Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ghanaian Childhood Songs That Take Us Waaay Back.

Remember when we were kids, there were all these songs that went with play. Especially with girls games. Some of the songs make me laugh now. They make so sense. hehe. Please help me remember them.

1. Drop it

I drop it
I drop it
I drop it
I send a letter to my lover
On the way I drop it.

Please don't lie. Some of you were singing this song like so:

Lɔɔ Peter
Lɔɔ Peter
Lɔɔ Peter Lɔɔ
Peter send a letter to my lover
On the way I lɔɔ pit.

2. Roooobert. Rooobert.
Robert Mensah Goal Keeper Number One
Aka nansa na w'ako abrokyir (3 days before a trip abroad)
Kwasea bi te ho ompe ne ho asem (a stupid but innocent man)
Wafa pentoa, ode awo ne mfe.(stabbed him with a broken bottle)
Ade kyee yea ne yere w'awo (the next day his wife had a kid)
Ne yere ba de sen? (what was he named?)
Kofi Anto
Kofi Anto w'anto ne maame (Kofi Anto did not meet his mom)
Kofi Anto w'aanto ne paapa (Kofi Anto did not meet his dad)

3. Aduuu Aduuu Aduuu (monkey monkey monkey)
Adulee (monkey tail)
Gye ponko leee (is not a horse tail? )


4. I met my boyfriend at the candy shop (The prudes that we were...boyfriend was soon changed to bestfriend)
He bought me icecream and he bought me cake
Mama mama
I'm so sick
Call the doctor
quick quick quick
Doctor doctor
Shall i die?
No, my darling, you won't die.

5. I went to the chinese restaurant
To buy a loaf of bread bread bread
They wrapped it in a brown paper
And this is what they said said said
My naaame is humpty dumpty
sugarling darling
rolling aaaa
chinese japanese chopsticks!

Somewhere in the middle of this song, you don't know the words so that's where you sing it biara biara:)

6. There was this one game. Whilst jumping rope or skipping rope as we called it, we'd have to choose all the things you wanted in life. Like husbands name, how many kids you'd have, what kind of wedding, and what kind of car you'd ride in to your wedding. lol. And i particularly remember the options for that one.

Abongo lorry, toyota , 504, ebini car.

7. London bridge is falling down
falling down falling down
London bridge is falling down
My fair lady

What songs did you sing whilst playing?


  1. Esi, i love this blog. it feels my boring days with laughter. Oooh mine, some of the songs above i did not even know those where the correct words or meaning. i just sang them any how and!!!

    My church had a family day in the park this summer and i realised these childhood songs are never fogotten. They do stay with you forever.

    let me try :

    1. 2-4-6-1-1 carry carry

    carry Mr carry man carry me now
    so i come back when i go home
    ooh carry, ooh carry

    NB: Repeat till someone makes a mistake and drops out.

    2. Mother in the kitchen cooking rice water
    Daddy in the hall watching video
    the children are in the playing ground playing ampe Stop

    Change your style, change your style
    Be like that, be like that

    3. Baby thief,
    the taboo
    Botele bitter widow
    Diabolo, Diabolo

    4. There is a fire on the mountian
    there is a fire on the mountain
    run, run, run

    5. Kick, open, faster faster
    open, kick, faster, faster

    6. My name is jersey, jersey
    i come from Mesop, mesop
    i wanna hug you
    i say come and let us dance
    ooo mesop, oooo Mesop

    NB: just so i dnt expose the little child in me let me stop at no!!!

  2. great - (but your Ga is write it like you write twi/fante, hehe)

    Lady Jaye


  4. OMG- this has taken me way back indeed. I used to sing it "Draw Peter". Can't think of any childhood songs now. Will be back if I do remember. Great post as usual.

  5. golly gosh! esi. this one dieh, i have to rework some of them into song. "doctor doctor, shall i die!" haha. how about piloloo nkwasia adjuma. and me gye me mo, ampara: aka i'm collecting my rice/i'm fooling you. as for the lullabies, plenty and chaw. tu tu gbovi. good post tho

  6. here's one i remember

    I have a little painseh
    in my little chester
    every time I coughseh
    I feel the little painseh
    eheh! eheh! eheh!
    There it is againseh

    (The last words of each line are supposed to be pain sir, chest sir, cough sir, pain sir, again sir)

  7. I kept a notebook as a kid with the songs we use to play written in it. I can't find it but i do remember.

    Mo ma ye koswe Adjoa Ata, Adjoa Ata,
    Mo fi me so ko


  8. Nice post Esi!

    This makes me remember my holidays in Ghana when I was younger and my cousin teaching me some of these songs... I definitely remember childhood song nr. 2 with all the clapping as well lol

    But I was wondering.. can you sing some of them in a video blog or something cause I can't remember the melodies of all of them ?

