My są żabki


Pięć paluszków

Tańczymy labada

Tu paluszek

W murowanej piwnicy


26/03/2016 16:39


The songs below are part of ‘Karuzela’ The Polish collection compiled, adapted, translated and illustrated by Dany Rosevear


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To listen to music from these songs click on O

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


© Dany Rosevear 2010 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.

The Polish Collection


It is hoped that where possible these songs will be sung in their home language. An English version is provided so children can enjoy the tunes before they have mastered Polish. Literal translations do not always make sense to the English ear so these have been translated freely to complement the music and capture the spirit of the song.

You will find more Polish songs in Hop Skip and Away We Go


Polish pronunciation guide


Spoken Polish is quite different from spoken English. The guide is provided to aid the pronunciation of some of the more distinctive sounds in the Polish language. The letters not listed below are pronounced approximately as in English. There are 32 characters in the Polish alphabet. Stress falls on the last but one syllable.


a        sounds like ah (father)  

ą        sounds like French on

c        sounds like c (dance)     

ć /ci   sounds like ch (cello)

ch      sounds like ch (loch)

cz      sounds like ch (church)

d       sounds like d (dance) but in final position is unvoiced and more like t

dz      sounds like dz (adze) but like j (jewel) when followed by an i

e        sounds like e (met) at the beginning or within a word  

ę        sounds like French ain                     

g        sounds like g (go) but in final position is unvoiced and more like k

h       is never silent sounds like ch (loch)

i         sounds like ee (feet)                

j         sounds like y (yes)                          

ł         sounds like w (wake) but in final position is unvoiced and more like f

ń/ni   sounds like ni (onions)

o        sounds like o (gone)

ó        sounds like oo (boot)    

r        slightly rolled as in Spanish

ś/si     a very very soft sh no equivalent in English

sz       sounds like sh (ship)

u       sounds like u (duke) or as in una

w       sounds like v(vote)

y        sounds like i (ship) but harder

ź/zi    sounds like z/zh (azure)

ż/ rz  sounds like French j (Jean)


If you have a Polish parent to help you with the pronunciation you will find these songs not too difficult to learn despite the spelling!

There are also sites on line including You Tube to help you sing in the original language.



Julijanka O


Play this action game as part of a hygiene topic.


Watch at:

Listen at:














Moja Julijanko, klęknij na kolanko,

Podeprzyj se boczki,

Chwyć się za warkoczyki.

Umyj się, uczesz się,

I wybieraj, kogo chcesz.

My dear Julijinko, kneel down in a twink-o,

Hands on hips, keep steady,

Hands behind your heady.

Wash yourself, comb your hair,

Choose someone without a care.

The players, holding hands, walk steadily in a circle around a child who kneels in the centre miming the actions of the words.


At the end of the song the child in the centre points to a child in the circle and they then swap places for the game to begin again.






























My są żabki O


Watch out frog stork has a huge beak – perfect for catching frogs. Storks are common in this part of Europe and can often be seen nesting on chimney pots in the countryside.


Watch at:


Squat next to a partner in a circle.










My są żabki, wy są żabki,

My nie mamy nic takiego.

Jeno szłapki, jeno szłapki,

Skrzydełka żadnego.

We are froggies, you are froggies,

We don't have a thing that you have.

Only this foot, only that foot,

We have no wings to flap.


Uła kła kła, uła kła kła,

Ula uła uła kła kła,

Uła kła kła, uła kła kła,

Ula uła kła kła,

Oowa qua qua, .....


Tyś jest bocian, ja jest bocian,

My nie mamy nic takiego.

Jeno dzióba jeno dzióba,

Dzióba ogromnego.

We are young storks, you are young storks,

We don't have a thing that you have.

Only this beak, only that beak,

A large beak that goes SNAP!


Uła kła kła....

Oowa qua qua, .....

Point to self then partner.

Wag finger and shake head.

Place one then the other turned out foot down.

Turn on the spot flapping elbow wings.





Squat down with hands on floor and jump sideways round in a circle.




Standing point to self then partner.

Wag finger and shake head.

Hold one hand aloft to snap like a beak and then the other.

Turn round flapping elbow wings.



Skip in scissor jumps sideways round the circle with arm held aloft and fingers and thumb imitating a snapping beak..











Niedźwiadek O


Learn to distinguish the right from the left. The tune will be a familiar one from’ Mam chusteczkę haftowaną’.


Watch at:*23*23*23+MUZYKA+DLA+SMYKA+*23*23*23/Pl*c4*85sy*2c+gry*2c+zabawy*2c+rytmika/pl*c4*85sowe++filmiki

The players stand in a circle.










Lewa łapka, prawa łapka,

Ja jestem niedźwiadek,

Lewa nóżka, prawa nóżka,

A to jest mój zadek.

Here’s my left paw, here’s my right paw,

I’m a little bear cub,

Here’s my left leg, here’s my right leg,

My behind is there, thump! 


Lubię miodek, kocham miodek,

I kradnę go pszczółkom,

Lewą łapką, prawą łapką,

A czasami rurką.

I like honey, oh so yummy,

From the bees I’ll scoop it,

With my left paw, then my right paw,

Sometimes I will slurp it.

Throw out left hand then right.

Point self with both fingers.

Place left then right foot forward.

Turn backside into the circle and tap.





Rub tummy with one hand then the other.

Flap arms like bees and turn round.

Throw out left hand then right.

