This is a hand-clapping rhyme. The game instructions are below the song.

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


Monique said, "This is a literal translation. This rhyme is based on a much older one ("À véli vélo" = "On a bicy – bicycle" that would be totally politically incorrect by now). It has been changing with time and has reached this present form, but I suppose that other versions are sung in French school playgrounds."

Game Instructions

-1st take your left elbow with your right hand, then hold your partner's right elbow with your left hand. Your partner should do the same. Then swing this "square" gently from right to left while singing, "À déli, déli déli délo".

-The handclapping is as follows:

Clap your hands.
Then, left hand facing down, right hand facing up, clap your partner's hands. Your partner does the same.
Reverse movement.
Clap your partner's hands at shoulder height.

-Keep going and insert the following movements on the following lyrics:

Minettes: Turn your hair around your forefinger.
Bigoudi, bigouda, caramel et chocolat: Same movement.
Matin: Stretch your arms (as if waking up).
Réveillée: Rub your eyes with your fists.
Areu areu: Rub your eyes with your fists.
Berk: Pretend to push away a plate with your hands.
Manger: Rub your stomach.
Passez mesdames, passez messieurs, stop, prison: Wave your right hand from right to left as a policemen would do to allow people to pass. Then wave it the other way around with your left hand. Then bring your hand from the shoulder to waist as if chopping to mean "stop".
Dring, dring: Use your earlobe to pretend you're ringing a bicycle bell.
Pan pan: Pretend you're shooting.
Chick a chick han han: Move your shoulders as if you were riding a horse.
Queue en tire bouchon: Make a corkscrew gesture with your finger at the bottom of your back.



Many thanks to a few girls for singing this song for us and for providing the game instructions!


MP3: Monique Palomares

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Translation by Monique and Lisa. Thanks to Lila Pomerantz for the drawing.

Merci beaucoup!