This is a Gascon "song of nine". A "song of nine" is a song that starts with 9 items on the first verse then the number of items decreases with each verse till it reaches 1. There's usually no "4" because in Gascon "quate" has two syllables.

The translation is singable (in English you can even say "4"!). You'll find the literal translation in the Notes.

Nau palometas au bòi van - Occitan Children's Songs - Occitania - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image


Literal Translation:

Nine little doves go to the wood…
One at the back, the other at the front,
The prettiest
The one I hold by the hand
Will be my sweetheart.

You can hear some verses of this song from 1:10 to 1:52. They sing the verses with seven (sèt) and six (sheis) little doves.
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Sheet Music

Sheet Music - Nau palometas au bòi van

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Jean-Jacques Casteret from the CIRDOC (Occitan Institute of Culture) for providing the lyrics of this song.

Translation and illustration by Monique Palomares.