tânisi Song: Brian MacDonald

In this widely beloved kids’ song by Brian MacDonald, every line is repeated as an echo, except the bridge, which is sung entirely in Cree. It’s fun to place somebody outside the door, and have them knock. Have somebody answer the door to begin acting out the greetings.

I don’t mean to be a spoiler, but part of the song’s fun is how simple most of the verse is – until you’re challenged by that magical last line. But you’ll quickly master that too, and sing along even more confidently next time.

*dialect note: For n-dialect, change the bold y to n;
for th-dialect change the bold y to th, and change all of the ê sounds to î.

Verse (each phrase is echoed): 
Hello! (Hello!) 
tânisi! (tânisi!)
How are you? (How are you?)
tānisi kiya? (tānisi kiya?)
I am fine. (I am fine.)
namôya nânitaw. (namôya nânitaw.)
Come on in. (Come on in.)
pihtikwê. (pihtikwê.)
Sit down. (Sit down)
api. (api.)
Have some tea. (Have some tea.)
maskihkiwâpoy minihkwê. (maskihkiwâpoy minihkwê.)
Bridge (not echoed)[translation - not sung]
tâpwê miywâsin ê-pê-kiyokawiyan.   [It’s nice that you’ve come to visit.]
tânitê ê-kî-itohtêyan?  [Where have you been?]
mahti âcimo kîkway ê-osihtâyan.                  [Please tell me what you’ve been doing.]
mahti âcimostawin.[Please tell me a story.]
Repeat Verse with echoes

 

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