Sur le Pont d'Avignon

"Sur le Pont d'Avignon" (pronounced [syʁ lə pɔ̃ daviɲɔ̃]) (French: On the Bridge of Avignon) is a French song about a dance performed on the Pont d'Avignon (officially Pont Saint-Bénézet) that dates back to the 15th century. The dance actually took place under the bridge and not on the bridge (sous le Pont d'Avignon, not sur).[1][2][3]

Dance descriptionEdit

  1. It starts out with everyone in pairs and they dance around each other.
  2. When the chorus is done stop in front of your partner and traditionally the male will bow on the first part then tip his hat on the second.
  3. When the chorus begins again repeat step one.
  4. When this stops so does the dance and then the girl curtsies to one side then the other.
  5. For the first part, repeat step one and then if you have an audience turn on your heel and bow to them.



The Pont d'Avignon and its song

Sur le Pont d'Avignon
L'on y danse, l'on y danse
Sur le Pont d'Avignon
L'on y danse tous en rond.

On the bridge of Avignon
They are dancing, They are dancing
On the bridge of Avignon
They all dance in circles.

First verseEdit

Les beaux messieurs font comme ça
Et puis encore comme ça.

The fine gentlemen go like this (bow)
And then again like this.

Second verseEdit

Les belles dames font comme ça
Et puis encore comme ça.

The beautiful ladies go like this (curtsy)
And then again like that.

Third verseEdit

Les filles font comme ça
Et puis encore comme ça.

The young girls go like this (salute)
And then like that.

Fourth verseEdit

Les musiciens font comme ça
Et puis encore comme ça.

The musicians go like this (they all bow to women)
And then like that.


American music publisher Cherry Lane Music Company has printed a different verse (1993):

Les jeunes filles font comme ça
Les jeunes gens font comme ça

The young girls go like this,
The young people go like this.

In popular cultureEdit

The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Chain of Command" uses this song as a means for Captain Picard, an appreciator of philosophy and poetry born in France, to resist the effects of torture.

The French fantasy comic book Hypocrite: comment decoder l'etircopyh by Jean-Claude Forest (pub. Dargaud 1973) centres around the destruction of the Pont de Avignon - here imagined as a giant petrified sabre-toothed tiger spanning the river. During the scenes set on the bridge itself the characters sing this song, led by the ghostly Scottish piper Major Grumble.

A cartoon titled "The Real Story of..... Sur La Pont D'Avignon" was produced by CINAR Animation and France animation, featuring the song and a ghost story revolving around a clockmaker and an enchanted organ.[4][5]


  1. ^ "Historical articles and illustrations » Blog Archive Sous le Pont d'Avignon – Historical articles and illustrations". 25 May 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Sur, or is it Sous, le Pont d'Avignon". 13 April 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  3. ^ "".
  4. ^
  5. ^ "SHOWS FOR YOUNGSTERS AND THEIR PARENTS TOO : A behind-the-scenes look at favorite fairy tales and fables on HBO". 9 January 1994.

External linksEdit