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Req/ADD: French folk songs


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Lyr Add: Alouetteski (parody of Alouette) (3) 31 Dec 96 - 01:48 AM
Ralph Butts 31 Dec 96 - 09:16 AM
Kathleen 31 Dec 96 - 11:20 AM
Susan of DT 31 Dec 96 - 03:25 PM
Bert Hansell 31 Dec 96 - 04:03 PM
Thierry 20 Jan 97 - 11:47 AM
Shula 02 Sep 97 - 12:40 PM
dick greenhaus 02 Sep 97 - 03:32 PM
Cliff McGann 02 Sep 97 - 06:52 PM
Tim Jaques 02 Sep 97 - 07:08 PM
Shula 02 Sep 97 - 07:13 PM
Tim Jaques 02 Sep 97 - 07:22 PM
Shula 02 Sep 97 - 10:25 PM
John Nolan 03 Sep 97 - 12:40 AM
Tim Jaques 03 Sep 97 - 09:56 AM
dick greenhaus 03 Sep 97 - 10:23 AM
rechal 03 Sep 97 - 02:52 PM
Tim Jaques 03 Sep 97 - 04:11 PM
Shula 03 Sep 97 - 10:05 PM
Shula 03 Sep 97 - 10:14 PM
Shula 03 Sep 97 - 10:16 PM
dick greenhaus 03 Sep 97 - 10:53 PM
Tim Jaques 10 Sep 97 - 10:54 AM
Jerry Friedman, 11 Sep 97 - 10:02 PM
Shula 11 Sep 97 - 10:42 PM
dick greenhaus 11 Sep 97 - 11:05 PM
Shula 11 Sep 97 - 11:15 PM
RS 12 Sep 97 - 12:16 AM 25 Sep 97 - 07:03 AM
judy 27 Oct 97 - 10:25 PM
judy 31 Oct 97 - 03:11 AM
Laoise 31 Oct 97 - 10:26 AM
Charles 07 Nov 97 - 07:02 AM
judy 07 Nov 97 - 03:27 PM
Peter T. 07 Nov 97 - 06:08 PM
judy 08 Nov 97 - 01:02 AM 09 Jan 98 - 03:11 AM
Marie Henault, de Montreal 21 Oct 98 - 07:27 PM
Dan Calder 22 Oct 98 - 06:21 AM
Jonathan 24 Oct 98 - 12:06 PM
Graeme 24 Oct 98 - 05:16 PM
BAZ 24 Oct 98 - 05:29 PM
Tim Jaques 24 Oct 98 - 05:38 PM
Jonathan 25 Oct 98 - 04:30 AM
Jackrabbit 25 Oct 98 - 10:30 PM
29 Oct 98 - 01:28 AM
JB3 29 Oct 98 - 03:26 AM
jo 29 Oct 98 - 07:19 PM
Wolfgang Hell 30 Oct 98 - 05:10 AM 16 Nov 98 - 11:08 PM
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Subject: Lyrics request for french folk songs"
Date: 31 Dec 96 - 01:48 AM

I am looking for the lyrics for the traditional french folk songs such as "Alouette", "Frere Jacques", "Au claire de la lune" and others.

Je cherche les paroles pour les chansons folkloriques francaises tel qu'indique.

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Subject: RE:
From: Ralph Butts
Date: 31 Dec 96 - 09:16 AM

Alouette and Au Clair de la Lune are on the DT. Search "lune" and "alouette".


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From: Kathleen
Date: 31 Dec 96 - 11:20 AM

Here are the words for AU CLAIR DE LA LUNE:

Au clair de la lune,
Mon ami Pierrot,
Prête moi ta plume,
Pour écrire un mot.
Ma chandelle est morte,
Je n'ai pas de feu;
Ouvre-moi ta porte
Pour l'amour de Dieu.

Here are the words to FRÈRE JACQUES:

Frère Jacques, Frère Jacques,
Dormez-vous? Dormez-vous?
Sonnez les matines: Sonnez les matines:
Din, Din, Don, Din, Din, Don.

Here are the lyrics for LES PETITES MARIONNETTES:

Ainsi font, font, font,
Les petites marionnettes,
Ainsi font, font, font,
Trois p'tits tours et puis s'en vont!

I got these lyrics out of The Golden Song Book, 56 Favourite Songs And Singing Games. Selected and Arranged by Katherine Tyler Wessells. Published by Western Publishing Company, Inc. Have fun!

