Ninen nanne in Europa

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Marie-Ange Demory
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Ninne nanne europee

Le lullabies they are the first songs that the mother sings to the newborn: they express love and generate safety in the child. A mom singing one ninna nanna relaxes the child and allows him to enter the world of dreams with serenity.





Lullabies are found in the popular culture of all peoples: some were written by famous classical music composers and are called berceuse, which is the French term for lullaby. The most famous lullaby is certainly that of Johannes Brahms.

The Lullabies of Europe project

The European Commission created the project Lullabies of Europe to collect all the lullabies in the various languages ​​of the Community to preserve its cultural heritage. A list of the collected lullabies, translated into seven languages ​​(English, Czech, Danish, Del Paeseno, Romanian, Greek and Turkish), is available on the website Lullabies of Europe.

Just select a star to see the animated lullaby in that language, you can also hear an excerpt of the lullabies.

In this article

  • Ninna nanne ceche (Lullabies) 
  • Ninna nanne danesi (Vuggeviser)
  • Ninna nanne inglesi (Lullabies)
  • Greek nanny (Νανουρίσματα)
  • Ninna nanne Del Paesene (Ninna nanne)
  • Romanian Ninna Nanne (Swing Songs)
  • Ninna nanne turche (Ninniler)
10 PHOTOS

10 tips for a baby's sleep

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Nanna and babies: joys and sorrows. Sometimes there are babies who sleep at night immediately after birth. On the other hand, most children succeed towards the end of the first year of life. All in ...



Read also: Lullaby and children: the importance and benefits

1. Ninna nanne ceche (Lullabies)

  • Sleep, Janíček, sleep (Dormi, Janíček, dormi) 
    This lively lullaby was written by František Sušil (1804-1868), a priest and activist of the Czech national revival. This lullaby uses a child's proper name, Janíček, which is very common in the Czech language. In the content there is something a little unreal, in fact, the child is promised a green and a red apple, but also a blue one, if he falls asleep.

  • Ukolébavka (Ninna nanna).
    This lullaby was published in 1633 in 'L'Informatorium della Scuola Infantile' by Johan Amos Comenius (1592 - 1670). Comenius stressed the need to offer sensory and emotional stimuli in early childhood. For mothers and nannies, Comenius therefore wanted to include the Czech text and music of Ukolébavka, a XNUMXth century lullaby, by the preacher Mathesius.

  • Heal my little angel (Angioletto mio).
    This is one of the most melodious Czech lullabies, initially collected by Karel Jaromír Erben (1811-1870), Czech romantic writer, poet and collector of Czech folk songs and fairy tales. The text refers in particular to the mother cradling her child.

  • Hello, child (Fai la ninna, bambino).
    This lullaby was written by František Bartoš (1837-1906), a pedagogue and ethnographer who collected Moravian songs. The second verse announces that the person cradling the baby will go away as soon as he has fallen asleep, but in the third verse we find that he will not go far: he will go to the garden in the valley, to pick raspberries.

  • Halaj, belaj, malučký (Dormi, dormi, piccolo).
    This lullaby comes from East Moravia, where the dialect is influenced by Slovak. Folk songs are similar to Slovakian ones across the border. The boy or girl is promised the perfect baby food, kašička, a soft mixture of milk and oatmeal.

2. Ninna nanne danesi (Vuggeviser)

  • Solen er så rød, mor (The sun is so red, mama)
    For the Danes, this is a classic lullaby. It was written in 1920 by the Danish novelist, playwright and poet Harald Bergstedt (1877-1965), and the music was composed by Carl Nielsen (1865-1931), a world-famous classical composer.

  • Elefantens vuggevise (The elephant's lullaby).
    This is one of the most popular lullabies and is considered a classic of Danish lullabies. The theme deals with exotic animals, the content and the text are simple and easy to understand for a child. To make this song politically correct, in the 1948s the word negerdukkedreng (black doll) was replaced with kokosnød (coconut). The lyrics of the song were written in XNUMX by the writer and poet, Harald H. Lund and the music was composed by Mogens Jermiin Nissen, writer and musician.

  • Godnatsang (Good night song).
    The lyrics and music of this very popular lullaby were composed by Sigurd Barrett (1967), pianist, composer and host of a children's television program in Denmark, together with his colleague, musician Steen Nikolaj Hansen. Sigurd usually sings this song at the end of his children's show. This lullaby features a sleep theme. The day is over and we need to sleep and rest so we can be fresh again in the morning.

  • Mues sang få Hansemand (Mother's song for little Hans)
    This lullaby comes from southern Jutland, is very old and the year in which it was composed is unknown. However, she is not well known throughout Denmark and this is probably due to the fact that she was written in the dialect of Jutland. The words are by Marie Thulesen and the music is by the Danish musician Oluf Ring.

