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Zing Nederlands met je kinderen ‘Papegaaitje leef je nog’

To sing Dutch, is to learn Dutch! In this series of 6 posts we will explain six of the most popular Dutch traditional nursery rhymes. If you have young children, this is your chance to sing Dutch with them! But if you’re not a parent this is also a good opportunity to practise you pronunciation, learn new Dutch words and dive into Dutch culture! The first song is ‘Pagegaaitje leef je nog’.


“Papegaaitje leef je nog’ (Little lory are you still alive) is a traditional Dutch nursery rhyme. Usually when parents sing this song together with their children, they clap along (also don’t forget to use the last ‘Poef’ for a tickle!). Although very old, it is still very popular amongst parents and children. If your child goes to Dutch day care, chances are he or she already knows the words. Originally the song had two verses, but the first verse slowly vanished from our collective memory. Most likely because the first verse is rather sad ‘Papegaai is ziek en hij moet sterven’ (Parrot is sick and it must die). The oldest record of the song is in a Dutch song book from 1879. I have no idea if there are any versions in other languages of this song.

Use this youtubeplayer to listen to the song. Below are the lyrics and our translation:

Papegaaitje leef je nog,

ia, dea.

Ja meneer ik ben er nog,

ia, dea.

Ik heb mijn eten opgegeten

en mijn drinken laten staan,

ia, dea. Poef!


Little lory are you still alive,

Ia, dea

Yes sir I am still here,

Ia, dea

I have eaten all my food,

And left my drink for later,

Ia, dea. Poof!


All posts:

Poesje mauw
Papegaaitje leef je nog?
Ik zag twee beren
In de maneschijn
Drie kleine kleutertjes
Slaap kindje, slaap