All French-speaking children know this march-song.

Un kilomètre à pied ça use, ça use - French Children's Songs - France - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image


Lucie Lasseel sent us a more complete version:

Un kilomètre à pied, ça use, ça use
Un kilomètre à pied, ça use les souliers.
La peinture à l'huile c'est bien difficile
mais c'est bien plus beau
que la peinture à l'eau

Deux kilomètres à pied etc....

English Translation

One kilometer on foot wears out, wears out,
One kilometer on foot wears out your shoes for good.
Oil painting's not easy it would drive you crazy*
But it is more fine than watercolor lines.

Oil painting is very difficult
But it's more beautiful
Than watercolor painting.


Harald Meilicke wrote, "I know a variant that goes on, instead of the verse 'la peinture a l'huile', like this:

Le café trop sucré donne la colique
Le café trop sucré donne mal aux pieds

(Coffee too sweetened gives a stomachache
Coffee too sweetened makes the feet hurt.)

However, it must be a different melody than la peinture a l'huile, whose melody I don't know."


The mp3 includes the additional lyrics in the notes.


MP3: Monique Palomares

Sheet Music

Sheet Music - Un kilomètre à pied ça use, ça use

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Florence Godineau for contributing this song. Many thanks also to Lucie Lasseel for completing the song. Thanks to Harald Meilicke for the alternate ending. Thanks to Melisa Roche for the drawing!

Merci beaucoup!