This is a Seesaw Song and a Lap Rhyme...


*"Patacs" is a small old currency

Game Instructions

The adult is sitting, he or she's holding the hands of the child seated on his/her ankles or on his/her knees, and pushes and pulls the child back and forth in a seesaw movement at each line. On the last line, he or she pretends to let the child fall backward.


Monique said, "This rang a bell! Here is another version of this song. We'd play it holding each other's hands (right with right, left with left) and making a seesaw movement, it goes…

"Tira la rèssa, mèstre Joan!
- Tira-la tu que siás plus grand!
- L'aiga es bona, lo vin melhor,
Tira la rèssa, bon companhon!
Ziu zau, ziu, zau,
- Tira la rèssa, Joan Durand,
- Tira la rèssa, grand fenhant!

English translation

"Pull the saw, Master John!"
"Pull it yourself since you're taller!"
"Water is good, wine is better,
Pull the saw, good companion*!"
Ziu zau, ziu, zau,
"Pull the saw, John Durand!"
"Pull the saw, you big lazy one!"

*This "good companion" might have been a "good workmate" or a skilled journeyman in some Freemason-like forest order.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Denis Roux for contributing this rhyme!

Mercé plan!