Posted by: balladofyoko | June 6, 2006

Words From Childhood 4.6

Today’s phrase: neko funjatta

Neko in Japanese means “cat,” and funjatta comes from fumu, meaning “to step on.” Neko funjatta means “I stepped on the cat.” It’s the title of a well-known piano tune, in which most of the piece is played on the black keys.

(oddly enough, here’s a dance mix version, playable in Quicktime.)

I first heard this song in Japan, when I had visited my grandmother when I was a kid. There were some kids from the village who came over her house to play with me, and upon discovering the piano in my grandmother’s parlor room, immediately began showing off and playing all sorts of tunes, including this one. I learned how to play this by ear, without ever seeing the music for it.

I only just recently discovered that it is also known as Der Flohwalzer, or “The Flea Waltz.” The Wikipedia article is here.



  1. That tune sounds kind of like the cat is walking on the piano. It’s not the sound my cats make when I step on them.

    That dance mix is really weird.

  2. you forgot to mention that mom totally hates that tune….


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