Mama Lisa's World
International Music & Culture
À la claire fontaine
(French Kids Song)
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The word "fontaine" can refer to a fountain or a natural spring. In this song it's referring to a spring.

À la claire fontaine
At the Clear Spring
Chanson enfantine
(French)
Children's Song
(English)

À la claire fontaine - French Children's Songs - France - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World, Intro Image


À la claire fontaine,
M'en allant promener
J'ai trouvé l'eau si belle
Que je m'y suis baigné

Refrain :
Il y a longtemps que je t'aime
Jamais je ne t'oublierai

Sous les feuilles d'un chêne,
Je me suis fait sécher
Sur la plus haute branche,
Un rossignol chantait

Refrain

Chante rossignol, chante,
Toi qui as le cœur gai
Tu as le cœur à rire,
Moi je l'ai à pleurer

Refrain

J'ai perdu mon amie,
Sans l'avoir mérité
Pour un bouquet de roses,
Que je lui refusai.

Refrain

Je voudrais que la rose,
Fût encore au rosier
Et que ma douce amie
Fût encore à m'aimer.*

Refrain

At the clear spring,
As I was strolling by,
I found the water so nice
That I went in to bathe.

(Chorus)
It's so long I've been loving you,
That I'll never forget you.

Under an oak tree,
I dried myself.
On the highest branch
A nightingale was singing.

(Chorus)

Sing, nightingale, sing,
Your heart is so happy.
Your heart feels like laughing,
Mine feels like weeping.

(Chorus)

I lost my beloved
Without deserving it
Over a bouquet of roses
That I refused to give her.

(Chorus)

I wanted the rose
To stay on the rosebush,
And for my sweet love
To be still loving me.

(Chorus)
 
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Notes

*There's another version of the last 2 lines:

Et que le rosier même
À la mer fût jeté.


(And that the rosebush
Be thrown into the sea.)


Photos & Illustrations

À la claire fontaine - French Children's Songs - France - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World, Comment Image

Comments

There's a Quebecoise and a Creole version of this song.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Jade Kite for contributing this song and to Monique Palomares for the midi music and for the photos of the spring in Croatia. Translation by Monique Palomares and Lisa Yannucci.

Thanks also to Tiphaine Woerth for recording this song for Mama Lisa's World.

Merci!

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