Dodo, L’enfant Do – Falling Asleep To A French Lullaby Posted by on Sep 13, 2017 in Culture, Music

The changing seasons mean shorter and colder days en France. The transition from warm summer days to cold winter nights makes me look forward to winter traditions like le marché de Noël. However, being from la Floride, I’m always surprised with how the shorter days end up affecting le sommeil (sleep).

Image by Michael Carian on Flickr. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Le coucher du soleil (the sunset) in France can be after 22 heures (10 PM) en été (in Summer) and as early as 17 heures (5 PM) en hiver (in Winter). That is quite the change for someone used to a more tropical climate where sunrise and sunset remain mostly the same throughout the whole year.

Even with mon nouveau lit (my new bed) it can be hard to s’endormir (fall asleep) when it’s so light en été and so dark en hiver! Even without the difference in sunrises and sunsets the changing seasons make it hard to fall asleep no matter what time of year it is.

En été il fait trop chaud et en hiver il fait trop froid !
In Summer it’s too hot and in Winter it’s too cold!

Mes problèmes de sommeil (my sleep problems) made me curious about les berceuses françaises (French lullabies). After un peu de recherche (a little research), I found une berceuse that is easy to learn and will certainly help you s’endormir: Dodo, l’enfant do (Sleep, baby sleep).

The words dodo and do are familiar terms for sleep. They come from le verbe dormir (the verb to sleep).

Make sure you’ve already brushed your teeth and take a listen to la berceuse to see if it helps you s’endormir.

Voici la chanson avec les paroles : 

Dodo, l’enfant do,
L’enfant dormira bien vite
Dodo, l’enfant do,
L’enfant dormira bientôt

Sleep, baby sleep,
Baby will sleep real soon
Sleep, baby sleep,
Baby will sleep soon

If la berceuse doesn’t help and you’re still lying in bed struggling with l’insomnie (insomnia), then you can always try to compter les moutons (count sheep). If you make sure to compter en français, you’ll be sure to fall asleep and also be practicing your French!

Keep learning French with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it

About the Author: John Bauer

John Bauer is an enthusiast for all things language and travel. He currently lives in France where he's doing his Master's. John came to France four years ago knowing nothing about the language or the country, but through all the mistakes over the years, he's started figuring things out.


  1. Susan Goudail:

    À Paris le soleil se couche plutôt vers 16h30/17h00 en plein hiver, pas à 18h00.

    • John Bauer:

      @Susan Goudail Merci pour votre commentaire Susan ! Vous avez tout à fait raison et j’ai corrigé l’heure dans l’article.

  2. Helena:

    Funny post 🙂 Friends from Central America have exact same problems with changing day/night length throughout the year 🙂 Sleeping mask helps.