Question about a Recording of “A La Claire Fontaine”

M. Katul wrote:

At the end of the film “The Painted Veil” currently playing in theaters, a group of children, off camera, sang the French children’s song “A La Claire Fontaine”.

How can I find out who made that recording and whether or not it is available for purchase?

Thank you.

M. Katul

The Choir of the Beijing Takah sang “A La Claire Fontaine” in the movie “The Painted Veil”. Unfortunately, the song does not seem to be on the soundtrack CD of the movie. When I checked on Amazon, it’s not listed on the CD and someone specifically said in a review that this song is not on the CD. I also checked iTunes and they are not currently selling the song.

All I can suggest is to either check back at iTunes from time to time in the hope that they will eventually sell this song, or buy the movie on DVD when it comes out, and get the song from the DVD (if that’s possible).

You can find the lyrics and sheet music to “À la claire fontaine” and a clip of what it sounds like, on my Mama Lisa’s World page. It’s not the recording you’re looking for, but it’s something!

If anyone has any other suggestions, please comment below.

I hope this helps!


This article was posted on Wednesday, January 24th, 2007 at 6:05 pm and is filed under Children's Songs, China, Countries & Cultures, France, French, French Kids Songs, Languages, Movies, TV & The Internet, Music, Questions, Recordings of Songs. 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.

46 Responses to “Question about a Recording of “A La Claire Fontaine””

  1. Lisa Says:

    Here you can find a list of the cast and crew of The Painted Veil, including the singers of all the songs. (Click the link.)

  2. Iris Says:

    A recording can be found from the Chinese search engine,, since the song was sung by Shang Wenjie, the winner of the Chinese singing talent show “’06 Super Female Vocalist” and who recently graduated as a major in French.

    The song is called 梦之浮桥(A La Claire Fontaine), from the soundtrack of the film “The Painted Veil(?纱),” and is sung by 尚雯婕 (Shang Wenjie). It is not the same as the one featured in the film, as it excludes the voices of the Choir of the Beijing Takah

    Click here to download the mp3 from that site.

  3. Sansel Says:

    I have just watched the movie, thanks a lot for the link. It is a Quebec folk song, here are the lyrics:


    À la claire fontaine, m’en allant promener,
    J’ai trouvé l’eau si belle que je m’y suis baigné.
    Il y a lontemps que je t’aime, jamais je ne t’oublierai.
    Sous les feuilles d’un chêne, je me suis fait sécher.
    Il y a lontemps que je t’aime, jamais je ne t’oublierai.
    Sur la plus haute branche, un rossignol chantait.
    Il y a lontemps que je t’aime, jamais je ne t’oublierai.
    Chante, rossignol, chante, toi qui as le coeur gai;
    Tu as le coeur à rire, moi je l’ai à pleurer.
    Il y a lontemps que je t’aime, jamais je ne t’oublierai.
    J’ai perdu mon ami sans l’avoir mérité.
    Pour un bouquet de roses que je lui refusai.
    Il y a lontemps que je t’aime, jamais je ne t’oublierai.
    Je voudrais que la rose fût encore au rosier,
    Et que mon douce ami fût encore à m’aimer

    (The last line was different I changed as sang by Shang Wenjie)

  4. Lisa Says:

    At YouTube you can see a video of this being sung in
    Chinese and French. Click the link below, it’s nice!

    Chinese version “A La Claire Fontaine” by Laure Shang for movie “The Painted Veil” 制作:尚三亲?队

  5. John Nelson Says:

    Thank you very much for providing some background to that wonderful song. If you ever find the exact recording as used in the film, please do let us all know.

  6. Lisa Says:

    I believe you can find it at YouTube – a very low recording with scenes from the movie. I don’t know how long it will be there, but, here’s the link…

  7. sian Says:

    Hi Lisa,
    I can’t found this song. Do you have?

  8. Lisa Says:

    The lyrics and an mp3 recording of À la claire fontaine are on my site – you can click the link to get to it.

  9. Josiah Says:

    where can i find the french version by her besides youtube?

