Multicultural & Non-English Songbook

J'Aime La Galette

Music Traditional French Folktune, lyrics Traditional (English Lyrics by Val Smalkin)

©2018 Music: Public Domain Translation: Valerie Leonhart Smalkin

In many French-speaking countries and regions Epiphany (a post-Christmas feast day on Jan. 6 that celebrates the three Magi (Kings) seeing Jesus for the first time) is celebrated with a "King Cake." This is typical for Mardi Gras celebrants in Louisiana as well as countries around the world.

This traditional French children's song for Epiphany is sung to me by my grandchildren about 642 times when I visit them in Brussels (the French-speaking part of Belgium). The traditional Galette des Rois ("Kings Cake" - a round, flat pastry similar to a tart or thick pancake) has a tiny statue of a king (originally a baby Jesus, or now any trinket) baked inside. The child who gets the piece with the king is the "king for the day." Sometimes a large fava bean is substituted (easier on the teeth!).

To see a King Cake copy/paste:

This song and tradition are sure to turn the memories of a Christmas gone by into a fun way to bring in a new year! 


French:                                               Approximate pronunciation:


J’aime la galette,                                    zhem-uh lah gah-let-uh      

Savez-vous comment?                         sah-vay voo coh-mohn

Quand elle est bien faite,                     cahn-del-ay bee-en feht-uh

Avec du beurre dedans!                       ah-vek doo buhr deh-dahn


Tra la la la la la la la lère,

Tra la la la la la la la la!

Tra la la la la la la la lère,

Tra la la la la la la la la!


Literal Translation:

I like cake,

Do you know how?

When it is well made

With butter inside!


Alternative verse translation (by Val Smalkin):

I like eating King’s Cake, 

And do you know why?

'Cause it is well made 

With butter fat inside!

Traditionally, a child is chosen to sit under the table while the King Cake is being sliced. S/he then randomly directs who should get each slice, not knowing who will receive the special piece.

Bake a cake with a little king or bean inside; slice it; serve it; have a crown ready for the child who gets the king!

Find songs about:

Terms of Use

All songs posted in the CMN Song Library are protected by copyright and are provided by the generosity of the owner/artist. You may perform songs you find here in classrooms and camps without the copyright owner’s permission. For all other performances, you must first obtain a performance license through BMI, SESAC or ASCAP or obtain the copyright owner’s express prior written permission.