  9. haha lol Mrs. Esi you forgot to finish with the robert song..
    after the last
    "Kofi Anto w'aanto ne paapa (Kofi Anto did not meet his dad)"
    we say
    "amani esikyire wom.. m'ate matinga, to power, to mano zero, zero, zero black, black, black head, head, head master, master, master poku, poku, poku ware, ware, aware so, so, s)fo, fo, foriwaa, waa, waakye, kye, kyinam, nam, nampa, pa, paano, no, nooma, ma, mango, go, go way you, you, you fool, fool, fufuo.
    amane kakraka, bum mmienu nafa ye nkwan.. amane nkete nkete twire twire ho nafa ye nkwan!"

    ..and that's the end of the song.. heheh lol i'm only 15 so i remember it quite clearly.. :)

    2. we sang this song when playing skipping rope..
    "aunti sisi waye gElli, gElli, (a.k.a jherri curls)
    ni gElli no edwie wo mu, wo mu,
    oko disco, wenya boyfriend, boyfriend,
    ne boyfriend no wayE borga, borga,
    borga seventeen, eighteen nineteen, borga seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, borga kyinkyinaa bolo twenty..(pronounced TWEN-TAY) (have no idea what some of those words mean, lol)

    3. and the day of the week game/song.. went like this
    'Obiara yewo no kwasiada (insert other day of the week here), )nkoto, )nkoto, obiara, yEwo no kwasiada, )n sori, )nsori,
    la lalala lalala, lalala la laa laa la, sardine ATTENTION!!"

    4. BAM, BAM, BAMBALEEYA, BAM BAMM BAMBALEEYA, BAM BAM BAMBALEEYA, have u seen ur friend?? shakee, shakee, shake your body, shakee, shakee, shake your body, shakee, shakee, shake your body have u seen your friend (please, enter).

    5.and this adowa/traditional dancing game and the song goes
    "otwor) letter brE me dE, mehwemu aa yese odo w'awu, me din yaa wombo yaa yaa ei, komfo anokye, wombo yaa yaa ei,.. na me si adiE ayE me.. paaanana adiE ayE me paanana adiE ayE me paanana adiE aye me so.. na me se koo ko a yay yay yay yay ko ko a yay yay ko ko a yay yay ko ko aso"..

    6. obi nfrE nana osei ma me.. obi frE nana osei ma ma, nana Osei agyeman, nana wonie, nana osei agyeman, nana wonie, eii, bronya ebayi, mma bekum mmEma ei,, mma bekum mEmma ei.. asanteni akora, wosa ma wo to nko fam, wo sa daada wo ho EE." (this was also a traditional dancing game.. usually danced to adowa or other traditional dance)

    **.. i think that's all i can think of.. heheh brought back loads of memories.
    did anybody else sing at least two of the songs i mentioned above?? it would be really interesting to know... i grew up in small town near Akim Oda soo.. not sure if any of you city-raised people sang these songs....

  10. A coupla of weeks ago I overhead two kids singing london bridge is falling check out the conversation;
    girl: london bridge is falling down falling down falling down. London bridge is........
    boy: ''heh ka wa nu tum. wa bon(tr. hey shut up. you are dumb). 3y3( is sung) london bridge is FORIN down FORIN down FORIN down.London bridge is FORIN down my fair laaadyyy.''

  11. I remember this one.
    1) pimpana nana (2x)
    si si si,
    si dada ko
    ta ta bongo
    bongo to ta bonga ta ey
    ei ma mia, ei papa ei
    ei bongota lorry

    And there was,
    2) My golden my golden
    My golden (your name)
    (Your name)wo he fe
    wako abrokyere aba
    onto brofo kraa
    na wo hu ne se
    wobe kakyere no se
    medo o medo o medo wo
    shegle shegle bush...
    wo mame ho ye fe........

    And then I remember
    3) yo yo yo
    whana na waye oo
    esi na wa ye oo
    taboo ta taboo ta

    4) in the golden treasure
    To the east to the west
    I met my boyfriend at the candy shop,
    he bought me ice cream and he bought be cake
    he took me home with a belly ache
    mama mama, am so sick
    call the doctor quick quick quick
    doctor doctor shall i die?
    (then we count to 10)am alive

    5) ankele kele kele bush
    ositi ositi ositi expbush
    owaga owaga owagadugu bush (i think)

    and this
    6) Mary oh mary (2x)
    i am the one one
    i am the two two
    i am the Mary sister
    open the door for me.............

