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


Not very moral, is it?


Alternate Ending:

Harald Meilicke wrote: "'Il était une bergère' has a text that was unknown to me and is a slightly, let's say, mean version starting from 'la bergère en colère tua son p'tit chaton' onwards (i.e., she kills the kitten and later says she'll do it again). In a version more appropriate for small children, this couplet goes 'la bergère en colère lui donna du bâton' (i.e. she beats the kitten) and the songs ends."


There's an English Version of Il était une bergère called There Was a Farmer's Daughter. (Check out the link!)

There's a Spanish song with the same theme called Estaba una pastora.



Many thanks to Edit' Dupont for singing this song for Mama Lisa's World.


MP3: Monique Palomares

Pascal wrote, "'Il était une bergère' is not, originally, a lullaby. But with a very slow tempo, it can do the trick. It was my music to fall asleep to as a kid. :) " In the following recording you can hear Pascal singing it like a lullaby.


Many thanks to Pascal from Frenchy Bunny for singing this song in a lullaby style for us!

Sheet Music

Sheet Music - Il était une bergère

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Monique Palomares for contributing and translating this song, and for providing the midi and sheet music. Thanks to Harald Meilicke for sharing an alternate ending.

The illustration is from Chansons et rondes enfantines (1870).