This ditty can be sung while playing Blind Man's Bluff. It can also be used to play a hand game between an adult and a young child, or with a group of older children, or as a choosing song before playing the Blind Man's Bluff game. (See Game Instructions below.)
It originated in the Occitan region of France. You can find the Occitan version of Au cluguet here. "Cluguet" (or "cluquet") is the Occitan name for the Blind Man's Bluff game.
At the Blind Man's Bluff
Chanson de jeu
Au cluguet, tiroluret*
La soupe est chaude, la soupe est chaude,
Au cluguet, tiroluret
La soupe est chaude et colle à mon doué**.
At the blind man's bluff, tootle-too-tuff,
The soup is hot, the soup is hot,
At the blind man's bluff, tootle-too-tuff
The soup is hot and my finger is stuck!
*"Tiroluret /turoluret" is the Occitan onomatopoeia of the sound made by a wind instrument, especially the flute or the like. It's also a refrain, a tune.
**Doué is the old pronunciation for "doigt" (finger). The word can also be found as "dé" (thimble) or "det" (Occitan word for finger).
The title can also be found as "Au cluquet" or "Au cliquet".
1. With a Young Child: The adult holds his or her hand upwards as if it's a shell. The child hits his or her forefinger repeatedly in the adult's hand to the rhythm of the song. At the end, the adult closes his or her fingers to imprison the child's finger (who should be quick enough in turn to avoid it).
2. Older Kids: One child opens his or her hand and the others hit their forefingers to the beat on the 1st child's hand. At the end, the one whose forefinger is caught exchanges roles with the 1st child. If nobody's finger is caught, the game repeats with the same player.
3. As a Choosing Song: Like above #2 but the one whose finger is caught is "It".
4. Blind Man's Bluff: Children walk in a circle around a blindfolded child (previously chosen). At the end of the song, everyone stops, the child in the center tries to touch someone and guess their name.
You can see the image on this page showing how to play.
"I'd totally forgotten about it, but I played this game as mentioned in the #2 instructions when I was a child." -Monique
Many thanks to Marion Ségissement for sharing her recording.
Thanks and Acknowledgements
Many thanks to Marion Ségissement for contributing this song and the beautiful drawings. Thanks to Monique Palomares for the translations, commentary and for explaining how to play the game.
Merci beaucoup !