  12. LOL!!! Gifty you made my morning with mate matinga - to power! Lol... Good post Esi

  13. I've just had a very good laugh with a work mate remebering all of these songs. Gifty you nailed it and yes we city raised folks sang all those songs!!! Esi......perfect!!

  14. Esi! LOL!!!

    So after Abongo lorry, toyota , 504, ebini car.
    Then the options for the wedding venue were:
    toilet, bathroom, kitchen, church.

    So who remembers this (sang to the tune of Nkosi sikeleli Africa):

    Moko yashi kelewele Africa
    Mi mami ha mi kaple ke yahe eko
    Beni mihye jeme ake eta
    Eta kelewele eta (eta ei)
    Eta kelewele eta

    Then there was:

    Oh and then:
    My mother was in Africa selling cocoa and yam
    My father was in Jamaica selling cocoa and yam
    Oh ima, ima, ima, ima, ima, ima
    Oh ima, ima, ima, ima, ima, ima
    Oh ima, ima, ima, ima, ima, ima
    Selling cocoa and yam

    Oh... this has been fun

  15. here's another one as i remember it or rather as i sang it:

    Mary oh Mary
    Mary oh Mary
    i am the one one
    i am the two two
    i am the Mary sister
    open the door for me
    Mary ah Ama ama maria ama ama
    ooobiri bo obiri bo

    etc, etc. ;-)charlene

  16. Hahahahhahahahahah...........please people seriously?? You remember all that? Wow.Am saving this post n comments and anytime am down this weekend, I'll read it.Thanks people

  17. bobbi shafto gone to sea
    silver buckles on his knee
    he ll come back and marry me
    boni bobbi shafto

    bobbi shafto bright and fair
    combing down his yellow hair
    hes my love forever more

    bonni bobby shafto

  18. Just remembered this one
    (sung to the tune of the chorus of Yvonne Chaka Chaka's hit track 'Umqombothi')
    Obi na aponye awu
    won fa no nko mortuary (pronounced morchrry)
    *the sentence is sung and resung till everyone is tires*

    then there was this Ga song(sorta): lee(pronounced lay)oooooo lee
    lee adun lee
    lee jata lee
    lee alonte lee
    lee gb)m) lee
    response: No(as in the English word 'no') lee.
    tr. tail oooooo tail
    response: tail
    tail monkey's tail
    tail lion's tail
    response: tail
    tail cat's tail
    response: tail
    tail man's(or human being's) tale
    response: No tail.
    As we entered adolescence and started knowing bawdiness and general teenage naughtiness, the 'No lee' response for man's tail became 'Lee'. If you know wat I mean ;-)

  19. I remember these:
    aya yeii aya ya yei
    aya yeii aya ya yei
    look at Esi see how she runs like a concord fly in the air

    the princess was a lovely child lovely child lovely child
    the princess was a lovely child
    lovely child
    a wicked fairy .........
    and made her sleep for hundred years years.....
    and all the tree grew one by one.....
    a handsome prince came ......
    and woke the princess form her sleep...
    and everybody's happy now.....

    the time to be happy is now
    and the place to be happy is here
    and the way to be happy is to make someone happy
    and you have a little heaven ............
    i'm happy today , so happy
    Jesus has made me happy......

    life is open out before you
    youthful life so fresh and ....
    God on high is watching over you
    be a hero in the fight
    be a hero......

    i want, iwant , iwant ( mention a name eg Ama)
    to come and dance with me
    cho cholo chooolo choolo , chaaala chaala , chooolo cho to come and dance with me.

    Miss Polly had a dolly who was sick sick sick
    So she phoned for the doctor to be quick quick quick
    The doctor came with his hat and his bag
    and he knocked at the door with a ra-ta-ta
    He looked at the dolly and he shook his head
    and he told Miss Polly " put her striaght to bed"
    I'll be back in the morning with my bill, bill,bill

    cocoa farmer, coco farmer,
    how are you, how are you
    do you want some chocolate, do you want some chocolate
    yes i do
    yes i do( i do)
    yes i do

    brother musa, brother musa
    go to school
    go to school
    all the bells are ringing
    all the bells are ringing
    ding dong bell
    ding dong bell

    count your berries
    are you ready
    if so
    lets go
    lets begin with the names of schools
    for example ....

