This song is based on the German song "Fuchs, du hast die Gans gestohlen" which was written by Ernst Answchütz and published in 1824.


This song can be found in print in a Canadian school book from the early 1960's but it's also mentioned in "Les égarés" by Jean Nesmy, a novel from 1906. Since the young students in the story recite it, the song was written earlier, possibly much earlier!


Jean-Pierre wrote, "I'm now 73 years old and I am, as they used to say at that time, the son of an old person since my father was 48 when I was born, he was born in 1899. In the 50's, when I was learning German in high school, we had to rehearse the children's song, Fuchs du hast die Gans gestohlen....

When he heard me sing, my father asked me what it meant and told me that when he was in grade school, i.e. before WWI, he'd learned a song with the same tune that went, 'Renard, tu viens de me prendre mon coq si gentil, mon coq si gentil ; vite, vite, il faut le rendre ou gare au fusil, vite, vite, il faut le rendre ou gare au fusil.' (Fox, you've just stolen my rooster so nice; come on, quick, you must give it back or watch out for the shotgun).

I've always found this anecdote very charming!"

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Jean-Pierre Bessaud for pointing out this song and for his interesting comment. Translated by Monique Palomares and Lisa Yannucci.