Last Updated: 17 February 2023

Savez-vous planter les choux? is a traditional French song with lyrics dating from the middle-ages.

The story of the song

Savez-vous planter les choux is a popular French song and nursery rhyme, often sung to the tune of Ah! vous dirai-je, maman.

Its origins date back to the Middle Ages, when cabbage (le chou) was beginning to be a mainstay of the peasant diet.

Cabbages appeared in the Kingdom of France around the end of 13th and beginning of 14th century.

The cabbage is a symbol of fertility. According to popular legend, boys are born in cabbages and girls in roses.

Thus, this nursery rhyme is also a bawdy song that refers to adult themes.

Cabbages © Arn - licence [CC BY-SA 4.0] from Wikimedia Commons

Cabbages © Arn - licence [CC BY-SA 4.0] from Wikimedia Commons

A mimed song ideal for kids

This is a mimed song that is very amusing for the children, because in each verse they make the indicated gesture.

In each verse, the gesture of planting is made with the hand, or the foot, or the nose. Verses can be added by naming other parts of the body: the shoulder, the back, the heel, etc.

Savez-vous planter les choux?

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

Savez-vous planter les choux

The lyrics in French

The original song of Savez-vous planter les choux? has 7 verses.

Couplet 1

Savez-vous planter les choux,
À la mode, à la mode,
Savez-vous planter les choux,
À la mode de chez nous.


Couplet 2

On les plante avec le doigt,
À la mode, à la mode,
On les plante avec le doigt,
À la mode de chez nous.


Couplet 3

On les plante avec la main,
À la mode, à la mode,
On les plante avec la main,
À la mode de chez nous.


Couplet 4

On les plante avec les pieds,
À la mode, à la mode,
On les plante avec les pieds,
À la mode de chez nous.


Couplet 5

On les plante avec le coude,
À la mode, à la mode,
On les plante avec le coude,
À la mode de chez nous.


Couplet 6

On les plante avec le g’nou,
À la mode, à la mode,
On les plante avec le g’nou,
À la mode de chez nous.


Couplet 7

On les plante avec le nez,
À la mode, à la mode,
On les plante avec le nez,
À la mode de chez nous.

Translation of the lyrics into English

Here is an approximative translation into English:

Verse 1

Do you know how to plant cabbages,
In the fashion, in the fashion,
Do you know how to plant cabbages,

In the fashion of our country.


Verse 2

We plant them with the finger,
In the fashion, in the fashion,
We plant them with the finger,
In the fashion of our country.


Verse 3

We plant them with the hand,
In the fashion, in the fashion,
We plant them with the hand,
In the fashion of our country.


Verse 4

We plant them with the feet,
In the fashion, in the fashion,
We plant them with the feet,
In the fashion of our country.


Verse 5

We plant them with the elbow,
In the fashion, in the fashion,
We plant them with the elbow,
In the fashion of our country.


Verse 6

We plant them with the knee,
In the fashion, in the fashion,
We plant them with the knee,
In the fashion of our country.


Verse 7

We plant them with the nose,
In the fashion, in the fashion,
They're planted with the nose,
In the fashion of our country.

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Savez-vous planter les choux ? © 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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