    O every sleeper waking
    the sun is in the sky
    come rise , come rise and hear the cukoo cry
    cukoo, cukoo
    wake up be (?)

    blue bird on my shoulder
    blue bird on my shoulder.....
    come and follow me
    Peter ..........

    Adisco boys and girls
    Adisco boys and girls
    Adisco boys and girls
    come and dance any dance
    "panam pana naa naa naa........

  20. Awww this brings back soo many memories....lool those were some really fun times at UPS.

    Who stole the toffe from the teacher's desk, Number 1 stole toffe from the teacher's desk. Who me? Yes? Not me, then who? Number 2 stole the toffe form the teacher's desk.....
    And it went on for I bit. i don't even remember how it ends.

    I am H-A-P-P-Y, I am H-A-P-P-Y, I am sure I am, yes I'm sure I am. I am H-A-P-P-Y. HAPPY! lool

  21. I remember another one. We used to sing it during girls guide on fridays over in the park across from the school.. I was a brownie.
    All those all born on (pick any day) come in and dance... All those all born on (whatever day) come in and dance... Pananananananana pananananananana... come in and dance...

    Aww I really like this post paaa.... Thank you for bring back the good days.

  22. Oh wow, lol, this is great. I am almost...well no need for that. I remember quite a lot of these but chale Gifty, I think you are champion because I don't remember all the songs you have posted.
    "Bobby Shafto" was taught to me by my older sister who is need for that either. My mother also used to sing that song and she's in her mid 60s!
    I believe the very end of the Mary oh mary, I am the one one.... song is
    abele kw3, eba,
    abele kw3 eba,
    abele kw333 ebaaa ekw333 ebaaa... then start the song again.
    As for the options for the wedding car we used to say "Taxi, Benz, Abongo Lorry." You ppl had options paaa ooh lol! This is fab! Thanks Esi!

  23. @Mike I've had a little laughseh!

  24. Ok I remembered a couple.

    1. Kyekyekule kyekye kofi sa, kofi salanga.....

    2. And then there was this one:
    The telephone is ringing, the telephone is ringing who can it be who can it be, I'm sure its my mother I'm sure it's my mother.....

  25. Omigosh!!! Great post Esi and all contributors!! You guys have made my night/my month in fact :)) I am here screaming with laughter in my apt.

    Gifty killed it Mate matenga, power.. to mani zero...hahahahahaa!!! serious twinglish. We've mixed the languages up so well. I have nothing good to contribute, but I think I remember this one:

    My first born is Ama mefawoshi
    My second born is Tina mafawoshi
    My third born is Sylvia mafawoshi
    But the super born is Dora mafawoshi

    Obi ba Dora aii sori oh mafawoshi, Obi ba Dora ai sori oh mafawoshii.....hehehehehe (one of the duller songs sung when playtime is almost over/ all the energy is gone)

    How about:

    pilo looo kwasia adjuma..pilo loo kwasia adjuma

    Did someone post this already:

    I went to the Chinese Restaurant to buy a loaf of bread bread bread
    They wrapped it in a brown paper
    and this is what they
    said said said
    My name is Changi Changi Sugarling Rounding
    Rollling Rolling
    Chinese Japanese Justice

    (what the hell were we talking about in this song?? hehehehehe)

    How about: Change your style, change your style, be like that, be like that

    Someone mentioned this:

    Count your berries, are you ready, if so, lets go
    They left this part out:
    No repetition, No demonstration, No hesitation, so lets go, lets begin with the names of .....

    For "in the golden treasure," my school's version had some words I never understood:

    In the golden treasure
    Say mama latunse
    Sister the Bell
    The boys are waiting
    Walking out the door
    TO the east, to the west, I met my boyfriend....

    (or was I the only one who sang it like this??) Oh fun times!! in fact, now that I think back, I probably used to mangle the words big time. I too thought the song Esi mentioned "Drop Peter" was

    Draw Peter Draw Peter Draw Peter Draw
    Peter Sanka Lama Kumalata
    All the way I dropping

    Oh mercy!The Queen of England would faint if she heard her language being mangled like this!!!!!!!!:))

  26. Hey remembered one. This one I heard more in my neighbourhood than at school:

    (School Meditation...or something like that)

    Ataa Bometa
    Sika thank you
    Onyame Ba, Mekye wade
    Ashetu she me kawa
    (I believe I am missing some words here)
    Kwame Aladgi N'eba no
    Oshe gurantee, nanso onte brofo
    Ne brofo ahh ne seh:

    School meditation, spell your name,
    School meditiation, spell your name

    Another classic:

    Pem pna Nana! Pem pna Nana!
    Si Si Si, Si Nana Ko,
    Ta Ta Bonkum
    BOnkum oh Bonkum ah Bonkum ta Preda
    A mameeai A papai Ai Bom Bom fire

    Agya Ananse
    Yi wo nan baako Nenka Baako
    Me Da wa se
    A mameai A papai Ai Bom Bom fire!!!! :))

  27. Mango bunu n'ema yarie
    yarie n'ema owuo
    owuo n'ema saman
    saman n'ema dompe
    dompe n'ema macho
    macho, macho, macho man

  28. Wow!!!! All this stuff is so great that i'm overwhelmed with nostalgia. Seriously Esi, you should like really do a compilation of all these songs in print for the future generations.I wonder if the kids of today have it like we did...Well, these are the songs i remember and haven't seen anyway else yet....

    1)This was sung to some Michael Jackson song of which i don't r'ber the title...

    You put your water on fire
    The you add your "mmori"
    You stir it, stir it, stir it
    Then you have your banku
    Characteristics of banku (10X)

    2)Oops!! I run out of gas!! Lol

  29. I see M.nifest and Wanluv making tracks right now..

    Cant believe how long its been..
    I really luved playn
    1. 2,4,6,1,1 carry carry

    there was a song about kitchen, toilet, bathroom and church..

  30. guurrrl dis page is so fun.i cudnt blve i laughed thruout ..i love ma country n dos days..wish i cud av such fun again..esi and all u de best!wow.i rembr der came dis fake rap:it goes lyk
    me papa y3 rasta
    me maame y3 pastor(pasta)
    me ne me nua Esther
    y3kc akcdi easter
    3wc Manchester..
    to be honest i used sing dis alot thinkin i was de best rapper alive..lmao!.

  31. wow i love dis blog so brings fun memories dat wil neva fade..aww wish i cud av dos fun again. aww tear droppin frm overjoy!..lmao!..least i forget der was dis rap dat came up which made me go crazi..der it goes-->:D
    me papa y3 rasta
    me maame y3 pastor(pasta)
    me ne menua Esther
    y3kc akcdi easter
    3wc Manchester.
    i used to carry maslf as de best rapper alive den..aww fun tyms!lol

  32. LOL! Love it. Sorry I have no songs to contribute being the outside observer I was. But while reading through I caught myself singing along to some of the songs. I agree with the suggestion to either make a real compilation of these and/or provide the youtube version!

  33. brill!!! just brill!!!!!!!!!
    Seriously Esi, u shld look into doing a compilation, or a video blog, like u did with the "ghanaian names".

  34. Does anyone know where I can get the Ewe song called Naime. It is the signature song for a radio show. Also I grew up listening to some twi stories that had songs 'si sirimbo tabrumbo' which I am sure means nothing, but does anyone remember these stories with their songs?

    This is a great blog!

  35. Awww Esi! great job ans thanks to all contributors too. Now that I have gone through other post, I think I remember one now. It goes like this...
    Klemezin yei
    Klemezin yei

    Hmmmmm am stuck really. WEll we use to sing this plaig this hoping game......HELP!

  36. This really takes me way back.

    Remember these...

    1) My grandmother on my waist
    she don't know how to salut
    when the time is six o'clock
    we are ready to brush our teeth
    we are ready to comb our hair
    we are ready to go to school
    scooby, scooby, scooby ah woohoo (that's how we said)

    2) fermame fermame fen fen
    abryiwa sekina
    wahye ni tii doon doon
    o lady mammah, oh lady mammah
    abryiwa beeko america
    (sorry I don't know who to write in twi)

    1. Who remembers this song

      Amina tumu ya
      matimatinga, to ma no
      zero, zero.
      Zero black, black
      black master, master
      Master opoku, Poko
      Opoku ware, ware
      Aware sor, sor
      Sorfo, fo
      Foliwa, wa
      Waakye kye
      Kye nam, nam
      Nam pa, pa
      Paanooo, no
      Nom ma, ma
      Mango, go
      Go you, you
      You fool, fool
      Fuufu 😂😂

  37. Does anybody know the name of the song that goes

    "oh I cry I cry for my life
    Oh I cry for the children I have
    wanting something a mystery
    something you gave me
    something that I have found
    lord to you I lift up my hand
    [something something ......] and waiting to die
    father come to my rescue come and defend me
    show them my hands are blessed
    show them my hands are blessed"

  38. Yh, we sung de bam bam bambaleeka