  • I want to count the stars (Conterò le stelle) 
    This lullaby was written in 1951 by the famous Danish poet and writer, Halfdan Rasmussen. Rasmussen wrote numerous rhymes and nursery rhymes some of which are still used in early Danish lessons in public schools, 
    The music for this lullaby was composed by Hans Dalgaard. The song features a simple story about a child trying to count the stars with his fingers and toes.
Read also: Classical music lullabies for children: the 17 most beautiful

3. Ninna nanne inglesi (Lullabies)

  • Lavender's blue
    It is a traditional song used as a lullaby. It is not known when it was written or by whom, but it dates back to at least the XNUMXth century. Like many lullabies, this one too has probably been passed down from one generation to the next and has undergone changes over time.

  • By Baby Bunting
    In Old English, lullabies were called "Byssing" and the prefix by meant nap. This joyful little song is as old as the English nursery rhymes. English mothers have sung it to their babies and it is familiar wherever English is spoken. The melody has come down to our days without variations. As in lullabies from other places, the promise of a reward for good behavior is presented to the child. 

  • Hush, little baby (Ninna, nanna, piccolino)
    This is another traditional lullaby and we don't know who composed the music or who wrote the words. She is supposed to originate in North America, as the type of bird mentioned in the song, the mocking thrush, is found on the American continent. The words of the lullaby promise a series of rewards to the boy or girl if they are quiet.

  • Twinkle twinkle little star (Brilla brilla stellina)
    This is one of the most popular English nursery rhymes and combines the melody of a French song from 1761 Ah! Vous dirai-je, Maman with the English poem The Star by Jane Taylor. The poem, with stanzas composed of pairs of rhyming verses, was published in 1806 in Rhymes for the Nursery, a collection of poems by Jane Taylor and her sister Ann. The text contains five stanzas, although only the first is widely known. Mozart wrote twelve variations on Twinkle, Twinkle, Little star, cataloged as Variations on Ah! Vous say-je, Maman.

  • Scottish Lullaby (Ninna nanna scozzese).
    This traditional melody comes from the proud clans of the Scottish Highlands. Only the aria Cdul gu lo (Sleep till dawn) and not the original Scottish verses were used when a dramatization of Sir Walter Scott's Guy Mannering was presented. For this novel, Scott composed the lines of Lullaby for an Infant Child.

4. Ninna nanne greche (ανουρίσματα)

  • Nanny my nanny nanny (Ninna, mio ​​caro, ninna, nanna)
    This lullaby comes from the island of Kalymnos, one of the Dodecanese islands, located south-east of the Aegean. This island combines the beauty of the mountains, the aroma of oregano and thyme with the crystal clear waters. In this lullaby, in particular, the words are influenced by the beauty of nature. Kalymnos is also famous for its sponges and olive oil production, which explains why olive trees and the sun are mentioned in the lullaby, essential elements for the inhabitants of Kalymnos. As with all traditional Greek lullabies, the date of the composition, the author of the text and the composer of the music are unknown.

  • Nanny nanny my child (Ninna, nanna, bambino mio)
    The mountainous Kastoria, a Greek city located in Western Macedonia, is the place of origin of this lullaby. In Castoria there are many cultivated areas and the region is especially famous for its vineyards, which are not surprisingly mentioned in the lullaby. There are also many livestock farms and this explains the references to the lamb, the goat and the sheepfold. Another interesting element of this composition is the use of diminutives, for example sheep, goat, etc. In the Greek language, diminutives are also used to indicate deep affection.

  • Sleep, where you take the little ones (Sonno, che prendi i piccoli)
    This lullaby, originally created on the island of Tasso (Northern Aegean), is heard throughout Greece with numerous variations. The element of 'Sleep' ('Ύπνος') is central. In many Greek lullabies, Sleep is politely asked to take the baby in her arms and help him fall asleep. According to Greek mythology, 'Ύπνος' was the god of sleep. The Night was his mother and her children were the Dreams.

  • Μουπνε μου, επάρε μού το (Sonno caro, ti passo il mio bambino) 
    This lullaby was born in the southern country. Greek-speaking populations have inhabited that part of the country since the eighth century BC, when the first Greek colonies settled in the regions of Salento, Calabria, Taranto and Metaponto. These areas have a vast production of roses and perhaps for this reason, in the lullaby, we find the reference to roses and their assortment. 

  • The sun is shining in the mountains (Il sole dorme sulle montagne)
    This lullaby, of Greek tradition, originated on the island of Aegina, located near the city of Athens. She passed to the island of Cyprus, she was transformed into the Cypriot dialect and some verses were added to it. The original Greek lullaby consisted of only the first room. The lullaby speaks of the time of sunset, when the sun and the partridge are asleep and children should sleep too. Her mother cradles her baby trying to put him to sleep. 
Read also: The most beautiful classic lullabies

5. Ninna nanne Del Paesene (Ninna nanne)

  • Nana Bobò
    This is a beautiful and ancient lullaby of the Venetian lagoon. Balkan and Byzantine influences are evident in the song's structure. She who sings, wishes health and wealth to the beloved child who does not want to sleep. The mother is not present, she went to the fountain to get some water. This lullaby has further verses which however contain a number of dialect words, so, for the purposes of learning the standard Del Paeseno, only a few verses are inserted.

