Albanian Lullabies

E13 8HT
May 2020

Cradle songs ( kenget e djepit ), also called lullabies (ninna-nanna), have been used through the years as an artistic communication between mother and child, to put the baby to sleep. These songs occupy an important place in Albanian folklore, and have come to express the feelings, thoughts, values and the bond that is created between the mother and her child.

The researcher Ferial Daja said:

“Lullabies are more or less intimate monologues of the mother, but she experiences them as a real head to head conversation with her child. Referring to her child she expresses her deepest dreams and desires she has for the baby: wishing good health and a long life, high moral qualities and a good position in society. Each lullaby glows from the mother’s enthusiasm and her parental love.”

During lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic, we asked some of the younger members of the Shpresa community to sing their favourite lullabies.


Nina Nina bija ime

kush ti lane ato skutine

E ti lane nena ime

ty t’ka nena nder mjedise

Nina nina bije ime

ty t’ka nene nder mjedise

ty t’ka nene nder mjedise

gjithnje lajka e bukuruse

Nina nina


Nina nina Buna Buna

Qika e Babit ‘tat me pula

Tat me pula ‘tat me kingja

Qika jeme osht ma e mira

Nina nina n’djep të drurit

Ty tka babi qikë t’katunit

Nina nina n’djep me kashtë

T’u rrit shtati dhe t’u trashtë

Nina nina qika babës

Ti mu rritsh si rremi thanës

Rremi thanës, rremi mollës

Vijnë e t’thërrasin shote

e shkollës


Xhumo xhumo kah mullajni o

ti vaj cauces mu ke sajni o

 

Xhumo xhumo hah Vardari o

a ti vaj cauces kah balli o

 

Xhumo xhumo kah ke shetajto

caucen teme ma ke shetajto

 

Luli Lulu n’djep alltanit o

nuk don nana tjeter kond

pervec taj e babes tond

 

Sleep or sleep at the mill

would you rest at my daughters eyes?

Sleep or sleep at the oak tree

would you rest at my daughters forehead?

 

Sleep or sleep where are you walking?

where are you taking my daughter?

 

Flowers flowers in golden cradle

your mother loves no one else 

except you and your dad


Nini-nini, nin-nin-o, 

zene, gjumi, çunin-o, 

çunin gushpëllumbin-o. 

Djepja me çarçaf të hollë, 

rritu, bir, të t’çoj në shkollë; 

djepja me çarçaf si vdorë, 

t’m’i boesh nanës doktor; 

rritu, bir, i fort’, vigan, 

të punosh ti për vatan. 

 

Nini-nini, nin-nin-o,

go to sleep little boy

my boy, as beautiful as a dove-o.

Your cradle has white sheets

 

Grow up my son; I’ll take you to school;

Your cradle has white sheets,

I want you to be a doctor;

Grow up, my son, strong as a giant,

Grow up to work for your country

About this record

A selection of traditional Albanian lullabies passed down to younger generations.

Additional record details

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1 - 31 May 2021