Poetry Friday : Baby Beluga


You might’ve heard that there’s a milestone birthday coming on July 1. Yes indeed, Canada is celebrating the big 150, though she doesn’t look a year over 145!

Image result for canada cute

Canada is officially a century and a half old (though of course she was home to people for centuries and centuries before that), and what better way to mark this momentous occasion than by sharing one of the nation’s most famous children’s songs from one of our most beloved troubadours?

If you grew up in Canada in the 1980’s or 1990’s, there’s a good chance that you are familiar with this classic song about a happy baby whale. If not, prepare yourself for a wonderful ear-worm – this tune will be in your head all day! 

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you:

Baby Beluga!

Start singing these words and countless Canadians of a certain age will be instantly lost in a sea of nostalgia!

Baby beluga in the deep blue sea

Swim so wild and you swim so free

Heaven above and the sea below

And a little white whale on the go

Image result for baby beluga

Singer-songwriter Raffi is truly a Canadian national treasure. Born in Egypt to Armenian parents, he immigrated to Toronto with his family as a child, and started his musical career in the 1970s. His songs have delighted and entertained generations of Canadian children, with such memorable songs as Baby Belgua, Down By the Bay and Bananaphone. He has since become a passionate advocate for the environment and for children’s rights – the ultimate Canadian!

Just as aside, I used to have Bananaphone as my cell phone ring…those were good times.

Baby Beluga  was inspired by a baby beluga Raffi saw at the Vancouver Aquarium, so I’m claiming this one as a hometown hit.

Happy Friday, everyone, and an early happy birthday to my beloved home country! Looking good, Canada!

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  • Reply dmayr

    Oh, no, not Baby Beluga! I’ve been revisiting Raffi with my 1 year old grandson. BB is a major earworm for me. So is, “I’m a Bump,” by Fred Penner.

    Happy Canada 150th Birthday!

    June 30, 2017 at 3:11 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      I’m so glad to hear that Raffi is being introduced to new generations of young fans! 🙂

      July 3, 2017 at 3:21 am
  • Reply Brenda Davis Harsham

    My children loved this as babies. Such a sweet song. Happy 150!!

    June 30, 2017 at 3:43 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      I love how sweet Raffi’s songs were, and so, so catchy!:-)

      July 3, 2017 at 3:22 am
  • Reply Donna Smith

    Used to play lots of Raffi songs in school for the kids! Thanks for sharing this…I have a whale on my card today, and a whale poem next Friday.
    Happy 150!

    June 30, 2017 at 5:27 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      Whales are wonderful!

      July 3, 2017 at 3:23 am
  • Reply Wondering and Wandering

    Happy Sesquicentennial! Baby Beluga is standard fare in my Kindergarten class. LOVE IT! But I have to share the lyrics to my all-time Raffi favorite, Thanks A Lot, as I think they are so gorgeously poetic.

    Thanks a lot,
    Thanks for Sun in the sky.
    Thanks a lot,
    Thanks for clouds so high.
    Thanks a lot,
    Thanks for whispering wind.
    Thanks a lot,
    Thanks for the birds in the spring.
    Thanks a lot,
    Thanks for the moonlit night.
    Thanks a lot,
    Thanks for the stars so bright.
    Thanks a lot,
    Thanks for the wondering me.
    Thanks a lot,
    Thanks for the way I feel.
    Thanks for the animals,
    Thanks for the land,
    Thanks for the people everywhere.
    Thanks a lot,
    Thanks for all I’ve got.
    Thanks for all I’ve got.

    Songwriters: Raffi Cavoukian
    Thanks a Lot lyrics © Nettwerk Music Group

    June 30, 2017 at 6:02 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      So wonderful!

      June 30, 2017 at 10:44 pm
  • Reply lindabaie

    A favorite with my “old” students when we visited the ocean, Jane. This is such a wonderful song. Thanks, and Happy Canada Day!

    June 30, 2017 at 7:14 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      My coworker was practicing this on her ukulele recently, and it brought back so many childhood memories! So sweet, and so catchy.

      July 3, 2017 at 3:24 am
  • Reply Tabatha

    Not a Canadian, but I have plenty of Raffi-love! “Everything Grows” — major source of nostalgia. Have to laugh about your ring tone 🙂

    June 30, 2017 at 7:22 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      I’m glad that Raffi transcends borders – children everywhere deserve to experience his positivity. 🙂

      And of course my phone went off in class in university, so everyone got to witness my love for Raffi…including the professor…! 😉

      July 3, 2017 at 3:26 am
  • Reply Michelle Kogan Illustration, Painting & Writing

    Happy 150th Celebration Jane! Always happy to hear about another individual promoting our environment and children!

