Tamil Rhymes for children

Here are some entries for Tulika's Blogathon. The beauty of any song/poem, lies in the rhyming words in the original language, and the same gets bit disrupted in literal translations. There, I've given a lame excuse for my inept translations!

This "sanjadamma.." is one of my favourites. There are other versions too, but I've given the one which is popular in our household. When the baby is able to sit without support and tries to swing back and forth, we say:

"sanjadamma sanjadu
sayakkiliye sanjadu
kuthu vilakkae sanjadu
koyil puravae sanjadu
kannae maniyae sanjadu
bhushanamae nee sanjadu!"

sanjadu-sway/rock back and forth.
sayakiliye-colourful parrot
koyila purave-Temple pigeon.
kannae maniye-dear, darling
bhushanam-precious, valuable thing.

"Vikkal azhagi, vilayada pona
Vikkala vittu, vekkalai sumai"

"Hiccupping beauty, while going to play
sod the hiccups and pick the haystack"

This one is for when the baby gets hiccups. A tiny thread is held near the child's face and the rhyme is narrated thrice, while circling the thread around, so the baby gets distracted, and finally the thread is placed on his/her head, so h/she looks up and the baby's back is rubbed so as to wind him.

"chinna chinna motor
periya periya motor
naan virumbum motor
Naalu chakra motor"

Tiny, Tiny car
Big Big car,
My favourite cars
4-wheeled cars"

This rhyme is used for toddlers to help them differentiate small from big cars, or some such things.

(Edited after The PrintLover's comment with full verse AND translation. Thanks a lot TPL!)

"amma ingae vaa vaa!
aasai mutham thaa thaa!
ilaiyil soru pottu,
eeyai thoora oattu!"

unnai pondra nallaar
ooril yaavar ullaar
ennaal unakku thollai
ethum inge illai

aiyam indri solluven

orumaiye balamam
oathum seyale nalamam
avvai sonna mozhiyaam
ahde enakku vazhiyaam

"Mummy, do come here!
and give me a kiss,
serve food on the banana leaf
and swat the flies away

good folks like you
who else are in town
trouble due to me
will be none

I'll tell without a doubt
unity is strength
Advising is for welfare
this was prescibed by avvaiyar (tamil poet))
and this will be our way of living

"maambazhamam maambazham
malgova maambazham
Salethu maambazham
thithikkum mambazham
azhagana mambazham
alwa pondra mambazham
ungalukku venduma?
ingu odi vaarungal
pangu poattu thinnalaam!"

"Mango, Mango!
Malgova Mango
Mango from Salem
Very sweet Mango
luscious mango
Halwa like mango
Would you like to have some?
Come running here
We'll share and eat!"

Giving an intro to summer's delightful fruit, while emphasising on the sharing habit!


"Aanai vanthathu thoppula
arupparuthathu maambazham
Kuthirai vanthathu thoppula
kotti parichathu vilampazham!"

"An Elephant came to the field
and harvested mangoes
A horse came to the (same) field
and plucked a wood apple"

The mention of Yaanai (elephant) is enough to evoke those never ending giggles from babies!


"Meow Meow saar!
Milk kudikkum saar!
Naalu kaalu saar!
Orae vaalu saar!"

"Meow Meow sir
Milk's your favourite sir!
Four legged sir!
But only one tail sir"

Used to sing for toddlers running behind cats, trying to befriend them!

"Dosai amma dosai
neyyila sutta dosai
arisi maavum, ulundhu mavum,
kalandhu sutta dosai
appavukku anju
ammavukku naalu
annanukku moonu,
akkalukku rendu
paappavukku onnu
thinna thinna aasai
innum kettal poosai!"

"Dosa dosa
Dosa made with ghee
rice flour, urid flour,
mixed to cook the dosa
5 for dad
4 for mom
3 for brother
2 for sister
1 for baby
if someone asks for more
they get a scolding"

As is obvious, this one is used to enable baby to count backwards!"

I had absolute fun doing this. I do remember few more, albeit some like "thaa kuppi thanthana kuppi" and "amma kuthu dhimma kuthu" have some words which have no meaning, but babies gurgle with delight more for the sheer sound of them!


