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Norwegian children's song

06 Nov 98 - 08:40 AM (#44442)
Subject: Norwegian children's song

A friend is looking for the lyrics for a 4 or 5 line poem sung to her by her grandfather. The song was in Norwegian and the first line went as follows: "Rida rida rinka". She is looking for the rest of the lyrics and would love to find an English translation for her own grand daughter if possible. Please reply to my e-mail if you know anything that would help her.

24 Nov 98 - 07:21 PM (#46706)
Subject: RE: Norwegian children's song
From: Helge Lyster

I must have this song in some book. Mail me if you have`t got any help.

24 Nov 98 - 09:10 PM (#46712)
Subject: RE: Norwegian children's song
From: Roger in Baltimore

Helga and cgander,

We of the DT and the Mudcat are ever curious about songs. We truly feel left out when people share via e-mail. We leap with joy when people just post to the thread where the first inquiry is made. Then everyone gets to see the song! So, please, Helga, if you find it, post it here. And, cgander, keep checking back on this thread. Maybe someone other than Helga knows the song you seek.

Roger in Baltimore

25 Nov 98 - 09:20 AM (#46755)
Subject: RE: Norwegian children's song
From: Phil O'Dendron

(I suppose that Helge is not a mistake. It is a north-european male name)

25 Nov 98 - 05:02 PM (#46796)
Subject: RE: Norwegian children's song
From: Helge

Helge is a male name from Norway.

Here is one version from the SW-coast. There should be a lot of local versions.

Ride,ride,ranke, te myllarens hus. Ingen andre hjemme enn ein liden kattepus. Myllå hu male å hanen han gale høgt imot sky: kykkelikykkeliky !

Helge from Randaberg,Norway.

25 Nov 98 - 05:52 PM (#46803)
Subject: RE: Norwegian children's song
From: bassen

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.


31 May 11 - 06:18 AM (#3163005)
Subject: RE: Norwegian children's song
From: GUEST,more "Ride, Ride, Ranka"

My mom sang it this way: (excuse the spelling)

Ride, ride, ranka
till møleran's hus
ikke noen hjemme
uten katten pus
katten han maler
hanen han galer
og alle de små mus
fly rindt i en ring

the baby would sit holding her hands and sitting on her foot (crossed knee) and she could really make that baby bounce with laughter!

08 Jul 11 - 02:34 AM (#3183572)
Subject: RE: Norwegian children's song
From: GUEST,Paul fra Hadeland

I heard:

Ride, ride Ranken
Hesten heter Blanken
Hesten heter ikke saa
Hesten heter Abelgraa

29 Nov 12 - 05:08 PM (#3444519)
Subject: RE: Norwegian children's song

My father used to bounce my little sister on his knee
as he sang "Ride, ride ranka" to her. The rest of us sort
of got the gist of what the song was about.

18 Jun 13 - 04:52 PM (#3527647)
Subject: RE: Norwegian children's song

My grandfather who immigrated to America in 1908 at the age of 13, would bounce me on his knee when I was a baby and the poem was very different. I don't speak Norwegian but the translation was:

Riding, riding on a fine pony
As we go along on a fine day
peekabo the next village
And lying in the middle of the road
chewing on a large bone
Was a very small dog.
and he barks
Bow wow wow
As we come riding in.

I wouldn't be able to spell it in Norwegian.

19 Jun 13 - 09:45 AM (#3527906)
Subject: RE: Norwegian children's song
From: GUEST,Sheila

If you go to and click on "Kids Songs from Around the World", you can hear a midi version of the melody.

19 Jun 13 - 10:54 AM (#3527924)
Subject: RE: Norwegian children's song
From: Monique

Indeed. There are 3 versions on Mama Lisa's World Norway page with a link to a blog post about it with 100 comments about the Norwegian, Danish and Swedish versions of this song.