A Ram Sam Sam (Kid’s Song): Full Lyrics & Meaning

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Ram Sam Sam song

A few weeks ago, my daughter came home from pre-k singing a new song.

It went…

“A ram sam sam, a ram sam sam, guli guli guli guli guli, ram sam sam…”

It also had these hand movements that went along with the seemingly nonsensical lyrics. And she LOVED it! She seriously loved this song and insisted on teaching it to us.

And it’s been firmly lodged in my brain ever since.

So what is the A Ram Sam Sam song, what are the real lyrics, and where does it come from / what does it mean?

Since I couldn’t stop humming it, I decided to find out.

A Ram Sam Sam is a children’s song and game that originates from Morocco, though the actual lyrics don’t have much meaning even in Arabic. These days it’s common to see it taught in preschools and daycares around the world.

Let’s take a closer look!


A Ram Sam Sam – Full Lyrics

OK, parents, listen up and pay attention.

Here’s how the song actually goes:

A ram sam sam, a ram sam sam

Guli guli guli guli guli, ram sam sam

A rafiq, a rafiq

Guli guli guli guli guli, ram sam sam

A ram sam sam, a ram sam sam

Guli guli guli guli guli, ram sam sam

A rafiq, a rafiq

Guli guli guli guli guli, ram sam sam

You can listen to the A Ram Sam Sam song in this video to get an idea of the tune and pronunciation:

The version my daughter learned in class pronounced some of the words differently, but I can’t tell which is correct.

(When my little girl sings it, she says “A rafiq” like “a rafeek” and not “a rafik”)

She also uses different hand movements and dance moves than the video above.


What are the Ram Sam Sam movements?

Part of game is that you need to move your hands to the rhythm of the song.

There are actually a lot of different versions and interpretations of the A Ram Sam Sam dance, but as far as I can tell, this is the most common:

When you sing “A ram sam sam, a ram sam sam,” you pound one first on top of the other, left then right, and left then right again.

When you sing “guli guli guli guli,” wind your hands around each other in a circle repeatedly.

When you sing “a rafiq,” bring both hands up high on either side of your head then bring them down while wiggling your fingers.

Other versions have kids doing movements like clapping their hands in their lap, spinning a finger on each side of their temples (“crazy” gesture), and pulling their hands apart like they’re stuck in goo.


The A Ram Sam Sam Game Explained

I’ve seen this song turned into a game in two different ways.

First, you repeat the song over and over, only each time you leave out one part.

For example, you might leave out “a ram sam sam,” only miming the words silently and doing the hand movements, but singing the rest normally.

The next go-round, you might leave out “guli guli guli guli,” the same way.

By the end, you leave out everything, only miming the entire song.

The other way to play is to sing the song over and over, speeding up the tempo each time until you’re going too fast to even say all the words correctly!


What Does “A Ram Sam Sam” Mean? Lyrics Translated

The song uses a Moroccan dialect of Arabic; however, the nursery rhyme doesn’t have a concrete meaning.

“A ram sam sam” has no meaning in Arabic.

“Guli” loosely means “tell me,” and “a rafiq” means “friend.”

“A ram sam sam” is just a funny and catchy sounding phrase, strung together with some other common Arabic words to form a pleasant little tune!


Wrapping Up

A Ram Sam Sam has its roots in Morocco, and uses Arabic words in a Moroccan dialect; though you shouldn’t go looking for any deeper meaning. It’s just a fun little rhyme and singing-game for children to play.

It’s so catchy and fun to sing, it’s no wonder it caught on so well at daycares and preschools all around the world.

Chances are if your son or daughter hasn’t come home singing it already, they will soon!

And now you’ll be able to sing and dance along with them.

I hope this helps, parents!

(And to stay in the loop on more popular kids songs, check out my guide to the diarrhea song.)

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