Jean Petit (in English, John Little) was the name of a real man who lived in the 17th century. But since "petit" means "short or little", some French people think of "Jean Petit" as "Little John" instead of "John Little".

Notes

Another Version:

Jean Petit qui danse
Jean Petit qui danse
Pour le roi de France
Pour le roi de France
De son pied, pied, pied
De son doigt, doigt, doigt
Ainsi danse Jean Petit.

Jean Petit qui danse
Jean Petit qui danse,
Pour le roi de France
Pour le roi de France,
De sa jambe, jambe, jambe
De son pied, pied, pied
De son doigt, doigt, doigt
Ainsi danse Jean Petit.

Jean Petit qui danse
Jean Petit qui danse,
Pour le roi de France
Pour le roi de France,
De sa cuisse, cuisse, cuisse
De sa jambe, jambe, jambe
De son pied, pied, pied
De son doigt, doigt, doigt
Ainsi danse Jean Petit…

et ainsi de suite avec son ventre, sa main et toutes les parties du corps qu'on veut bien ajouter.

English Translation:


John Petit is dancing
John Petit is dancing,
For the king of France
For the king of France,
With his foot, foot, foot,
With his finger, finger, finger,
John Petit dances this way.

John Petit is dancing
John Petit is dancing,
For the king of France
For the king of France,
With his foot, foot, foot,
With his leg, leg, leg,
With his finger, finger, finger,
John Petit dances this way.

John Petit is dancing
John Petit is dancing,
For the king of France
For the king of France,
With his foot, foot, foot,
With his leg, leg, leg,
With his thigh, thigh, thigh,
With his finger, finger, finger,
John Petit dances this way.

And so on with his belly, his hand, and all the body parts you want to add.

Game Instructions

The beginning of this song is sung while dancing around in a circle. Then when singing "de son doigt, doigt, doigt", the children touch the ground with their finger on each "doigt". Then when they sing the last "de son doigt, doigt, doigt", they point their finger to the sky. Next they turn around on "ainsi danse Jean Petit".

Each part of the body is used when its sung. Any part of the body can be added to make the children aware of their body parts.

Comments

"Jean Petit was a peasant in France. In 1643 in Villefranche de Rouergue, he led a peasant rebellion against King Louis XIV. When he lost and was taken prisoner, he was sentenced to torture by the wheel. The song says that when his finger was broken, he danced with his finger, etc." -Monique Palomares

Listen

The 1st mp3 recording starts with this line:

Oyez, oyez braves gens, je vais vous conter l'histoire de petit Jean (Hear, hear, good people, I will tell you the story of little John...)...

Then it proceeds like the lyrics above with this order of body parts:

Son doigt (finger)
Sa main (hand)
Son bras (arm)
Son pied (foot)
Sa jambe (leg)
Son ventre (belly)
Sa fesse (buttock)
Son épaule (shoulder)
Sa tête (head)

Download

Thanks to the CM2 (5th grade) students, St-Ambreuil (71), France, school year 2008-2009, for singing this song for Mama Lisa's World and to Véronique for playing the flute! Instruments in recording: guitar, tambourine & flute.

Download

Thanks to Tiphaine Woerth for also singing this song for Mama Lisa's World!

Sheet Music

Sheet Music - Jean Petit qui danse

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Monique Palomares for contributing this song, for the score and the midi. Translation by Monique and Lisa.

Merci beaucoup !

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