Tuesday, 7 June 2011

10 German action rhymes/Singspiele

Sometimes, being an expat mum means things are a bit upside down, or inside out. Maybe it's to do with my age showing, but when Cubling was born, could I remember any German children's songs? Nope, I didn't get beyond Alle meine Entchen. Knowing how great singing is to support language development (and generally have fun, it's not all about learning y'know), I religiously went to our local bounce and rhyme session, and found myself more proficient in English nursery rhymes than German ones.

The German Kinderclub has finally given back some balance in the children's song department. I can tell from both my children's enthusiasm that action rhymes win over just songs, so I thought it would be a good idea to put my favourite German action songs together, for me and maybe others to have them in one place as reference. It's only recently that I discovered German versions of English action rhymes (or vice versa, I have no idea which came first, and does it matter?) and they are particularly popular with my 4-year old. The great thing is that if you know the English melody, you're sorted, i.e. a great resource to parents who wish to add some German culture without necessarily being German themselves.

If you have a selection of even 10 songs, it's a great component for any German playgroup, big or small. I've added links to youtube videos for help with the melody of the songs that don't exist in English where possible.

Finally, I'd like to tag my bilingual blogging buddies to pick 10 songs in their language that may or may not be similar to English. I'd love to sing Spanish, French and Gaelic songs to my girls for a change!

So then, can I hear anyone singing yet?

1. Wenn du froehlich/gluecklich bist dann klatsche in die Hand - this is the same song as If you're happy and you know it, sung to the same melody.
Wenn Du glücklich bist, dann klatsche in die Hand (klatsch, klatsch)!
Wenn Du glücklich bist, dann klatsche in die Hand (klatsch, klatsch)!
Zeig mir, wenn Du bei mir bist, wie Dir so zumute ist.
Wenn Du glücklich bist, dann klatsche in die Hand (klatsch, klatsch)!
Wenn Du wütend bist, dann stampfe mit dem Fuß (stampf, stampf)!
Wenn Du wütend bist, dann stampfe mit dem Fuß (stampf, stampf)!
Zeig mir, wenn Du bei mir bist, wie Dir so zumute ist.
Wenn Du wütend bist, dann stampfe mit dem Fuß (stampf, stampf)!
Wenn Du traurig bist, dann seufze doch einmal (seufz, seufz)!
Wenn Du traurig bist, dann seufze doch einmal (seufz, seufz)!
Zeig mir, wenn Du bei mir bist, wie Dir so zumute ist.
Wenn Du traurig bist, dann seufze doch einmal (seufz, seufz)
(As you sing, imitate all the actions)
Ich nehme eine Leiter und stell sie an den Apfelbaum
und klettre immer weiter, so hoch, man sieht mich kaum.
Und pflücke und pflücke, mal über mir, mal unter mir
mein ganzes Körbchen voll.

Dann steige ich immer weiter und halt mich an den Zweigen fest,

und setz mich ganz gemütlich dort oben ins Geäst.
Und schaukele, und schaukele, di-wipp, di-wapp, di-wipp, di-wapp
und fall auch nicht herab.
Kricks, kracks - plumps.

3. Krokodil aus Afrika: a great song to go from child to child (or child to mum/dad etc), best sung in groups but we have lots of fun on our own too. Add a name to the blanks. Imitate mouth of crocodile with both arms, and draw a box in the air at appropriate point. Another favourite of ours, Cubling will sing this endlessly to the delight of Snowflake.
Was kommt denn da? Was kommt denn da?
Ein Krokodil aus Afrika!
Es sperrt sein Maul auf, es sperrt sein Maul auf
und sagt: ”Ich fress die/den _____ auf!”
Aber _____ die/der sagt ”Nein! Krokodil, lass das sein!
Denn sonst sperr ich dich in eine Kiste ein!”
Aber _____ die/der sagt ”Nein! Krokodil, lass das sein!
Denn sonst sperr ich dich in eine Kiste ein!”
4. Das gerade-Lied (our favourite) each adjective has an action: Gerade - hold arms out horizontally, schief - change arms to diagonal position etc, the more theatre, the more the kids will love it. And you HAVE to shout out the last word!
Das ist grade,
das ist schief,
das ist hoch
und das ist tief.
Das ist dunkel,
das ist hell,
das ist langsam,
das ist schnell.

Das ist groß
und das ist klein,
das mein Arm
und das mein Bein.
Das sind Haare,
das ist Haut,
das ist leise,
das ist LAUT.

5. Haeschen in der Grube: all children lie down in the middle pretending to sleep. When the song comes to Haeschen huepf! All children wake up and hop. Even my 8 months old starts hopping already!
Häschen in der Grube
Saß und schlief, saß und schlief
Armes Häschen bist du krank,
Daß du nicht mehr hüpfen kannst
Häschen hüpf, Häschen hüpf,

6. Backe backe Kuchen - quite a simple one, and all you do is clap the rhythm and imitate shoving the cake into the oven. And I only found out recently that "gel" means yellow...

Backe, backe, Kuchen,
Der Bäcker hat gerufen!
Wer will gute Kuchen backen,
Der muß haben sieben Sachen:
Eier und Schmalz,
Butter und Salz,
Milch und Mehl,
Safran macht den Kuchen gel! 

