Songs in Cantonese

Follow along with Maggie Lau as she teaches us two songs in Cantonese: Childhood Days and Which Family are these Roosters From?

Meet Maggie Lau
Learn the song Childhood Days

Learn the song Which Family are these Roosters From?
Learn about the language and culture through information and stories

Meet Maggie Lau

Nga Wai (Maggie) Lau came to Canada 17 years ago from Hong Kong. She works for MOSAIC at the Newcomers' Centre for Children and Families in Burnaby. Maggie has fond memories of growing up in Hong Kong, including going for dim sum on the weekend with her parents and two brothers.

Childhood Days

The theme of this thoughtful song, popular in Hong Kong, is a yearning for the innocence of childhood, a time of laughter and happiness.

Print the words to this song [PDF]
Find ideas for using this song in a program about feelings

Childhood Days in traditional Chinese

Ngo Siu Si Hau
Siu2 siu2 di1 jyu5 zau6
Fun1 jan1 di1 jyu5 zau6
Baang6 baang6 tiu3 haa1 haa1 siu3
Si6 ngo5 siu2 si4 hau6

Siu2 siu2 di1 jyu5 zau6
Tin1 zan1 di1 jyu5 zau6
Zan1 di1 ngo5 zan1 di1 nei5
M4 hai6 siu2 muk6 ngau5

Ngoi3 dung6 nou5 gan1 wut6 put3 tin1 zan1
Faan4 si6 hou2 faat3 man3
Tek3 bo1 paau2 bou6 daa1 cin1 zau1
Bat1 zi1 tin1 gou1 dei6 hau5

Siu2 siu2 di1 jyu5 zau6 
Ban1 fan1 di1 jyu5 zau6
Zoeng6 dei6 kau4 tin1 tin1 zyun2
Gei1 miu6 si6 bat1 dyun3 jau5

Childhood Days
It was a small universe
A happy universe
I jumped, I laughed
Those were my childhood days

It was a small universe
An innocent universe
I was truthful and so were you
And we weren't little puppets

We loved to think and were energetic and innocent
Asking about everything
We played soccer, ran around and swung on swings
Didn't understand too much but couldn't care less either

It was a small universe
An exciting universe
Like our earth that spins around every day
Amazing things happened all the time

Which Family are these Roosters From?

This humorous song invites a variety of animals to guess which families hundreds of noisy roosters, chicks, and hens belong to.

Print the words to this song [PDF]
Find ideas for using this song in a program about animals

Which Family Are These Roosters From in traditional Chinese

Ho Gaa Gung Gai
Zan1 gwaai3 daan3 jau6 jau5 ceoi3
Nei5 mong6 mong6 gung1 jyun4 lei5
Jau5 sei3 baak3 zek3 gai1 gai1 guk1 guk1 guk1
Si6 ho4 gaa1 di1 bat1 zi1 dou3

Ho4 gaa1 gung1 gai1 ho4 gaa1 caai1
Ho4 gaa1 siu2 gai1 ho4 gaa1 caai1
Ho4 gaa1 gung1 gai1 ho4 gaa1 caai1
Ho4 gaa1 mou5 gai1 guk1 guk1 guk1

Hau4 zi2 go1 go1 hung4 sin1 saang1
Cung4 syu2 mui6 mui6 ngau4 suk1 suk1
Wong4 baau3 baa1 baa1 joeng4 maa1 maa1
Lai4 caai1 lai4 caai1 jo1

Which Family are these Roosters From?
It's so weird but also so interesting
As you look at the 400 chickens
Clucking, clucking, and clucking in the park
Which family do they belong to? That beats us

Which family are these roosters from? - let's guess!
Which family are these chicks from? - let's guess!
Which family are these roosters from? - let's guess!
Which family are these hens from, clucking, clucking, clucking?

Come Brother Monkey and Mister Bear
Sister Squirrel and Uncle Bull
Daddy Leopard and Mama Sheep
Let's all take a guess!

Learn about the language through information and stories

Cantonese is a variety of Chinese. It’s especially associated with southern China. Like other Chinese languages, it uses tones to distinguish words with the same spelling but different meanings. Did you know that the words ketchup and tai chi came from Chinese? Their original meanings are “fish sauce” and “extreme limit.”

Learn five welcoming phrases in Cantonese
Find information and stories about China