Russia: Snail Song

Informant: There’s this song me and my childhood friends used to sing in order to get a snail to come out of its shell. It went something like “snail snail bring your bull horns out, and go to the puddle and drink warm water and then go to the river and drink cloudy water.” We used it as kind of a game. Like we would go to the garden and find snails and then sing to them. Whoever could get their snail to come out first would win. It was very entertaining and fun. I remember doing this since I was a child and I think I learned the song at the playground in school. 


I thought this piece of folklore was really cute and relatable. It demonstrates how folk music is often used as a way of entertainment and as a way to create games. It also delineates the social power of folk music. In the informant’s case, it was a way to make friends at school during the playground. Therefore, there is definitely a social factor involved in folk music that creates a sense of community. Furthermore, folk music can also help establish relationships. It it a shared experience, and this example proves that by demonstrating how music transcends and becomes an activity.

I also think it is interesting how the lyrics of the song is coherent with the activity. The point is to get a snail to come out of its shell, and the lyrics reflect such a goal. This would explain why the informant was so specific when explaining when she would sing the song. There is a specific purpose to the song that encourages kids to participate in the ensuing activity.