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Christmas Songs and Carols

Originally, Christmas songs were joyful and sung as a round celebrating both the Nativity of Christ and nature and daily life. In villages and châteaux, both rich and poor alike sang to chase away the dark Winter nights.

Today, singing remains the most beautiful instrument to transmit the Christmas spirit. Christmas songs are called "des Noël" or "des chants de Noël" in French.

The translations given below are literal translations. Remember that songs never turn from one language into another very well ...after all, they are designed to rhyme in the original! That's why the translation of even the familiar English carols is a little different in French.

Perhaps you can come up with better translations - if you can, send it to me!
crib


Il est né le divin Enfant
Il est né le divin Enfant !
Jouez, hautbois, résonnez, musettes;
Il est né le divin Enfant;
Chantons tous son avènement.
Depuis plus de quatre mille ans
Nous le promettaient les prophètes :
Depuis plus de quatre mille ans
Nous attendions cet heureux temps !...
The Divine Child is born.
The Divine Child is born
Make the oboes and accordeons resound
The Divine Child is born
Let's all sing about His coming.
For more than four thousand years
The prophets have foretold His birth
For more than four thousand years
We have waited for this happy moment....

sapin

Mon beau sapin

Titre original:
"O Tannenbaum"

"Mon beau sapin, roi des forêts
Que j'aime ta verdure !
Quand par l'hiver, bois et guérets
Sont dépouillés de leurs attraits
Mon beau sapin, roi des forêts
Tu gardes ta parure.

Toi que Noël planta chez nous
Au saint anniversaire,
Mon beau sapin, comme il est doux
De te voir briller par nous,
{variante:
Mon beau sapin, comme ils sont doux
et tes bonbons et tes joujoux}
Toi que Noël planta chez nous
Scintillant de lumière.

Mon beau sapin tes verts sommets
Et leur fidèle ombrage
De la foi qui ne ment jamais
De la constance et de la paix.
Mon beau sapin tes verts sommets
M'offrent la douce image

My beautiful Christmas tree.

My beautiful Christmas tree, king of the forest
How I love your leafy green
When, during winter, woods and fields
Lose their attractive colours
My beautiful Christmas tree, king of the forest
You keep your leafy finery.
You whom Christmas put among us
On the holy day
My beautiful Christmas tree, how sweet it is
To see you shine brilliantly among us.
(Variation)
My beautiful Christmas tree, how sweet are
Your decorations and your toys
You whom Christmas put among us
Sparkling with light.
My beautiful Christmas tree, your green branches
And their faithful shade
Remind me of the faith that never lies
Of constancy and peace
My beautiful Christmas tree, you green branches
Give me this beautiful picture.

santa sleigh
Le petit renne au nez rouge

Quand la neige recouvre la verte Finlande,
Et que les rennes traversent la lande,
Le vent dans la nuit
Au troupeau parle encore de lui ...
On l'appelait "Nez rouge"
Ah! Comme il était mignon
Le petit renne au nez rouge
Rouge comme un lumignon
Son petit nez faisait rire
Chacun s'en moquait beaucoup
On allait jusqu'à dire
Qu'il aimait boire un petit coup.
Une fée qui l'a entendu
Pleurer dans le noir
Pour le consoler, lui dit :
"Viens au paradis, ce soir.
Comme un ange, Nez rouge
Tu conduiras dans le ciel
Avec ton petit nez rouge
Le chariot du Père-Noël".

Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer
The little reindeer with the red nose.

When snow covers green Finland
And the reindeer cross the vast forests
The night wind Still tells the herds about him ....
People called him "red nose" Oh! He was just so cute...
The little reindeer with the red nose
Red just like a shiny candle
His little nose made everyone laugh;
Everyone made fun of him
They even went as far as whispering
That he used to like his drink!
A fairy heard him Crying in the dark
To console him, she said:"Come to paradise tonight.
Like an angel, red nose, You will guide among the stars
With your little red nose, Santa's sledge."


wise menDe bon matin

 

 

This Christmas Carol is about the Three Kings or Wise Men travelling across the desert with their armed guards and servants.

De bon matin J’ai rencontré le train
De trois grands Rois Qui allaient en voyage
De bon matin J’ai rencontré le train
De trois grands Rois Dessus le grand chemin
Venaient d’abord Des gardes du corps
De gens armés Avec trente petits pages
Venaient d’abord Des gardes du corps
De gens armés Dessus leurs justaucorps.

Early one morning I came across the caravan
Of three great Kings Who were going on a journey
Early one morning I came across the caravan
Of three great Kings On the main highway
Firstly came The bodyguards
Of the knights With thirty little pageboys
Firstly came the body guards of the knights
Armed to the teeth over their surcoats.


 

 

Bienvenue!
 

CONTENTS

Il est né le divin Enfant

Silent Night

Mon beau sapin

Rudolph the red nosed reindeer

Du bon matin

OTHER CHRISTMAS LINKS

A "grand repas" at Christmas

The Yule Log is the origin of the famous cake, Bûche de Noël.

 

 

 

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