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Saturday, June 16, 2007


This is my attempt to learn Tamil from my 4 year old daughter and to go a step closer towards learning my mother tongue. Being born and brought up in Bombay and not being exposed to Tamil except for speaking Tamil at home put me at a relative disadvantage when I moved to Singapore and realized that people here are so passionate about the Tamil language, since its one of the national languages of Singapore, its taught at a very low cost to children to promote and make children love their national language.(The Government encourages and supports teaching and promoting the national languages of the country), so I sent my daughter to a Tamil class which happens to be just below my block and now Iam trying to learn Tamil from her and I am quite fascinated by the language and especially love the rhymes. This collection is an ode to my daughter, who absolutely loves these rhymes. Since I don’t know to read and write Tamil, the rhymes are written in English for people of all languages to enjoy.



Adho paar pattam

Pada pada pattam

Kannai kavarum pattam

Katril medakum pattam


See there is a kite

Flapping in the winds is a kite

See how eye-catching is the kite

Floating in the wind is the kite


Aniley Aniley odi vaa Azhaku aniley odi vaa

Koyya marame eri vaa Gundu pazhamai kondu vaa

Paathi pazham unnidam Paathi pazham ennidam

Kooti kooti iruvarum Kotittu kotittu tinnalaam


Squirrel, Squirrel come running, Beautiful Squirrel come running

Climbing up a guava tree, Bring a fat ripe guava fruit back to me

Lets share the fruit half half

Lets relish the fruit.



Tak Tak ghadiyaaram Tattu niramba paniyaaram

Kutty kutty chundelikal Ety etty paartanavey

Tan tan endrathu Ghadiyaaram, Taavi vandatu karimppoonai

Kandu mirandaal chundelikal Kaatril parandu maraindanavey



Dosai amma dosai amma chutta dosai

Arisi maavum ulundu maavum araittu chutta dosai

Appaavukku naangu ammaavukku moondru

Annaavukku rendu paappaavukku ondru

Akka mottham patthu

Thinna thinna aasai innum ketaal poosai

Kudukka kudukka aasai Edukka ponaal poosai



kaakka kannukku mai kondu vaa

kuruvi kondaikku poo kondu vaa

kokke kuzhandhaikku paal kondu vaa

kiliye kuzhandhaikku then kondu vaa


Crow, bring eyeliner for the eyes

Sparrow, bring flowers for the hair

Crane, bring milk for the baby

Parrot, bring honey for the baby


"Mai" (also known as kajal in Hindi) is a thick black kohl usually prepared at home which is used as an eye liner to enhance the baby's eyes, it also acts as a coolant, and protector against the evil eye. Flowers often adorn women's hair. This beautiful song calls for each bird to bring something for the baby. The idea is to introduce birds and commonly used items to the baby through a song.


Paappaa Paappaa kadhai kelu, Kaakkaa nariyin kadhai kelu

Taatta Paati chonna kadhai, Amma appa ketta kadhai

Ooorukku veliya kadai irukku, Kadayiley vengaya vadai irukku

Kaakkai vadayai tirudirichu, Marattiley eri kundirichu

Kaakkai mookiley vadai irukka, Kulla nariyum paattiducchaam

Nekku vadayai vaangitavey, Nari oru tantiram panniducchaam

Kaakkayai paattu paada cholli, Nariyum keezhey ninniduccham

Kaakka vaayai tirandu paaditavey, Vadayum keezhey vizhundicchaam

Vizhuntadai nariyum kavvidicchaam, Vaayiley pottu tinnudicchaam


Kai veesamma kai veesu

Kadaikku pogalam kai veesu

Mittai vaangalaam kai veesu

Methuvai thinalam kai veesu

Sokkai vaangalaam kai veesu

Sogusai podalam kai veesu

Kovilukki pogalam kai veesu

Kumbitu varalaam kai veesu


Swing your hands, my dear, swing your hands

Let's go to the shop, swing your hands

Let's buy candy, swing your hands

Let's eat it slowly, swing your hands

Let's buy clothes, swing your hands

Let's wear them gladly, swing your hands

Let's go to the temple, swing your hands

Let's pray and come back, swing your hands


Kulla kulla vaathu

kuvaa kuvaa vaathu

mella udalai saaithu

melum kizhem paarthu

chellamaga nadakkum

chinna mani vaathu


Short, short duck,

Quack, quack duck,

Slowly slides its body left and right,

Looking up and down,

Walks like a child,

A cute little gem this duck


"'Chellam means pet, it is a word in tamil affectionaltely used to address kids.

Nadakkum refers to walking. The walk of the duck is compared to the walk of a child."



Nalla nalla naaikutty, Naan valarkkum naaikutty

Vaalai vaalai aattumey, Veettai kaaval kaakkumey

Tirudan vandaal kuraikkumey, Dinamum paal kudikkumey

Nalla nalla naaikutty, Naan valarkkum naai kutty.


Nila, Nila, Odi Vaa

Nillaamal Odi Vaa

Malai Mela Eri Vaa

Malligai Poo Kondu Vaa.

Nadu Veetil Vaiyee

Nalla Saidhi Kondu Vaa


Moon, Moon, come running to me.

Don't stop while you run.

Climb over the mountain and,

Bring a Jasmine Flower when you come to me.

Keep in the middle of the house

Bring good news.



Poonaikkyum Poonaikkyum kalyanamam

boologham ellam kondattamam

yaanai mela ooruvalamam, ottaga chivingi natiyamam

oor kuruvi pinpattam

arpudhamana sapaad am

thali kattum nerrathilai, mapillai poonaiyay kaannomam

vandavar ellam thedinaar am

varutham kondu thirumbinaar am

pakkattu veetu paalai dhan thirudi aduvum kudithudham

Thiruttu poonaikyu "en ponnai thirumanam saidhu tharamathen".

