Alouette Gentille Alouette

Information About Alouette Gentille Alouette

"Alouette Gentille Alouette" is a song often used to teach English speaking children in Canada and French students from around the world the names of body parts in French. Although popular in Canada the song is believed to have originated from France.

The Skylark, or Alouette, is a very gentle and docile bird, easy to catch and handle by even young children. It is also generally understood as the "lark" referred to in the famous poem "In Flander's Fields" with the author using the beauty of it's song and it's gentleness to contrast with the battle fields of France.

As with many children's songs, the history of this song is somewhat gruesome. The song is in French, and may therefore be infrequently translated by English-speaking schoolchildren. The alouette of the song is the European Skylark (Alauda arvensis). During the nineteenth century they were caught, caged, killed and eaten in the UK or exported, in huge numbers, for food, mostly to France. The phrase "je te plumerai" translates as "I am going to pull your feathers out". Once you appreciate this, you can see that it is a song about plucking the feathers from dead skylarks. (Not terribly pleasant subject material. ) However, if you think about the mechanics of the process, the birds are relatively small, and required quite a lot of effort to pluck each individual. If a song was sung during the plucking process, then, presumably, the whole family could be involved in the preparation of the birds for the meal, and the chore wouldn't seem so arduous.

This song is dedicated to Amelie, Peter and baby Marcel!

Alternative Lyrics & Related Songs

Here's quite a different version which involves using cream!

(2-4 people holding cans of whipping cream)
We love cool cream,
Cool cream is the best cream;
We love cool cream,
Cool cream is the best!

Would you like some on your toe?
Yes, I'd likesome on my toe!
On your toe,
On my toe! (squirt some on their toe).

(chorus).

Another version. Same tune, just different words

If you love me,
Tell me that you love me,
If you don't,
Please tell me that you do.

Tell me that you love me true,
Tell me that you really do,
Do do do
Do do do
Ohhhhhh.

If you love me,
Tell me that you love me,
If you don't,
Please tell me that you do.

A larger version that we can all sing to

Lark, gentle lark
Lark, I will pull your feathers off
I will pull the feathers off your head
I will pull the feathers off your head
And the head - and the head
Lark, lark
O, o, o, o, o.

Lark, gentle lark
Lark, I will pull your feathers off
I will pull the feathers off your beak
And the beak - and the beak
And the head - and the head
Lark, lark
O, o, o, o, o.

Lark, gentle lark
Lark, I will pull your feathers off
I will pull the feathers off your neck
And the neck - and the neck
And the beak - and the beak
And the head - and the head
Lark, lark
O, o, o, o, o.

Lark, gentle lark
Lark, I will pull your feathers off
I will pull the feathers off your wings
And the wings - and the wings
And the neck - and the neck
And the beak - and the beak
And the head - and the head
Lark, lark
O, o, o, o, o.

Lark, gentle lark
Lark, I will pull your feathers off
I will pull the feathers off your back
And the back - and the back
And the wings - and the wings
And the neck - and the neck
And the beak - and the beak
And the head - and the head
Lark, lark
O, o, o, o, o.

Lark, gentle lark
Lark, I will pull your feathers off
I will pull the feathers off your legs
And the legs - and the legs
And the back - and the back
And the wings - and the wings
And the neck - and the neck
And the beak - and the beak
And the head - and the head
Lark, lark
O, o, o, o, o.

Lark, gentle lark
Lark, I will pull your feathers off
I will pull the feathers off your tail
And the tail - and the tail
And the legs - and the legs
And the back - and the back
And the wings - and the wings
And the neck - and the neck
And the beak - and the beak
And the head - and the head
Lark, lark
O, o, o, o, o.

Listen to this song's music

32 Comments

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Kat, United States

19 March 2013 at 11:38pm

I always knew the French version. I don't know French so didn't know what it meant. WAY BETTER WHEN YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT IT MEANS! :(

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Nikki L., United States

27 February 2013 at 11:49pm

I love this song! We are learning this song in 6th grade, and ever since I've heard this song, all I do is listen to it on YouTube. I even have it downloaded on my iPhone!

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Nikki Lokhande, United States

27 February 2013 at 11:46pm

I love this song! We are learning this song in 6th grade, and ever since I've heard this song, all I do is listen to it on YouTube. I even have it downloaded on my iPhone!

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Russell, United States

1 December 2012 at 11:13pm

This is a hard song to sing to.

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Joy, Sudan

11 November 2012 at 9:05pm

I don 't know french but i love this song

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Lili, Canada

11 November 2012 at 9:01pm

I am from qubec i love this song

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Susanne, United States

15 April 2012 at 12:22am

I first learned this song in French class more than 50 years ago. We were never taught the words in English. This little song is very catchy but the words in English are borderline violent...plucking feathers out of a cute little bird :( Still, I am glad that I finally found out and it is still a cute little song.

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Mina, China

25 March 2012 at 6:36am

I love this song. I heard it on a commercial. After that I just had to memorize it. Its creepy how the song means plucking feathers.

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Sylvia, United States

23 March 2012 at 11:47pm

I agree with Linda from U.S. If I knew the English Version of the song..... it would of really grossed me out.... my Sister finally got the words from the song and told me. GROSS! LOL

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Suzanne, United States

3 March 2012 at 3:26am

Linda, me too!

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Linda, United States

2 March 2012 at 5:15pm

I learned the song when I was growing up in Montreal. I didn't know what the lyrics meant until today. I heard the song on a Target commercial which made me think to look them up. I'm kind of glad I didn't know the English lyrics back them because I probably would have been grossed out.

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Joyce, United States

29 February 2012 at 3:36pm

OOPS there they are. Sorry for missing it. I also like the other lyrics to this tune.

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Joyce, United States

29 February 2012 at 3:35pm

I wondered for years what the english words to this song were and finally found them. Then I came here for the french lyrics. It would be nice if you posted both.

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Jonan, United Kingdom

27 January 2012 at 10:44pm

I learnt the song as a child and used to love it. Now my grand daughter is singing it. Somehow it feels so much nicer. Keep it up gentille allouette.

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Diksha, India

6 August 2011 at 12:28pm

this song is a must listen! when i first time listened the song i was not able to understand it but now i understand it completely. its a fab song!

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Nina, Indonesia

1 May 2011 at 9:37am

I love this song! My French teacher taught me this song in 10th grade. And I love the alvin and the chipmunks version too. It's so cute. Though it's ironic how a cute song like this means plucking feathers off.

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Barbara, South Africa

7 April 2011 at 6:50am

I learnt the first verse of this song on a trip to the kruger national park and have loved it ever since but found out today that it means to pluck a bird

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Holly, United States

8 February 2011 at 12:24am

i can not under stand the song

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Maria, Australia

28 January 2011 at 9:30am

I learned this song in primary school in France and now I'm singing it to the children I care for at work! What a beautiful song!

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Jema, Belgium

1 January 2011 at 6:16pm

i learned this song in my 6th grade concert. its really easy! and now im learning how to play it on the piano!

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This song has been printed from the BusSongs.com website.