Hopsa sa

The Polish Collection


It is hoped that where possible these songs will be sung in their home language. An English version is provided so children can enjoy the tunes before they have mastered Polish. Literal translations do not always make sense to the English ear so these have been translated freely to complement the music and capture the spirit of the song.

You will find more Polish songs in ‘Hop Skip and Away We Go!’.


Polish pronunciation guide


Spoken Polish is quite different from spoken English. The guide is provided to aid the pronunciation of some of the more distinctive sounds in the Polish language. The letters not listed below are pronounced approximately as in English. There are 32 characters in the Polish alphabet. Stress falls on the last but one syllable.


a        sounds like ah (father)  

ą        sounds like French on

c        sounds like c (dance)     

ć /ci   sounds like ch (cello)

ch      sounds like ch (loch)

cz      sounds like ch (church)

d       sounds like d (dance) but in final position is unvoiced and more like t

dz      sounds like dz (adze) but like j (jewel) when followed by an i

e        sounds like e (met) at the beginning or within a word  

ę        sounds like French ain                     

g        sounds like g (go) but in final position is unvoiced and more like k

h       is never silent sounds like ch (loch)

i         sounds like ee (feet)                

j         sounds like y (yes)                          

ł         sounds like w (wake) but in final position is unvoiced and more like f

ń/ni   sounds like ni (onions)

o        sounds like o (gone)

ó        sounds like oo (boot)    

r        slightly rolled as in Spanish

ś/si     a very very soft sh no equivalent in English

sz       sounds like sh (ship)

u       sounds like u (duke)                                             as in una

w       sounds like v(vote)

y        sounds like i (ship) but harder

ź/zi    sounds like z/zh (azure)

ż/ rz  sounds like French j (Jean)


There are many sites on line that provide help with pronunciations including a video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJI6JDAxUd4


At a later date these songs will be available to buy in book form at the Gryphon’s Garden website. In the meantime....


¨To buy French and other singing games books follow this link:

Books I have written.htm


H Return to Gryphon’s Garden Home Page {{{


Compiled, adapted and illustrated by Dany Rosevear


© Dany Rosevear 2009 All rights reserved


You are free to copy, distribute, display and perform these works under the following conditions:

·        you must give the original author credit

·        you may not use this work for commercial purposes

·        for any re-use or distribution, you must make clear to others the licence terms of this work

·        any of these can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder


Your fair use and other rights are no way affected by the above.


To listen to music from these songs click on O




We are dwarves O


Its autumn time and the dwarves are on the march. Mushroom picking and walks in the woods are important pastimes in Poland and the folklore of the forest is reflected in this song; ‘My jesteśmy krasnoludki’.









My jesteśmy krasnoludki,

Hopsa sa, hopsa sa!

Pod grzybkami nasze budki,

Hopsa, hopsa sa!

We are dwarves from the forest,

Hopsa sa, hopsa sa!

Under mushrooms you will find us,

Hopsa, hopsa sa!


Jemy mrówki, żabkie łapki,

Oj tak tak, oj tak tak!

A na głowach krasne czapki,

To nasz, to nasz znak.

We eat ants and we trap frogs,

Oh, yes yes, oh yes yes!

On our heads are pointed hats,

That’s the way we are!


Gdy ktoś skrzywdzi krasnoludka,

Aj jaj jaj, aj jaj jaj!

To zapłacze niezabudka, U u u u u!

And if someone comes to harm us,

Ay, ay, ay, ay ay ay!

We will surely make them cry,

Boo hoo, boo hoo hoo!


Gdy ktoś zbłądzi, to trąbimy,

Trutu tu, trutu tu,

Gdy ktoś senny, to uśpimy,

Lu lu lu lu lu,

We play our trumpets very loudly,

Toot, toot, toot, toot, toot, toot!

When you’re sleeping we’ll play quietly,

Lu lu lu lu lu,

Point to selves.

Jump up and down.

Bend knees and make mushroom shape over heads. Jump up and down.











Mime eating enthusiastically.

Nod head vigorously.

Make a hat shape over head

Wave hands above head..



Hold head and move from side to side.

One finger to elbow, the other twirls. Repeat other side.

Mime crying


Mime playing trumpet.

Place two hands to one cheek sleeping fashion and move from side to side.

Rock arm from side to sides.






Old bear O


Children’s songs about bears abound in wooded areas of Northern Europe ‘Stary niedźwiedź’ is from Poland. It can be sung in English as below translated to work with the music. If you have a Polish parent to help you with the pronunciation you will find it is not a difficult song to learn despite the spelling! There are also versions on You Tube to help you sing in the original language.












Stary niedźwiedź mocno śpi,

Stary niedźwiedź mocno śpi,

Old bear is sleeping soundly in his cave,

Old bear is sleeping soundly in his cave,

My się go boimy,

Na palcach chodzimy,

He makes us feel so scared,

We  tiptoe past his lair,

Jak się zbudzi to nas , x2

Jak się zbudzi to nas zje!

