Miriam Makeba recorded this song after hearing it from Malay/Indonesian descendants of slaves brought to Africa several hundred years ago. Pete Seeger learned the same song in 1949 from a young Indonesian in New York. (source)

Lyrics - Malay

(Indonesian folk song)

Suliram, suliram, ram, ram
Suliram yang manis
Adu hai indung suhoorang
Bidjakla sana dipandang manis

Tingi la, tingi, si matahari
Anakla koorbau mati toortambat
Sudala lama saiya menchari
Baruse klarung sa ya mendabat Refrain

English Translation – Go to sleep

Go to sleep
Go to sleep, sleep, sleep
Go to sleep, little one
Close your eyes and dream tender dreams
For you are guarded, protected by my love

Long have I waited, I’ve waited for you
Go to sleep
Years I spent hoping and praying for you
Go to sleep
Now that I have you right here by my side
I will not ever, no never let you go Refrain

See also


  • Song with chords (PDF)
  • MIDI file
  • Listen to the song

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5 thoughts on “Suliram”

  1. Pingback: Disco Elysium is an enchanting lesson on failure – DeconRecon

  2. There are several versions of the lyrics, depending mostly on region. Wikipedia references two of them ( and one includes a calf, which is probably what the previous poster was remembering. My sister-in-law from Indonesia said that every island has its own verses, and it’s common for parents to make up verses to customize it to their family or beliefs.

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