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Subject: Belgian song about Marjanneke
(11 juli 2012)

My grandmother recites what I thought was an old Belgian nursery rhyme/song, but from my research may be an old Dutch nursery rhyme/song. It starts out 'Hop Marjanneke, sosa panika' and at some point says 'where is my muther, where is my father, where is my sister and my bruther'. I do not know how to spell most of this, but you may get the idea.

Her version seems to be different than your version of 'Hop Marjanneke'. Have you heard of this version and could you tell me all of the words in Dutch and what they translate to in English?

My grandmother is very old and could no longer tell me this information herself. It seems to be one of the only things that she remembers nowadays!

Thank you for your help!


Answer     (11 juli 2012)

Dear Kelli,

The song you try to find, is not a (well-know) dutch (children's) song. I cannot find it in the Dutch Song Database (wich contains over 125.000 songs), not online and not in the songbooks I have.

But I was able to find the song on a French website. In Belgium are two official languages, Dutch and French. Most of the time the people learn both languages. So this song has a Dutch (in fact: Flemish) lyric, but as far as I understand it, it was sung by a French group. They made an album with (old?) songs for 'carnaval', that is: carnival (an original catholic celebration before the Lent). During the days of the carnival, people dress up, party, eat and drink a lot and sing funny songs.

So I will give you the lyric wich is given on the French website, and an English translation of the text. The text does not make that much sense to me. But it clearly is about carnival, party before the fasting, eating pancakes (a tradition before fasting in some regions), and some (I suppose) funny lines.

I hope this is the song your grandmother was looking for. Maybe the lyrics will bring back memories.

with kind regards, met vriendelijke groeten,


Dutch children's songs with music and English translation  (


Marioep Marianne de saucepanne
T'is morgen vastenavond
Marioep Marianne de saucepanne
T'is morgen carnaval

Waar is mijn vader en mijn moeder
Waar is mijn zuster en mijn broere
Waar is mijn liefde dat ik tak zo geerne
Ze ligt noch op de tot'je van heur moeder

Kijk daar Sophie die groote zeuge
Ze springt met Baziel om hooge
Wat gaet het nu noch alhier etwat gebeuren
Het kan maar zijn in't naaste scheure

Eet maar noch een pannekoeke
Achter je wuuf je moet niet zoeken
Wel, zit de kat vanavond noch in d'horloge
Laet ze maar in tot morgen noene ;

In English:

Marioep Marianne de saucepan
tomorrow it is Shrove Tuesday (day befor Ash Wednesday/start fasting)
Marioep Marianne de saucepan
tomorrow it is carnival.

Where is my father and my mother
where is my sister and my brother
where is my love that I [tak? Flemish word - like?] so much
she still lies on the [totje? Flemish word - bosom?] of her mother.

Look over there, Sophie, that big sow [female pig]
she jumps with Baziel up high
what will now here something happen
it can be in the nearby shed/barn.

Eat but just another pancake
behind your wife you must not search
well, the cat will be in the watch tonight
let her, untill tomorrow twelfe o'clock.

Re:     (11 juli 2012)


Thank you so much for your extensive research and your quick reply! I was so happy that you e-mailed me back! I will confer with my mother and grandmother and see if this is the correct song, but it sure seems very similar to me. I don't think her version is as long, but she may not know all of the verses! I found the information about the carnival before Lent very interesting!

You have been very helpful - thanks again!


Re:     (12 juli 2012)

Hi Kelli,

I also hope it is the right song and you grandmother recognises some of the lines. Maybe it brings back sweet memories. Carnaval is a big and happy festival, particular in the south of the Netherlands (the catholic part), so maybe it is connetcted with happy times for her.

I do understand that it's very difficult to find a song if you're not sure about the spelling; and I do understand what old (childhood) songs can mean. So I help with pleasure, of course!

Kind regards, Rozemarijn.

Dutch children's songs with music and English translation  (

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