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Zing Nederlands met je kinderen ‘Poesje mauw’

To sing Dutch, is to learn Dutch! In this series we 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!

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


Poesje mauw

Of all Dutch nursery rhymes ‘Poesje mauw’ is probably the most familiar. Every little child loves this song, because it’s simple and familiar. What child doesn’t relate to kitty cats and milk?

It is not certain where or when ‘Poesje mauw’ originated, there is no record of the song in old song books. A song book by Marie Hildebrandt from ca. 1915 opens with a rhyme that could be a predecessor of the song, but it is not absolutely certain (Poesje mauw, poesje mauw. In de kast staat kabeljauw; Denk er aan, wie snoept krijgt straf. Dus mijn poesje, blijf eraf).

Besides the verse about the kitty cat there are two additional verses, about a dog and a chicken. Not every child knows them, but we will translate them also, so you’ll come prepared.

Don’t be afraid to use the ‘karaoke-style’ video to practise!


Poesje mauw

Poesje mauw
Kom eens gauw
Ik heb lekkere melk voor jou
En voor mij rijstebrij
O, wat heerlijk smullen wij

Hondje blaf
Waf waf waf
Blijf jij van mijn lekkers af
Deze koek is van mij
En voor jou is er ook wat bij

Kipje tok
Tok tok tok
Kom eens in mijn kippenhok
Leg voor mij ‘n lekker ei
O, wat heerlijk smullen wij


Kitty miaow

Kitty miaow
Come over now
I’ve got nice milk for you
And for me rice pap
Oh, how we’ll lap it up

Doggy bark
Woof woof woof
Stay away from my sweets
This cake is mine
For you too I’ve got something fine

Chicken cluck
Cluck cluck cluck

Come into my chicken coop
Lay a yummy egg for me
Oh, how we’ll gobble this meal




Are you still not getting it right, after this explanation of ‘Poesje mauw’? Don’t worry, here’s a much simpler version of the song. It is a scene from a Dutch televison show from 1967 called ‘Op schoot bij Dorus’ (On Dorus’ lap). Little Corinna’s attempt to sing ‘Poesje mauw’ became a national hit.