    July 1, 2017 at 12:04 am
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      Yes! We can never have too many activists fighting for what matters most!

      July 3, 2017 at 3:27 am
  • Reply jama

    It’s been ages since I’ve heard this song. Happy 150th Birthday Canada!

    July 1, 2017 at 1:41 am
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      I’m glad to bring back some old memories with this blast from the past! 🙂

      July 3, 2017 at 3:27 am
  • Reply Violet Nesdoly

    My kids grew up on Raffi’s tunes. (Hmmm, I wonder what I did with my vinyl of him…) Thanks for a happy visit down memory lane!

    July 1, 2017 at 3:14 am
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      It’s funny to go back in time sometimes, especially when the past had such catchy, happy tunes. 🙂

      July 3, 2017 at 3:28 am
  • Reply katswhiskers

    Happy 150! (I hadn’t realised that some of my ‘American Poetry Friday friends were in fact Canadians.) Have a wonderful weekend of celebration. Love this joyous post!

    July 1, 2017 at 7:16 am
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      I’m always happily surprised to discover fellow Canadian bloggers, especially fellow West Coasters! 🙂

      July 3, 2017 at 3:30 am
  • Reply Laura Purdie Salas

    Happy birthday, Canada! Raffi is such a wonder. This takes me back to my girls’ childhood!

    July 1, 2017 at 3:05 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      He truly is a national treasure, and I feel like his songs really capture the positive spirit we try to embody! 🙂

      July 7, 2017 at 1:55 am
  • Reply readingtothecore

    Happy Birthday, Canada! My kids loved Raffi. Thank you for bring back sweet memories!

    July 1, 2017 at 4:32 pm
  • Reply Kiesha Shepard

    I always wondered where this song originated. Thanks for sharing, Jane!

    July 1, 2017 at 4:41 pm
  • Reply Kay McGriff (@kaymcgriff)

    Somehow my daughter (and I) missed out on Raffi when she was small. She would have loved this one. Oh well, she’d probably still enjoy it now! Thanks for sharing.

    July 2, 2017 at 12:00 pm
  • Reply maryleehahn

    I had no idea Raffi was Canadian, nor did I know he was Armenian! He has done so much good in the world; he’s the perfect way to celebrate Canada’s birthday–a country that seems to be working extra hard to do what’s good and right!

    July 2, 2017 at 3:22 pm
  • Reply Linda Mitchell

    How could you have possibly known? I have had Baby Beluga in my head as an earworm for weeks…..and sang it constantly on my recent trip to Seattle….even the day we climbed into the mountains and waved at Canada! LOL. I’m NOT even kidding about this. I hope you had a wonderful Canada Day! The weather was just gorgeous when I left on the 30th and I envy you living in such beauty. I don’t dare play this video….it’s Sunday afternoon summer napping time in my house and my family will scream if they hear Baby Beluga in the Deep Blue Sea one more time from me. Oh, gosh. Thanks for the hug and the laugh.

    July 2, 2017 at 5:36 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      This made me so happy!!! I’m so glad to hear that so many of us still love and sing this song, so many years after it first came out! I do love my home so very, very much, though considerably more now than in the 8+ months of relentless rain. 😀

      July 2, 2017 at 8:31 pm
  • Reply macrush53

    Happy Canada Day. And Baby Beluga, so much to love!

    July 2, 2017 at 11:59 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      It’s just so darn sweet, I love it so much! My colleague has been singing it in her story times, too, so new generations (and new Canadians) can experience the joy. 🙂

      July 7, 2017 at 1:58 am
  • Reply cvarsalona

    It’s wonderful to celebrate with Raffi-an all time elementary school favorite. Thanks for sharing the joy of Canada Day, Jane.

    July 3, 2017 at 3:59 am
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      Funnily enough he apparently stumbled into a career as a children’s singer-songwriter quite by accident – how lucky for us, eh? 😉

      July 7, 2017 at 1:57 am
  • Reply Raincity Librarian - MONDAY FUNDAY: July 3, 2017

    […] so please do check back in if you’d like to read those, and if you missed my Canada-themed Poetry Friday post, feel free to check that out, […]

    July 4, 2017 at 7:04 pm
  • Reply Keri Collins Lewis

    Oh Jane! I was just singing some songs from my teaching days today! We loved Raffi. And Greg & Steve. Hope you enjoyed Canada Day. And thanks for the encouraging comment on my blog — a good reminder to focus on the process/journey not the destination/response.

    July 4, 2017 at 9:26 pm
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