by Michel Veber (1896 - 1965), as Nino
Translation © by Laura Prichard

Le naufrage
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Près de la digue digue daine, 
J'ai fait un bien joli bateau; 
Moi j'en serai le capitaine, 
Mon chien Fido le matelot. 
Pour le gréer d'une mâture, 
Fido m'apporte un gros bâton; 
Et pour lui servir de voilure, 
J'ai dû ôter mon pantalon. 

Mais j'ai la digue digue daine, 
La mer avance au grand galop, 
Une tempête se déchaîne, 
Et digue digue vogue à l'eau! 
En moins de rien je fis naufrage, 
Tout fut rasé par l'aquilon; 
Me suis enfui sur le rivage, 
Mon chien Fido sur mes talons! 

"C'est une indigue digue daine, 
C'est une indigue indignation! 
Qu'avez-vous fait, ma capitaine, 
Qu'avez-vous fait d'vot pantalon?" 
"Il est parti pour l'Angleterre, 
Tout droit dans cette direction. 
Il servira aux highlanders 
Qui n'en ont pas sous leur jupons!"

Et digue digue daine, 
Et digue, digue vogue donc!


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 (Laura Prichard) , "The sinking", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 26
Word count: 136

The sinking
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
Near the dam dam doe, 
I built a very pretty boat; 
Me myself, I’ll be the capitan, 
My dog Fido - the sailor. 
In order to rig the mast, 
Fido brings me a big stick; 
And to provision it with a sail, 
I had to take off my pants. 

But I’ve the dam dam doe, 
The sea davances at a full gallop, 
A tempest is unleashed, 
And dam dam sails on the water! 
In no time I was shipwrecked, 
Everything was destroyed by the north wind; 
I fled to the riverbank, 
My dog Fido at my heels! 

“It’s an unworthy dam doe, 
It’s an unworthy indignation! 
What’ve you done, my capitain, 
What’ve you done wi’ your pants?" 
“He left for England, 
Straight in that direction. 
He’ll serve the [Scottish] Highlanders 
Who have nothing under their kilts!”
And dam dam doe, 
And dam, dam, sail on then!

Translator's notes:
Line 2-4: "sails" - "vogue" can refer to fashion or to movement ("L’Armada qui vogue contre nous": "the Armada that sails against us")
Line 3-1: "unworthy" - "indigue" means unworthy, but is used here to continue the series “digue, digue, daine,” from above


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2016 by Laura Prichard, (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.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2016-04-14
Line count: 26
Word count: 146