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Lyr Req: Le Petit Mercelot

DigiTrad:
ALOUETTE
AUPRES DE MA BLONDE
CHEVALIERS DE LA TABLE RONDE
FRERE JACQUES
LE TEMPS DES CERISES


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Eric the Streetsinger 14 Sep 04 - 01:28 PM
Mrrzy 14 Sep 04 - 01:41 PM
Mrs.Duck 14 Sep 04 - 01:48 PM
Mrs.Duck 14 Sep 04 - 01:50 PM
Eric the Streetsinger 14 Sep 04 - 02:14 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Sep 04 - 12:17 AM
Mrs.Duck 15 Sep 04 - 08:27 AM
Malcolm Douglas 15 Sep 04 - 10:12 AM
Eric the Streetsinger 15 Sep 04 - 12:41 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Sep 04 - 01:03 PM
Wilfried Schaum 16 Nov 04 - 09:58 AM
Wilfried Schaum 16 Nov 04 - 09:59 AM
Eric the Streetsinger 03 Feb 07 - 11:43 PM
Monique 05 May 08 - 05:59 PM
GUEST,RA 01 Feb 17 - 06:59 PM
Jim Dixon 06 Feb 17 - 12:27 AM
Jim Dixon 06 Feb 17 - 12:58 AM
Mrrzy 06 Feb 17 - 10:27 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Le Petit Mercelot
From: Eric the Streetsinger
Date: 14 Sep 04 - 01:28 PM

I've been listening to Martin Simpson's "Band of Angels" album, and absolutely love the song "Le Petit Mercelot" without having a clue as to
what its about! Does anyone have an English translation of the lyric? I couldn't find it on Digitrad...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Le Petit Mercelot
From: Mrrzy
Date: 14 Sep 04 - 01:41 PM

Are you sure it isn't Le Petit MATELOT? Just checking...


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Subject: ADD: Le Petit Mercelot
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 14 Sep 04 - 01:48 PM

Le Petit Mercelot

C'était un petit marcelot
Lon lon la que dit-on de l'amour ?
C'était un petit marcelot
Roulant sa marchandise

S'en est allé de dans un bourg
Où il y avait 3 filles
En voilà une, en voilà deux
Voilà la plus jolie

Il la plia, il la replia
La mit dans sa valise
La mère sitôt qu'il fut parti
Se mit à sa poursuite

Qu'as tu donc là, petit marcelot
Qu'as tu dans ta valise ?
J'ai des couteaux, j'ai des ciseaux
Bien d'autres marchandises

Tu m'a menti, petit marcelot
C'est une de mes filles
Tu la rendras petit marcelot
Où tu perdras la vie
Tant que j'aurai mon sabre en main
Je défendrai ma mie !

Cette chanson figure sur
le CD "Des chansons et
des enfants".
En savoir plus.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Couldn't even find the word 'mercelot' in the dictionary but did find the above song - does it sound like it might be the same? If so its about a peddler who tries to steal a young girl away from her mother by putting her in his suitcase. Mother is not fooled and threatens to kill him if he doesn't let her out.

"Le Petit Mercelot" (Click to play)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Le Petit Mercelot
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 14 Sep 04 - 01:50 PM

No Mrrzy the song title on Simpsons album is definitely Le Petit Mercelot.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Le Petit Mercelot
From: Eric the Streetsinger
Date: 14 Sep 04 - 02:14 PM

The spelling may be different, but this is definitely the lyric for
Simpson's song. Do you know of any sites that offer French translations? As sung on the Simson album, the song has a trememdous
sadness about it- thanks for giving me the general storyline!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Le Petit Mercelot
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 12:17 AM

Supposed to be a union of a popular song by Michel Le Cam and a trad piece. No translation found.

