The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #7376   Message #46803
Posted By: bassen
25-Nov-98 - 05:52 PM
Thread Name: Norwegian children's song
Subject: RE: Norwegian children's song
There are actually (at least) two songs called Ride Ride Ranke. Ride Ranke (ree-duh rahn-kuh) means to bounce a child on your knee, so the song is meant to be sung to this kind of playing.

Helge's version has a melody vaguely reminiscent of (Mozart's?) ABC melody, a similar version goes:

Ride, ride ranke til møllerens hus
Der var ingen hjemme uten lille katte pus
Mølleren malte, og katten hun malte
Og alle de små musene gikk rundt i en ring

Translation: Ride, ride ranke to the miller's house
No one was home but the little pussy cat
The miller ground and the cat purred
And all the little mice danced around in a ring

The other song (different melody):

Ride, ride ranke
Hesten heter Blanke
Hesten heter Apalgrå
Ride, Ride Ranke.

Ride, ride ranke
Si, hvor skal nå veien gå
Bestefar besøk skal få
Ride, ride ranke

Ride, ride ranke
Og når jeg så stiger av
Sier jeg: "Goddag, goddag"
Ride, ride ranke

Ride, ride ranke
Nå til farfar i galopp
Er han hjemme, ja så stopp
Ride, ride ranke.

Literal Translation:

Ride, ride ranke
The horse's name is blanca
The horse's name is dappled gray
Ride, ride ranke

Ride, ride ranke
Say, which way shall we go?
Grandfather shall have a visit
Ride, ride ranke

Ride, ride ranke
And when I dismount
I say, "Hello, hello"
Ride, ride ranke

Ride, ride ranke
So gallop to grandfather
If he's at home, then we stop
Ride, ride ranke

I've tried to stick close to the norwegian meaning of the words, and still write reasonably good english. Bestefar means literally "best father" and is a general word for grandfather. "Farfar" means literally fatherfather, that is, paternal grandfather, but somehow that doesn't strike me as very singable, so I've translated both as grandfather.

As Helge says, there are many local variants of both songs and probably lots and lots of verses. The songs are almost nonsense songs so use the translation as a starting point for english lyrics that you're comfortable singing. You'll still be close to the spirit of the song.