Des vêtements et les couleurs

À la queue leu leu

J’ai des poules à vendre

Promenons-nous dans les bois

Quand Biron voulut danser


Last updated: 6/30/2015 2:23 PM


The songs below are part ofHop-!’ The French collection

compiled, adapted, translated and illustrated by Dany Rosevear


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© Dany Rosevear 2008 All rights reserved


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À la queue leu leu O



Another for the youngest.

Each time the song is sung choose a new colour for the cat.












À la queue leu leu,

Mon p’tit chat est bleu,

S’il est bleu tant mieux,

S’il est gris tant pis! MIAOU!

Off in line lou lou,

My small cat is blue,

If it’s blue it’s true,

If it’s grey no way! MIAOW!

Children stand in lines of four or five and place hands on the shoulders of those in front. The leader weaves them in and out of other lines. Finish with a loud ‘MIAOW!’

Each time the song is sung the child at the back waves and moves to the front to become the new leader.


…If it’s green it’s clean…

…If it’s brown it frowns

…If it’s white it bites…

…If it’s black it quacks












J’ai des poules à vendre O



Learn colour names with this song by varying each verse: poules - noires et blanches, pommes - rouges et verts, fleurs - jaunes et bleues .


This game can be played in two, three or four circles depending on how long you wish it to last. As an alternative to the suggested ending ask the children who are wearing a particular colour to turn back to face the centre: ‘Ceux qui ont du gris tournez-vous’ until all have done so.












J’ai des poules à vendre,

Des noires et des blanches,

J’en ai tant dans mon grenier,

Qu’elles roulent dans l’escalier,

Trois ou quatre pour un sou,

Mad’moiselle retournezvous!

I have hens for sale here,

Black ones, white ones, not dear,

For my attic’s full of them,

Rolling down the stairs they come,

Three or four will cost a pound,

Mad’moiselle please turn around.



La galette est-elle prête?  Oui!

Est-elle bien sucrè?         Oui!

Est-elle bien dorèe?         Oui!

Nous y voilà!…. Tournons la galette!

Is the pancake ready?    Yes!

Is it well sugared?          Yes!

Is it well glazed?            Yes!

Here we go! Time to turn the pancake!


Red ones, brown ones, not dear…

The children circle to the left swinging arms gently back and forth.

They advance towards the centre and then walk back.

Clap hands in time to the rhythm.

The child named in the song (instead of mad’moiselle) makes a half turn, their back to the centre.

The circle sets off again and continues as before until all children have their backs towards the centre.



The leader calls out the questions, the children call out ‘Oui!’


All children turn to face the centre.
















Promenons-nous dans les bois O


Wolves and woods are a perfect combination for traditional stories and songs across Europe.

Keep the wolf at bay by suggesting more clothing and colours.


Listen at:




Half the class pretend to be trees swaying; the others, the children, walk through the woods in twos or threes holding hands.

Wolf stands to the side putting on items of clothing.




















Promenons-nous dans les bois

Pendant que le loup y‘est pas.

Si le loup y’était

Il nous mangerait,

Mais comme il y’est pas,

Il nous mang’ra pas,

Loup, y es-tu?

Que fais-tu?



Le loup: ‘Je mets ma chemise gris.’




Add clothing and colours each time as suggested by child playing the wolf:


Le loup: Ah! Ah! Ah! Twirls admiringly J’arrive!

Enfants:  Attention!

Le voilà!

Il veut nous manger!

Sauvons nous!

Wolf chases the children catching one who becomes the new wolf.

Trees and children swap roles in the next game.


Walk with us in the woods,

While the wolf is far away.

If the wolf caught us

He would eat us up,

But he isn’t there,

So he won’t eat us.

Wolf is that you?

What are you doing?

Can you hear us?


Wolf: I’m putting on my grey shirt.






The wolf: Ah! Ah! Ah!

I am ready!

Children:  Watch out!

Here he comes!

He wants to eat us!


Text Box: ma chemise gris my yellow trousers
mes chaussettes bleues my blue socks
ma veste rouge my red jacket
mes botte brun my brown boots
mon chapeau noir my black hat



















Quand Biron voulut danser O


This very old song was written in memory of Charles de Gontaut-Biron, a favourite of Henri 1V, who was condemned to death for conspiring with Spain against his master and executed in 1602. Traditionally a very long list of clothing and other items are added in this cumulative song.


Children hold hands in a circle. Biron sits on a chair (the throne) in the middle. Six valets take their place in the circle.

















Quand Biron voulut danser, x2

Ses souliers fit apporter, x2

Ses souliers tout ronds,

Vous danserez Biron.

When Biron desired to dance, x2

Shoes were brought for him to wear, x2

Yes his shoes so round,

Today you’ll dance Biron.


Quand Biron voulut danser, x2

Sa perruque fit apporter, x2

Sa perruque à la Turque,

Ses souliers tout ronds,

Vous danserez Biron.

When Biron desired to dance, x2

A wig was brought for him to wear, x2

Yes his wig, Turkish wig,

Yes his shoes so round,

Today you’ll dance Biron.


Children walk round Biron and his valets swinging arms alternately. One valet bows deeply and gives him his shoes. Biron puts them on then dances with that valet. Those in the circle stop to watch the shoes being put on. On the last line Biron skips round with the valet.


Continue as above; each time another valet brings Biron an item of clothing. He points to each piece in turn as they are sung.

Suggested additions:

Sa chemise en toile gris.

Yes his shirt, grey cloth shirt.

Sa culotte à la mode.

Breeches too, oh so smart.

Son épée affilée.

Yes his sword oh so sharp.

Son violon, son basson.

His violin, his bassoon.

Son chapeau en clabot.

His clabaut hat.



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