Lala Lila Tampong

(1st Version in Hokkien)

Lala lila tampong

Apek bay apong

Apong beh ki chiak

Knia lor beh khar khiak

Khar khiak beh ki cheng

Knia lor beh kar leng

Kar leng ko, Kar leng so,

Meh ni kow in tu tu hoe!

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(1st Version in English)

Lala lila fresh coconut

Old man sells ‘apong’ (a local savory made with eggs and grated coconut)

Forgot to eat the apongs

Walk to buy wooden clogs

Forgot to wear the clogs

Walk to buy the mynahs

Relatives and in-laws of the mynahs

Just nice to get married by next year!

.

(2nd Version in Hokkien)

Lala lila tampong

Apek bay apong

Apong bay boe liow

Apek khi puak kiow

Kiow su

Apek thow liak tu

Tu chow

Apek thow liak kow

Kow bui

Apek thow parng phui.

.

(2nd Version in English)

Lala lila fresh coconut

Old man sells apong

Apong not in demand

Old man went to gamble

No luck in gambling

Old man went to steal some pigs

Pigs ran off

Old man went to steal some dogs

Dogs bark

Old man steals a fart!

.

(3rd Version in Hokkien)

Lala lila tampong

Apek bay apong

Apong boh laku

Apek chay bangku

Bangku lin loh hai

Apek chiak kow sai

.

(3rd Version in English)

Lala lila fresh coconut

Old man sells apong

Apong not in demand

Old man sits on a wooden stool

The stool fell into the sea

Old man eats dog stools!

.

(4th Version in Hokkien)

Lala lila tampong

Apek bay apong

Apong lin loh hai

Apek chiak kow sai

.

(4th Version in English)

Lala lila fresh coconut

Old man sells apong

Apong rolled to the sea

Old man ended up eating the dog stools..

.

(5th Version in Hokkien)

Lala lila tampong

Apek bay apong

Apong bey boh liow

Apek chiak ka liow

.

(5th Version in English)

Lala lila fresh coconut

Old man sells apong

Apongs not in demand

Old man ate it all by himself!

.

(6th Version in Hokkien)

Lala lila tampong

Apek bay apong

Apong boh laku

Apek chiak huan chu

.

(6th Version in English)

Lala lila fresh coconut

Old man sells apong

Apong not in demand

Old man eats sweet potatoes..

.

About this rhyme/ditty:~

Quite similar to ‘Chui Lo Chui Peng Peng’ but in reverse format,  ‘Lala lila Tampong’ is a traditional Hokkien rhyme/ditty very often recited in street games. And there are many variations to it. The motive is to help eliminate players from a game. For example, if there are seven people vying to play in a game that needed only four players,  the three would get a fair chance eliminating themselves. This is done by first gathering the seven children in a circle and by a clear show of the palm of our hand be it up or down, the first three persons out of the whole group who display a similar hand signal as opposed to the rest would be the ones eliminated. The show of palms happen at the end of every line in the stanza. Hence, in this case, the showing of hands can happen six times. If at the end of the whole recital no one gets eliminated, the whole cycle is again repeated..

The author/owner has compiled for record, a collection of early Hokkien sayings, proverbs, rhymes and ditties to capture the essence and spirit of his hoi polloi, a community originating from the southern province of Fujian, China where individuals climbed aboard bum boats, crossing the South China Sea to settle in faraway lands to escape the brewing civil unrest and a way out from hardship carrying along with them in their journey, nothing except their trademark ponytails and their beliefs, very much rooted in Confucianism. These ditties retell their story and their lifestyle way back then so that the younger generation can gain an insight and foothold to their origin..

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4 responses to “Lala Lila Tampong

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