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Nursery Rhymes: Demystifying 10 Popular Kids' Songs in Kenya - Science/Technology - Kenyans247

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Nursery Rhymes: Demystifying 10 Popular Kids' Songs in Kenya by Kenyans247(m): Sat Aug 2019 04:23pm
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Do you remember all those nursery rhymes you grew up singing along to?

Well, not all of us knew the right words to the songs. Most children usually sang what they heard as long as it made sense to them.

In school, for instance, things would get worse if the teacher teaching the songs had an accent.

If you did not get what he/she said you would have to fix your own words that rhyme with what the teacher said so that you wouldn’t be left out.

These nursery rhymes are a legacy of the English education system and remain the standard fare in schools to this day.

This article will take you down memory lane as I try to shed light on some of the most popular nursery rhymes that you probably didn't know their correct words.


In this article, you will also learn the importance of nursery rhymes on child development.

What is a nursery rhyme?

Nursery rhymes, also known as Mother Goose rhymes, can be broadly defined as short songs and verses often read or sung to, or by, young children.

Many familiar nursery rhymes are centuries old and originated as part of a long oral tradition.

Nursery rhymes vary in style, subject, tone, and theme, although many are marked by a use of rhythm and rhyme that makes them easy to remember.

They include nonsense rhymes, lullabies, finger-plays, counting-out rhymes, riddles, games, songs, and ballads, among other types.

While some rhymes seem designed purely to amuse, others are didactic and educational, including those intended to help children learn the alphabet and numbers.

They also continue to be passed from one generation to the next as part of a shared oral culture.


Kids playing clapping hands game
What is the significance of Nursery Rhymes to children?

Music is generally perceived and viewed as an enjoyable, pleasurable, and aesthetic experience

Most children are ardent music fans. They sing along to popular hits, Sunday school rhymes, advertisement jingles, Christmas Carols, and numerous other tunes.

The early childhood stage is the period when the brain and neural development process is fast, therefore it is an important period for musical education.

Nursery rhymes have a lot more to offer than just entertainment value.

They introduce babies and children to the idea of storytelling, promote social skills and boost language development.

They also lay the foundation for learning to read and spell. This is important, as the first steps towards early reading begin long before a child enters school.

Good readers have good language and speech skills. Generally, children who will become good readers enjoy listening to speech, love hearing storybooks and nursery rhymes.

Called the ‘nursery rhyme affect’ by some, children who are frequently read to long before they enter school are much more likely to become good readers than children who do not receive this kind of stimulation.

Here are some benefits of Nursery school rhymes:

1. Nursery rhymes are often short and have a great deal of repetition.

Repetition offers your growing child the opportunity to tune into words a second and third time and helps him remember what he has just heard.

A rhyme’s repetition can also help your child become aware of the individual units of sound, known as phonemes, which make up words.

2. Nursery rhymes are organised so that similar sounds jump out at you, which doesn’t happen in everyday speech.

By introducing your child to patterns of sounds, your little one’s brain receives the input it will need to categorise words by their internal structure.

This is the precursor to the awareness that letters can represent the sounds of words. So, nursery rhymes help your child’s brain segment words into syllables, hear similarities between words that rhyme or start with the same sounds and enjoy the sound play.

Having developed sensitivity to language, children are ready, at age five or six, to think about the sequence of sounds in a whole word, a skill that is crucial for learning to read and spell.

3. Nursery rhymes can also pave the way for a love of books.

They introduce the idea of listening from beginning to end as the narrative develops, however, they are short, so your youngster doesn’t have to sit still very long.

As they gets older, you can introduce longer stories and those with a real plot.

4. Many rhymes, invite your child’s participation and provide learning opportunities through movement.

When rhythm and movement are combined, the brain is very stimulated and your child is likely to remember both the movement and the rhyme more efficiently and effectively.

5. There are social benefits to nursery rhymes as well.

Nursery rhymes are often sung as a group activity, so your baby or child begins to feel part of a social circle that enjoys singing or reciting together. This will help your child connect with other children.

6. Nursery rhymes link us to the past.

Many adults, once they have children, will often be surprised at how many nursery rhymes they remember from their own childhood.

There may even be some strong emotional feelings attached to these memories. So the nursery rhyme becomes an important link between past and present as it is passed down from generation to generation.


A kid playing hulla hoop
List of 10 popular rhymes and their lyrics

If you cannot remember any nursery rhymes, don’t worry. Here is a complete guide to giving you that nostalgic feeling and fresh exciting memories.

