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Why, oh why is it that for a singing children´s character to be popular amongst the tykes, their music must be catchy, simplistic and rubber cement stick in your head long after you´ve turned it off???

I am not of the Barney era, though I was babysitting a lot of fans of “I love you, you love me…” and learned all its PG and more amusing R rated versions back in its heyday. Chip doesn´t want TV yet, persay, nor do we really turn on movies (though this momma may be guilty of firing up the boob tube once or twice while trying to pack lunch, straighten up and not kill the dog with an almost two-year old hanging from her calf, but really, its only been once or twice.)

However he is an avid fan of  “EL SAPO PEPE”. 

This bug-eyed green buddy is all the rage here in BA and has been for the last 15 years (the song he is known for was written in 1988 by Analía García, part of the duo Candela, there is a whole legal dispute about who owns the rights to the frog, if you read Spanish you can get the full scoop here)  and he rose to fame and cartoon character-like status at  the hands of Adriana Szusterman in 1999. The frog does not have a TV show that I know of, however he is probably the most highly merchandised and most popular kid´s figure on the market here. Every party planning store has Sapo Pepe merchandise and every child I know who sees a frog image in the street will identify it as Pepe.

The song itself is pretty catchy, made all the more so by the thousands of daycare centers and nursery schools who decide to play it for their little ones each day. For a first hand listen and read along with the lyrics, you can click here. (sorry, but I don´t love it enough to embed it in my page, standards, people, we´ve got to have standards here!!!)

I do love this song however, for one simple reason. It is the first second song my son sings along to (for more about the FIRST song and my fav, read this). That is to say, he shouts out the last word of each sentence, but I think that´s how we all learned to sing, isn´t it. And he is very emphatic about his “salta, salta” (jumping, jumping), which he chooses to execute by stomping one foot rather than actually hopping in the air (much safer, I say, stomp away).

Plus we are practicing the following words:

  • Pepe (ok, so that´s not a word so much as a name…),
  • Jardin (which sounds like jarreeen, but its also the name of where we go every day, ie. daycare, so that´s cool too…)
  • Verde (maybe its just ve-de, but again, not a problem, this is a color so it is actually useful…)
  • así (can´t even make a case for this one…)
  • Saltá, saltá (already discussed, looks like lots of fun there, kiddo)
  • vení (this is come in local vernacular, so as you can image, this is highly useful, both to know how to say and to do. Chip has a very good hand gesture that comes along with the use of “vení”, it´s a palms-down finger- flick towards him that I think is much nicer than the classic palms-up single finger wag, but that´s probably because I taught it to him, huh?)

My personal favorite comes at the end of the song when the singers says to Pepe “me vas a marear, me vas a marear” or as the English version to be found on YouTube says “you´re dizzying me now, you´re dizzying me now” Chip hear throws in a lovely “mevamear, mevamear” (which to the un-Chip-trained ear in Spanish sounds a lot more like “you are going to pee on me” than “you are making me dizzy” and always  brings a sneaky little smile to my face, bless his heart.)

Now, regarding the English version of The Frog Pepe, yeah, that´s the only karaoke video we skip, because OH, did I mention, we own a great karaoke version of this song (thank you Music Brokers…) and there is an attempt to sing Pepe in English. American mothers who share my plight here, don´t succumb to temptation and whatever you do, DO NOT play the English version for your kids, especially not if they are learning to read. See why here 

So bilingual moms, who else has a good story about your little monsters and their local media influences? And who thinks I should be bemoaning the fact that his first (i keep doing that! only because there is another special song in our life that is SO MUCH MORE WORTHY than this one…read all about it here) sorry, sidebar, his second musical experience is in fact in Spanish and not in English?