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Background

I met a boy, about five years old, from a Persian family, and wanted to teach him some familiar (to him) songs on the piano. However, the children's songs familiar to me were not familiar to him, and between language barriers, unsuccessful searches of Google and YouTube, and an inquiry with a local Persian association, I never found out what songs he might have encountered at home.

Question

I'd like to know children's (ages birth-4) songs that could be considered reasonably canonical in various cultures around the world. I'm particularly interested in traditional songs parents or other close family members sing to their children.

A bit more detail

Children's songs can be into several loose, often overlapping categories (with examples from my native "canon"):

and I would add

The kind of answer I have in mind might look like:

Culture/Language/Religion/Country/...

Song category 1

  • Example 1 (with link if possible)
  • Example 2 (with link if possible)
  • etc.

Song category 2

  • etc.
  • 1
    This is probably too broad: there are a large number of different cultures in the world, and even within one culture there are likely to be regional differences. – PiedPiper Sep 2 at 19:07
  • @PiedPiper Thanks for the opening to speak to that. Agreed, the question is broad. It lends itself to a potentially large number of answers. In the short term, that seems okay; good answers will be focused, concise, and easy to browse through. Longer term, though, if many (good) answers show up, the question could be branched off to more focused ones, organized according to how answers group themselves, and with this one as a hub. On the other hand, too many bad answers, then this gets closed. – Aaron Sep 2 at 20:07
  • @PiedPiper et al., see this Meta question. – Aaron Sep 2 at 20:23
  • @PiedPiper Perfect. I'd completely forgotten about mamalisa. It's a much improved site since I last visited. That would make a good answer to the question. – Aaron Sep 2 at 21:21
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A complete answer to this question would probably fill several books.
One website that attempts to collect children's songs from all over the world is Mama Lisa's World. As they say about themselves:

Mama Lisa's World is the internet's premier destination for children's songs from around the globe and for discussions of international culture. It features thousands of traditional songs from hundreds of countries and cultures and a major collection of Mother Goose Rhymes.

If you were looking for Persian songs, for example, you could try this one, complete with audio example.

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