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".


This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha Silent Violin
Yamaha Silent Violin

Corilon Violins
Corilon Violins

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Find a Summer Music Program
Find a Summer Music Program

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases Business Directory Business Directory Guide to Online Learning Guide to Online Learning

ARIA International Summer Academy

Antonio Strad Violin

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases


Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Metzler Violin Shop

Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin



Johnson String Instrument and Carriage House Violins

Potter Violins

String Masters

Bein & Company

Annapolis Bows & Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine