20 February


Ah Les crocodiles is a well-known children's rhyme about a crocodile in Egypt, which has been part of the French children's song repertoire since at least 1860.

The story of the song

"Ah les Crocodiles" is a famous children's song about a crocodile living in Egypt who goes to war with elephants on the Nile.

This little song is derived from the Hourra du crocodile (Crocodile's Hooray), from Jacques Offenbach's musical buffoonery, Tromb-al-ca-zar ou les Criminels dramatiques, created in 1856.

Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes copyright French Moments

A crocodile at the Ménagerie of the Jardin des Plantes © French Moments

Ah Les crocodiles

Lyrics, music, free download... let's learn more about the popular song:

Ah Les crocodiles

The lyrics in French

The original song of Ah Les crocodiles has 5 verses and a chorus.

Couplet 1

Un crocodile, s'en allant à la guerre
Disait au revoir à ses petits enfants
Trainant ses pieds, ses pieds dans la poussière
Il s'en allait combattre les éléphants


Ah ! Les crocrocro, les crocrocro, les crocodiles
Sur les bords du Nil, ils sont partis n'en parlons plus
Ah ! Les crocrocro, les crocrocro, les crocodiles
Sur les bords du Nil, ils sont partis n'en parlons plus

Couplet 2

Il fredonnait une marche militaire
Dont il mâchait les mots à grosses dents
Quand il ouvrait la gueule tout entière
On croyait voir ses ennemis dedans

Couplet 3

Il agitait sa grand’ queue à l’arrière
Comm’ s’il était d’avance triomphant
Les animaux devant sa mine altière
Dans les forêts s’enfuyaient tout tremblants

Couplet 4

Un éléphant parut et sur la terre
Se prépara ce combat de géant
Mais près de là, coulait une rivière
Le crocodile s'y jeta subitement

Couplet 5

Et tout rempli d’une crainte salutaire
S’en retourna vers ses petits-enfants.
Notre éléphant d’une trompe plus fière
Voulut alors accompagner ce chant.

Translation of the lyrics into English

Here is an approximative translation into English:

Verse 1

A crocodile, going to war
Said goodbye to his little children
Dragging his feet, his feet in the dust
He was on his way to fight the elephants


Ah, the crocrocro, the crocrocro, the crocodiles
On the banks of the Nile, they're gone,

Let's not talk about it anymore
Ah, the crocrocro, the crocrocro, the crocodiles
On the banks of the Nile, they're gone,

Let's not talk about it anymore

Verse 2

He hummed a military march
Whose words he chewed with his teeth
When he opened his mouth wide
You'd think you'd see his enemies in it

Verse 3

He wagged his big tail at the back
As if he was triumphant in advance
The animals before his haughty face
In the forest they ran away trembling

Verse 4

An elephant appeared and on the ground
This giant fight was prepared
But close by, a river flowed
The crocodile suddenly jumped into it

Verse 5

And filled with a salutary fear
He returned to his grandchildren.
Our elephant with a prouder trunk
Wanted to accompany this song.

Download the Lyrics for FREE!

No need to type name or email 😀

Ah Les crocodiles © French Moments

French Nursery Rhymes

My challenge for the year 2023 is to publish 80 French Nursery Rhymes lyrics and descriptions (list below). Come back as time goes by to discover the new articles:

French Nursery Rhymes Cover by French Moments
French Nursery Rhymes
A la claire fontaine © French Moments
Ah ! dis-moi donc bergère © French Moments
Ah ! Les crocodiles © French Moments
Ah ! vous dirai-je, maman © French Moments
Ainsi font, font, font © French Moments
Alouette gentille alouette © French Moments
Au clair de la lune © French Moments
Au feu les pompiers © French Moments
Au royaume de Diguedondaine © French Moments
Auprès de ma blonde © French Moments
Aux marches du palais © French Moments
Blanc Blanc Blanc belle rose © French Moments
Bon voyage Monsieur Dumollet © French Moments
Buvons un coup ma serpette est perdue © French Moments
C'est la mère Michel © French Moments
C'était Anne de Bretagne © French Moments
Cadet Rousselle © French Moments
Car c’est un bon camarade © French Moments
Chère Élise © French Moments
Chevaliers de la table ronde © French Moments
Colchiques dans les prés © French Moments
Compagnons de la Marjolaine © French Moments
Dame Tartine © French Moments
Dans les prisons de Nantes © French Moments
Dansons la capucine © French Moments
Dodo, l'enfant do © French Moments
En passant par la Lorraine © French Moments
Fais dodo © French Moments
Fleur d’épine © French Moments
Frère Jacques © French Moments
Gentil coquelicot © French Moments
Il court, il court, le furet © French Moments
Il était un petit cordonnier © French Moments
Il était un petit navire © French Moments
Il était une bergère © French Moments
Il pleut, il pleut, bergère © French Moments
J'ai du bon tabac © French Moments
J'ai un gros nez rouge © French Moments
J'fais pipi sur le gazon © French Moments
Je te tiens par la barbichette © French Moments
Joyeux anniversaire © French Moments
La bonne aventure ô gué © French Moments
La danse des canards © French Moments
La légende de saint Nicolas © French Moments
Le bon roi Dagobert © French Moments
Le carillon de Vendôme © French Moments
Le coucou © French Moments
Le facteur n'est pas passé © French Moments
Le fermier dans son pré © French Moments
Le temps des cerises © French Moments
Le temps du muguet © French Moments
Le vieux MacDonald © French Moments
Les filles de La Rochelle © French Moments
Maman les p'tits bateaux © French Moments
Malbrough s'en va-t-en guerre © French Moments
Meunier, tu dors © French Moments
Mignonne allons voir si la rose © French Moments
Mon âne © French Moments
Mon père m'a donné un mari © French Moments
Ne pleure pas Jeannette © French Moments
Nous n'irons plus au bois © French Moments
Ô gai, vive la rose © French Moments
Passe passe passera © French Moments
Pirouette Cacahuète © French Moments
Plantons la vigne © French Moments
Pomme de reinette et pomme d'api © French Moments
Pomme, pêche, poire, abricot © French Moments
Promenons-nous dans les bois © French Moments
Savez-vous planter les choux ? © French Moments
Sur la route de Dijon © French Moments
Sur la route de Louviers © French Moments
Sur le pont d'Avignon © French Moments
Sur le pont du nord © French Moments
Tout va très bien madame la marquise © French Moments
Trois jeunes tambours © French Moments
Un éléphant ça trompe énormément © French Moments
Un kilomètre à pied © French Moments
Un, deux, trois, nous irons au bois © French Moments
Une chanson douce © French Moments
Une poule sur un mur © French Moments
Une souris verte © French Moments
V'la le bon vent © French Moments
Voici le mois de mai © French Moments
Y avait dix filles dans un pré © French Moments
About the author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. He has a background teaching French, Economics and Current Affairs, and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations, and a degree of Economics and Management. Pierre is the author of the Discovery Course on the Secrets of the Eiffel Tower and the Christmas book "Voyage au Pays de Noël".

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