by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 1894)
Translation © by Sylvain Labartette

O it's I that am the captain of a tidy...
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
O it's I that am the captain of a tidy little ship
Of a ship that goes a sailing on the pond.
And my ship it keeps a turning all around and all about,
But when I'm a little older I shall find the secret out
How to send my vessel sailing on beyond.

For I mean to grow as little as the dolly on the helm
And the dolly I intend to come alive
And with him beside to help me it's a sailing I shall go,
It's a sailing on the water where the jolly breezes blow
And the vessel goes a divie divie dive.

O it's then you'll see me sailing through the rushes and the reeds
And you'll hear the water singing at the prow.
For beside the dolly sailor I'm to voyage and explore
To land upon the island where no dolly was before
And I'll fire the penny cannon on the bow!

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

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in French (Français), a translation by Maurice Léna (1859 - 1928) ; composed by Reynaldo Hahn.

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Sylvain Labartette) , "Moi et mon bateau", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Barbara Miller

Text added to the website: 2004-02-10 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:04
Line count: 15
Word count: 158

Moi et mon bateau
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
C'est bien moi qui suis capitaine d'un tout petit bateau
D'un bateau qui cingle sur l'étang.
Et mon bateau, il vire de partout, n'importe où.
Mais quand je serai un peu plus grand, je trouverai le secret.
pour que mon vaisseau mette voile plus loin.

Car j'ai bien l'intention de devenir aussi petit que mon nounours à la barre,
Et à ce nounours, je lui donnerai vie,
Et, lui à mes côtés pour m'aider, je m'en irai à la voile,
À la voile sur l'eau où les douces brises soufflent,
Et le bateau va fendre, fendre, fendre l'eau.

C'est bien alors moi que tu verras voguer entre les joncs et les roseaux,
Et tu pourras entendre chanter l'eau à la proue.
Car, auprès de mon petit matelot, je suis prêt à voyager, explorer
Débarquer sur l'île où aucun nounours n'est allé avant,
Et je ferai tonner le petit canon à l'avant !


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2007 by Sylvain Labartette, (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


Text added to the website: 2007-11-15 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:29
Line count: 15
Word count: 152