A ram sam sam

A ram sam sam

“A Ram Sam Sam” is a nursery rhyme indicated as originating in Morocco, sung in the local dialect.

It is now widespread all over the world with slight differences in pronunciation and gestures.

The first recorded version is by the musical group “The Spinners” who included a version of the song on their 1964 Folk at the Phil album under the title “Aram Sa-sa”. In a 1969 scout songbook of mine the song is referred to as canon, and in fact it seems that the Liverpool group had it sung like this during a performance by dividing the spectators into two groups.

They say they learned the song from an Israeli singer who sang it in Aramaic, and the translation would have been “Get up on your horse and gallop away”.

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Lyrics


A ram sam sam, a ram sam sam
Guli guli guli guli guli ram sam sam
A ram sam sam, a ram sam sam
Guli guli guli guli guli ram sam sam
A rafiq, a rafiq
Guli guli guli guli guli ram sam sam
A rafiq, a rafiq
Guli guli guli guli guli ram sam sam

  • A ram sam sam has no meaning (sometimes used “a ram zam zam”)
  • Guli should mean “tell me”
  • rafiq should mean “friend, comrade”

Execution

The most used gestures are:

  • A ram sam sam: clap your thighs.
  • Guli guli: turning the closed hands in front of the chest, as if to wrap something.
  • A rafiq: making the gesture of sleeping.

Repeat faster and faster or alternately fast and slow. It is also possible to sing in the canon.

Music Sheet

Video

Video with the gestures
This song is also used as a refrain in the Tom Tom Club song – Wordy Rappinghood
Russian disco dance versions
A ram sam sam (Rolf Harris 1971)

Audio

A ram tsam tsam
English version, in canon
A ram sam sam
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