When he wakes he’ll catch us, x2

When he wakes he’ll catch us to eat!



Pierwza godzina -

Niedźwiedź śpi.

One o’clock –

Bear is sleeping.


Druga godzina -

Niedźwiedź chrapie.

Two o’clock –

Bear is snoring.


Trzecia godzina,

Niedźwiedź lapie!

Three o’clock –

Bear will catch you!


Bear sleeps in the middle of the circle snoring loudly. The others tiptoe fearfully round him singing.


For the spoken part of the game the children stand still and recite.


On the last words the bear jumps up and tries to catch one of the fleeing children.


That child becomes the new bear.













Here’s a finger O


‘Tu paluszek’ is a game that helps children identify body parts. It could easily be adapted to accommodate directions, left and right.


Hear this and others sung in Polish: http://przedszkolesloneczne.w.interia.pl/















Tu paluszek, tam paluszek,

Tu pośrodku jest mój brzuszek,

Tutaj rączka, a tu druga,

A tu oczko do mnie mruga.

Here’s a finger, there’s a finger,

Here’s the middle of my tummy.

Here is one hand, here are two,

And here are eyes that blink at you.


Tu jest buźka, tu ząbeczki,

Tu wpadają cukiereczki,

Tu jest nóżka i tu nóżka,

Choć zatańczyć jak kaczuszka!

Here’s my mouth and here’s my teeth,

A sweet kiss comes from me to you.

Here is one leg, here’s the other,

Dance like ducklings with their mother!

Twirl the right and then left forefinger.

Tap tummy with forefingers.

Wave one then both hands.

Make hands blink like a bird’s beak.






Circle mouth with fingers. Clean teeth.

Blow a kiss.

Shake right then left leg.

Waddle round in a circle with feet splayed out and elbows flapping.

















Little hedgehog O


Seasonal songs like ‘Jeżyk’ are very popular in the Polish kindergarden. After an Autumn walk children will make plasticine hedgehogs decorated with natural materials, such as spruce needles, collected along the way.
















Zobaczyła raz Dorotka,

W ogrodzie jeżyka.

Poprosiła chłopców z grupy:

Wsadźcie do koszyka.”

In the garden Dorothea,

Saw a little hedgehog.

She asked a friend to pick it up,

And put it in her basket.



Oj, oj, oj, Oj, oj, oj,

Kolce jeża ostre są!

Oi oi oi, Oi oi oi,

Hedgehog spines are very sharp!

Oi oi oi, Oi oi oi,

Hedgehog spines are very sharp!


Takie igły, proszę dzieci,

To jest skarb niemały.

Jeż w przedszkolu,

Byłby dla nas krawcem doskonałym.

Oh the needle, little children,

Is the greatest treasure.

And a hedgehog in our garden

Would make a brilliant tailor.




Children stroll round the garden in pairs holding hands.

One child picks up the hedgehog and places it in the basket held out by the other child.










Facing partner clap hands three times then three more. Link elbows and skip round. Repeat and skip round in the opposite direction.






Hold up an imaginary needle and pretend to thread it. Make big sewing motions.





Facing partner clap hands three times then three more. Link elbows and skip round. Repeat and skip round in the opposite direction.






Honey bears O


‘Jada, jada misie’ is a song every grandparent could sing when they were small.


Make an outer circle of trees holding hands high above heads and an inner one of bears.











Jadą, jadą misie, tra la la la la,

Śmieją im się pysie, ha ha ha ha ha,

Przyjechały do lasu, narobiły hałasu,

Przyjechały do boru, narobiły rumoru. x2

In the deep dark forest, tra la la la la,

Teddy bears are laughing, ha ha ha ha ha,

Come with us we’ll have fun,

join the knees up everyone,

Come with us and you will see,

dancing bears so wild and free. x2

Jadą, jadą misie, etc..

A misiowa jak może,

prędko szuka w komorze,

Plaster miodu wynosi,

pięknie gości swych prosi. x2

In the deep dark forest etc..

We’ll go hunting in the wood,

find some food so fresh and good,

Honeycomb and nuts to eat,

join in our fantastic feast.

Jadą, jadą misie, etc..

Zjadły misie plastrów sześć

I wołają: "jeszcze jeść!" x3

In the deep dark forest etc..

Teddy bears have so much fun,

eat six combs yes one by one,

“Honey’s yummy, we’ll have some more!”x3

Jadą, jadą misie, etc..

Przyjechały do lasu, narobiły hałasu,

Przyjechały do boru, narobiły rumoru .x2

As first verse


Outer circle stands still waving hands above heads. The bears skip round holding hands.


The bears stop; face a partner in the outer circle and holding hands hop and swing feet first one way then the other as in A.

They both then skip round in one direction then the other. Finish swapped over so the trees are now bears and bears become trees for the next verse.

Repeat for each verse.