Halloween Chants: Solomon Ratt


(This audio covers all the suggestions here!)

wayêsihiwê awêkâ cî miyo-tôta miyahta nisita!
Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat!

(Graphic stolen – with thanks – and revised from @CreeSimon!)

When I was a kid, the next line went:
Not too big, not too small, just the size of Montreal!

Do kids even use Halloween chants anymore? Way, way back in the last century, “Halloween Apples” was popular. Far enough back, kids were even excited to get them. My mother, who made us throw out anything that wasn’t commercially sealed, always gave out hand-wrapped bunches of nuts or raisins (for somebody else’s mother to throw out, I guess).

Not a moment too soon for Halloween, Solomon Ratt thought it was time to invent some Halloween chants in Cree.

First he tried to make them rhyme:

  • cîpay tipiskâw! asamin okâw!
  • ᒌᐸᐩ ᑎᐱᐢᑳᐤ! ᐊᓴᒥᐣ ᐅᑳᐤ!
  • It’s Halloween! Feed me pickerel!sîwâs, sîwâs, cahkâs, sîwâs!
  • ᓰᐚᐢ, ᓰᐚᐢ, ᒐᐦᑳᐢ, ᓰᐚᐢ!
  • Candy, candy, Ice cream, candy!

Well, it might be popular with Sasquatch (or Solsquatch). You can play with these ones by substituting other food terms (even if they don’t rhyme – or make sense), like my father used to do:

  • wiyâs “meat”
  • wakâs “banana”
  • oskâtâs “carrot”
  • picikwâs “apple”
  • sîwâs “candy” (is, of course, the only one that really matters)

Steven Swan suggested inanimate colour words would also work for rhyming:

  • asamin kîkway mihkwâw (or miskwâw in TH) “Feed me something red”

Beaky Holden had another good suggestion:

cîpay tipiskâw!
hâw okâwîmâw!
asamin sîwâs-mahtâminak êkwa môsomina!

ᒌᐸᐩ ᑎᐱᐢᑳᐤ!
ᐦᐋᐤ ᐅᑳᐑᒫᐤ!
ᐊᓴᒥᐣ ᓰᐚᐢ ᒪᐦᑖᒥᓇᐠ ᐁᑿ ᒨᓱᒥᓇ!

“It’s Halloween!
Come on mom!
Feed me candy corn And cranberries!”

Another one that works for y-, th- or n- dialects might go like this:

cîpay tipiskâw!
asamin sîwicîsak
sîwicîsak, sîwicîsak
wîhkitisiwak!

ᒌᐸᐩ ᑎᐱᐢᑳᐤ!
ᐊᓴᒥᐣ ᓰᐏᒌᓴᐠ
ᓰᐏᒌᓴᐠ, ᓰᐏᒌᓴᐠ
ᐑᐦᑭᑎᓯᐘᐠ!

It’s Halloween
Feed us candies.
Candies, candies,
They taste good!

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