8 February


La bonne aventure ô gué (also known as Je suis un petit poupon) is a traditional French nursery rhyme intended for the very young so that they learn to be good, and to listen to their parents.

The story of the song

The nursery rhyme is a children's song from 1870 recorded by Jean-Baptiste Weckerlin.

Although the lyrics are from the 19th century, the melody goes back much further, to 1550.

Its first version was written in the castle of Bonne-Aventure near Vendôme.

Château de Vendôme © French Moments

View of Vendôme from the castle © French Moments

Le Gué-du-Loir

Near Vendôme, the hamlet of Le Gué-du-Loir (commune of Mazangé) used to have a ford instead of the present-day bridge. At this point, the river Boulon, fed by the river Mazangé, flows into the Loir (not the Loire!) after having travelled about 30 kilometres.

Le Gué du Loir in Mazangé © Jovil41  licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons

Le Gué du Loir in Mazangé © Jovil41 licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons

The manoir of Bonaventure

Nearby, the manor of Bonaventure (or de la Bonne Aventure) hosted the Duke of Vendôme, Antoine de Bourbon and his wife Jeanne d'Albret.

From 1150 to 1223, the estate was owned by the Templars.

Then, from 1223 to 1440, the Franciscans occupied the manor and are said to have dedicated it to Bonaventure, the great Italian theologian of the 13th century.

According to the legend, the name of Bonaventure was associated the very lively and drunken parties held in the manor, of which French poet Ronsard was perhaps a part. Thus, the song "la bonne aventure ô gué" (good fortune at the ford) immortalised the name (but with different lyrics than those of the nursery rhyme which were added much later, in the 19th century).

Manor of Bonaventure in Mazangé © Chatmouettes  licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons

Manor of Bonaventure in Mazangé © Chatmouettes licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons

From 1537 to the 19th century, the family of Alfred de Musset had owned the manor of Bonaventure. The French composer often stayed there as a child and eventually sold the estate in 1833.

La bonne aventure

In the 11th century, the French word "aventure" meant fate, destiny, "what must happen to someone". This meaning is now only found in the expression "dire la bonne aventure", which means to predict someone's future, whether it is good or bad.

La bonne aventure ô gué. Photo yanadjana via Envato Elements

Photo: yanadjana via Envato Elements

La bonne aventure ô gué

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

La bonne aventure ô gué

The lyrics in French

The original song of La bonne aventure ô gué has 3 verses.

Couplet 1

Je suis un petit poupon

De bonne figure

Qui aime bien les bonbons

Et les confitures.

Si vous voulez m’en donner,

Je saurai bien les manger

La bonne aventure ô gué,

La bonne aventure.

Couplet 2

Lorsque les petits garçons
Sont gentils et sages,
On leur donne des bonbons,
De belles images,
Mais quand il se font gronder
C’est le fouet qu’il faut donner.
La triste aventure ô gué,
La triste aventure

Couplet 3

Je serai sage et bien bon

Pour plaire à ma mère,

Je saurai bien ma leçon

Pour plaire à mon père.

Je veux bien les contenter

Et s’ils veulent m’embrasser,

La bonne aventure ô gué,

La bonne aventure.

Translation of the lyrics into English

Here is an approximative translation into English:

Verse 1

I'm a little baby
With a cute face
Who likes sweets
And jams.
If you want to give me some,
I'll eat them well
Good fortune, oh gué,
Good fortune.

Verse 2

When little boys
Are nice and good,
We give them sweets,
And beautiful pictures,
But when they are scolded
It's the whip that must be given.
Bad fortune oh gué,
Bad fortune

Verse 3

I will be wise and good
To please my mother,
I will know my lesson well
To please my father.
I will please them well
And if they want to kiss me,
Good fortune, oh gué,
Good fortune.

Download the Lyrics for FREE!

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La bonne aventure ô gué © 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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