Mama Lisa's World
International Music & Culture
Trois jeunes tambours
(French Kids Song)
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This song is from the time of Louis XV (mid-18th century) and was popular among soldiers.

It follows a pattern that repeats for each verse: The 1st line is sung twice, followed by the phrase, "And ri and ran, rapataplan, Were coming back from war."

Here we present the complete 1st verse. For subsequent verses, we only present the 1st line.

Trois jeunes tambours
Three Young Drummers
Chanson enfantine
(French)
Children's Song
(English)

Trois jeunes tambours - French Children's Songs - France - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World, Intro Image


Trois jeunes tambours s'en revenaient de guerre
Trois jeunes tambours s'en revenaient de guerre
Et ri et ran, rapataplan
S'en revenaient de guerre

Le plus jeune a dans sa bouche une rose

La fille du roi était à sa fenêtre

Joli tambour donne-moi donc ta rose

Fille du roi, donnez-moi votre cœur

Joli tambour, demand'-le à mon père

Sire le roi, donnez-moi votre fille

Joli tambour, tu n'es pas assez riche

J'ai trois vaisseaux dessus la mer jolie

L'un chargé d'or, l'autre de pierreries

Et le troisième pour promener ma mie

Joli tambour, dis-moi quel est ton père

Sire le roi, c'est le roi d'Angleterre

Joli tambour, je te donne ma fille

Sire le roi, je vous en remercie

Dans mon pays, il y en a d'aussi jolies.
(ou Dans mon pays, il y en a de plus jolies.)

Three young drummers were coming back from war,
Three young drummers were coming back from war,
And ri and ran, rapataplan,
Were coming back from war.

The youngest had a rose in his mouth...

The king's daughter was leaning out her window...

Nice drummer, give me your rose...

King's daughter, give me your heart...

Nice drummer, ask my father for it...

Your majesty, give me your daughter...

Nice drummer, you're not rich enough...

I've got three vessels out on the good sea...

One loaded with gold, the other with jewels...

And the third one is to take my sweetheart out...

Nice drummer, tell me who your father is...

Your majesty, it's the King of England...

Nice drummer, I give you my daughter...

Your majesty, I thank you very much for it...

In my country, there are girls just as pretty...
(or In my country, there are prettier girls.)...

Notes

In French, "rapataplan" is the sound that drums make, the way "rat-a-tat-tat" represents the sound of drums in English.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Jade Kite for contributing this song! Translated by Monique and Lisa.

Many thanks to Lila Pomerantz for the drawing.

Many thanks to Edit' Dupont for the mp3 recording!

MP3: Monique Palomares

Merci!

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