Tag Archives: injury

Sana Sana Colita de Rana

Main Piece: 

“Sana sana colita de rana

Si no sana hoy

Sana mañana”


“Heal, heal, tiny frog tail

If it doesn’t heal today

It will heal tomorrow”


“Heal, heal, tiny frog tail

If it doesn’t heal today

It will heal tomorrow”


My informant is one of my friends who lives in Miami, Florida, and is of Cuban and Iranian heritage. As a child, my informant could always expect to hear this from her grandmother whenever she got hurt. “Sana sana colita de rana” is a popular rhyme often told to small children across Latinx culture as a way to console them after injuries (like falling and scraping their knees, for example). Along with the song, my informant added, “my family always accompanied it with a kiss on the appropriate wound, so I think it’s kind of the equivalent of when Americans are like ‘kiss your boo boos’.”


This childhood rhyme came up when I asked my informant if she knew of any Cuban sayings. I listed a different variation of this rhyme as an example, which she was able to recognize and provide the version she’d grown up hearing. 


I remember hearing this rhyme all the time whenever I got hurt as a kid, though I heard it differently. In Mexican culture, or at least how my mother told it to me, the rhyme went “Sana sana colita de rana, si no se te quita hoy se te quita mañana,” which translates to: “heal, heal, tiny frog tail, if [the pain] doesn’t leave you today, it will leave you tomorrow.” Either way, hearing the rhyme brings back nostalgia from when I was little. I agree with what my informant said about kissing the wound being equivalent to what American parents might do, and I think the addition of the rhyme also adds to the notion that this performance is mostly a placebo effect.

That being said, I think the rhyme is an important part of children’s culture, particularly in the way that the content doesn’t make sense; what does a frog’s tail have to do with healing, for example, a scraped knee? Why a frog, specifically, and not a medical professional? The nonsensical element here is key to children’s folklore because it allows them to comprehend the world in a way that only their folk group could understand and readily accept. However, another way to look at it is that the silliness of the rhyme helps the child focus less on their pain and more on trying to understand the contents.

For another variation, see Licea, May 12, 2019, “Sana Sana Colita de Rana – Spanish saying”, USC Folklore Archives).

Sana Sana Colita de Rana – Spanish saying

“Sana sana, colita de rana. Si no te alivias hoy, te alivias mañana”

Translation: Heal, heal, little tail of a frog. If you do not heal today, you will heal tomorrow.


This saying has been promulgated throughout almost all Spanish speaking households, and the interlocutor asserts that it is an essential aspect of growing up and learning the capacity of one’s body and mind. The last part of the saying usually goes “si no sanas hoy, sanarás mañana,” which is more directly translated to heal, while the verb aliviar, as used in my interlocutor’s version, translates more directly to alleviate. She mentioned that her personal version is one she learned from her own mother despite the other version being much more popular. She taught this version to her own children, saying it when they came to her with scrapes and bruises, seeking comfort amidst their tears.

This saying is most commonly used to comfort an ill or hurt child. Arguably a universal notion, children have quite an immense amount of energy that requires some sort of exertion. Through this, many children play throughout their youth, and in doing so, they are exposed to myriad dangers and possibilities of getting injured. Therefore, this saying allows and even encourages the exploration that children experience through play, asserting that an injury by way of play is one that is trivial and easily cured. This saying also illustrates the compassion and care that Latino parents give to their children, reassuring them that tomorrow promises healing and opportunity for further exploration.

Breaking Eggs (Persian Rituals)

Okay so like, if people get like a knee injury, a really big thing is to, they’ll take raw eggs and they’ll crack the eggs and rub it on someone’s knee, for pain, and then they’ll wrap it for like two days. And apparently it really works.


Do you break the egg on their knee?


I think they just break it in a bowl, and then they put it on their knee and then they’ll wrap it. That’s a big one that I’ve seen a lot.


So is this for any injury?


No it’s not just like for any injury, I know it’s like your knee, maybe your elbow, and they’ll wrap it, I guess it’s for like a joint, just for joints.


Isn’t there also a ritual with eggs when someone gets a new car?


Oh yeah, okay so if you get a new car, I don’t know if it’s Persian or if it’s just a Jewish thing, I don’t know, it might be Persian… Okay so there’s two things, one of them is they’ll put like, eggs under each wheel, and you have to drive over the eggs, that’s like maybe to keep bad eyes away or something like that. And then another one is like, so when I got my car my mom would like, when I was gonna drive away for the first time they would pour water. Okay wait that’s what they do when they’re going on vacation, like a really big trip. Like when I was leaving for Italy, before I left, my mom or somebody would have to like, once you drive away, pour a glass of water behind you. I don’t know what it means, I think it’s just for safety and to have good luck or something like that, to have a good trip.


What do you think driving over the eggs is about? Like breaking new ground or something?


I don’t know, that would make sense, yeah like a new beginning or something like that, and it could also just be like having a positive entrance, like keeping bad eyes away. They’re really big on the evil eye.



These are rituals enforced by superstitions, mainly surrounding keeping bad luck and evil forces away from you. There is symbolism with breaking the egg, although the informant is not quite clear on what that is. It could be speculated that the inside of an egg resembles the evil eye; or it could be as simple as the fact that eggs break easily; or could have something to do with eggs being a fetus or a new thing in development, like a new car bursting into the world like a chick would burst out of an egg. These are protection rituals and good luck rituals.