Swedish Nursery Rhyme – Rida Rida Ranka

Posted on 06. Feb, 2013 by in Culture

As I’ve written before, I sometimes do fieldwork in the United States, interviewing and talking with Scandinavian Americans. It’s a great experience and I get a chance to meet a lot of wonderful people and hear some amazing stories. One thing that has popped up a couple of times is an old nursery rhyme that a lot of people remember from their childhood. In fact, I remember it from mine also!

It’s called Rida Rida Ranka and has quite a few different variations. Rida Rida Ranka means to ride on a rocking horse or to ride on someone’s knees. Usually this little rhyme is said while bouncing a child on one’s knees. I’ve included a couple of versions below:

Rida rida Ranka
hästen heter Blanka
Vart ska vi rida?
Till en liten piga
Vad kan hon heta?
Jungfru Margareta
den tjocka och den feta

Here is a very rough translation, minus the rhyming.

Ride, ride a rocking horse
The horse’s name is Blanka.
Where shall we ride?
To a little girl.
What is her name?
The Virgin Margareta
The chubby and the fat one

Or:

Rida, rida ranka,
hästen heter Blanka.
Liten riddare så rar
ännu inga sporrar har.
När han dem har vunnit,
barndomsro försvunnit.

And again, a very rough translation:

Ride, ride a rocking horse
The horse’s name is Blanka.
Cute little knight
You have no spurs yet.
When you have won them
Your childhood will disappear

I’ve also included a really great YouTube clip with the nursery rhyme:

YouTube Preview Image

For a few more versions, check out Rida rida ranka. Enjoy!

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4 Responses to “Swedish Nursery Rhyme – Rida Rida Ranka”

  1. Lois Lund Scorgie 6 February 2013 at 5:41 am #

    Your blog about Rida rida ranka was sent to me by me friend who’s 100%Swedish. I’m 50% Swedish and 50% Norwegian. I remember my mother reciting the poem to me when I was young. I think the version she said was the first one. I can’t speak Swedish. She could. What I remember bestis the rhythm of the words

    I grew up in Western Wisconsin and am 65.

    Thanks for the good memory.

  2. Anna Sokol 7 February 2013 at 5:50 pm #

    Very sweet! We have this type of song in Russia, too. Interesting how many nationalities ride their children on knees singing?)

  3. Marcus Cederström 4 August 2013 at 8:12 pm #

    Glad to hear it everyone


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