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Ils vont, les petits canards

Language: French (Français)

Ils vont, les petits canards,
Tout au bord de la rivière,
Comme de bons campagnards!

Barboteurs et frétillards,
Heureux de troubler l'eau claire,
Ils vont, les petits canards.

Ils semblent un peu jobards,
Mais ils sont à leur affaire,
Comme de bons campagnards.

Dans l'eau pleine de têtards,
Où tremble une herbe légère,
Ils vont, les petits canards,

Marchant par groupes épars,
D'une allure régulière
Comme de bons campagnards!

Dans le beau vert d'épignards
De l'humide cressonnière
Ils vont, les petits canards,

Et quoiqu'un peu goguenards,
Ils sont d'humeur débonnaire
Comme de bons campagnards!

Faisant, en cercles bavards,
Un vrai bruit de pétaudière,
Ils vont, les petits canards,

Dodus, lustrés et gaillards,
Ils sont gais à leur manière,
Comme de bons campagnards!

Amoureux et nasillards
Chacun avec sa commère
Ils vont, les petits canards,
Comme de bons campagnards!

Translation(s): ENG ENG GER

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Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Brian Charles Witkowski) , copyright © 2004, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English [singable] (Peter Low) , title 1: "The little ducks go walking", copyright © 2000, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2016-03-27 10:09:01
Line count: 31
Word count: 138

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The little ducks go walking

Language: English after the French (Français)

They go on their waddling walk
All together by the river.
Like decent upcountry folk!
Keen to dip and splash and soak
and muddy up the water,
They go on  their waddling walk.
Although they may seem to gawk,
They're just acting as they oughta,
Like decent upcountry folk!
By the pond where the froglets croak,
Where grass and bulrushes quiver,
They go on their waddling walk,
Marching okay okey-doke,
Steady as a clockwork motor,
Like decent upcountry folk!
Through the rows of artichoke
And assorted green biota,
They go on their waddling walk.
And though they're inclined to squawk,
They're of cheery disposition
Like decent upcountry folk!
They make, when they stop and talk,
Pandemonium like a kitchen.
They go on their waddling walk,
Chubby and fond of a joke,
Looking smart and bright and hearty
Like decent upcountry folk!
Wing to wing and quack to quack,
Each one with a doting partner,
They go, they go, they go on their waddling walk
Like decent upcountry folk!

IMPORTANT NOTE: The material directly above is protected by copyright and appears here by special permission. If you wish to copy it and distribute it, you must obtain permission or you will be breaking the law. Once you have permission, you must give credit to the author and display the copyright symbol ©. Copyright infringement is a criminal offense under international law.


  • Singable translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2000 by Peter Low, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.


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Based on
  • a text in French (Français) by Louise-Rose Gérard (1866 - 1953), as Rosemonde Gérard, "Les canards", appears in Les pipeaux, in 1. Rustica, no. 45, Paris, Éd. Alphonse Lemerre, first published 1889 GER
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Emmanuel Chabrier. Go to the text.


Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2017-06-08 18:15:11
Line count: 31
Word count: 168