The old children's song, from Haute-Bretagne, can be heard in a sound clip here (lyrics given): Le petit Marcelot


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Le Petit Mercelot
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 08:27 AM

That's the site I got the lyrics from Q. It isn't clear from the text whether the young girl is still in one piece although with the mention of knives etc it may not be the case which would explain the sadness of Simpsons version. The meaning of the word 'mercelot' or 'marcelot' would appear to be some sort of travelling salesman or pedlar who in this case carries his wares around in a large suitcase.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Le Petit Mercelot
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 10:12 AM

The word will be a diminutive, perhaps dialectal, form of mercier, I should think. The song indicates that the girl has been folded; no mention of cutting. The knives and scissors are just typical stock-in-trade. I'd think it a mildly (rather typically French) comic song on the whole, and not at all sad; though of course the melody could easily be made to sound melancholy.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Le Petit Mercelot
From: Eric the Streetsinger
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 12:41 PM

I went to the French site and downloaded the MP3 and was floored by just how different the song is! The "Band Of Angels" version is slow, moody,
very moving, while the French version is just a light, airy children's melody! Malcolm, your description of the song being comical would certainly be correct with that version.


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Subject: Lyr Add: LE PETIT MARCELOT (trad. Breton)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 01:03 PM

Lyr. Add: LE PETIT MARCELOT
(Breton, traditional)

C'était un petit marcelot
Lon lon la que dit-on de l'amour?
C'était un petit marcelot
Roulant sa marchandise.

S'en est allé de dans un bourg
Où il y avait 3 filles
En voilà une, en voilà deux
Voilà la plus jolie.

Il la plia, il la replia
La mit dans sa valise
La mère sitôt qu'il fut parti
Se mit à sa poursuite.

Qu'as tu donc là, petit marcelot
Qu'as tu dans ta valise?
J'ai des couteaux, j'ai des oiseaux
Bien d'autres marchandises.


Tu m'a menti, petit marcelot
C'est une de mes filles
Tu la rendras petit marcelot
Où tu perdras la vie
Tant que j'aurai mon sabre en main
Je défendrai ma mie!

Le petit Marcelot
Reproduced here because these sites for cds are often short-lived. From the cd "Des chansons et des enfants," by Gens de Lorraine. Traditional songs with ancient instruments, with texts of the songs in the booklet. Might be a good one for those interested in old French Songs. At the link, click on the cd cover to get details.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Le Petit Mercelot
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 09:58 AM

Looking up Larousse's Grande Encyclopédie I found no entry for marcelot, but for mercelot: a pedlar in small books in the 18th century (article: colportage).
In our French-German dictionaries it is mercerot (petit mercier - you guessed right, Malcolm): a pedlar/peddler in haberdashery = a wandering dealer in yard/piece goods. This would suit the scissors in the song very well (brit./am., the dict. gives different words for both sides of the pond).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Le Petit Mercelot
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 09:59 AM

Add.:
In an older dictionary it is haberdasher, mercer.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Le Petit Mercelot
From: Eric the Streetsinger
Date: 03 Feb 07 - 11:43 PM

Revisiting an old thread - finally found a loose translation - here it is:

It was small a merchant
Lon lon it which said is love?
It was small a merchant
Rolling its goods.

Went itself from there in a borough
Where there were 3 girls
In here one, here are two
Here prettiest.

It folded it, it folded up it
Put in its bag
The mother as soon as that it had left
Put itself at its continuation.

That you thus have there, small marcelot
What do you in your bag have?
I have knives, I have birds
Many other goods.


You lied me, small marcelot
It is one of my daughters
You will make it small marcelot
Where you will lose the life
As long as I will have my sabre in hand
I will defend my crumb!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Le Petit Mercelot
From: Monique
Date: 05 May 08 - 05:59 PM

In Le Robert "Dictionnaire historique de la langue française" they give "mercerot" as a word from the 13th century meaning haberdasher and the word connoted commiseration so far the 18th century. Then it fell into disuse.

In French "petit" may mean "short" "small" "little" "young" "mean"…
I don't know how to translate "roulant sa merchandise" but it means that he would take his goods wherever he went.
In his bag /suitcase, he has scissors "ciseaux", not birds "oiseaux" (must have been a typo somewhere!)
Last word " mie" is not related to "mie" = "crumb", it's an archaic short for "amie" = literally "female friend", but "ma mie" would mean "my beloved"

There's another verse after the last one above
"L'aurai ce soir à mon coucher.
Bonsoir la compagnie."