Vendaam indha sambandham vettka kedu poi varalam


The Cats' marriage was being conducted and

all the people in the world were enjoying it,

Going around the village sitting on an elephant chariot,

(Ottagam)Camels and (Chivingi)Giraffes dancing,

All the village birds were singing in the background,

There was fine food served for all the invitees

At the time of tying the "mangalya rope" the male cat was missing,

everybody searched for the male cat,

and they all returned worried.

It seems that the male cat was stealthily drinking the milk of neighbor.

"For a thief cat I won't give my daughter,

it was disgusting to give my daughter to a thief.

I don't want this marriage proposal" says the father-in-law cat.

And with that the marriage broke out.

Vettkakedu (Vekkakedu) Shame on the cat, (Poi varalam) lets take our leave.

Moral: We should not steal.



Saaindhaadamma saaindhaadu

Saayakilliye saaindhaadu

Thithikkum thene saaindhaadu

Thevittadha tamizhe saaindhaadu

Mayile kuyile saaindhaadu

Maadapuraave saaindhaadu

Kattikarumbe saaindhaadu

Kaaichiyapaale saaindhaadu

Kuthuvillakke saaindhaadu

Kutti nilave saaindhaadu


Rock baby rock

Rock my colorful parrot

Rock sweet honey

Rock insatiable Tamil

Rock my peacock, my cuckoo

Rock my dove

Rock my sweet sugarcane

Rock my boiled milk

Rock my lamp

Rock my little moonView

"This is a popular rhyme sung in every Tamilian household. This is sung while one actually rocks a baby sitting on the lap. The baby is rocked in tune with the rhyme and it never fails to put an instant smile on the baby's face.


UYIRUM NEEYE( This is the special prayer for Mother’s Day)

Uyirum Neeye Udalum Neeye Uravum Neeye Thaaye (2)

Un Udalil Sumandhu Uyirai Pagirndhu

Uruvam Tharuvaai Neeye (2)

Un Kannil Vazhiyum Oru thuLLi Podhum

Kadalum Urugum Thaaye

Un Kaaladi Mattum Tharuvai Thaaye

Sorgam Enbadhum Poyye

PeNNai padaithaan MaNNai Padaitthaan

Katrum Oliyum Mazhaiyum Padaitthaan (2)

Boomikku Adhanaal Nimmadhi Illai (2)

Sami Thavitthan Thaayai Padaitthan



Val val endru kuraikkathu

vaalai vaalai aatathu

engal veettu naai kutty

enakku piditha naai kutty.

Paalum sorum unnathu

pakkam azhaithaal varathu

engal veettu naai kutty

enakku piditha naai kutty.

Angum ingum odaathu

athanaal thollai kidaiyathu

engal veettu naai kutty

enakku piditha naai kutty.

Appadi enna naai kutty

athisayamana naai kutty

appa enakku vaangi thantha

rubber bommai naai kutty.


It doesn't bark like, "Bow, wow!"

Its tail doesn't move.

Our house puppy,

My favorite puppy.

It doesn't eat milk and rice

It doesn't come near, if you call.

Our house puppy,

My favorite puppy.

It doesn't run here and there,

So its no trouble at all.

Our house puppy,

My favorite puppy.

What type of puppy is it?...

Surprising puppy,

My father bought it for me,

A rubber doll puppy


Varappu uyara, neer uyarum.

Neer uyara nel uyarum.

Nel uyara, kol uyarum.

Kol uyara kon uyarvan"

- The verse was composed by Ouvaiyar.

Varappu means field bed to hold water

Neer means water for irrigation

Nel means paddy we grow for our food

Kol means Sceptre held by Kings to rule. (In tamil Sengol)

Kon means King.

Uyara neans "to become tall"


Sukanya Yogesh said...

Congrats Sukanya. Its a great job. Good luck.
Best wishes
Tue, 26 Feb 2008 04:41:42 +0000

Anu Nandu said...

This is so good - All I've taught my daughter is 'Motta Papati - rotti suttalam..enna pathalaiyam..kadaikku ponaalaam...kada karan pathu kan adichalam! ' LOL!

Keerthana's Mom said...

Exactly what I was looking for to learn Tamil! Thank you so much!

Unknown said...

HI Sangeetha..
Good effort, I forgot the VARAPPU UYARA lyrics which i studied in my school days and found it from your blog now..
Althaf Hussain B

Anonymous said...

Hello! I came onto this page by chance when I was googling for the lyrics to 'dosai amma dosai'. I'm a Singaporean Chinese and my fiancé is a Singaporean Indian, and I've been trying to pick up Tamil to communicate better with his mom, who can't speak much English. It's a lot easier learning through children's rhymes and catchy songs, and I get to practice my enunciation when I sing along! So thank you for making things a lil easier with the lyrics above, God bless. :)

ganesh kumar said...

very very usefull.

Fathima said...

Thank you Sukanya. I was hoping somebody would have posted songs to play with my daughter, I got so much more than I expected. Thanks again.

aha_saleem said...

தமிழுக்கு தேவை....

தமிழில் தொடர வாழ்த்துக்கள்..

aha_saleem said...

இச்சேவை... தமிழுக்கு தேவை...

தமிழில் தொடர வாழ்த்துக்கள்..

sonia said...

Excellent effort and very useful to all of us who cannot read Tamil but want to teach our kids. Big Thanks!!!!

සුමේද said...

I was looking for the meaning of kulla kulla vaathu for my daughter. I found it here. Thank you so much.


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