A later and more popular version of this song is Ne pleure pas Jeannette.

Pernette is a diminutive for the feminine form of Pierre.

Notes

(1) Alternate line "Tralalalalala lalalala".
(2) An old form of the word for a spinning wheel –now called "rouet".
(3) Literally, "my friend Pierre". At that time "friend" could mean "beloved/sweetheart" depending on the context.
(3) Popular name for snowball tree or bush (Viburnum opulus roseum), literally "thousand flowers"
(4) New shoot, sprout.

This ballad is a well-known version of an ancient song that can be traced back as early as the 15th century in a manuscript kept at the BNF (National Library of France). The song is supposedly older than that.

It's a "chanson de toile" (literally, "song of canvas/linen") since it was supposed to be sung by women while they were weaving or doing some needlework.

For those who know French, there's a long study of the song from the late 19th century in which each line is given with explanations and variants.

Comments

Monique wrote, "When I was a child, I learned this song up to the line, 'Hang me too'."

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Sheet Music

Sheet Music - La Pernette se lève

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Thanks to Monique Palomares for sharing this song with us and for the midi and score. Translation by Monique and Lisa.

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