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Subject: RE:
From: Susan of DT
Date: 31 Dec 96 - 03:25 PM

Kathleen - that is just the first verse of Au Claire de la Lune. Like Ralph said - The lyrics are in the Digital Tradition

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Subject: RE:
From: Bert Hansell
Date: 31 Dec 96 - 04:03 PM

I learned this one at school many years ago. The tune is Three Blind Mice.

Quand trois poules vont au champ, La première va devant, La seconde suit la première, la troisième va la dernière, Quand trois poules vont au champ, La première va devant.

I'm sure that half the spelling is wrong so come on all you Frenchmen out there, give us some of the real stuff.


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Subject: RE:
From: Thierry
Date: 20 Jan 97 - 11:47 AM

Un deux trois J'irai dans les bois Quatre cinq six Cueillir des cerises Sept huit neuf Dans mon panier neuf Dix onze douze Elles seront toutes rouges!

One of the songs I learned when I was a child. I must confess I never heard about your song, Bert. Shame on me!

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Subject: RE:
From: Shula
Date: 02 Sep 97 - 12:40 PM

Since this thread first posted lasted December, and new websites appear all the time, has anyone found a site for French folk songs? Especially songs from places other than Canada. (The database has very few songs in French, and most of those are Canadian. Fine collections of Canadian French songs are not too hard to find, either.) Any Francophiles or French Caribbean or Cajun folk music lovers among us, peut-être?

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Subject: RE:
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 02 Sep 97 - 03:32 PM

You can always do a search for @French

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Subject: RE: French Folksong
From: Cliff McGann
Date: 02 Sep 97 - 06:52 PM

Obviously most people are aware of the wealth of French Folk Song from Canada. I am working on a review essay of French Canadian Folk Music and came across a company called Thirty Below\~thirtybe which specializes in Quebecois Folk Music. They are the best resource for folk song/trad music. A couple of other good sources are Marius Barbeau's Folk Songs of Old Quebec (Nat. Museum of Canada Bulletin #75) and his Folk Songs of French Canada Yale UP 1925 (if you can find a copy). People also forget about the strong French tradition in Cape Breton (Cheticamp etc.), Newfoundland (Port au Port), PEI and especially New Brunswick. So for those looking for a good reference to Acadian Maritime songs find a copy of La Fleur Du Rosier Univ. College of Cape Breton & National Museum of Civilization by Helen Creighton and Ronald Labelle. Some great songs with music and translations. I think you can get a copy through

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Subject: French Folk Songs
From: Tim Jaques
Date: 02 Sep 97 - 07:08 PM

There are also Franco-Ontarian songs. Locally here in Windsor there are two tapes/CD's of which I am aware, by Marcel Beneteau, of old French songs of the Detroit River area which he collected from old notebooks and preserved for posterity. There are many French people left here yet.

I don't know much about folk music from France itself, and most of what I have heard is from the various French -speaking communties in Canada or Louisiana. I must say I have never heard much from France except for the Breton songs in French on some of the Chieftains releases. There was also a Celtic band from Brittany that sang in French as well as Breton, but I heard them many years ago and unfortunately cannot recall their name. The name Na Cabarfeidh appears on my poster for the 1980 Atlantic Folk Festival and that might be it.

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Subject: RE:
From: Shula
Date: 02 Sep 97 - 07:13 PM

Thanks to Cliff McGann; sounds like a handy new reference!

Dear Mr. Greenhaus:

Did that first, silly!


20 listings, total, (See below), of which 7 are other than Canadian. (I believe ALOUETTE is Canadian, though not shown here.) This means that if LA MARSEILLAISE is given only 1/2 credit, ( 14 Juillet occurring but once per annum, n'est pas?), the percentage of non-Canadian French songs in the database is .001 (1/1000)! Hardly a respectable set there. Checking under @Cajun yields two songs, only one of which comes with French lyrics; @Carribean and @Polynesian fetch nothing, and @Calypso has only English lyrics. L'Injustice, mes amies! Quelle Horreur!

1) ALOUETTE: @French @bird @animal @camp


3) AUPRÈS DE MA BLONDE: @Canada @French



6) DANSE DES FOINS: @Canada @French @farmer @work

7) EN MONTANT LA RIVIÈRE: @Canada @French

8) ISABEAU S'Y PROMÈNE: @Canada @French

9) À LA CLAIRE FONTAINE: @French @love

10) LA COMPLAINTE DE SPRINGHILL: @Canada @mining @disaster @French

11) LA LAINE DES MOUTONS:@Canada @French @animal

12) LA MARSEILLAISE: @French @patriotic @war

13) LES RAFTSMEN: @Canada @French @river @work

14) PRINCE EUGÈNE: @French @Canada

15) ROULEZ, JEUNES GENS, ROULEZ!: @French @sailor

16) SEPT ANS SUR MER: @French @sailor @cannibal

17) UN CANADIEN ERRANT: @French @Canada @home @outlaw

18) V'LÀ L'BON VENT: @Canada @French

19) VIVE L'AMOUR: @French @drink

20) THE WILD GOOSE (2): @Canada @French @animal @bird

Since I have dutifully done my homework, I hope I may now safely pursue my request for any OTHER sources of French folk songs, and a connection to other folk who fancy 'em. If we cast about some, we may yet be of some small service to The Database by reeling in a few fine, fat chansons en Francais to add!

