Raising Neem-Roonis- Atal matal tootoolé (a children's nursery rhyme)

Leyla Shams
February 09, 2020

Atal matal totoolé is a popular children's rhyme with a simple game that goes along with it. Like a lot of nursery rhymes, it has some pretty silly and nonsensical aspects to it, and it's something you could sing over and over again without really thinking about the meaning. But it's nice to have some context when you're saying something over and over again.

The game goes something like this- everyone sits with their legs stretched out in front of them. With each syllable, you tap one leg and then the other of each person in order. Whatever leg you land on for the last syllable gets retracted. In the end, whoever has the last leg left wins!

We've recorded the rhyme with this blog post- take a listen, and then practice saying it yourself. It's pretty fun! Below is the full transliteration, following by a line by line translation (note, some of it is meaningless rhyming, including the title of the song).


atal matal tootoolé

gāve hasan chejooré

na sheer dāré, na pestoon

gaveshõ bordan hendestoon

yek zané kordee bestoon

esmeshō bezār amghezi

doré kolāsh ghermezi

ācheen, vācheen,

yek, pā, tō, var, cheen!


atal matal tootoolé

(just a rhyme)

اَتَل مَتَل توتولِه

gāvé hasan chejooré

how is hasan's cow?

گاوِ حَسَن چِه جوره؟

na sheer dāré na pestoon

It doesn't have milk or udders

نَه شیر دارِه نَه پِستون

gāveshō bordan henestoon

they took his cow to India

گاوِشو بُردن هِندسِتون

yek zané kordee bestoon

find a Kurdish wife

یِک زَنِ کُردی بِستون

esmeshō bezār amghezi

Name her Amghezi

اِسمِشو بِذار عَم قِزی

doré kolāsh ghermezee

around her hat is red

دورِ کُلاش قِرمِزی

hacheen ō vācheen

(just a rhyme)

هاچین و واچین

yé, pā, tō, var, cheen!

take, one, foot, A-WAY!

یِه، پا، تو، وَر، چین