French Folk Song Origins

Edited: April 25, 2018, 10:55 AM · My students are playing French Folk Song for a concert. It is found in Suzuki viola and cello book 1, Essential Elements book 1 and various other instrumental method books by the same title. Does anyone know the original french title or lyrics?

Thank you

Replies (3)

Edited: April 25, 2018, 11:28 AM · The lyrics to French Folk Song are found in my book, Solos For Young Violinists, Vol. 1, book and CD published by Alfred Music. ("Here is a staircase so steep and so tall, Here in my hand is a red rubber ball.....") John Kendall added French Folk Song and several other supplementary folk tunes to Suzuki's Vol. 1 when he published his Listen and Play back in the 1960s. This was the 1st US publication of the Suzuki Violin School. Now French Folk Song is played on all instruments and has practically become the international theme of cellists. Kendall referred me to his original source, Vol. 7 of the Concord Series, a classroom songbook, published in 1921. I found this volume in the Texas Tech University Library and this is where I obtained the lyrics in 1988!
April 25, 2018, 2:00 PM · This is great information, Barbara, thank you for sharing it! I love French Folk Song, when played with all the harmony. And it's such a great piece for beginners; they tend to learn it so quickly, and that always feels like a big "win"!
Edited: April 25, 2018, 2:07 PM · I too should like to find the authentic French title and words.

I give it to my violin & viola pupils here in France; I have numerous books of French folksongs, and this song is nowhere to be found!

I have heard it sung as "Petit chat, petit chat" (by an American..), and published as "Polichinelle" in a French method, and in an American method as "Pussy Cat in the snow".


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