  10. willians Medeiros Says:

    NOTE FROM MAMA LISA BEFORE THE COMMENT – I received this comment below – with a link to download the song – the link is a direct download so if you click on it you’ll be downloading the song. I’m not familiar with the source of the download – so download at your own risk! Though I downloaded it and haven’t had any problems so far. -Mama Lisa


    Here is the music, quite perfect. Oh Mom!! ;-)

    Click here to download the mp3 from that site

  11. JJ Says:

    I recently found this download through google.

    As you can see, this is the French version of A La Claire Fontaine sung by Shang Wenjie.

    It’s the full song. The file seems fine. (Click the link for the download from that site.)


  12. Demian Almada Says:

    For those interested I somehow managed to download the original song from Ares just by typing in the search bar ‘a la claire fontaine’. The quality of the file isn’t exactly great and a voice, which I think belongs to Naomi Watts, can be clearly heard. Anyway, if you can’t download it, I’ll kindly send it to those interested in having the song.

  13. Mark Nelson Says:

    You can find that and other French folk tunes sung most beautifully by Nana Mouskouri on her album Vieilles chansons de France. Go to Amazon. com and look for ASIN: B00008FJ3X

    ~ Mark Nelson ~

  14. Polar Bear Says:

    I finally tracked down the actual recording used in the movie.

    Based on this

    production notes file

    you will see that there are two credits for the song ‘A La Claire

    The relevant recording comes from

    La Compil’ des petits minous – vol 2
    A sample MP3 is available.

  15. lulu Says:

    Polar Bear is definitely right. It is the exact version played in the movie. However, how can we download or buy it somewhere?

  16. Polar Bear Says:

    If you carefully examine the Musicreche site, you will see that you can
    use their on-line ordering system to immediately download an MP3 version
    of the entire 2-CD set for 12 Euros (~ $17.58US).

    With the help of Google’s on-line language translation tools, I was able
    to translate enough of the Web pages to successfully order and download
    the MP3 version without knowing any French.

  17. Anders Says:

    hey polar bear, i have tryed to download/buy it from the musicreche to but i only seam to be able to download/buy the whole album, can you please step by step guid me so i can get only the song.

    thank you

  18. Della Says:

    I think he downloaded the whole album but the mp3 version.
    I want the song, badly, buy I cannot download it. :(

  19. coletsky Says:

    Actually, I listened to the excerpt on musicreche — and though it’s a lovely version it doesn’t seem to be the same one as in the film — this version is sung by an adult.

  20. Gerald Says:

    The movie version with a female adult and children choir trading verses doesn’t seem to be available.

    I believe the version from Musicreche is sung by Laure Shang.
    Its available on iTunes for 99 cents.

  21. Izzy D Says:

    Here is an mp3 recording of “a la claire fontaine” with the Choir of Beijing Takah, along with 尚雯婕 (Shang Wenjie, aka Laure Shang), winner of the 2006 China Supergirl Contest.

  22. Polar Bear Says:

    Anders and Della, yes, I had to download the entire 2-CD set. I did not see any way to download just the single track of interest.

  23. Polar Bear Says:

    Coletsky, the song I am referring to appears during the burial scene near the end of the movie (near the 01:55:00 mark) and is sung by a single adult female voice with a single child female voice during the refrains. The only instrumental accompaniment is a single piano. A YouTube video clip of the scene is available here.

  24. Polar Bear Says:

    Gerald, Laure Shang Wen Jie’s version on iTunes is performed by a single female voice accompanied by a single piano. However, there is no additional voice during the refrains as found in the song that appears in the movie. In addition, at least according to iTunes, Shang’s iTunes version is published by Bailin Sporting & Cultural Disseminated Company and not by AKCS (AKCS appears to operate the Musicreche web site).

  25. Polar Bear Says:

    Izzy D, the MP3 file you refer to is merely an excerpt from the movie soundtrack. You can still hear Naomi Watts’s dialog (“What are you doing?”) at approximately the 00:00:52 mark. I suspect the MP3 file was probably extracted from the YouTube video clip I referenced earlier and was simply incorrectly named when posted on the Internet.

  26. Polar Bear Says:

    Now that I have all this nitpicking out of the way, I just wanted to mention that, in the movie, the song becomes much more poignant once you know the lyrics. This is especially true when you go back and re-watch the two bracketing scenes in the floral shop.