Literal translation:

There was a young haberdasher
Lon lon la, what do people say about love?
There was a young haberdasher
Rolling (?) his goods.

Went into a borough
Where there were 3 girls

Here is one, here are two
Here is the prettiest.

He folded her, folded her up,
Put her in his bag (suitcase)

The (her) mother, as soon as he left,
Ran after him.

What do you have there, young haberdasher?
What do you have in your bag?

I have knives, I have scissors,
(And) many other goods.

You lied, young haberdasher,
It's one of my daughters

You'll give her back, young haberdasher
Or you will loose your life.

As long as I'll have my saber in hand
I will defend my beloved!

I'll have her when I go to bed
Good evening everybody.

"Le Petit Mercelot" (Click to play)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Le Petit Mercelot
From: GUEST,RA
Date: 01 Feb 17 - 06:59 PM

The French group Tartine de Clous have a version of this on their recent LP 'Sans Folklore'


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Subject: Lyr Add: LE PETIT MERCELOT
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 06 Feb 17 - 12:27 AM

From Recueil de Chansons Populaires, by Eugène Rolland (Paris: Maisonneuve et Cie., 1883), page 167:


LE PETIT MERCELOT

C'était un petit mercelot
    Lon lon la
Que dit-on de l'amour ?

C'était un petit mercelot
Qui va de bourg en ville
    Lon la
Qui va de bourg en ville.

Il a demandé à loger
Où il y avait trois filles.

En voilà une, en voilà deux,
Voilà la plus gentille.

Donnez-la-moi à mon coucher
Je vous donnerai cent livres.

Tu ne l'auras, p'tit mercelot,
Ni pour cent ni pour mille.

Le p'tit mercelot fut fin
Dans sa malle il l'a mise.

Elle n'était pas bien emballée
On vit la jupe grise.

Qu'as-tu donc là, p'tit mercelot,
Dans ta malle gentille ?

Ce sont des couteaux et des ciseaux,
Des anneaux pour les filles.

T'as menti, p'tit mercelot,
C'est une de nos filles.

Tu la rendras, p'tit mercelot,
Ou tu perdras la vie.

Tant que j'aurai mon sabre en main
Je combattrai ma vie.

Bouilly (Loiret.) — Chanson communiquée par M. J. Poquet.


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Subject: Lyr Add: LE PETIT MERCELOT
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 06 Feb 17 - 12:58 AM

From Littérature Orale et Traditions du Nivernais: Chants & Chansons Populaires, Vol. 2 : Chansons Anecdotiques by Achille Millien & Jean-Grégoire Pénavaire (Paris : Ernest Leroux, 1908), page 277 :

UN PETIT MERCELOT

C'était un petit mercelot,
    Bon bon bon.
Que dit-on, que l'amour c'est bon,
C'était un petit mercelot.

Avec sa marchandise,
Avec sa marchandise,
    Lonla,
Avec sa marchandise.


Il s'en y va dedans un bourg,
Où y a trois jolies filles.

En voilà une, en voilà deux.
Voilà la plus petite.

C'est celle-là la plus jolie,
Cell' que mon cœur désire.

Le mercelot fut bien adroit,
Dans sa balle il l'a mise.

Il ne fut pas dedans le bois,
Trois garçons le poursuivent.

— Arrête, arrêt', p'tit mercelot,
Tu emport' une fille!

Tu la rendras, p'tit mercelot,
Ou tu perdras la vie.

— Tantque j'aurai mon sabre en main,
Je défendrai ma mie.

(Henri Laurent, Buley, 1842).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Le Petit Mercelot
From: Mrrzy
Date: 06 Feb 17 - 10:27 AM

Lovely song - one of the translations has "mie" (in this context, sweetie) as Crumb, but it's (maybe also but I think instead) the word for the soft inside of the bread, in contrast to the crunchy outside. Pain de mie has no crunch to its outsides, but a good baguette would.

Mercerie is where you get cloth, like to make your own clothes, and needles and threads etc. Thimbles. Notions, I guess.

So a mercelot would be a traveling salesman of such notions, so yeah, haberdasher would fit.

Also I would translate the folding line as He folded her once, he folded her twice...


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