“En Roulant Ma Boule”


French: "En roulant ma boule roulant...." Typical plot: Three ducks are paddling. A prince comes to hunt. Though he aims for a black duck, he hits the white one with its diamond eyes and its golden feathers. The owner is upset


Said to have originated in the fifteenth century. Bastardized versions are common, probably due to the song's popularity. Fowke reports, "[This] is probably the most popular of French-Canadian songs. Marius Barbeau has listed ninety-two different Canadian versions which all tell much the same story but differ widely in melody and refrain." Its popularity with the voyageurs may help explain its wide distribution. - RBW


  • Lawrence Older, "En Roulante" (on LOlder01)


  1. Fowke/Johnston, pp. 56-57, "En Roulant Ma Boule" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Fowke/Mills/Blume, pp. 26-28, "En roulant ma boule" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Fowke/MacMillan 41, "En Roulant Ma Boule" (1 English and 1 French text, 1 tune)
  4. ADDITIONAL: Grace Lee Nute, _The Voyageur_, Appleton, 1931 (reprinted 1987 Minnesota Historical Society), pp. 129-133, "En Roulant Ma Boule" (1 text plus English translation, 1 tune)
  5. BI, FJ056


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1865
Found in: Canada(Que) US(MA)