A Ram Sam Sam

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"A Ram Sam Sam (A rum sum sum)"

"A Ram Sam Sam (A rum sum sum)" is a popular Moroccan children's song and game,[1] that gained popularity around the world, other variants were used like "Aram" instead of "A Ram" and "Zam Zam" instead of "Sam Sam".

Lyrics, movements and meaning[edit]

The song's lyrics are usually:

A ram sam sam, a ram sam sam
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
A rafiq, a rafiq
Guli guli guli guli guli ram sam sam

The song is an Arabic song, sung in the Moroccan dialect. The lyrics translation:[2]

A ram sam sam doesn't have a meaning, while the rest goes like this

guli guli guli a ram sam sam: say, say, say a ram sam sam

A rafiq: friend

When not played as a game, this song can also be (and very frequently is) sung as a round.

The game is played by a group of children. The song is sung by the group leader and the participants should perform several actions during certain lyrics, usually:

  • A ram sam sam - pound fists, right over left, then left over right.
  • Guli guli - pull hands apart gesturing as if something were gooey
  • A rafiq - spin index fingers on either side of the head (like someone is crazy), ending with the fingers pointed up.

A version of the song by Liverpool folk group The Spinners, who claimed to have learned the song from an Israeli singer and that the words were in Aramaic,[citation needed] had the following lyrics:

Aram sa-sa, aram sa-sa,
Galli galli galli galli galli galli ram ra-sa. (2x)
Arami, arami,
Galli galli galli galli galli galli ram ra-sa. (2x)

The translation they gave was "Get up on your horse and gallop away". When they performed the song, the group would make it an audience-participation song, splitting the audience into two halves and encouraging them to sing it as a round.[citation needed]

Pop culture usage[edit]

  • The Spinners included a version of the song on their 1964 album Folk at the Phil, under the title "Aram Sa-sa".
  • Rolf Harris recorded the song in 1971 for Columbia Records with The Mike Sammes Singers[3] This version contains additional lyrics and distinctive arrangement with backing vocals.
  • Sound producer Levon Atayan was one of the first remixers who remixed and named "Aram Zam Zam" (Pop Mix) in January 2009. In some Internet portals the song is called "Zam Zam". This version is used by many children's music and dance groups.
  • Diskoteka Avariya, a well-known Russian band, used the song in their composition "Modnyi Tanets Aram Zam Zam" (In Russian "Модный танец Арам Зам Зам" English title "A Ram Sam Sam: The Trendy Dance") in 2009.
  • Donikkl und die Weißwürschtl recorded a German version "Aram Sam Sam" that charted on the German charts in 2009.
  • Gracey released a Dutch language version in 2011 that reached #75 on the singles charts in the Netherlands.[4]
  • Lorenz Büffel recorded a version entitled "Aramsamsam" for his double CD Après Ski Hits 2011.


Parodies and adaptations[edit]

  • The Jewish educational television series The Magic Door, which aired in the Chicago area from 1962 to 1982, had a theme song "A Room Zoom Zoom", based on the first two lines of "A Ram Sam Sam".[5]
  • The US scouting movement adapted the song using new lyrics: A good Cub Scout / A good Cub Scout / A new Tiger Cub and a good Cub Scout...
  • Fast Food Rockers recorded a version of the common playground and camp song in 2003 under the title "The Fast Food Song" with new lyrics sampling on the refrain and mentioning fast food companies, notably Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonald's
  • DJ Ötzi recorded a very similar version in German language titled "Burger Dance" in 2003, mainly being an enumeration of the same fast food companies as that of the Fast Food Rockers. The song samples on the refrain of A Ram Sam Sam and some sections of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" particularly "Glory Glory Hallelujah".
  • Pizza Hut used it in commercial campaigns with amended lyrics[citation needed]
  • DieAussenseiter [de] used it in some parts of their first music video, "Aram Sam Sam" being a comic parody of the song with additional lyrics in German and a symbolic use of English lyrics in "Jump, jump, motherfucker".[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ""A Ram Sam Sam" from Morocco". The Folk Music Experience. Retrieved 2019-01-21.
  2. ^ "A Ram Sam Sam - Morocco". Mama Lisa's World of Children and International Culture. Retrieved 2019-01-21.
  3. ^ "Rolf Harris - A Ram Sam Sam". Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  4. ^ "Gracey - A Ram Sam Sam". shop.berkmusic.nl. Archived from the original on 3 October 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  5. ^ Neil Gale (February 28, 2017). ""The Magic Door" TV Show, a part of Chicagolands Sunday Morning Programming". The Digital Research Library of Illinois History Journal. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  6. ^ DieAussenseiter (21 December 2012). "Aram Sam Sam (Official Music Video) HD". Retrieved 5 February 2018 – via YouTube.

External links[edit]