Where are you going, my little boy?


1. “Where are you going, my little boy?”
I’m going, you’re going, we’re passing.
“I’m going right to school
To learn the word of God.”
Thus said the child seven years old.

2. “What is higher than the trees?”
I’m going, you’re going, we’re passing.
“The sky is higher than the tree,
The sun in the firmament.”
Thus said the child seven years old.

3. “What is deeper than the sea?”
“Hell is a hundred times deeper,
Hell with its eternal fires.”

4. “What grows on our lands?
“Oats and golden wheat,
Chestnuts and pears.”

5. “What will you do when you grow up?”
“I will till the fields
To feed my wife and child.”

The Acadian folklore naturally has much in common with that of the Quebecois, but it also has some individual characteristics. “Où vas-tu, mon petit garçon?” was one that Father Pierre Arsenault had learned from his mother and gave to Dr. Barbeau in 1924. It is a French version of the ancient ballad known in English as “The False Knight Upon the Road” (Child 3) and, as it is unique in Canada, this suggests that the Acadians, hearing it from their Scottish neighbours, may have translated it into their own language.

Edith Fowke, Folklore of Canada. McClelland & Stewart, 1976, pp. 70 - 73

Edith Fowke
17th,18th Century
CANADA Atlantic Provinces, Atlantic Provinces, CANADA
© 1976, McClelland & Stewart. All Rights Reserved.

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