  • Go to sleep, my Simone
    Go to sleep, my Simone is an example of the traditional Del Paesene lullabies. The images and feelings she suggests are those of a life lived with simplicity and candor, in the past. The mother is with her child and she looks to his future with the idea that he will follow his father's model in life and work.

  • Lullaby seven twenty
    Ancient lullaby that appears in the film set in the Middle Ages The Name of the Rose, where it is sung by Salvatore when he is about to die at the stake.

  • Star star.
    Composed by Lina Schwarz, it is one of the most popular lullabies in the whole country. When we asked older people if they had heard this ditty in their childhood, the answer was positive. We believe, then, that even Stella stellina is not a recent lullaby.

  • Go to bed, chicken legs
    With a little imagination, we can think of the legs of a newborn baby and affectionately compare them to chicken legs. The skirt mentioned in the lullaby reminds us of the times when mothers had the time to devote their attention to activities such as crocheting for their children.

  • Lullaby of sounds and colors
    This is a contemporary lullaby, composed on the occasion of the European project Languages ​​from the Cradle. It is written in standard Del Paeseno and is dedicated to a boy and a girl who, while falling asleep and when they are already immersed in sleep, next to their parents, explore in a dream a world made of colors and sounds even more beautiful than those perceivable in the waking reality.
Read also: Classic and traditional lullabies

6. Romanian Ninna nanne (Swing Songs)

  • Go to bed, little baby (Sleep, piccino mio)
    This is an ancient lullaby from the western and central city, still sung by women living in the countryside and different versions of it can be heard. She is also mentioned in school texts in the version sung by Maria Tănase, a famous Romanian folk singer who greatly contributed to making Romanian folk music known abroad. 

  • Nani, nani, puişor (Lullaby, my sweet little one)
    This lullaby is used in all regions of the city. Start with the typical sleep-inducing words: dwarf, dwarf. The mother hopes that the baby will sleep for a long time, until noon the following day. In Romanian, the word tomorrow corresponds to mâine, but in the lullaby you can hear an ancient variant, mâni. 


  • Culcă-mi-te mititel (Go to sleep like a little baby)
    It is an ancient song for cradling children, coming from the Montenia region (from the southern city). The mother wants her baby to grow up and be able to look after sheep, lambs and ducklings in the fields. In the countryside, children always play with small animals and flowers, and when they get a little older, they continue to care for them. 

  • Nani, nani, puiù mamii (Lullaby, mother's child)
    This is another very old lullaby, born in the southern regions of the city of Oltenia. It is short and repeats specific words to induce the baby to rest and sleep: dwarf is a typical word of lullabies.

  • Haia, haia, mică baia (Haia, haia, the bath)
    Sung in the Banat region (western part of the city), this lullaby is very old. The main theme of the lullaby is the repetition of the number twenty-one. There are other diminutives such as cuculică and lululică which refer to the name of a little bird, the cuckoo, whose song recalls the binary tense that emerges from rocking a baby's cradle.
Read also: Relaxing music for children

7. Ninna nanne turche (Ninniler)

  • Uyusun da büyüsün (May my baby grow while he sleeps)
    This lullaby is included in the largest category of Turkish lullabies, those that express wishes and des. In these lullabies the desire for the child to fall asleep is mostly expressed. Generally, they express what the mother wants for her baby or her baby, including material benefits such as toys, clothing, food and drink. The mother wants her children to have a long life and to achieve beautiful feats and a successful career.

  • Babanın Ninnisi (Ninna nanna del papà)
    This is a modern lullaby composed by Özge İlayda. Although it was composed in our day, it nevertheless features traditional words such as hu hu and eee.

  • Dandini Dandini Dastana (Dandini Dandini Dastana)
    Almost everyone in Turkey knows the first verse of this lullaby. It is possible to sing it with variations of the first verse or of the following ones. In this lullaby, her mother praises, almost adoring her child, comparing him to the moon.

  • You are a beautiful angel (Sei un magnifico angelo)
    This is a lullaby with a more urban than rural style. In addition to praise, this lullaby is an example of her mother's great good heart. In the first verse, the mother compares her child to an angel, a flower; he becomes the apple of her eyes. In the following verse, she talks about her home which is full of love and affection and so she tries to reassure the baby.

  • Adalardan çıktım yola (I left the islands walking)
    Also known as Bebeğin beşiği çamdan (Baby's cradle is made of pine), this lullaby is used throughout Turkey, but especially in the eastern regions. She was born from a nomadic life, a lifestyle common in Anatolia of the past, and tells a sad story of a child lost as her cradle remains attached to the branches of a tree during a transfer.
Read also: Brahms' lullaby

Questions and answers

What are the beneficial effects of the lullaby?  

The lullaby sung by the mother not only contributes to the quality of sleep, but also has beneficial effects on the harmony of the baby's growth.



What is white noise and why does it help to put babies to sleep?

White noise is basically the sum of all audible frequencies and sounds such as those of the hairdryer, vacuum cleaner or hood. These sounds are used to help make babies fall asleep.

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