Chanda Mama

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Indian
Age: 22
Occupation: Student
Residence: Los Angeles
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/29/14
Primary Language: Hindi (urdu)
Other Language(s): English

Original Text:

“Chanda Mama Door Ke

Puye Pakaye Bhur Ke

Aap Kaye Taali Mein

Mune Ko De Pyali Mein” (Hindi)

Direct Translation: 

Uncle moon from far away

Is making Puye (dessert) with sugar

You eat in a plate and

give the little child a little plate

Background:

This is a lullaby that the informant remembers hearing as a child. His dad mainly sung it to him, although his mom would sing it from time to time too. There was one night that his dad didn’t sing it to him and he couldn’t sleep. The informant said that it reminds him of his childhood now and going to bed.  When I asked if there was a deeper meaning to the lyrics, he said that it seemed pretty nonsensical, but he said that it’s significant that you let parents eat first out of respect.

Context:

The informant’s parents sung this lullaby to him when he was a child. He said it’s a pretty common song that parents would sing to their children in Indian culture.

Personal Thoughts:

When I first asked him what it meant, he said he didn’t know. But when I asked him to type out the lyrics, he started to realize what it meant because he speaks Hindi. I thought this was interesting because the song had simply started to represent a warm feeling of bedtime with parents, rather than what the lyrics actually were talking about.