13 May 2009

Coucou Hibou and Other French Songs...Cupcakes

I had a call the other day from an event space here looking to try out my cupcakes for a special art exhibit they are doing on the theme of French children's songs. Now, my English song repertoire can't be beat thanks to this fabulous music teacher both of my kids have taken classes with named Ginny. We know all the American classics as well as several British, Scottish, etc. tunes as Ginny has incorporated songs native to the parents taking her classes over the years.

When it comes to the French songs, I of course know all the common ones like Frere Jacques, Au Clair de la Lune and Voulez-Vous Coucher avec Moi Ce Soir. What's that? That last one's not a children's classic!?! Well, excusez-moi! :)

So, I found a French website that covered a lot of the standards and of course then had to check in with my husband and son to inquire if they knew the songs. There was a great one about a two-headed snake but they looked at me as if I had two heads when I said "You don't know that one? C'mon, everyone knows that one!" So, my two-headed snake design was vetoed.

What did I come up with? Well, let's see....you must know about Frere Jacques and the morning bells that ring to wake him. And for those who live here in France with kids, I am sure you have heard the song "Coucou Hibou" which is about an owl in the woods who calls back to a coucou (bird) from his great tree.

The other songs represented here are the crown of "le Bon Roi Dagobert," a song about a ladybug called "Coccinelle," the famous cabbages of "Savez-Vous Planter les Choux?," and the even more famous "Souris Verte."

There are also 2 snails that are sung about in "L'Escargot," 2 rabbits which made me think of "P'tit Lapin Plein Poil" (which means the very hairy rabbit), 2 clowns from "J'ai Un Gros Nez Rouge" (I have a big red nose -- that's the song title not a statement about myself!) and a reaping tool from a song my husband seemed to know which I can't remember the name of.

If you're interested in learning some new French songs, or just finding out what on earth this post is all about, you can find all the songs mentioned and more here.

And if you'd like to check out the French Children's Song art exhibit, le vernissage happens today 13 May at 5PM. It goes on through 7 July at Agence Ludique.

* UPDATE: After several inquiries about the faucille/reaping tool cupcake, I looked up the song via google and learned it is from a quite racy song called "Jeanneton Prend Sa Faucille" about a girl who encounters 4 boys en route to cut back some bushes and the a-hem "harvesting" they do together. I told my husband he was quite cheeky to suggest that design and completely took advantage of my naivete. Much like Jeanneton in the song..... ;)

RELATED POSTS: Cupcakes Take the Cake - Chansons Pour Enfants


  1. You always make such great kids cupcakes! They are always bright and fun and I bet the kids adore them! x

  2. wow there s really a deep thought behind these cupcakes :) they look nice though and so colourful

  3. Thanks, y'all! I appreciate your kind words. I always feel like my artistic skills are those of a 3 year-old's and wish my designs could be a little less elementary! But as long as my 6 year-old gives me the thumbs up on whatever I am making (or can at least recognize what it is without me telling him), I feel good about it!

  4. A friend sent me this link and I wanted to say that your cupcakes are beautiful!!

    My children attend French immersion school... it is obscene the amount of time I've spent googling everything I can think of to find the words to French children's songs!!