 Make hand into a tube shape and suck.





























Pięć paluszków O


Move those hands and feet. Learn to differentiate between left and right if children are ready.


Watch at:


Sing through three times and at each repetition sing a little faster.






















Pięć paluszków rączka ma,

Pięć paluszków rączka ma.

Jedna zrobi pa, pa, pa,

Druga zrobi pa, pa, pa.

Five fine fingers on this hand,

Five fine fingers on this hand.

Right hand waves goodbye, goodbye,

Left hand waves goodbye, goodbye.


Nóżka tupie tup, tup, tup,

Nóżka tupie tup, tup, tup.

Jeden skok i drugi skok,

Teraz na dół hop, hop, hop.

Right foot’s stomping stamp, stamp, stamp,

Left foot’s stomping stamp, stamp, stamp.

One big jump and one jump more,

Finish with a hop, hop, hop.

Splay fingers on one hand.

Splay fingers on the other.

Wave one hand.

Wave the second.


Stamp foot three times.

Do the same with the other foot.

Jump once then twice with both feet.

Hop three times on one foot.



Tańczymy labada O


Let’s dance the labada’ is a well known action game both in the nursery and in the scouting and guiding movements. It is also popular on the football terraces of ‘Legia Warszawa’ where it is sung with gusto by crowds of supporters.


Try singing the refrain in Polish and the spoken part in English.

Simplify the game below for younger children by walking normally round the circle and then placing hands on own body parts.

Watch a cheerful version at a party:













Tańczymy labada labada, labada,

Tańczymy labada, małego walczyka. HEJ!

Let’s dance the labada, labada, labada, 

Let’s dance the labada, a funny little dance. HEY!


Tańczą go starszaki, starszaki, starszaki,

Tańczą go starszaki i małe dzieci też. HEJ!

Dance with the older ones, older ones, older ones, 

Dance with the older ones and with the young ones too.  HEY!



Jak to było mały zuszek?

How was that little one?

Jego paluszek

The finger twirls to make...

...małe kółeczko

...a small circle,


ówka The head

Ramionka The shoulders

Kolanka  The knees

Łokcie The elbows (link these)

Bioderka The hips

Kosteczki The ankles

Children stand in a circle and hold hands for the dance. The circle moves to the left. Step left with left foot, cross right foot in front of left, step left, cross right foot behind the left.


The circle moves to the right. Reverse direction of steps beginning with a step to the right.

At the end of the verse the circle stops to face the centre.


Point to the head in meditation.

Place hand in front to indicate height of a youngster.

Twirl the forefinger round


Place hands on the head of the neighbour to the left and right and continue circling the ring with the step described above.

Place hands on the named body part of neighbour each time one is added





Tu paluszek O


‘Here’s a finger’ is a game that helps children identify body parts. It could easily be adapted to accommodate directions, left and right.


Listen at:

Watch at:  


















Tu paluszek, tam paluszek,

Tu pośrodku jest mój brzuszek,

Tutaj rączka, a tu druga,

A tu oczko do mnie mruga.

Here’s a finger, there’s a finger,

On my tummy they will linger.

Here is one hand, here is two,

Here my eyes are blinking at you.


Tu jest buźka, tu ząbeczki,

Tu wpadają cukiereczki,

Tu jest nóżka i tu nóżka,

Choć zatańczyć jak kaczuszka!

Here’s my mouth and my teeth too,

Here’s a sweet kiss flying to you.

Here is one leg, here’s the other,

Dance like ducklings with their mother!

Twirl the right and then left forefinger.

Tap tummy with forefingers.

Wave one then both hands.

Make hands blink like a bird’s beak.






Circle mouth with fingers. Clean teeth.

Blow a kiss.

Shake right then left leg.

Waddle round in a circle with feet splayed out and elbows flapping.












W murowanej piwnicy O


‘The stone cellar’ is a shepherd’s folk melody from the Polish Southern Highland where music often merges with Slovac and Hungarian traditions.


There are many versions of this traditional dance tune, look out for the one by Biesiada Goralska.. Listen at: or


Make home made percussion instruments to enhance the rhythm of this song.




Stand in a circle next to a partner either with hands on neighbour’s shoulders or more simply holding hands. Alternatively dance in pairs as below.

Hop and swing feet first one way then the other as below for the first two lines.

Facing each other place a hand on partner’s waist and the other hand on own hip, make running steps round first in one direction then the other.










Hej, hej! W murowanej piwnicy ,


Tańcowali zbójnicy,

Kazali se piknie grać,

I na nóżki pozirać. Hej, hej!

Hey, hey! In a cellar made of stone,


Dancing brigands there have flown,

Make fine music as they play,

Through the night and through the day.

Hey, hey!


Hej, hej! Tańcowałbyk kiebyk móg,


Kiebyk ni mioł krzywych nóg,

A że krziwe nogi mom,

Co podskocze , to sie gnom ! Hej, hej!

Hey, hey! They can dance with heart and soul,

They have legs that rock and roll,


Crooked legs that are so strong,

Leap and jump like gamboling gnomes.

Hey, hey!



Hej, hej! Łapał zbójnik zbójnickie,


Potargał jej spódnicke ,

A zbójnicka za nim , za nim,

Potargała cuzka na nim. Hej, hej!

Hey, hey! Catch those brigands one and all,

Catch them quickly do not stall,

Behind you a brigand hides,

Tie him down before he flies.

Hey, hey!

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