Bon soir,


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Subject: RE:
From: Tim Jaques
Date: 02 Sep 97 - 07:22 PM

Isn't an "allouette" a nightingale? We don't have nightingales in Canada.

I'm sad to see that Youpi! Youpi!, that jolly and uptempo riverman's song , is not in there.

As for Cajun songs, the Balfour Brothers did many. I think Zachery Richard did as well. The Acadian group (as in French from the original Acadia; some got away or came back) used to do a song I always assumed was Cajun, called La Maudit Guerre (pardon my spelling) about the expulsion of the Acadians.

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Subject: RE:
From: Shula
Date: 02 Sep 97 - 10:25 PM

À Monsieur Jacques,

Mais non, mon frère: "Alouette" ne = pas "Nightingale;" Alouette" = "Skylark." Je pense que c'est un chanson Québecquois! (Vous n'avez aucun de nightingales?! Tant pis! C'est, peut-être, l'explication pour les hivers si froid en Canada, ce n'est pas vrai?)

Merci pour les idées! Et, si vous avez les mots de "Youpi! Youpi!" pour vos amis ici, -- merci, encore une fois, cher!

À demain,


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Subject: RE:
From: John Nolan
Date: 03 Sep 97 - 12:40 AM

A French traditional singer called Guy Beart? (I lent my one album to someone, so unsure of his surname) has recorded some interesting things. A very old song, Au Marches du Palais (on the steps of the palace) comes to mind, all about a Princess prefering a little cobbler (in pre-paparazzi days, naturellement)

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Subject: RE:
From: Tim Jaques
Date: 03 Sep 97 - 09:56 AM

What is a "skylark"? Do we have those in Canada? I can't tell a sparrow from a wren.

I will dig out my old Stringband album (the Canadian group from Toronto, not the Incredible String Band) and see if I can get the lyrics to Youpi! Youpi!

Another song is the one about the Quebecois exiled after the rebellion in the 1830's. It's a very popular Quebecois nationalist song, but a very pretty song none the less.

I lent my Marcel Beneteau CD to a friend. I will get it back and submit the lyrics to the database. I was unaware that it accepted French songs. These songs are fairly rare and should be preserved.

Sorry I can't reply in French. Mine isn't good enough that I feel confident to post in it although I know enough to get by. My family hasn't spoken French as its native tongue since the King of France chased us out and over to Yorkshire in the time of Good Queen Bess.

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Subject: RE:
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 03 Sep 97 - 10:23 AM

We have a few problems in dealing with non-English-language songs. a) We haven't found a way to search on accented leters, although we can enter such in the database. b)Our contributors seem to overwhelmingly favor English-language materials. c) I usually wind up editing, and I'm totally incompetent in any language except English.Considering the wild folk-spelling variations we receive, I think that the editing is essential.

Having said all this, I'd love to get more non-English-language material. Anybody have any suggestions on how best to deal with the problems?

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Subject: RE:
From: rechal
Date: 03 Sep 97 - 02:52 PM

Dick: Maybe an auxiliary forum? Or a sub-page? Or how about only accepting postings in Esperanto from here on out?

In the meantime, is anyone interested in the lyrics to "En Passant par la Lorraine (Avec Mes Sabots)"?

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From: Tim Jaques
Date: 03 Sep 97 - 04:11 PM

I don't think it necessary to include the French accents etc. Those who can speak and read French know where they are supposed to be anyway. (WordPerfect 7 has the ability to insert those but I don't know how it could be translated into ASCII.)

As to spelling, those who submit the words can do so on ASCII and be responsible for that.

You could have a subdatabase for French songs, but it doesn't appear that you have that many that it matters at this point.

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Subject: RE:
From: Shula
Date: 03 Sep 97 - 10:05 PM

Dear Mr. Greenhaus,

Can't be much help with ASCII, but would be glad to edit any lyrics submitted in standard French, until a native speaker offers. Others, more knowledgeable in the vocabulary and syntax of other forms of the language, could pick up the slack in those departments -- how about it mes amis?

