Here is the version I know of this song, from memory. I probably left out some accents and/or put them in where they don't belong, and I may have otherwise misspelled a word or two.
I know written French well enough to have translated the song from the songbook where I found the lyrics. (They may also have had a translation in the book.) But as I am largely an auditory processor, and as French is a language which has many homophones, my memory of the song is mostly of the sound of the lyrics and their meaning -- not a visual memory of how the words are spelled.
Perhaps, given the translation along with the words I remember, you folks who are more fluent in French can correct my spelling or inadvertent word substitution. (BRW, I believe the tense changes from verse to verse were in the version I saw printed -- not my additions.)
Also, if anyone knows the source of this version of the story -- e.g., is it traditional or is the author known? --, please share your information.
LE REYNARD ET LE CORBEAU
(traditional [?] French folk song)
Un jour maître corbeau, sur un arbre perché,
One day master crow, perched in a tree,
Tenait dedans son bec un fromage glacé.
Held in his beak a [frosted?] cheese.
Le Capitan Reynard, attiré par l'odeur,
Captain Fox, attracted by the scent,
L'accoste poliment pour un propos flatteur.
Accosts him politely with a flattering proposition.
Sur l'air du tra la la la,
Sur l'air du tra la la la,
Sur l'air du tra de-ri-de-ri-de-ra,
Tra la la.
"Mes sinceres compliments, chèr Monsieur Le Corbeau!
"My sincere compliments, dear Mr. Crow!
Dans ses chic habit noir, ah! que vous êtes beau!
In your chic black suit, ah! how beautiful you are!
Et si vôtre ramage égale vos [atteur?],
And if your voice is eaual to your attire,
Vous êtes le phenix de forêt d'allentour[s]!"
You are the phoenix of the forest all around!"
L'corbeau, ravi d'avoir un auditeur de choix,
The crow, hungry to have a willing audience,
Ouvre son large bec pour mieux montrer sa voix.
Opens his big beak to show his voice better.
Le bon fromage--elas!--[a terre n'a fis qu'n sault!]
The good cheese --alas!--can only fall to the ground!
Le reynard s'en saisit, et l'corbeau fut tres sot!
The fox grabs it, and the crow is very upset!
Car l'autre se regale et, sur un ton moquer,
For the other [is proud of himself] and, in a mocking tone,
Lui dit, "Maître Corbeau, gardez-vous des flatteurs!
Tells him, "Master Crow, beware of flatterers!
Je vous joue un bon tour et --parbleu! -- c'est bien fait!
I play[ed] a good trick on you and -- by heaven! -- it was done well!
Bonsoir! J'avais grand faim, et l'fromage est parfait!"
Good evening! I am very hungry and the cheese is perfect!"