Last Updated: 5 March 2023

Je te tiens par la barbichette (also known as La barbichette) is a traditional French song and game for kids that may have been published towards the end of the 19th century.

About the song

The name of the song comes from the fact that the chin, by which the two opponents hold each other, is the part of the face on which the barbichette (small goatee).

The Barbichette game

The game of the goatee is a childish game that children play in pairs.

It consists in placing themselves face to face, looking into each other's eyes, holding each other's chin with their hands, and singing the rhyme together. 

Then, as the lyrics of the song tell us, the goal of the game is to stay in this posture as long as possible without the slightest laugh or smile.

The first one to give in will have lost, and his opponent will be able to give him a little slap on the cheek.

The mousquetaire's goatee

There are several styles of barbichettes (or goatees). The Mousquetaire is a small pointed goatee with a thin English-style moustache, like the one worn by the famous French musketeers.


La barbichette

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

Je te tiens par la barbichette

The lyrics in French

The original song of La Barbichette has 1 verse.


Je te tiens,
Tu me tiens
Par la barbichette
Le premier
De nous deux
Qui rira
Aura une claquette.

Translation of the lyrics into English

Here is an approximative translation into English:


I hold you,
You hold me
By the (little) beard
The first one
Of the two of us
Who laughs
Will get a (little) slap.

Download the Lyrics for FREE!

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Je te tiens par la barbichette © 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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