Have a friend who might be willing to do the same for your Spanish contributions.


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Subject: RE:
From: Shula
Date: 03 Sep 97 - 10:14 PM

Tim Jaques: Ornithologically speaking, I wouldn't know 'em apart either. Just vaguely recall the odes of Mssrs. Keats and Shelley on the fowl in question. My own French, a relic of childhood, is well-rusted, I assure you; I simply have no shame! Thanks for correcting my spelling of "Quebecois;" just guessed; glad to get it right.

John Nolan: Do, please, let us have the lyrics to Au Marche Du Palais!

Songs suitable for children, like Elle Était Une Beérgèere, and Sur Le Pont D'Avignon, are not yet in the database. Though not so rare and precious as the tantalising prospects mentioned above, it would be nice to have more than a couple of verses for each, which is all my feeble memory can recall.

À bientôt,


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Subject: RE:
From: Shula
Date: 03 Sep 97 - 10:16 PM

Bergère, sorry.


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Subject: RE:
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 03 Sep 97 - 10:53 PM

Shula: I'd be delighted to accept your offer of help in editing. Now I just need some contributions.

We don' need no steenking subdatabases.

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Subject: RE:
From: Tim Jaques
Date: 10 Sep 97 - 10:54 AM

I found a few, from France, at

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Subject: RE:
From: Jerry Friedman,
Date: 11 Sep 97 - 10:02 PM

I too could help edit French lyrics now and then, until a native speaker comes along.

No, we don't have nightingales (in French, "rossignols") here in the New Improved World. Skylarks are also Old World birds, but oddly enough the answer to Tim's question is yes, you do have them in Canada, since they've been successfully introduced on Vancouver Island.

In France, "alouette" = "lark" ("Skylark" = "alouette des champs", lark of the fields) If memory serves, the bird the French-Canadians call "alouette" is the one we English-speaking North Americans call "robin" (although it's only distantly related to the European robin and even more distantly related to the larks). Unfortunately, my French-English dictionary has too strong a European bias to include American names for birds.

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Subject: RE:
From: Shula
Date: 11 Sep 97 - 10:42 PM

Jerry, you raise a nice point, the whole issue of regional differences, which is a stumbling block for me in checking the French entries in the DT. I am familiar with standard, i.e. Parisian French, and even that, from childhood. Would love help correcting these songs, especially those in Canadian and other forms of French. Propose I send questionable lines, words, phrases to you on your personal page, and you respond in kind. This way, you are spared miles of unnnecessary verbiage to check, and I can rely on a better informed source for the truly questionable material. What say?

Dick : What's the word on accents; shall I include 'em or not? Recently found many more songs while surfing; -- interested?


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Subject: RE:
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 11 Sep 97 - 11:05 PM

Hi Shula- The problem with accents isn't at my end--I can include them easily. It occurs when people try to seach for words containing accented letters.

Suggest you skip the accents.

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Subject: RE:
From: Shula
Date: 11 Sep 97 - 11:15 PM

Dick : Wouldn't a simple direction, appended to the search rectangle, saying "Use no accents," permit the more accurate version to be included in the DT? Non-English entries could have double titles, or even double versions, one without diacriticals. What do others think? Tim? Jerry?


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Subject: RE: lyrics request for french folk songs
From: RS
Date: 12 Sep 97 - 12:16 AM

On 16 July 1997 I posted a request for the lyrics for "Mama Les P'tits Bateaux" - to which Wolfgang promptly responded with the web address of: - COMPTINES,CHANSONS ET POESIES - which includes lots of lyrics plus music, as well as links to many other French sites. (He said he found it through a "Dogpile" Search for "les petits bateaux").

May I also draw your attention to the "Au Claire De La Lune - Lyr Addn (new version)" thread which I posted on 02 Sept 1997 and subsequently.

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Date: 25 Sep 97 - 07:03 AM

Hi, I'm putting the accents in (in html) because
whatever you decide to do it's easier to take them out
than put them back in. By the way, there are lots of
French folk songs, but they often pass for children's
songs, that's why 'serious' singers rarely sing them.
Guy Béart is an exception.

About the accents and searching, what about putting
the accents in, but add the non-accented word next to it inside an html tag, so it will be hidden to view, but searchable? Is that too much editing work?