  27. HappyD Says:

    Polar Bear, is the recording you downloaded from Musicreche the exact version from the movie? Does it have the single adult, single child, and piano?

  28. Polar Bear Says:

    HappyD, yes, the audio track I downloaded from the Musicreche site is the exact recording used as the basis for the movie track. There is a single adult female voice accompanied by a single piano with a child female voice joining in during the refrains. The same tempo change in the last refrain is unmistakably the same in both the audio track and the movie track.

    Note that the audio track was extended in the movie post-production such that the first two stanzas are repeated at the end of the movie track. This was done, presumably, to lengthen the original audio track to fit the movie sequence. In addition, they sweeten the movie track a bit by adding the faint sound of a nightingale at the end of the movie track. This is a nice touch once you know the lyrics to the song.

  29. Says:

    Hi everyone,

    We are the producer of the original song used in The painted veil : A la claire fontaine.
    The song is available to download on our website :
    We woud like to thank you all for the interest you’ve shown into our production.
    You can also watch the Clipounet of the song on our broadcasting website

    A bientot,

    L’équipe de

  30. Sachiboo Says:

    Thank you Musicreche for providing this information, very much appreciated. I loved this version of ‘A la claire fontaine’ and can listen to this song all the time. I thank you.

  31. Harriet Says:

    How do I download the song from the Musicreche website? It seems I can only download the 2 cd album. Is there another way? Instructions in English would be helpful.

  32. poppyurchin Says:

    this is the exact version found on youtube but not a scene from the movie. this version however is also a karaoke. now you can learn the exact words to the song. this was just aded in response to the scene version of this song.

  33. Yun Says:

    The link from Willian Medeiros, i think it was, works fine. Yes there is dialogue at around 00:52-00.54, but if you have a sound editing studio you can edit this section out and the song is fine! Voile!

  34. Anna Says:

    does any one have the song sheet or a piano accompaniment to this song? or rather, the link to one? i’d like to teach my children how to sing it in french!

  35. Polar Bear Says:

    Anna, you can find it on this site right here.

  36. Tony Says:

    Just a quick note, I was able to download the the movie version of the song from iTunes. Search for A La Claire Fontaine and download the version with the artist listed as Les Petits Minous.

  37. Linda Says:

    Yes – a magical song – you can also find the exact movie version mp3 on – A la claire fontaine artist – Les Petit Minous – 89cents.

  38. Shirley Says:

    This song is up on itunes now. I bought it about an hour ago! I absolutely LOVE IT!

  39. Thu Says:

    I’ve seen the song “French Lullaby” on Youtube. It’s verry good. How can I download the mp3 of this song?
    Please forgive me for my bad English :D

  40. Lisa Says:

    Which song are you trying to download?

  41. Brad Savage Says:

    The first time I heard a version of this song was in a program on the channel HDNet called “InFocus: Visions”, about halfway through an episode entitled “Visions of France: The Riviera”. I wish I knew whose beautiful voice sings this version, which runs 1:40, does not include all verses, and may have been recorded specifically for this 2004 program. The episode is part of a series that presents beautiful helicopter shots set to majestic music, much of it classical. This version of “A La Claire Fontaine” does not sound quite like what others have described here. It features an adult female singer with simple synth strings, electric piano, and bass. Very soothing, with aerial views of the TGV train, St. Raphael, and Ile d’Or. I wish I could share it.

  42. Glee Says:

    This version of “A La Claire Fontaine” in ‘The Painted Veil’ is NOT sung by the Chinese star Shang Wen Jie. It is by N. POREBSKI/L. DESCAMPS. The children’s part is sung by THE CHOIR OF THE

  43. Coline Says:

    During the funerals, A la claire fontaine is sung by Nicole Porebski and Lila Descamps.
    You can find it here :

  44. Bond Says:

    Les Petits Minous sold at itunes for .99 A la claire fontaine shang wen jie and beijing takah choir! Finally found it!

  45. Tim Says:

    Anyone know where I can get the sheet music/tabs for the version sung by Shang Wen-jie?

  46. Monique Says:

    Tim, she sings the trad version that we have on Mama Lisa’s World France page (lyrics, English translation, midi, mp3 and sheet music) You can find a score with tabs here

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