Learn to assemble a traditional, French-Canadian, wooden dancing man. Once assembled, learn how to use the dancing man as a percussive instrument. Participants may optionally purchase a dancing man.

Bonhomme Medley
(Track 2)

This lively French-Canadian song is a favorite of Les Bûcherons, it is often performed with the wooden dancing men, where we can review the parts of the body.

“Tu n’es pas maître dans ta maison” implies that you’re not the master of your home, when Les Bûcherons show up for a soirée.
Bonhomm’, Bonhomm’
Bonhomm’, bonhomm’, sais-tu jouer? (bis)          Good man, can you play an instrument?
Sais-tu jouer avec les 1. pieds 2. bras? (bis)          Can you play with 1. feet 2. arms
(Bonhomme solo)
(Bonhomme solo)
Bonhomme                                                                                Good man
Bonhomme                                                                                Good man
Tu n’es pas maître dans ta maison                                      You’re not the master in your house
Quand nous y sommes. (tag)                                                         When the party starts.
The French words for this song tell of the inducements which a young lady offers a monk in an effort to get him to dance.  A cap and a sash are the two items offered up.  In earlier days it was one of the dance songs used at the fur-trading posts of the west whenever the voyageurs gathered for an evening’s social.
Ah! si mon moine
Ah, si mon moine voulait danser! (bis)                          Oh, if my monk would dance with me!
Un 1. capuchon 2. ceinturon, je lui donnerai (bis)     A 1. hood 2. sash I would give to thee.
Danse mon moine, danse, tu n’entends pas la danse Dance, monk, can’t you hear the dance
Tu n’entends pas mon moulin, lon la                                              You can’t hear the party
Tu n’entends pas mon moulin marcher.                                        You can’t hear the party
The tune is a popular party song that tells a story of a young “Mademoiselle” who is asked to dance the “Bastringue” by a rather older “Monsieur,” who then finds that he’s just not up to the task.
La Bastringue
Mademoiselle, voulez-vous danser?                                      Dear Miss, would you like to dance?
La Bastringue, la Bastringue
Mademoiselle, voulez-vous danser?                                      Dear Miss, would you like to dance?
La Bastringue va commencer

Oui, Monsieur, je voudrais danser                                         Yes, Mister, I would like to dance.
La Bastringue, la Bastringue.
Oui, Monsieur, je voudrais danser!                                     Yes, Mister, I would like to dance.
C’est pour vous accompagner                                                        I will join you in the dance.

Mademoiselle, il faut arrêter . . .                                                  Miss, it’s time to quit
Car j’ai d‘la corne sous les pieds                                                     Because I’m getting blisters on my feet

Me voilà le coeur brisé . . .                                                                Don’t break my heart
Sans danser dans une veillée                                                          By not dancing with me at a celebration

1 comment

  1. Melissa Matwychuk

    What a wonderful and educational week! We had a fantastic time learning about the wooden dancing dolls, how to construct them and how to make them dance. My students were not only interested and focused during the week but also filled with pride as they performed what they had learned for their parents! We also very much enjoyed the final performance you put on. It left the teachers and students feeling inspired and curious to learn more about our interesting history!

    Melissa Matwychuk
    Battalion Park School

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *