Allo Maman Bobo – Alain Souchon

Here is a version for solo guitar of Alain Souchon’s famous song, “Allo Maman Bobo”. This song was released in 1977 on the album “Jamais Content”, Souchon’s third album. Personally, this is probably the album I’ve listened to the most, along with perhaps “Au Ras des Pâquerettes”.

Why this song.

I always follow closely the work of my friends Cheveu, Ben Ricour and François Guernier. After a show based on Gainsbourg’s songs, the trio recently put together a new show “Jamais Contents, mais terriblement vivant”. This show is a tribute to Souchon. It was while listening to them that I started to play “Allo Maman Bobo” on the guitar.

It took me back to a sweet and intimate time. Sophie’s family, with whom I grew up from adolescence to adulthood, had a vacation home in Cheverny. We spent a lot of time there together, as a group of friends but also as a family, when we were young parents.

Alain Souchon was present in the background, as he also spent a lot of time in the area. This atmosphere contributed to make these memories precious for me.


To begin, we are in E minor. Then the verses start in G major, the relative of E minor. The harmony starts with a swing between the first degree (I) and the fourth degree (IV), which we find in many pop songs, as evoked with “Sunday Morning”.

Then, we arrive on A minor, B7 and E minor. That is to say IV, V7 and I which is a basic cadence.
Finally, we find E major, which becomes the fifth degree of A minor. Finally we find A minor and start the loop again.

My favorite part is when we leave G and C to arrive on A minor. At this moment, the melody that plays a C, the minor third of the minor. It corresponds to the most sensitive moment of the text with “I am badly in country, and badly in city”.

Allo maman bobo. La pédale, Paris.
La Pédale store, Paris. Saturday, May 13, 2023.


In this video, I wanted to introduce you to two guitar effects pedals. Part of the richness of this instrument is the ability to plug in effects pedals, opening up an infinite universe of sound textures to explore.

I, for one, am passionate about using these pedals. It can be quite expensive and requires a lot of thought to integrate them in a harmonious way. But all that is quickly outweighed by the excitement of discovering new sounds and playing with a new sound palette.

Here I have plugged in a Boss RV-6 which is a reverb. It’s on all along the video. Then a JAM Waterfall, a chorus, which I turn on the second round.
The other machines we see connected are a Boss TU-3W tuner and the L.R. Baggs para acoustic DI preamp.

Score and tablature.

If you wish, the score and tablature are available in PDF format below. This is a non-commercial sharing.