Well, it’s a French hauling chanty. The third out of 9, so far, in Stan Hugill’s Shanties from the Seven Seas, that he sourced from Capt. Armand Hayet’s 1927 collection Chansons de Bord. (The other two, before this, were hauling songs under the names of "As-tu connu le père Lancelot?" and "Nous irons à Valparaiso." In Hayet’s collection, the present chanty is listed as "Y a z'un petit bois.")
As with the earlier French chanties in Hugill’s collection, which were obvious adaptations of the English chanty "Goodbye, Fare You Well,” this one has an English chorus: “Hoorah, me boys!” However, it does not appear to correspond to any particular known English chanty.
Evidently the verses in Chansons de Bord were expurgated and strung-out to cover the gaps, because the narrative’s theme is obviously intended to be bawdy. However, one can find the unexpurgated text in Cahier de Chansons (ca.1935) [PAGE 1, PAGE 2], which is supposed to have been written by Hayet himself under a pseudonym.
Here’s my rendition, which uses some of the unexpurgated text and gives the song a chanty feel that perhaps is lacking in some revival performances since Hayet first offered it.
Farewell and adieu, mon gars