Tuesday, January 17, 2006

"Rida, rida ranka"

Here is a Swedish folk song that my grandmother, Hazel Peterson Bogle, sang to me while she bounced me on her foot and leg, crossed to form a rocker:

Rida, rida ranka
Hästen heter Blanka.
Vart ska vi rida?
Rida sta och fria
Till en liten piga.
Vad ska hon heta?
Jungfru Margareta
Den tjocka och feta.
När vi kom till hennes gård
Så var där ingen hemma,
Bara en gammal gumma
Lärde sin dotter spinna.

Ride, ride on my knee
The horse's name is Blanka.
Where are we riding?
Riding away to woo
A little girl.
What will be her name?
Maiden Margareta
The fat and chubby.
When we came to her house
No one was at home
But an old woman
Who taught her daughter to spin.

"Spinn, spinn, dotter min,
I morgon kommer friarn din."
Dottern spann och tåren rann
Men aldrig kom den friarn fram
Förrn till andra året
Med gullband i håret.

"Spin, spin, my daughter,
Tomorrow your suitor will come."
The daughter spun and the tear ran
But the suitor never came
Until the year after
With golden ribbons in his hair.

From Of Swedish Ways (diacritical marks added on August 6, 2014) by Lilly Lorenzen, illustrated by Dick Sutphen, Gilbert Publishing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1964, pp. 192-193.

11 comments:

Robin said...

I like that a lot--am enjoying your blog.

Anonymous said...

My grandmother sang this too. She was from Kalmar, Bergholm, on the island of Oland. I can feel her warm embrace as she bounced me on her lap in her home in Yonkers, NY. After she died it took me many years, and my own children, to discover how much I missed that song. Now that my kids are teens, they won't be interested, but my pre-k'ers and someday grandkids (not too soon, please) I found two melodies on the net (I am sure there are many more). One didn't fit the "proper" lyrics; the other did, but provided no lyrics. This is the one I have been looking for. Thank you, Elinor

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I was looking for this because my father, who was fluent in norwegian sang this while he rocked us on his knee in the 1950s and his own father had been born in the u.s. two years after his parents emigrated. Does anyone know if there is a norwegian version of this??
liz

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I like Liz would be interested in knowing of a Norwegian version!

My grandparents were Norwegian and said it to my father who then said it to me and I then said it to my kids-- and now I'm a Grandma myself and my son attenpts to say it to his baby but i fear it loses a little of the correct pronunciastion and possibly some of the verses with each generation!! In fact when my Grandma was still alive and heard me say to my baby once she said "Hmmmm I've never quite heard it said THAT WAY BEFORE!!!" And I thought I was saying it as my father said to me so maybe he already had lost some of the correctness in one generation! I wish i would have had her write it down for me while she was still living--we just don't always think of thoise things at the time! I'd like to preserve the Norwegian tradition of saying that to our babies and passing it down but it would be nice to get it a litte more correct than I fear we are now saying it!

The way my daddy said it me as it SOUNDED to my ears was:
(bouncing baby on lap):

Rida Rida Runka
To Mallen hus
Vading en yumma
Litten Katen pus
Merlin maller
Tapen galler
Heuna Sparkite yenga
And (baby's name) tissetysenga!
(and here you lean baby way back upside down which they always love!)

I DID have presence of mind to ask what does it MEAN in English so maybe the English traslation will help since I'm sure the above looks nothing like any Norwegian you've ever seen!

It means in English:

Ride Ride Runka (Runka being the name of the horse)
To the millers house
Nobody home but
A little pussy cat!
Millers milling
Roosters crowing
Hen is scratching in the field
And [baby] wets all over the place!!!

Anyway--if you happen to be familiar with this rhyme -I'd appreciate knowing how its really said!

It seems that the Swedish version whil the same "idea" and title, has completely different verses than the Norwegian--the one my father said to us seems to have different versesbut like many nursery rhymes in the world perhaps there are just dozens of versions!
NJ

Anonymous said...

I found the song in "World Charts Presents the Scandinavian Songbook for Piano and Accordian",1975,Edwin H. Morris & Co., A Division of MPL Communictions, pp.76-77, 3 vs. Not like I remember, except the horse's name was Blanka. Imagine each mormor and farmor had her own version!

earthwyndfire said...

My Grandmother sang these to me as well. She had some other ones that I can't find. One goes sp? "ocka ta vaca ta lindo, the chindo vash the vindow, the vindow broke the chindo got soak, so ocka ta vaca ta lindo." (at that point you were thrown in the air)
it is about washing the window and the window breaking and the person got soaked, oh well...

Another went, "as I was going up stindem stairn I met a high giggly bone bairn carrin off my fin den fairn, I said I'd get my gish migairn an teach that high giggly bone bairn for carrin off my fin den fairn" met a man carrying off my fiance, I said I'g get my gun and stop that man from carrying off my fiance... These she sang as she bounced us on her knee. swgomes@yahoo.com

anyone hear of these? I'm sure the spelling is nowhere near to the real words.....

swedishhighball said...

When my nephew was little I built him a rocking horse. On the halter, i wrote, "Rida, rida, runka ..."
Later on I was emailing to a lady professor in the University of Uppasala, Sweden. I told her about the horse and what I had written on the halter.
This fine lady quickly wrote me back saying, Do not spell runka with a 'u'. It is "ranka" (the 'a' is a umlaut with two dots above it.)
"Runka" is a vulger term for masturbation. It means to shake back and forth.
Needless to say, I sat at my confuser quite red faced. The horse still has it spelled wrong but it is a good conversation piece.

Ranmoth said...

Blanka was the queen of Sweden and Margareta the (baby) princess of Denmark. The song's about how happy Blanka is for wedding his son.

Albert Edelfelt has made a painting of the scene
http://static.studio55.fi/forumimages/29/10/74/1934/thumbs/6d3b7e1984537443_357_460_DEFAULT_resize

CarrieZJ said...

I too was looking for the Norwegian--or Swedish version or a mix--or perhaps even A "Scandahoovienglish"

We too were bounced on grandma and grandpa's lap---This is the version we sang as kids --as we remember it!

Rida Rida Ranka
Hasta buten Blanka
Vasga-da rida
Rida plink pleada
Vesa vasa hemma
--and a wee wee wee all the way home!

So needless to say after just 3 generations the song has been through quite the telephone game! I am thankful to the Internet to resurect the right words--now to perhaps endure another 3 generations or more:)

-Carrie
N.Minneapolis

CarrieZJ said...

I too was looking for the Norwegian--or Swedish version or a mix--or perhaps even A "Scandahoovienglish"

We too were bounced on grandma and grandpa's lap---This is the version we sang as kids --as we remember it!

Rida Rida Ranka
Hasta buten Blanka
Vasga-da rida
Rida plink pleada
Vesa vasa hemma
--and a wee wee wee all the way home!

So needless to say after just 3 generations the song has been through quite the telephone game! I am thankful to the Internet to resurect the right words--now to perhaps endure another 3 generations or more:)

-Carrie
N.Minneapolis

Unknown said...

Thank you all for your posts. My grandfather passed away in 1995 and I have been trying to find this for a long time to share with my children. What great memories of bouncing on his knee and listening to him singing to each of us.