7. Die Raeder vom Bus - same as the wheels on the bus
Die Räder vom Bus, die gehen rundherum,
rundherum, rundherum,
Die Räder vom Bus, die gehen rundherum,
durch die ganze Stadt!
Die Türen vom Bus, die gehen auf und zu...
Die Fenster… hoch und runter…
Die Wischer… hin und her…
Die Hupe… die macht “tut tut tut” …
Der Fahrer… der sagt: “Nach hinten gehn!”...
Die Babys im Bus, die machen: ”Wäh wäh wäh”...
Die Kinder… : “Blah blah blah”…
Die Mamis… : “psst, psst, psst”…
Die Omas im Bus, die sagen: “Lass sie doch!”…

8. Der Gruene Frosch im Gras - same as little green frog
Mh Hä macht der grüne Frosch im Gras
Mh Hä macht der grüne Frosch,
mh Hä macht der grüne Frosch im Gras
anstatt Quak quak quak quak.
Und die Fische singen schubidubidu, schubidubidu, schubidubidu
Und die Fische singen schubidubidu,
doch der kleine grüne Frosch macht mh hä.

9. Die Winzig Kleine Spinne - incy wincy spider / itsy bitsy spider
Die winzig kleine Spinne kroch auf den Wasserhahn.
Dann kam der Regen
und warf sie aus der Bahn.
Dann kam die Sonne
und trocknet's wieder auf,
und die winzig kleine Spinne kroch wiederum hinauf.
10. Bruederchen komm tanz mit mir (we sing it as Schwesterchen for obvious reasons) - imitate all the actions.
Brüderchen, komm tanz mit mir,
beide Hände reich’ ich dir.
Einmal hin, einmal her,
rundherum, das ist nicht schwer.

Mit den Händen klatsch, klatsch, klatsch,
mit den Füßen patsch, patsch, patsch.
Einmal hin, einmal her,
rundherum, das ist nicht schwer.

Mit den Köpfchen nick, nick, nick,
mit den Fingern tick, tick, tick.
Einmal hin, einmal her,
rundherum, das ist nicht schwer.

Mit dem Näschen zupf, zupf, zupf,
mit dem Öhrchen rupf, rupf, rupf.
Einmal hin, einmal her,
rundherum, das ist nicht schwer.
Ei, das hast du fein gemacht,
ei, das hätt ich nicht gedacht.
Einmal hin, einmal her,
rundherum, das ist nicht schwer.

Noch einmal das schöne Spiel,
weil es mir so gut gefiel.
Einmal hin, einmal her,
rundherum, das ist nicht schwer.


Anonymous said...

DANKE, DANKE, DANKE!!!! You have no idea how excited I am to read this post! (or maybe you do by all the exclamation points :)
As a non-native speaker of German, I have no knowledge of German children's songs and finger rhymes, etc. I have several albums I've purchased from iTunes, so in the past 9 months, I've learned a lot of songs (all cataloged on my blog). But the finger rhymes are harder, since I don't know the motions. This is a great start for me!
I've also been wanted to sing German versions of English songs (like Wenn du glücklich bist and Die Winzig Kleine Spinne [Aleksander's absolute favorite right now]). I'm going to print out all the lyrics and get busy learning!

smashedpea said...

Nice collection! Here are more - though sorry, they are all in German :)


cartside said...

@germanintheafternoon, super that it's useful! I was considering doing a vlog, and may yet do something like it, esp. for the two songs where I just could not find a youtube video to help with melody and movement.
@smashedpea, fab, thanks for pulling them together!!!

Tamara Staton said...

YaY! I, too, am excited about finding this post...it's so great. I have an area on my blog for the exact same thing, but wasn't able to find very many crossover songs. So, thank you!
Also, wanted to ask you...I have gotten 96 hits from your site on or around June 13th, which is totally exciting for me. Is there a reason for this influx? I looked around, and other than finding the link to my blog in your blogroll, couldn't find anything else that might tip people off. Am I missing a reference somewhere?
Either way, thank you. I'm very excited to have so many more readers!
I love your blog, by the way, too. I wish there were a way for me to know when you post about German stuff in particular (as much as I enjoy reading about it all!).
Thanks again,

cartside said...

@Tamara, no idea! I only came across your blog recently and haven't linked in a post to it - other than maybe the carnival? And while I have visited (I often visit blogs by going through my blog) I didn't visit that often!
So a mystery, but great that you got so many hits!

Steph McVey said...

Hallo! So this is very random, but I was searching for a particular song my Grandma (who's from Nuremberg) used to sing to my sister and me when we were kids. I was wondering if you could help me at all?!

She would sit us on her lap and bounce us up and down and say something like (and forgive me. I only remember how it sounded, I had no idea what the words really were, so bear with me!)

"Bicha bacha beta
Hinden unf umshteda
itse Stiefala
(My name is Stephanie. She'd say "SH-tee-fala")

I am totally lost at the end but I know it ends with her holding out a word and I cannot remember how it goes. It's short. We'd ask over and over to do it again!

I never asked her when I was older what it was or what it meant, and I wish I had before she passed away. I want to sing it to my kids when I have them.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Kids Cds said...

Rhyming prepares kids to make predictions while learning words and gives them crucial decoding skills.
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Jeba Qpt said...

Nursery Rhymes which may bring back memories of your childhood

Anonymous said...

Have you ever heard of any funny nursery rhymes, like adult versions? I have heard a few but wondering how many you guys can come up with.... let me hear one!!!
Pepa Pig Let it Snow Finger Family

John Adam said...

Does anyone know any creepy nursery rhymes - preferably ones from the 1800's and even farther back? Excluding Rock-a-Bya-Baby
The Good Dinosaur Finger Family

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Harriett Wahler said...

My grandparents were Germans living in Russia, then came to the US at the turn of the century. I remember a little rhyme that you taught to babies about parts of their faces: chin, mouth, cheeks, nose, eyes, forehead, then the hair. Here's what I remember 60 yrs later: Badcha, maulcha, beckelcha, beckelcha, naseya, egelcha, egelcha, stancha, sop sop hancha!! Please tell me I'm not the only one who remembers this! lol



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