The Happy Birthday Song in France


The Happy Birthday to You song was taken out of copyright on Tuesday! This is particularly great because people all over the world sing the song in both English and their own languages.

When I studied in France, the couple I lived with sang the Happy Birthday song in English at birthday celebrations.  I asked Monique Palomares, who’s from France, whether she sings the Happy Birthday song in French or English.  Here’s her response…

"We usually sing both versions.  Now it also depends if it’s younger or older people. People my age tend to sing it in French because it’s the way we learned it. Younger people would probably sing it in English too because it sounds ‘younger and more modern’."

Here’s the Happy Birthday song in French.  It’s sung to the same tune as the English song…

Joyeux anniversaire !

Joyeux anniversaire !
Joyeux anniversaire !
Joyeux anniversaire, [nom] !
Joyeux anniversaire !

You can hear it below…

Please share the version of the Birthday Song you sing in your country in the comments below.  Do you sing it to the same tune as the English version?

-Mama Lisa

Monique Palomares works with me on the French and Spanish versions of Mama Lisa’s World.

Image: "Birthday Cake" by Fir0002. Under license CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

This article was posted on Thursday, September 24th, 2015 at 2:57 pm and is filed under Birthday Songs, Countries & Cultures, English, France, French, Happy Birthday to You Song, Holiday Songs, Languages, USA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Responses to “The Happy Birthday Song in France”

  1. Talia Says:

    i like this website, i got to sing it to my french teacher cause its his birthday

  2. Lisa Marie Says:

    In Quebec, a modified version of the chorus of Gilles Vigneault’s song “Gens du Pays” is often sung to celebrate a person, for example on a birthday (in the specific case of the birthday, the idea was explicitly introduced by Gilles Vigneault, Yvon Deschamps and Louise Forestier at the song’s 1975 introduction)
    Mon cher ami (or Ma chère amie), c’est à ton tour de te laisser parler d’amour.
    (“My dear friend, it’s your turn / To let yourself be lovingly spoken to.”)

    Alternatively, “ami(e)” (friend) is replaced with the name of the person being celebrated.

    For instance, at René Lévesque’s funeral, mourners outside the church broke out singing “Mon cher René, c’est à ton tour, de te laisser parler d’amour”

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