Last Updated: 20 February 2023

Au feu les pompiers is a popular French nursery rhyme about firemen and firefighting.

The story of the song

The rhyme appeared at the beginning of the 20th century and was mentioned in the novel La Rose du jardin by Louis Codet in 1907.

It appears very popular from the 1920s: in 1921, an article in the anti-militarist newspaper La Bonne Guerre cites it in the tunes played by the fire brigades.

Au feu les pompiers © French Moments

Firemen from the early 1900s at Ecomusée d'Alsace © French Moments

Make your own song!

The song can be an opportunity to learn the names of male and female occupations in French. Just create more verses in the same style with three syllables. For example:

  • C'est la boulangère / c'est le boulanger.
  • C'est la pâtissière / c'est le pâtissier.
  • C'est l'épicière / c'est l'épicier.
  • C'est la poissonnière / c'est le poissonnier.
  • C'est la policière / c'est le policier.
  • C'est la musicienne / c'est le musicien.
  • C'est la fromagère / c'est le fromager.
  • C'est ma tante Pierre / c'est ma tante Pierrette

If the occupations contain only two syllables, the adjectives "petite" and "petit" can be added but pronounced "p'tite" and "p'tit". For example:

  • C'est la p'tite fermière / c'est le p'tit fermier.
  • C'est la p'tite chanteuse / c'est le p'tit chanteur.
  • C'est la p'tite vendeuse / c'est le p'tit vendeur.

You can even add the adjectives "grande" and "grand". For example:

  • C'est la grande banquière / c'est le grand banquier.
  • C'est la grande chauffeuse / c'est le grand chauffeur.
  • C'est la grande danseuse / c'est le grand danseur.

Au feu les pompiers

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

The lyrics in French

The original song of Au feu les pompiers has 1 chorus and 1 popular verse.


Au feu les pompiers,
V'là la maison qui brûle !
Au feu les pompiers,
V'là la maison brûlée !

Couplet 1

C'est pas moi qui l'ai brûlée,
C'est la cantinière,
C'est pas moi qui l'ai brûlée,
C'est le cantinier.

Couplet 2

C'est pas moi qui l'ai brûlée,
C'est mon oncle Jules,
C'est pas moi qui l'ai brûlée,
C'est mon oncle André.

Translation of the lyrics into English

Here is an approximative translation into English:


Fire! Firemen,
The house is burning!
Fire! Firemen,
The house is burnt!

Verse 2

It wasn't me who burned it,
It was the she-cook,
It wasn't me who burned it,
It was the he-cook.

Verse 3

It wasn't me who burned it,
It was my uncle Jules,
It was not me who burned it,
It was my uncle André.

Download the Lyrics for FREE!

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Au feu les pompiers © 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:

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 Discovery Courses and books about France.

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