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Zing Nederlands met je kinderen ‘In de maneschijn’

To sing Dutch, is to learn Dutch! In this series 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. Happy faces guaranteed! But if you’re not a parent this is also a good opportunity to practise your pronunciation, learn new Dutch words and dive into Dutch culture! This week we’ll teach you ‘In de maneschijn’.


In de maneschijn

‘In de maneschijn’ (In the moonlight) is a traditional Dutch nursery rhyme. The song is very popular amongst young children because it involves a lot of arm movements. In the you tube video you can see what this looks like.

According to research of the Meertens Institute the song is based on a folk song from the 18th century. Because the song was transmitted orally from one generation to the next, there are different versions of the song, with small textual variations. The following version is quite common:

In de maneschijn

In de maneschijn

Klim ik op een trapje naar het raamkozijn

En je raadt het niet

En je raadt het niet

Zo doet een vogel

En zo doet een vis

Zo doet een duizendpoot die schoenenpoetser is

En dat is één

En dat is twee

En dat is dikke, dikke, dikke tante Kee

En dat is recht

En dat is krom

En dan (zo) draaien we het wieltje nog eens om

Rom bom


English translation:

In the pale moonlight

In the pale moonlight

I climbed a ladder to the window high

Guess what I saw

Guess what I saw

This is what a bird does

And this is what a fish does

And this is what a centipede does when it’s cleaning shoes

And this is one

And this is two

And this is bulky, bulky auntie Sue

This is straight

And this is bent

And so we turn the wheel round ‘n round again

Big Ben

(Translation: Ruud Hisgen, 2014)




All posts:

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