The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #119315   Message #2586682
Posted By: ClaireBear
11-Mar-09 - 05:50 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req/Add: Partons, la Mer est Belle
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What is this French song?
Hi Mary,

The song is called "Partons la mer est belle."

I am starting this translation with the Google translator so pardon the clumsy wording, but I do know the song so I think I can tweakj it so it's pretty close (though not singable of course).

The song is a lot prettier in French. I heard Holly Arntzen sing it at the Vancouver Folk Festival back in the '70s and have never forgotten it, but I can't exactly find her words online. I seem to recall that the version she sang was her father's; the lyrics listed online in multiple places as traditional are a bit different and I don't like them quite as well, so I'm giving you a translation of hers instead.

Let me know if you want the French version of these lyrics and I'll see what I can do.


Let's go out, the sea is beautiful
Friends, let us leave quietly;
The full moon will give us
most of the night to fish.
It is vital that before the dawn
We are back in port
So that we can admire again
The splendors of the day.

Let's go out, the sea is beautiful;
Let us embark, fishermen,
Let us guide our boat,
Let us row hard.
To the poles let's raise the sails,
The sky is clear and beautiful,
I see the shining star
That leads our oars.

So sang my father
As he left the port.
He was not expecting at all
To find death out there.
By winds, by the storm
He was surprised suddenly
And in cruel shipwreck
He submitted to his fate.


I have only my mother now
Who does nothing;
She is wrappedin misery,
And I am her only support.
Let's row, let's row swiftly,
Because I see her there,
I see her beckoning to me
With her arms outstretched.

I hope that helps.