14 February


Nous n'irons plus au bois is a traditional French song with lyrics dating from the 18th century.

The story of the song

Nous n'irons plus au bois (We won't go to the woods again) is a French children's circle. According to wikipedia, it was created at Christmas 1753 by Madame de Pompadour, for the children of the nearby village, after Louis XV had offered her the Hôtel d'Évreux, which was to become the Élysée Palace.

Marquise de Pompadour

La Marquise de Pompadour by François Boucher

However, other sources indicate that the song goes back much earlier, to the 16th century in particular.

Not a song for children?

However, the children's rhyme has a hidden meaning that is not aimed at children: it denounces in a roundabout way the ban on of some forms of immorality during part of the reign of Louis XIV.

Forest of Saint-Germain-en-Laye © French Moments

A walk in the Forest of Saint-Germain-en-Laye © French Moments

Nous n'irons plus au bois

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

Nous n'irons plus au bois

The lyrics in French

The original song of Nous n'irons plus au bois has 6 verses and a chorus.

Couplet 1

Nous n’irons plus au bois, les lauriers sont coupés
La belle que voilà, ira les ramasser


Entrez dans la danse, voyez comme on danse,
Sautez, dansez, embrassez qui vous voudrez.

Couplet 2

Et les lauriers du bois les laiss’rons nous faner
Non, chacune à son tour ira les ramasser

Couplet 3

Si la cigale y dort, ne faut pas la blesser
Le chant du rossignol la viendra réveiller

Couplet 4

Et aussi la fauvette avec son doux gosier
Et Jeanne, la bergère, avec son blanc panier,

Couplet 5

Cigale, ma cigale, allons, il faut chanter
Car les lauriers du bois sont déjà repoussés

Couplet 6

Cigale, ma cigale au printemps va chanter
Car les lauriers du bois sont déjà repoussés

Translation of the lyrics into English

Here is an approximative translation into English:

Verse 1

We won't go to the woods anymore, the laurels are cut
The beautiful one will pick them up


Enter the dance, see how we dance,
Jump, dance, kiss whoever you want.

Verse 2

And the laurels of the wood let us wither
No, each in turn will pick them up

Verse 3

If the cicada sleeps there, don't hurt her
The nightingale's song will wake her up

Verse 4

And also the warbler with her sweet throat
And Jeanne, the shepherdess, with her white basket,

Verse 5

Cicada, my cicada, let's go, we must sing
For the laurels of the wood are already grown

Verse 6

Cicada, my cicada in the spring will sing
For the laurels of the wood are already grown

Download the Lyrics for FREE!

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Nous n'irons plus au bois © 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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