Aux marches du palais (bis)
Y'a une tant belle fille lon-la,
Y'a une tant belle fille

Elle a tant d'amoureux
Qu'elle ne sait lequel prendre

C'est un p'tit cordonnier
Qui a eu sa préférence

C'est en chaussant son pied
Qu'il lui fit sa demande

La belle si tu voulais
Nous dormirions ensemble

Dans un grand lit carré
Tout orné de taies blanches

Dans le mitan du lit
La rivière est profonde

Tous les chevaux du roi
Pourraient y boire ensemble

Et là nous dormirions
Jusqu'à la fin du mode

Note from Joe Offer - Explanation from Monique P received 1 May 2008:
    The song was reported as early as 1732 and 1738. The music was different from the tune we sing nowadays (the latter was popularized by Yves Montand's recording in 1955) and was taken from a book published in 1732 but it was inspired by older songs forming the group known as "La Flamande" that had been previously published by Jehan Chardavoine ("Recueil des plus belles et excellentes chansons en forme de voix des villes", 1575). More than 40 versions have been published between 1732 and 1910 according to Patrice Coirault.
    Claude Duneton points the hidden sexual meaning of two verses "Aux quatre coins du lit/ le rossignol y chante" = "On the four corners of the bed, the nightingale is singing" (it's mostly known as "Aux quatre coins du lit/un bouquet de pervenches"= ... a bunch of periwinkles") and "Dans la mitan du lit, la rivière est profonde" = "In the middle of the bed, the river is deep", the nightingale and the deep river representing respectively male and female genitals as anybody would guess (actually, "nightingale" is one of the words we call a little boy's willy), then you imagine the singing of the nightingale as suits you best.
    In the midi file attached, you can hear two voices successively. Sometimes, in the lowest voice, the "lon la" is omitted so that the highest voice "lon la" can be heard better.

Click to play

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Subject: RE:lyrics request for french folk songs
From: judy
Date: 27 Oct 97 - 10:25 PM

Shula and other Francophiles:

Finally got off my posterior to look through my record, book, and song collections to give you an answer with details.

For a terrific and concise collection of French (and other country's) songs I recommend the book:

1000 CHANTS chosen by Jean Edel Berthier published by Presses D'ile-de-France, 12, rue de la Chasse, Paris VIIe, France.

I bought this little book in Paris and enjoyed it so much that I wrote to the publisher and ordered 1000 CHANTS (2). I find that most of the books that contain the most popular traditional music is either in children's books or scouting type books. Here are a couple more:

JEUNESSE QUI CHANT and CHANSONS DU BLE QUI LEVE both put out by Les Editions Ouvrieres, 12, Avenue de la Soeur-Rosalie, Paris 13eme

CHANTER POUR DANSER, a book of fingerplays and playparty dances published by 100 Idees Editions Fleurus, 31, Rue de Fleurus, Paris 6e

In a more comtemporary vein I love Georges Brassens who writes songs such as "Les Amoureux Des Bancx Publics" (with a record of the same name on Philips 6499777) about lovers who sit kissing on public benches ignoring everyone who walks by looking at them. And another called "Brave Margot". When she unbuttons her blouse to give a little "gougoutte" (diminutive for taste) to her cat, all the guys in the village gather round. He has tons of others that are terrific and the music is great too. The Petite Larousse Illustre describes him as "Auteur de chansons poetiques, pleines de verve et de non-conformisme." I bought the book in hardcover (if you knew me, this is the indication of high regard, for I'd rather buy three paperbacks than use the money on a hardcover): BRASSENS published by (?) Editions Musicales 57. Other "popular" singers: Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel and Georges Moustaki.

My husband and I are very into Breton and Provence music. I also like Parisian button accordian music and Quebequoise (mangled sp?) music. I will give you the name of the group, one record title and the record company. We have more titles if anyone wants. Here's my recommendations:

Maluzerne, "Maluzerne" on Le Chant du Monde (a lot of dance music some singing)
Malicorne, "Malicorne" on Disques Hexagone
Tri Yann, "Les filles des forges" on Marzelle
Melusine, "Leve toi et danse!" on Polydor
An Triskell, "Kroaz hent" on Le Chant du Monde

Parisian Accordian:
Marc Perrone, "Marc Perrone" on Polydor

Mont-Joia, "Cant e musica de provenca XIIeme - XXeme" on Le Chants du Monde
Lo Jai, " Musiques traditionnelles du limousin", on Revolum
Les Menestriers, "Vive Henri IV" on RCA

La Bottine Souriante, "Y a ben du changement" on Le Tamanoir
Le Reve du Diable, "Le Reve du Diable" on CBS

If I get more time I'll try to add some lyrics to the database.

a bientot

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Subject: RE:lyrics request for french folk songs
From: judy
Date: 31 Oct 97 - 03:11 AM

I just added the lyrics to a Halloween type song in French which is on the Tri Yann record mentioned above. see ADD: Complainte de la Blanche Biche. I tried to translate it. I could use some help for missing and mangled translation please. Song is about a girl whose brother kills her while she is in the form of a white stag (I know that stag is male but doe seemed too small and petite)

joyeux Halloween (what holiday like Halloween do they have? if any.

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Subject: RE:
From: Laoise
Date: 31 Oct 97 - 10:26 AM

Ca va, tout le monde?

C'est moi. C'est longtemps que je vous avez "parler", malheureus! Je suis tres ocupee avec les etudes en ce moment et c'est tres dificile de trouver le temps de m'amuser sur le 'computer'. Je m'excuse.

Alors, j'ai vue ce "thread" (masc or fem?) au jourd'hui, et j'ai decide de dire bonjour a tous mes amis de Mudcat.


Et, je voudrais faire un contribution aux "linx" Les Chansons populaire de France. Il y a un station sur l'internet qui donne beaucoup des chansons a peu pres de "Alouette". Il s'appelle Les Comptines mais je ne sais pas si quelqu'un l'a donne deja. Si non, voici le location -

Amusez vous bien. J'espere parler avec tout le monde a bientot (en Anglais je pense).

Grosses Bissess Slan go foill

Laoise de Belfast.

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Subject: chansons, accents, toussaint, et tout et tout
From: Charles
Date: 07 Nov 97 - 07:02 AM


Judy: the French celebrate the Toussaint (=all saints, "All Hallows") which is the celebration Halloween ("All Hallow's eve") comes from. Halloween has become a celtic celebration in recent times - it was brought to America by the conquistadores, for whom all saints was a big Christian event (it still is in Spain). The Indians (?) of Central America they converted added to it death imagery and philosophy that came from their own religion (Halloween, well, All Saints, is still a big thing in Mexico today). Working its way north, a Hispano-Indian, Roman Catholic mixture of Christianity, superstition and traditional beliefs revived a moribund All Hallows' celebration. Of course, in true folk "recycling" tradition, it is now a ancient celtic mysterious feast, but it just hasn't been ancient for very long :-)

About the Blanche biche, a biche is definitely a doe. A deer is a cerf (red deer) or a daim (a smaller, southerner species).

Finally thanks for the disco & biblio-graphy... That folk songs are published in scouting, children and religious associations' books was so obvious to me that I would even have thought of saying so. Nice to know there are fans of George Brassens too.


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Subject: RE: lyrics request for french folk songs
From: judy
Date: 07 Nov 97 - 03:27 PM

Charles: Right, I'd forgotten Toussaint. But what do they do on Toussaint's Day? Do they dress up, or is it a church thing? I just heard that the Japanese have started celebrating Halloween like we do because some Americans didn't want their kids to miss out and had a parade and trick or treating. Thanks for all the info. about deer. The Halloween information I have is the other way around. Halloween and All Saints Day came from the Celtic new year Samhain. Like you say, the native cultures in Mexico, Central and South America also had celebrations regarding the dead. Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) IS a very big thing where they even go to the gravesite and have a meal. I think I remember somewhere in Asia people are very into taking care of the gravesites and have very elaborate ones; almost like mausoleums.

I've added a thread called Halloween Origins with all the specifics so that the Halloween thread people (and anyone else) can see it. (And it was terribly long and seemed a bit preachy of me). Here's the short version. Info taken from an article by Eric A. Kimmel in the Oct 1980 issue of Cricket Magazine:

Celts: Samhain New Year Festival on Nov 1st Romans (1AD): Feralia Festival end of Oct. Indigenous Peoples: celebration of the dead Christians (800AD): All Saint's or All Hallow's Day (Nov 1st) and All Soul's Day (nov 2nd)


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Subject: RE:
From: Peter T.
Date: 07 Nov 97 - 06:08 PM

Having just returned from France, I can report that the French have discovered Halloween in a big way, thanks to France Telecom, which marketed pumpkins so that they could sell their new cellphone called "OLA" under the ad, "OLAWEEN". Watchers of CNN may have seen the Trocadero (opposite the Eiffel Tower) tricked out in thousands of pumpkins along the contour lines of the landscape -- typical French, develop a new stylistic artistic form. A great debate is raging about whether this represents the latest Americanization or a Celtic rebirth or something to market in the runup to Christmas. Naturally, it is accompanied by handwringing, mingled with the traditional Parisian love of dressing up. Why didn't they discover this before? Adding to the ghoulishness: 300 yards away from the Trocadero, the Japanese tour buses now slowly drive past the Diana death site. Above, a monument to Liberty (the International Herald Tribune donated a facsimile of the flame of the torch of liberty in 1987 which just happens to perch atop the freeway site!) has been coopted by the mourners, who scribble graffiti day and night..... Macabre, mes braves, macabre.... Yours, Peter

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Subject: RE:
From: judy
Date: 08 Nov 97 - 01:02 AM


Love the internet where you ask and it shall be (IS) answered.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req - Bilingual french!
Date: 09 Jan 98 - 03:11 AM

I recall hearing a song on the radio, probably in the the early to mid 70's -- which no one else I know seems to remember. It was sung by (I believe) a male accompanied by an acoustic guitar and little (if anything) else, I think.