Bubble Catcher said...

Totally loved these. Specially loved the last one.Love the local rhymes as they convey the Indian lifestyle so well and we can identify with these.

PV said...

Nice list !

Please add "Thaa Kuppi" - no matter how the translation becomes :-)

WhatsInAName said...

I am loving these. Just visited Abha's post too!!!!!
I have never heard of that vikkal one. Lemme memorise it for my future grandkids ;)
My oft used rhyme when my kids were small was Nila Nila odi va! And ofcos amma inge va va.
My mom also sang yaanai yaanai arasar yaanai!

bouncingbubble said...

Bubble catcher:I had such fun reminiscing them!

PV:Welcome here! I'm clueless abt the meaning of kuppi, but hv added few more now!

WIAN:Don't these bring such cheer? I'm totally enjoying. Nila Nila someone had added in theirs so I omitted.. keep visiting I'll add more as I recollect !

The Print Lover said...

Oh, vikkal azhagi sounds so sweet on the ears. I am loving that term!

"amma ingae vaa vaa" has a longer version too. Each line starts with the consecutive letter from the tamil alphabet.

amma inge vaa vaa (amma come here)
aasai mutham thaa thaa (give me a kiss)
ilayil sorai pottu (place food on the plaintain leaf)
eeyai thoora ottu (drive away the fly)

unnai pondra nallaar (good folks like you)
ooril yaavar ullaar (who else in in town)
ennaal unakku thollai (trouble due to me)
ethum inge illai (will be none)

aiyam indri solluven (I'll tell without a doubt)

orumaiye balamam (unity is strength)
oothum seyale nalamam (?)
avvai sonna mozhiyaam (this was prescibed by avvaiyar (tamil poet))
ahde enakku vazhiyaam (and this will be our way of living)

And in meow meow song, the last line "Orae vaalu saar!" can also mean "what a naughty thing!" :)

Interesting collection Ms.BB. Superb!

bouncingbubble said...

Print Lover:
Welcome here!Thank u so much for sharing the full verse of "amma ingae vaa vaa.." I'll include that. I'll also try to include "sanjadamma sanjadu..sayakkiliyae sanjadu.." Such a beautiful rhyme that one is..
And :) for the vaalu.. punny rhyme that one could be, yes!

bouncingbubble said...

and as far as my knowledge goes "Othum" could either mean "advice/discourse" or "donation"...thinking on the veins of "mandhiram otharthu" and "othi viduthal" in functions.

Anu said...

wonderful! thanks for reminding me of the mambazham one as well as the 'amma kutthu dimma kutthu'.. had totally forgotten those.......

bouncingbubble said...

Anu-welcome to my blog! Thanks, I love the "mambazham" one a lot too!

Tulika Publishers said...

Hi,we're acknowledging all those who contributed to our upcoming poetry collection. Could you please send me your full name for the same?Thanks!

Education said...

Wow...really nice rhymes...Thank you for sharing such a nice information.

Education ERP

Abhay Patel said...

I just go through the post. It's really good. I appreciate your work. Thank you.

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Priya c said...

One more

Akka en vittuku vandhu po
Akka en vittuku kapi kudikka va
Kapiyai naan aatruven attruven
Uthi tharuven

Elder sister come to my home
Come to my home for a cup of coffee
I'll cool the coffee n give you

Priya c said...

One more

idi idikkudhu idi idikkudhu
kekkalaya kekkalaya
choda choda chot chot
nenaindheney kulurudhey

its lightening its lightening
aren't you hearing aren't you hearing
noise of rain.. Trip trip
got drenched n I'm feeling cold

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tamil kids stories

Preethi said...

So well written :) tganks. Nice read for folks like me who have lost their roots with the tamil language. .yet with a love for the language

Revathi said...

Hi, I just loved this post. Very well written. Just an addition,
Amma Inge va va is also used to teach the vowels (check the first letter of line). Also I think it is 'ottrumai ' in tamil instead of orumai.
Btw does anyone remember
'thangakutty tharave thaniye vazhiye povalo...'
If so plz do post that one.thanks in advance.

Unknown said...

Please more...am learning tamil these are so helpful!