Children’s Rhyme – Mexico

“Riki Ran”

“Rickie Ran”

“Riki Riki Riki Ran

“Rickie Rickie Rickie Ran

Pide pan y no le dan

Asks for bread and no to him they give

Pide queso, le dan un hueso

Asks for cheese, to him they give a bone

Y se va a la puerta de corral a llorar

And he goes to the door of the corral to cry

Riki Riki Riki Ran.”

Rickie Rickie Rickie Ran.”

“Rickie Rickie Rickie Ran

He asks for bread and they don’t give it to him

He asks for cheese, and they give him a bone

So he goes to the door of the corral to cry

Rickie Rickie Rickie Ran.”

Juls told me that she learned this rhyme from her grandmother when she was a young girl of about five years old. She said she learned it in Diamond Bar, CA but said that her grandmother learned it in Mexico. She explained to me that this rhyme is said when you are playing with babies or very young children. She said it was a way to calm babies down by making them focus on the song instead of fussing over whatever they were cranky about. She gestured as she said this rhyme that you hold on to the baby’s hands and bounce them to the rhythm of the beat. She said it was a fun activity for playing and was not too serious.

Juls said that this rhyme could be interpreted as a way for children to be thankful for the food that they get. She said that it was almost a way to teach children that they should not always be picky or fussy about foods they eat, because at least they are lucky enough to have food on the table. It seems to be a lesson of being grateful for what their family has and to not to take for granted what those less fortunate (like Rickie) may not have.

In addition to teaching children to be thankful for the blessings they have, this rhyme can also be seen as a lesson to respect your elders. Whoever the ‘they’ is in the rhyme seem to be in charge of what Rickie gets, implying that they are his elders. ‘They’ must not be happy with Rickie’s behavior and are thus punishing him for his wrongdoings. In this respect, it can be viewed that it teaches babies to behave and to be good for their elders who provide for them. This pedagogic rhyme is a fun and playful way to instill good manners in a baby from a very young age.