The chorus was in French, which I do NOT know, so I won't attempt to mangle it here. However, the verses were in English, bits and pieces of which I remember and I believe this is (roughly) the first verse:

...Mr. Moon flew away in the night His best friend Magnus(?) right by his side They flew through the milky way counting the stars Once around Venus, twice around Mars.

I want to say the chorus involves something about "les petites enfants" as a rhymed couplet with "tout le monde", but I could just be completely insane. (I was very young at the time I heard it and my friends all think I made it up when I sing it to them!)

Any help is mucho appreciado!

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Subject: RE: French Canadian Folk Songs
From: Marie Henault, de Montreal
Date: 21 Oct 98 - 07:27 PM

When I was little (35 years ago), my greatgrandmother, Eva Lefebvre, had a book of French Canadian folk songs from a few hundred years ago - when the French came to Canada. I remember: Meunier, Tu dors. Ton moulin va trop vite. Meunier, Tu dors. Ton moulin va trop fort. Ton moulin ton moulin ton moulin va trop vite, ton moulin ton moulin ton moulin va trop fort. Also, Alouette; Au clair de la lune; Le petit mousse - which I barely remember - had to do with drawing the short straw. And one with Mironton Mironton Mirontaine: ?? s-en va-t-en guerre, Mironton ...

Si vous pouvez continuer, aidez-moi. If you can pick it up, please help me.


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Subject: RE:
From: Dan Calder
Date: 22 Oct 98 - 06:21 AM

I've mentioned this group before, but I can't help but throw in a plug whenever I get a chance. No, I don't get a kick-back, I just happen to think they do a great job on folk tunes. The guys are from the Peterborough, Ontario region, and go by the name of Tanglefoot. I've seen them twice in concert here in Nova Scotia, and I heartily recommend them.

Their web site is:

In response to the topic of this thread, they have a cassette of traditonal French songs based on the fur-trade in Canada. It's called:

Voyageurs & Vagabonds (1989) Tanglefoot's cassette of traditional French-Canadian voyageur songs (Cassette only).



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Subject: RE:
From: Jonathan
Date: 24 Oct 98 - 12:06 PM

Yahoo!Quel pure dead brilliant thread! My advice to anyone in the world all the Malicorne CDs. As far as French music is concerned they are IT, and possibly the best in any language.

If anyone wants I can post 'Perrine etait servante', 'Blanche Niege' 'Voila le Printemps' and any Malicorne, but if they're posted elsewhere let me know and I won't bother. ALSO.... "Buvons un coup, Buvons en deux, a la sante des amoureux, a la sante du roide france, et merde pour le roi d'angleterre Qui nous a declare la guerre."

A bientot.....Jonathan

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Subject: RE:
From: Graeme
Date: 24 Oct 98 - 05:16 PM

On the subject of chansons francaises, does anyone know the lyrics to three songs I learnt at school, back in the early fourteenth century.

They were:

"Dominique" and Entre les étoiles" sung by somebody called the "The Singing Nun" (Around 1966)

"Je suis prisonnier du boulot" - sometime in the sixties, haven't a clue who sang it.

Last one - cabt remember title or singer, but the first couple of lines were:

Qui a eu cette idee faux Pour inventer les ecoles? (x 2) C'est ce sacre Charlemagne Sacre Charlemagne

Fils d'un cochon, le chien

etc etc

Hardly folk songs, but they might make amusing little ditties now the winter evenings are here.........

Bon Chance, mes amis (et amies) du Mudcat!


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Subject: RE:
From: BAZ
Date: 24 Oct 98 - 05:29 PM

The Cornish have a close affinity with the Bretons and they speak a type of French so here you go!
Broder Jaka Broder Jaka
Koska wreth Koska Wreth
De da dibri Pasti de da dibri Pasti
Na borth meth Na borth meth.
Regards Baz

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Subject: RE:
From: Tim Jaques
Date: 24 Oct 98 - 05:38 PM

The French do indeed have pumpkins. They have started growing them around here for Halloween purposes. They are a strange shade of orange and are perfectly shaped for jack o' lanterns.

