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I’ve been looking for this for ages, a rendition of the French children’s song Bon voyage cher Dumollet, the contredanse-like bit in Act 1 of The Nutcracker which is usually danced by children. Here it is:

And if you’d like to singalong and learn the words, here’s a children’s Karaoake version:

Happy Easter!

4 thought on “Missing Nutcracker? Have a Cher Dumollet singalong”
  1. The tune is quite similar to the New England contradance tune Steamboat Quickstep. I just got back from the Pacific NW Ballet’s Nutcracker but I known this tune to be in the Children’s Galop in Act I for a long time. After buying the CD of the sound track, I read in the notes about this children’s song from France. Now the question is where did both the contradance tune and the French song come from. I just looked on a piper’s forum for a discussion about Steamboat Quickstep where a lot of people thought Steamboat came from the ballet. According to the CD notes, Tchaikovsky took the ballet section from Bon Voyage. It’s possible that Steamboat originated in Scotland and went to both France and New England.

  2. Dear Jonathan, this Monsieur Dumollet matter gets even more interesting. As I just learnde, the piece is in fact not a french folk song. It came into being as stage music for a Vaudeville, “la départ pour St. Malo” by Marc Antoine Désaugiers and was first played in July 1809.
    I found this information in the french wiki, under “Désaugiers” and “Bon voyage, M´. Dumollet”
    best wishes

    1. Hi Susanne, someone did post something about this in a comment on another post of mine about this song ( If it’s true that Désaugiers wrote it, then surely that does make it a French song? It seems also that it became very popular at the Dunquerque carnaval, and it’s easy to see how it might travel to England and become a fiddle tune. The most intriguing part is how it found its way into Basque dance

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Jonathan Still, ballet pianist