Songs and rhymes from and for the Ukraine Emoji

 

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.

Bake the bread

Clap, clap hands

Dream passes by

Hare wants to sleep

Here and there

Ivan the great chops firewood

Kotikoo, my grey cat

Light a loving candle ***

Little bean, baked bean

Magpie sits on a stove

Pigs in the peas

Quiet in the forest

Set the little dove free***

Sleepy fingers

This thumb is grandad

Two roosters

Last updated: 5/28/2022 11:52 AM

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.

Return to the ‘Singing games for children’ home

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:

·       you must give the original author credit

·       you may not use this work for commercial purposes

·       for any re-use or distribution, you must make clear to others the licence terms of this work

·       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.


 

 

Bake the bread 🔊

 

 


Печу, печу xлібчик’ A Ukrainian children’s mime and hand play.

See it played in Ukrainian with a nursery class here: Печу печу - YouTube

Translation by Dany Rosevear.

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!

1.  Form dough into a loaf with palms of hands, turning over each time. 2. Show a little loaf with hands forming a ball. Stretch hands apart to show a big loaf. 3. Push hands forward into the oven, pull towards chest. Repeat. 4. Slice bread on the palm of one hand with the other hand as a knife. Rub tummy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I am baking fresh bread

For the children’s lunchtime.

Small buns for the small ones,

Big buns for the big ones!

Bake the bread! Bake the bread!

Push it in, pull it out.

Cut the bread, slice it up.

Yum!Yum!

Печу, печу xлібчик,

Дітям на обідчик.

Меншичкому – менший,

Більшичкому – більший.

 

Шусть y піч!

Шусть y піч!

Сажай – виймай!

Сажай – виймай!

 

Ріжу ріжу я,

Кyштую,

Гам!

 


 

 

Clap, clap hands

 

 


Тосі-тосі-тосі - a Ukrainian clapping game for the very young.

A question and answer rhyme. Use any familiar food as an answer.

There are many similar rhymes to teach baby to clap, the communication between the young and old here is quite delightful: Тосі-тосі-тосі - YouTube

Clap hands in rhythm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clap, clap hands!

Where have you been?

To grandma house.

What did you eat?

Porridge!

What did you drink?

Soup!

What was your snack?

Sauerkraut!

 

Тосі-тосі, лапці!

Де були?

У бабці.

А що їли?

Кашку!

А що пили?

Бражку!

А що на закуску?

Квашену капусту!


 

 

 

Dream passes by 🔊

 

 


A Ukrainian folk lullaby,Ой ходить сон, коло вікон’

‘Where will we rest tonight?’ creates a vision of those sheltering in basements or the many fleeing from danger in war torn parts of the world.

It was probably first printed at the beginning of the 19th century. The song however has been around in Ukrainian folklore for a long time possibly for centuries.

Find out more here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oi_Khodyt_Son_Kolo_Vikon

This translation is by Dany Rosevear.

Hear it sung in Ukranian here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOtev-jZaFk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Oo, oo, oo, oo, Oo, oo, oo, oo, oo, oo.

Oo, oo, oo, oo, Oo, oo, oo, oo, oo, oo.

 

Darkness is nigh, Dream passes by,

Whispers to Sleep.

“Where shall we rest tonight?”

“Where a young child, in a warm cottage lies,

There we will rock little one to sleep.”

 

“Look, look inside, Mother and child,

There we will rest, As very welcome guests.

Hear the cat purr, see the sweet baby smile,

Sleep, sleep in peace, dearest child, my dove.”

 

Oo, oo, oo, oo, Oo, oo, oo, oo, oo, oo.

Oo, oo, oo, oo, Oo, oo, oo, oo, oo, oo.

 

Ой ходить сон, коло вікон.

А дрімота коло плота.

Питається сон дрімоти:

"Де ж ми будем ночувати?"

 

Де хатонька теплесенька,

Де дитина малесенька,

Туди підем ночувати,

І дитинку колисати.

 

Там ми будем спочивати,

І дитинку присипляти:

Спати, спати, соколятко,

Спати, спати, голуб'ятко.


 

 

Hare wants to sleep 🔊

 

 


‘Заєць спати захотівA Ukrainian children’s rhyme and hand play by M. Stelmach.

It is set to a tune by Irina Tarasevych, you can hear her singing it in Ukrainian with her beautiful voice here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMa5wtHXaBc. She has sung many other delightful children’s  songs.‎ Translation by Dany Rosevear.

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!

1. Make hare with fist and first two fingers up, hands to cheek. 2. Smooth sheets. 3. Pull sheets up to face. 4. Make hare lie on fist pillow. 5. Flop two fingers over fist. 6. Throw out hands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hare is tired as tired can be,

Makes his bed so carefully.

Snuggles up inside the bedclothes,

Lays his head on a little pillow.

Hare’s long ears have flopped down, Oh, no!

Now he’ll never go to sleep!

 

Заєць спати захотів

Сам постелю постелив.

Сам приніс собі подушку,

Підмостив собі під вушко.

Але в зайця довге вушко-

Все звисає із подушки.

 


 

 

Here and there 🔊

 

 


‘Тут і там’ A simple action song that can be sung in Ukrainian, listen to it here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eruf6V-V700

This song is very musically versatile: sing as an echo or up two more scales.

Translation by Dany Rosevear. ‘Повтори’ means ‘repeat’ rather than ‘sing with me’.

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!

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Here and there, here and there,

Tararam, tararam.

Sing with me, sing with me

One, two three, one two three!

Here and there, here and there,

Tararam, tararam.

Sing with me, sing with me,

One, two, three!

Then again!

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,

раз-два-три.

 

 


 

 

 

Ivan the Great chops firewood

 

 


A Ukrainian finger and hand play for the very young.

Naming the fingers, rather similar to ‘Tommy Thumb’.

 

Raise one finger at a time starting with the thumb. 1. Chop one hand with the other.

2. Cup hands. 3. Turn on the oven. 4. Stir cupped hand with the other hand. 5. Make all fingers dance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ivan the Great chops firewood,

Vaske-pointer carries water,

Middle Bear heats the stove,

Orphan Grishka cooks the porridge.

And little Timoshka has a song to sing.

Sing and dance have fun together!

 

Івану-більшаку - дрова рубати,

Ваське-указці - воду носити,

Ведмедику-середньому - піч топити,

Гришку-сирітці - кашу варити.

А крихітці Тимошці - пісеньки співати.

Пісні співати та танцювати


 

 

Koticoo, my grey cat 🔊

 

 


A haunting Ukrainian folk lullaby in a minor key,Котику сіренький’

This translation is by Dany Rosevear.

Hear it sung in Ukranian here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdjkPVjfXbI&t=60s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Kotikoo my grey cat,

Kotikoo my sweet cat,

In the house tread lightly,

Do not wake the baby.

Still, be still my kitten,

Pretty, furry, warm thing;

Pussy cat is purring,

Baby dear is sleeping;

Purring's for the pussy cat,

Sleeping’s for my dear, dear child.

A-a, a-a, lu-li,

A-a, a-a, lu-li, Ah!

 

Котику сіренький

Котику біленький

Котику волохатий

Не ходи по хаті

Не ходи по хаті

Не буди дитяти

Дитя буде спати

Котик воркотати

Ой на кота воркота

Ha дитину дрімота

A a, a a, lu-li, !

A a, a a, lu-li, Ah!


 

 

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!


 

 

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!

 

Тосі-тосі,

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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIzGT5IIHBc 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: https://www.youtube.com/user/PlayingForChange

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

Chorus

 

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.


 

 

 

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)


 

 

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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3hShLBsAlQ&t=36s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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.


 

Return to the ‘Singing games for children’ home