Mama Lisa's World
International Music & Culture
La mère Michel
(French Kids Song)
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La mère Michel
Old Ma Michel
Chanson enfantine
(French)
Children's Song
(English)

La mère Michel - French Children's Songs - France - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World, Intro Image


C'est la mèr' Michel qui a perdu son chat
Qui crie par la fenêtre qui le lui rendra
C'est le pèr' Lustucru qui lui a répondu :
"Allez, la mèr' Michel vot' chat n'est pas perdu."
Sur l'air du tra la la la
Sur l'air du tra la la la
Sur l'air du tradé-ri-dé-ra tra-la-la !

C'est la mèr' Michel qui lui a demandé :
"Mon chat n'est pas perdu vous l'avez donc trouvé ?"
C'est le pèr' Lustucru qui lui a répondu :
"Donnez un' récompense il vous sera rendu."
Sur l'air du tra la la la
Sur l'air du tra la la la
Sur l'air du trade-ri-dé-ra tra-la-la !

Alors la mèr' Michel lui dit : "C'est décidé,
Si vous rendez mon chat vous aurez un baiser."
Mais le pèr' Lustucru qui n'en a pas voulu
Lui dit : "Pour un lapin votre chat s'ra vendu!"
Sur l'air du tra la la la
Sur l'air du tra la la la
Sur l'air du trade-ri-dé-ra tra-la-la !

It's old ma Michel who lost her cat,
Who's yelling out the window, who will bring it back?
It's old man Lustucru who answered her:
"Come on, old ma Michel, your cat is not lost."
To the tune of tra la la la,
To the tune of tra la la la,
To the tune of tra-day-ree day-ra tra la la.

It's old ma Michel who asked him:
"My cat's not lost, you found it then?"
It's Old man Lustucru who answered her:
"Give a reward, it'll be returned to you."
To the tune of tra la la la,
To the tune of tra la la la,
To the tune of tra-day-ree day-ra tra la la.

Then old ma Michel told him: "It's settled
If you give my cat back, you'll get a kiss."
But old man Lustucru who didn't want one
Said to her: "Your cat will be sold as a rabbit!"
To the tune of tra la la la,
To the tune of tra la la la,
To the tune of tra-day-ree day-ra tra la la.
 
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Notes

Monique wrote: "In the last verse in the 4th line, some versions go: "Lui dit 'La mère Michel, votre chat est vendu'" ("He said to her 'Old Ma Michel, your cat has been sold'").

Also, 'Lustucru' is the phonetic way to spell 'L'eusses-tu cru' ('Would you have believed it?'), meaning that this guy would do things that people wouldn't suspect he would do."

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Jade Kite for contributing this song and to Monique Palomares for creating the midi music. Translation by Monique and Lisa.

Illustration by Louis-Maurice Boutet de Monvel (1851-1913) from Vieilles Chansons pour les Petits Enfants: Avec Accompagnements / de Ch. M. Widor (1844 - 1937); Illustrations Par M.B. de Monvel. Paris: E. Plon, Nourrit et Cie, [1883]. The image was graphically edited by Lisa Yannucci.

Many thanks to Monique Palomares for singing La mère Michel for us!

Merci beaucoup !

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