Fais Dodo: A French (and Cajun) Lullaby

Photo Visansaya Loisawai|CC

A yummy song of milk and chocolate, Fais Dodo, is delectable lullaby for your little one.  Here are the lyrics for Fais Dodo, and parents can sing in English, though the French lullaby is far more très chic.

The song is often confused with the Cajun party dance “fais do-do”, but the festive Cajun dance is a far cry from a soothing lullaby.  Cajun’s affectionately refer to “do-do” — an endearment meaning “to sleep” — as an ironic term for trying to stay awake!  But there are lovely, and lulling, Creole versions of the French lullaby.

Fais Dodo (Go to Sleep)

FRENCH:

Fais dodo, Colas mon p’tit frère
Fais dodo, t’auras du lolo
Maman est en haut
Qui fait du gâteau
Papa est en bas
Qui fait du chocolat
Fais dodo, Colas mon p’tit frère
Fais dodo, t’auras du lolo

ENGLISH:

Go to sleep, Colas, my little brother
Go to sleep, tomorrow you’ll have milk
Mama is upstairs making a cake
Papa is downstairs making chocolate
Go to sleep, Colas, my little brother
Go to sleep, tomorrow you’ll have milk

Notes: Colas is the baby’s name, most likely a nickname for Nicholas, but you can substitute any name into the song.  dodo is pronounced dough-dough.  Fais dodo is baby-talk, meaning “go to sleep”, dodo coming from the French “dormir”, and similarly,  lolo for “milk” – from the French “lait”.

Click to download a printable of Fais Dodo Lullaby Lyrics.


History of the Lullaby

The song is well-known in French-speaking areas of Europe, Canada, and Haiti, as well as, in the Cajun areas of Louisiana in the United States.  There are numerous variations of the lyrics.

Louis Gottschalk wrote his famous Berceuse Op 47, also known as Slumber on Baby, Dear. A Mother’s Cradle Song., based on the French lullaby Fais Dodo.

On the album Creole Ballads and Zydeco, the song is called Maw-mam’s Creole Lullaby as recorded by Sybil Klein as her mother’s Cajun version.

Cajun Lyrics to Fais Dodo: Maw-mam’s Creole Lullaby

FRENCH:

Fais dodo, mo l’aime mo ti chère,
Fais dodo, dodo sans douleur.
Fais dodo, mo l’aime mo ti chère,
Fais dodo, dodo sans douleur.

Maw-Maw gain gateaux,
Paw-Paw gain bonbons
Yé donne sa à toi,
si bébé  dodo.

Fais dodo, la lune dans le ciel-la
Fais dodo, li brille pour toi.
Fais dodo, la lune dans le ciel-la.
Faid dodo, dodo jist pour moi.

ENGLISH:

Go to sleep, I love my dear one.
Go to sleep, sleep without grief.
Go to sleep, I love my little dear one.
Go to sleep, sleep without grief.

Mama has some cake
Papa has candy.
They give that to you
If baby goes to sleep.

Go to sleep. The moon’s in the sky there.
Go to sleep, it shines for you.
Go to sleep, the moon’s in the sky there.
Go to sleep, it shines for you.

Complete French Lyrics to Fais Dodo

Fais dodo, Colas mon p’tit frère
Fais dodo, t’auras du lolo
Maman est en haut
Qui fait du gâteau
Papa est en bas
Qui fait du chocolat
Fais dodo, Colas mon p’tit frère
Fais dodo, t’auras du lolo

Fais dodo, Colas mon p’tit frère
Fais dodo, t’auras du lolo
Ta sœur est en haut
Qui fait des chapeaux
Ton frère est en bas
Qui fait des nougats
Fais dodo, Colas mon p’tit frère
Fais dodo, t’auras du lolo

Fais dodo, Colas mon p’tit frère
Fais dodo, t’auras du lolo
Ton cousin Gaston
Fait des gros bonbons
Ta cousine Charlotte
Fait de la compote
Fais dodo, Colas mon p’tit frère
Fais dodo, t’auras du lolo

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