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


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



Many thanks to Edit' Dupont for the mp3 recording!


MP3: Monique Palomares

Sheet Music

Sheet Music - Trois jeunes tambours

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.