"My mother used to sing this song when I was a child, she had learned it at school." -Monique

La chanson de Roland - French Children's Songs - France - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image


Lyrics: Maurice Bouchor (1855 - 1929)
Music: Folk tune from the Basque Country.

* Durandal (or Durendal) is the name of Roland's mythic sword.


Of course, the actual battle didn't happen this way. Charlemagne's rearguard was indeed annihilated at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass - not by Saracens but by Vascones who lived in the North of Spain. This song was inspired by the romanticized version of the battle described in "La Chanson de Roland", the oldest surviving major work of French literature.


Sheet Music

Sheet Music - La chanson de Roland

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Monique Palomares for contributing, translating this song (with Lisa) and for the comment and mp3.

Image: Cover of "La Chanson de Roland, texte critique, traduction et commentaire, grammaire et glossaire" (1890) by Léon Gautier.

Merci beaucoup !