by Paul Duval (1856 - 1906), as Jean Lorrain
Translation © by Garrett Medlock

Ils étaient trois petits chats blancs
Language: French (Français) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Ils étaient trois petits chats blancs
Toujours pomponnés de rubans.
Le premier au coin de l'oreille
Portait une rose vermeille
Le deuxième un rouge pavôt
Large et pesant coquelicot
Et le troisième avait derrière
Une jaune rose trèmière
Surveillés par un vieux corbeau
Haut juché sur un escabeau,
Ils entouraient une soupière
Et le bouillon qui mijotait
N'était pas brouet de sorcière,
Mais bouillon d'herbe et de poulet.


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 (Garrett Medlock) , "There were three little white cats", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Garrett Medlock [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2020-03-17
Line count: 14
Word count: 68

There were three little white cats
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
There were three little white cats
Always dressed up with ribbons.
The first wore a bright red rose
In the corner of his ear,
The second a red poppy,
[A] large and heavy poppy,
And the third had [on his backside]
A yellow hollyhock.
Watched by an old crow
Perched high on a ladder,
They surrounded a tureen,
And the broth which was simmering
Was not a sorcerer's [brew],
But a stock of herbs and chicken.


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2020 by Garrett Medlock, (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: 2020-03-17
Line count: 14
Word count: 76