1. Row row your boat

Row, row, row your boat

Gently down the stream

Merrily merrily, merrily, merrily

Life is but a dream

Row, row, row your boat

Gently down the stream

Merrily merrily, merrily, merrily

Life is but a dream

Row, row, row your boat

Gently down the stream

Merrily merrily, merrily, merrily

Life is but a dream

Row, row, row your boat

Gently down the stream

Merrily merrily, merrily, merrily

Life is but a dream

2. Twinkle twinkle little star

Twinkle, twinkle, little star

How I wonder what you are

Up above the world so high

Like a diamond in the sky

When the blazing sun is gone

When he nothing shines upon

Then you show your little light

Twinkle, twinkle, all the night

Then the traveler in the dark

Thanks you for your tiny spark

He could not see which way to go

If you did not twinkle so

In the dark blue sky you keep

And often through my curtains peep

For you never shut your eye

Till the sun is in the sky

As your bright and tiny spark

Lights the traveler in the dark

Though I know not what you are

Twinkle, twinkle, little star

3. Eeny, meeny , miny moe

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe

Catch a tiger by the toe

If he hollers let him go,

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe

My mother told me

To pick the very best one

And you are [not] it.

4. By so I love you baby

By so by love to baby
(I swore I love you baby)

To baby to the sa
(You gave that to the sun)

The saa to de yona
(The Sun threw me yonder)

The yona to de meh
(And yonder I became a man)

De meh phude phude
(And then I grew threw that)

5. If you are happy and you know it

If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap clap)

If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap clap)

If you're happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it

If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands. (clap clap)

If you're happy and you know it, stomp your feet (stomp stomp)

If you're happy and you know it, stomp your feet (stomp stomp)

If you're happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it

If you're happy and you know it, stomp your feet. (stomp stomp)

If you're happy and you know it, shout "Hurray!" (hoo-ray!)

If you're happy and you know it, shout "Hurray!" (hoo-ray!)

If you're happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it

If you're happy and you know it, shout "Hurray!" (hoo-ray!)

If you're happy and you know it, do all three (clap-clap, stomp-stomp, hoo-ray!)

If you're happy and you know it, do all three (clap-clap, stomp-stomp, hoo-ray!)

If you're happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it

If you're happy and you know it, do all three. (clap-clap, stomp-stomp, hoo-ray!)


6. Rain rain go away

Rain, rain, go away

Come again another day

Daddy wants to play

Rain, rain go away

Rain, rain, go away

Come again another day

Mommy wants to play

Rain, rain, go away

Rain, rain, go away

Come again another day

Brother wants to play

Rain, rain, go away

Rain, rain, go away

Come again another day

Sister wants to play

Rain, rain, go away

Rain, Rain, go away

Come again another day

All the family wants to play

Rain, rain, go away

7. Public van number 28 (Mabrigan)

Public van, public van

number 28.

I went for a ride but now i stepped on the break

blue band by by zero

zero point zero is a round and a round.

I am a girl, you are a boy

this is a factor that you must do

salute for the king and bend for the queen.

Close your eyes and count to 15

8. Daddy finger daddy finger

Daddy finger, daddy finger, where are you?

Here I am, here I am. How do you do?

Mommy finger, Mommy finger, where are you?

Here I am, here I am. How do you do?

Brother finger, Brother finger, where are you?

Here I am, here I am. How do you do?

Sister finger, Sister finger, where are you?

Here I am, here I am. How do you do?

Baby finger, Baby finger, where are you?

Here I am, here I am. How do you do?

9. Johny Johny eating sugar

Johny Johny

Yes Papa,

Eating sugar?

No Papa

Telling lies?

No Papa

Open your mouth

ah! ah! ah!

Johny Johny

Yes Papa,

Eating sugar?

No Papa

Telling lies?

No Papa

Open your mouth

ah! ah! ah!

10. Baa baa black sheep

Baa, baa, black sheep, have you any wool?

Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full!

One for the master,

And one for the dame,

One for the little boy

Who lives down the lane

Baa, baa, black sheep,

Have you any wool?

Yes sir, yes sir,

Three bags full...

Baa, baa, black sheep, have you any wool?

Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full!

One for the master,

And one for the dame,

One for the little boy

Who lives down the lane

Baa, baa, black sheep,

Have you any wool?

Yes sir, yes sir,

Three bags full...

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