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From: Jonathan
Date: 25 Oct 98 - 04:30 AM

I'm posting this one anyway, 'cos I like it.


le trente et un du mois d'août (2)
nous aperçûmes sous l'vent à nous (2)
une frégate d'Angleterre
qui fendait la mer et les flots,
c'était pour attaquer Bordeaux.

le capitaine du bâtiment (2)
fit appeler son lieutenant (2)
lieutenant, te sens-tu le courage
dis-moi te sens-tu assez fort
pour prendre l'Anglais à son bord?

le lieutenant, fier et hardi (2)
lui répondit capitaine oui (2)
faites monter tout l'équipage
hardis gabiers, fiers matelots,
faites monter tout le monde en haut

le maître donne un coup de sifflet (2)
en haut larguez les perroquets (2)
larguez les ris, et vent arrière
laissez porter jusqu'à son bord
pour voir qui sera le plus fort

vir' lof pour lof, en arrivant (2)
nous l'avons pris par son avant (2)
à coups de haches d'abordage
des piques et des mousquetons,
nous l'avons mis à la raison

que dira-t-on du grand rafiot(2)
à Brest, à Londres et à Bordeaux (2)
qui a laissé prendre son équipage
par un corsaire de six canons,
lui qui en avait trente, et si bons.

    from Monique:
    Here is the midi for the shanty "Le 31 du mois d'août." According to Jean-Claude Klein (Florilège de la chanson française- Bordas) this song would be one of the many that would tell Surcouf's feats of arms against the British ships in the 19th century. The line "À la santé du roi de France" (to the King of France's health) would indicate that the song was written after Napoleon's Empire.

Click to play

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Subject: RE: Dominique
From: Jackrabbit
Date: 25 Oct 98 - 10:30 PM

Here's the refrain. If I find the rest of the song in the song book I got while at summer school at St Pierre and Miquelon, I'll add them:

Dominique, nique, nique
S'en allait tout simplement
Routier, pauvre et chantant
En tout chemin, en tout lieu
Il ne parle que du bon Dieu,
Il ne parle que du bon Dieu.

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Subject: RE:
Date: 29 Oct 98 - 01:28 AM

I think it was Malbrouck (francization of Marlborough) who went to war (mironton, mironton, mirontaine).

I have a version that I will post tomorrow if nobody beats me to it.

Frank Phillips

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Subject: Lyr Add: JANETON
From: JB3
Date: 29 Oct 98 - 03:26 AM

Rechal, "Avec Mes Sabots" is a lovely folk-song that most French children know. I wish you would post it. I learned it many years ago during the vendage (while cutting the grapes). I also learned "Janeton" from a young french girl named Corinne:

Janeton prends sa faucille
La rirette, la rirette
Janeton prends sa faucille
Et s'en va couper des joncs
Et s'en va couper des joncs

En chemin elle rencontre
Quatre et jeunes et beaux garçons

Le premier un peu timide
Lui chatouille le menton

Le deuxième un peu moins sage
Lui souleva son jupon

Le troisième encore moins sage
L'allongea sur le gazon

Ce que fit le quatrième
N'est pas dit dans la chanson

La morale de cette histoire
C'est que les hommes sont des cochons

La morale de cette morale
C'est que les femmes aiment les cochons!

How this song progresses from a maiden going out to cut corn(?), to meeting up with four less and less mannerly young men, to the conclusion that women love pigs, should probably be translated by someone who speaks French better than I do. As I mentioned, I learned this song from a co-worker while crawling beside or bending over the grapevines. Usually, we worked in pairs, one taking either side of the row. No one seemed to pay much attention to us until we got to the end, when invariably, all the men in the vineyard would stand and lustily sing along with the last verse!

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Subject: RE: pumpkins
From: jo
Date: 29 Oct 98 - 07:19 PM

French farmer friend tells me they've always been around here ( I'm in Normandy). They would be put in crop fields with a lighted candle inside to scare off bad spirits and/or voleurs. Not much to do with music though. Several bands around here doing Quebecois music - La Tuque Bleue, Le Diable dans la Fourche, Mes Souliers sont Rouges.

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Subject: RE:
From: Wolfgang Hell
Date: 30 Oct 98 - 05:10 AM


here's Dominique including an English translation and the music et voilà Sacré Charlemagne (singer: France Gall).


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Subject: RE: lyrics request for french folk songs
Date: 16 Nov 98 - 11:08 PM

Hello everyone. I originally submitted the request for the lyrics for French folk songs back in 1996. In the meantime, someone referred me to the following URL where I found the information I was looking for. In case anyone is interested, please go to this site:

Merci beaucoup!

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