Mama Lisa's World
International Music & Culture
Los esqueletos
(Costa Rican Kids Song)

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Los esqueletos
The Skeletons
Canción infantil
(Spanish)
Children's Song
(English)

Los esqueletos - Costa Rican Children's Songs - Costa Rica - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World, Intro Image


Cuando el reloj marca la una
los esqueletos salen de su tumba,
tumba, que tumba, que tumba, tumba, tumba.

Cuando el reloj marca las dos
dos esqueletos comen arroz
tumba, que tumba, que tumba, tumba, tumba.

Cuando el reloj marca las tres
tres esqueletos se vuelven al revés
tumba, que tumba, que tumba, tumba, tumba.

Cuando el reloj marca las cuatro
cuatro esqueletos van al teatro
tumba, que tumba, que tumba, tumba, tumba.

Cuando el reloj marca las cinco
cinco esqueletos se pegan un gran brinco
tumba, que tumba, que tumba, tumba, tumba.

Cuando el reloj marca las seis
seis esqueletos juegan ajedrez
tumba, que tumba, que tumba, tumba, tumba.

Cuando el reloj marca las siete
siete esqueletos se montan en cohete
tumba, que tumba, que tumba, tumba, tumba.

Cuando el reloj marca las ocho
ocho esqueletos comen bizcocho
tumba, que tumba, que tumba, tumba, tumba

Cuando el reloj marca las nueve
nueve esqueletos todos se mueven
tumba, que tumba, que tumba, tumba, tumba

Cuando el reloj marca las diez
diez esqueletos se duermen otra vez. (retardando)

When the clock shows one,
The skeletons come out of their tombs,
"Tumba, ke tumba, ke tumba, tumba, tumba".

When the clock shows two,
The skeletons eat rice,
"Tumba, ke tumba, ke tumba, tumba, tumba".

When the clock shows three,
The skeletons turn upside down,
"Tumba, ke tumba, ke tumba, tumba, tumba".

When the clock shows four,
The skeletons go to the theater,
"Tumba, ke tumba, ke tumba, tumba, tumba".

When the clock shows five,
The skeletons make a big jump,
"Tumba, ke tumba, ke tumba, tumba, tumba".

When the clock shows six,
The skeletons play chess,
"Tumba, ke tumba, ke tumba, tumba, tumba".

When the clock shows seven,
The skeletons ride a rocket,
"Tumba, ke tumba, ke tumba, tumba, tumba".

When the clock shows eight,
The skeletons eat sponge cake,
"Tumba, ke tumba, ke tumba, tumba, tumba".

When the clock shows nine,
The skeletons shake their bodies,
"Tumba, ke tumba, ke tumba, tumba, tumba".

When the clock shows ten,
The skeletons go back to sleep. (Slow down.)
 
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Notes

This is an action-song, children can change the movements or change the lyrics as they want.

I asked Lilliana if this song is sung throughout the year, or if it's a song for a specific holiday in Costa Rica. (For example, in the U.S., songs about skeletons are often for Halloween. In Mexico, they're sometimes for The Day of the Dead celebration.)

Lilliana wrote back, "The song is sung anytime. We don't have the Mexican tradition, and Halloween has been brought from outside, and it is not fostered within the school system, but we use the song because it is a little bit 'scary' (which make children excited!) and to teach the numbers, and because it has movements."

Comments

*****

Here's an alternate loose translation I wrote with my husband, Jason Pomerantz. We tried to make it singable to the tune:

The Skeletons

When the old clock, we hear it strike one,
Out from their dark tombs, all the skeletons come,
"Tumba, ke tumba, ke tumba, tumba, tumba".*

When the old clock, we hear it strike two,
White skeletons, two, gobble up rice, it's true,
"Tumba, ke tumba, ke tumba, tumba, tumba".

When the old clock, we hear it strike three,
White skeletons, three, turn upside down, you see,
"Tumba, ke tumba, ke tumba, tumba, tumba".

When the old clock, we hear it strike four,
White skeletons, four, pass the theater door,
"Tumba, ke tumba, ke tumba, tumba, tumba".

When the old clock, we hear it strike five,
White skeletons, five, jump high into the sky,
"Tumba, ke tumba, ke tumba, tumba, tumba"?.

When the old clock, we hear it strike six,
White skeletons, six, play chess as the clock ticks,
"Tumba, ke tumba, ke tumba, tumba, tumba".

When the old clock, we hear it strike seven,
White skeletons, seven, rocket up to heaven,
"Tumba, ke tumba, ke tumba, tumba, tumba".

When the old clock, we hear it strike eight,
White skeletons, eight, eat up all the sponge cake,
"Tumba, ke tumba, ke tumba, tumba, tumba".

When the old clock, we hear it strike nine,
White skeletons, nine, shake their bodies in time,
"Tumba, ke tumba, ke tumba, tumba, tumba".

When the old clock, we hear it strike ten,
White skeletons, ten, lie down sleeping again. (Slow down.)

*Literally: "Tomb, which tomb, which tomb, tomb, tomb."

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Lilliana for contributing and translating this song provided by Rosa María Solís Marín from Costa Rica.

Image by Lila and Lisa.

Thanks also to Lilliana for the mp3 recording.

¡Muchas gracias!

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