The Bonhomme Theme Song

Bonhomme Bonhomme, qu'est-ce que tu fais?
Bonhomme Bonhomme, qu'est-ce que tu fais?

Do you remember learning about the Carnaval de Québec in French class?

There’s a particular song that they used to teach us during the unit on the Carnaval. It’s Bonhomme’s theme song, I guess. When I went to Québec this winter, there was a marching band that followed Bonhomme around playing it.

I used to think that the lyrics were, “Bonhomme Bonhomme qu’est-ce que tu fais? Bonhomme Bonhomme qu’est-ce que tu fais? Je vais jouer au violon! Je vais jouer au violon! …”

Translated to English, this means, “Bonhomme Bonhomme, what are you doing? Bonhomme Bonhomme, what are you doing? I’m gonna play the violin. I’m gonna play the violin.”

Turns out, according to a native French-speaker, that is not only incorrect, but also very creepy.

That it was creepy was not at all surprising. I mean, look at him. And I suppose, given the state of French instruction in Ontario, it shouldn’t be too surprising that I got it wrong.

Makes sense to me though. “Bonhomme Bonhomme, what are you doing? Bonhomme Bonhomme, what are you doing?”

In related news, my cellphone ringtone is now the theme song to Téléfrançais.

Published by

The Grey Literature

This is the personal blog of Benjamin Gregory Carlisle PhD. Queer; Academic; Queer academic. "I'm the research fairy, here to make your academic problems disappear!"

2 thoughts on “The Bonhomme Theme Song”

  1. Bonhomme, bonhomme sais-tu jouer? Bonhomme, bonhomme sais-tu jouer?
    Sais-tu jouer de ce tambour-là? Sais-tu jouer de ce tambour-là?
    Boum, boum, boum de ce tambour-là

    Bonhomme!

    Tu n’es pas maître dans ta maison
    Quand nous y sommes

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