petite anglaise

January 26, 2009

tadpolecast – maya l’abeille

Filed under: misc — petiteanglaiseparis @ 9:48 am

I think of all the things I’ve posted on this blog, the Tadpole sings category affords me the most retrospective amusement.

Listening to her ‘performance’ of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, in French and English, aged two, makes me realise what a long way we’ve come (and just how long I’ve been blogging).

Playing the song she invented, aged four, about falling down and ripping open her top lip on a jagged manhole cover simultaneously brings tears to my eyes and makes me laugh out loud.

I’m not one for taking a lot of photos, and almost never think to film anything, but I’ll definitely be hanging on to these audio clips for posterity.

Todays podcast features Tadpole’s rendition of the theme tune to a cartoon which was enormously popular in France in the late 70’s and early 80’s, Maya l’Abeille (Maya the Bee). Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Maya ever aired in the UK, even if the Austro-Japanese production seems to have enjoyed success elsewhere around the world.

So I have Mr Frog and his fondness for showing Tadpole clips of favourite children’s programmes from his youth on YouTube* to thank.

And the funny noises are, um, kisses. I believe there are three. Tadpole was in an affectionate mood…

*original version of the Maya theme tune. Extremely high pitched singing alert. Play at your own risk.



  1. Wonderful Tadpole! such beautiful notes.

    You are very Lucky Petite,my little ones don’t like to sing if they think I can hear so I have to hide.

    You are right to keep hold of such a great memory.

    Comment by lex — January 26, 2009 @ 9:54 am

  2. Did you realise that the episode on the link to YouTube is actually called ‘Maya and the Frog’? Coincidence?

    Comment by lex — January 26, 2009 @ 9:58 am

  3. I hadn’t. How fitting!

    Comment by petite — January 26, 2009 @ 10:16 am

  4. That’s just enchanting!

    We also had Maya the Bee in Portugal in the 70’s when I was growing up.

    Comment by Claudia — January 26, 2009 @ 10:24 am

  5. That made me smile!!! She’s so sweet!

    Comment by Kasey — January 26, 2009 @ 10:32 am

  6. Thank you Tadple for the very nice song!
    It brings back memories when my boys were that age!

    Petite thank you for sharing!

    Comment by Gary — January 26, 2009 @ 10:44 am

  7. Cute! The German song is not as high-pitched as the French one as sung by a man, Czech crooner Karel Gott. There’s even a live version on YouTube. When I was in primary school, half the class dressed as Maya characters for carneval.

    Comment by retailtherapist — January 26, 2009 @ 11:04 am

  8. Awww!

    We had it here in Holland as well!

    Comment by AnnaDenise — January 26, 2009 @ 11:23 am

  9. I’m sure you’ll cherish these every bit (if not more) than photos. And I bet Tadpole will be delighted to hear them when she’s older. So sweet!

    Comment by Rachelle — January 26, 2009 @ 11:56 am

  10. I SO wish I taped DD doing this kind of thing. She LOVED to sing! Clever girl Tadpole :)

    Comment by Jen — January 26, 2009 @ 12:10 pm

  11. Je connais très bien cette chanson, qui a bercé mon enfance, et je peux te dire que ta fille chante très juste !!!

    Comment by Pauline — January 26, 2009 @ 12:27 pm

  12. That’s so adorable!

    I used to watch Maya de Bij (Dutch version) all the time when I was little. :)

    Comment by Marjolein — January 26, 2009 @ 1:17 pm

  13. Wow, that brings back memories. My sister and I used to watch “Maya the Bee” when we were kids (we live in the U.S.). So I totally found the English version of the theme song on YouTube. I have to admit, though, that tadpole’s version is far more endearing. :-)

    Comment by Laura College — January 26, 2009 @ 2:06 pm

  14. Aw…

    We also had Maya in the states when I was a kid…

    Comment by Rachel — January 26, 2009 @ 2:31 pm

  15. Oh man, I LOVED Maya the bee when I was little!

    Comment by Jess — January 26, 2009 @ 2:45 pm

  16. Lovely tadpole. ;)
    Here’s the link to the portuguese version on youtube:
    Maybe Manuel can translate for you. :)

    Comment by Joana — January 26, 2009 @ 2:58 pm

  17. OMG that is adorable!

    Comment by Wendy Juniper — January 26, 2009 @ 3:07 pm

  18. Sweetness!

    Comment by L.C.T. — January 26, 2009 @ 3:21 pm

  19. Well done, Tadpole! :-)

    I grew up with the Slovenian version of Čebelica Maja – sung by a man.

    Comment by alcessa — January 26, 2009 @ 9:19 pm

  20. Awww. That is adorable!

    Comment by Kelsey — January 26, 2009 @ 10:43 pm

  21. So very cute, im sure that we have recording of my older sister at about the same age doing the same sorts of things.
    Thanks Tadpole =]
    and to you too Petite

    Comment by Molly — January 26, 2009 @ 11:04 pm

  22. sweet. i used to watch ‘die biene maya’ sometimes in the late 70s. the song sounds almost exactly the same in german if you can believe it…

    Comment by beyond — January 27, 2009 @ 12:59 am

  23. I remember watching Maya the Bee in the US too. It looks like it must have been a remake though, (not just a redubbing). This was in the early 90s. They showed it on Nick Jr.

    Comment by Shoshanah — January 27, 2009 @ 1:02 am

  24. Just adorable!

    Perhaps in the way that a picture is worth a thousand words, a podcast may be worth a thousand pictures.

    Comment by ~Tim — January 27, 2009 @ 1:51 am

  25. We had it here in Canada as well. I loved “Maya the Bee” as a child!! Fond memories indeed!

    Comment by Zwizzler — January 27, 2009 @ 3:42 am

  26. Yay!I’m from Australia but used to visit my grandparents every few years in Austria and watch that show. I thought it was about me because my nickname was Biene and my surname is Maier (pronounced Maya). I heart that bee

    Comment by Karin — January 27, 2009 @ 6:14 am

  27. Wow, you weren’t kidding about the nearly “only dogs can hear it” pitch of the original version! I MUCH preferred Tadpole’s rendition. She has quite a nice singing voice for such a young child, you should encourage her to do more singing as she gets older.

    Comment by The Bold Soul — January 27, 2009 @ 10:56 am

  28. How adorable! We also used to watch Maya the Bee in South Africa when I was little, so it was nostalgic listening to Tadpole. My little ones do such adorable things too, and listening to your recording makes me realise how seldom I capture those moments for posterity. Although, like lex, mine run and hide when I try to record them!

    Comment by Brenda — January 27, 2009 @ 11:55 am

  29. Very very good (and she knows the words better than I do…) I practised some time ago with my German GF in a bi-lingual duo as it was popular in Germany too I heard.

    Well placed for the kisses, as it is when you must do the bee stuff tze tze tze in the tune ;-)

    Clap clap clap!

    Comment by Vonric — January 28, 2009 @ 12:51 am

  30. I used to watch that cartoon when I was a kid (in Canada). Fond memories of it.

    Comment by Bluefish — January 28, 2009 @ 7:21 am

  31. I had no idea Biene Maja was known in so many (and such far-flung) countries! She’s actually originally German, invented in 1912 by a German writer. Her German name is Maja and her sidekick is Willi, her other friend is Flip the grasshopper, and they are united against Thekla, the lady spider. I also had no idea that the theme song in French is so similar to the German. Very cute.

    Comment by Karina — January 28, 2009 @ 2:01 pm

  32. Keep all of those. This Christmas we found some old tapes of when our two daughters, now 24 and 21, were 4 and 1.

    I’ve heard that the greatest gift you can give your children are great memories. This was one of them.

    Comment by John from Florida — January 29, 2009 @ 12:16 am

  33. Bravo lil tadpole! That was so so adorable!

    I’m from Malaysia and watching the original clip of Maya the Bee really made me chuckle. It brought back such fond memories of those Saturday mornings when i used to wake up early, with eyes half open and still in pjs to catch all my favourite cartoons. :)

    Comment by Ee Vee — January 29, 2009 @ 5:12 am

  34. Dear Petite,

    I read your book many months ago but never logged onto your blog – until yesterday. Your Tadpolecast of Maya the Bee brought such unexpected joy to my little one – she sat staring at the laptop with a broad grin plastered to her face.

    Since the start of this year, I’ve been trying to fill a void in my life, created when I swanned off on maternity leave almost a year ago. The void wasn’t so apparent when it was being temporarily filled (and overfilled at that) with the demands that come hand in hand with the arrival of the gift from the proverbial stork. But those demands are draining away now and I’m feeling a little empty.

    Writing has always been my saving grace in the lonelier times; helping me sift through the ‘what’s, ‘how’s and ‘why’s. It’s like having a friend to talk to who isn’t judgemental, totally on my wavelength and always on my side.

    Do you remember that twilight zone after Tadpole had been put to bed and Mr Frog was yet to come home? The solitude is engulfing. So much so, that on some days it is still there when my little one is not yet asleep and my husband is already home. I took the plunge yesterday and started a blog – by sharing my thoughts I hope to lessen my solitude.

    Thank you for inspiring me to put my thoughts out into the ether and thank you for lighting up my little one’s day.

    Comment by is this compulsory? — January 29, 2009 @ 11:07 am

  35. Awesome! I had Pszczolka Maja in Poland when I grew up :) Still have a painting of her I did when I was 5, hanging now in my daughter’s room (who I named after the bee.)

    Comment by Agneseva — January 30, 2009 @ 2:45 am

  36. Oh my, how sweet! My favorite part of my favorite job (camp counselor) was singing in chapel with my cabin of little girls, always a blast.

    I remember watching reruns of Maya when I was a toddler here in Canada…completely forgot it’s existence until now!

    Comment by Little Red — January 30, 2009 @ 7:27 am

  37. That theme song is so familiar that I’m convinced I must have watched some of it as a very little one in Canada on reruns, too!

    Comment by unbalanced reaction — January 31, 2009 @ 5:38 am

  38. How lovely, really enjoyed listening esp as I spend much of my week singing French songs to littlies in UK. Happy Chandeleur for this week, may you have many, many pancakes! Can’t wait for your paperback book hopefully arriving soon via Amazon, and will so look forward to going over your past blogs and tadpodcasts over half term in Feb when I have some spare time. Tiffany

    Comment by Tiffany — January 31, 2009 @ 3:38 pm

  39. I LOVED your book and am thrilled that there’ll be another. This is my first time at your blogsite, and your wee one sounds enchanting! Nell

    Comment by Nell Hurse — January 31, 2009 @ 7:39 pm

  40. wow last time I listened to Tadpole singing was quite a “long” time ago and now she seemes so grown up!

    It is very charming to hear her singing on this Sunday morning! =)

    What nice memories to listen to later!

    Comment by Frogmae — February 1, 2009 @ 11:56 am

  41. Bonsoir Petite,
    I must say that I first heard about you through your book, as I was browsing in my favourite shop WH Smith on rue de rivoli. Your book is brilliant as I felt very close to your feelings of Paris, as i too am an expat.
    In anycase, I love reading your blogs now because of it, and would love to have you and all Petite’s fans to check out my new blog:
    It’s about my husband and I deciding to go into business with each other, and since he’s French he was always naturally titled Frog (no copy intended).
    Please do come and check it out and leave your comments!
    cheers, p

    Comment by princess — February 1, 2009 @ 6:40 pm

  42. Hey,
    I’m a german girl and I’ve read your book (… in the last days).
    (Sorry for my bad english :D)
    Everything is really true?
    I only want to say: WOW :)
    i’m afraid, but I understand only a little part of the blog… :(
    (Because of my english)
    But I will try it ;)

    lovely greetings

    Comment by Pia — February 1, 2009 @ 11:18 pm

  43. Very, very nice. I had forgotten about this cartoon. I wonder if a Maya DVD would be a nice birthday gift for my little one, or just a trip down memory lane for her parents ?

    Comment by ontario frog — February 2, 2009 @ 1:34 pm

  44. In July 2008 I receievd you book…a few months later…my mum requested I hand it over. And today she finally got to see your blog. She’s in love with tadpole already:)

    Comment by Andrea Ban — February 2, 2009 @ 5:33 pm

  45. I loved watching the “Biene Maya” when we lived in Germany – I was 8 years old and a bit too old for it, but my younger 6 year old brother had every single record! Great to relive the song again!

    Comment by Mickey — February 3, 2009 @ 7:36 am

  46. This was soooooo sweet. I loved the kisses!
    I used to watch Maya Bee when I was a kid. I lived in Lithuania, but could see it on a Polish TV channel due to staying close enough to the boarder :o) It was a very cute cartoon.

    Comment by Jurate — February 6, 2009 @ 7:00 am

  47. soo cute. look forward 2 new book :)

    Comment by mc — February 6, 2009 @ 4:44 pm

  48. Aww, bless that is simply adoring. Oh, I don’t know how you didn’t stiffle her with kisses, I know I would :D

    Comment by Sara — February 16, 2009 @ 8:34 pm

  49. Aw, that was adorable. We had Maya the Bee in the States when I was young in the early 90s. It was one of my favorite cartoons.

    Comment by An American in France — February 27, 2009 @ 7:52 pm

  50. Adorable. This could be Tadpole in a few years??? 12 yr old Caroline. Amazing.

    Comment by Lindsey Violet — March 5, 2009 @ 8:00 am

  51. ahh bless she sounds so cute my 2 yr old always sings russian classics to her daddy

    Comment by May Darling — March 20, 2009 @ 4:47 pm

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