merrily

Is playing on the fiddle.


Dance, dance little kid,

Dance to the lively music,

Mother goat and father goat

Will bring us flour for pancakes.

Out in the forest,

A mean grey wolf is watching;

Little white goat please be careful

For we know what he’s thinking.

Yes, we know what he’s thinking!


Два півники, два півники

Горох молотили,

Дві курочки-чубарочки

До млина носили.

Цап меле, цап меле,

Коза підсипає,

А маленьке козенятко

На скріпочці грає.


Танцюй, танцюй, козюленько,

Ніженьками туп, туп!

Татусенько з матусею

Принесуть нам круп, круп.

А вовчок-сірячок

З лісу виглядає

Та на біле козенятко

Пильно поглядає.


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