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Auprès De Ma Blonde

By Thomas Keyes
Nov. 15, 2008

Auprès de ma Blonde (Beside my Blonde) is a merry little ditty, verging on being a nursery song, that is probably familiar to most people all over the world. It is sung merrily that is, but if you take the words seriously, it's not so jolly and gay. It's a song about a French girl whose husband has been taken captive by the Dutch, and all the things she'd give to have him back.

It dates back to the time of King Louis XIV, in the 17th century. There are dozens of versions and variations in existence, and it is impossible to reproduce the 'correct' one. I've tried to reconcile the ones that I've found, leaning towards the version I learned originally, in 1989, when I was living in Los Angeles. By no means am I an authority on the French language, hoping only that I have not made any grammatical blunders. Here then is my version of the French lyrics:

Auprès de ma Blonde

Dans le jardin d'mon père
Les lilas sont fleuris.
Dans le jardin d'mon père
Les lilas sont fleuris.
Tous les oiseaux du monde
Viennent y faire leurs nids.

Refrain:

Auprès de ma blonde
Qu'il fait bon, fait bon, fait bon,
Auprès de ma blonde
Qu'il fait bon dormir.

La caille, la tourterelle
Et la jolie perdrix,
La caille, la tourterelle
Et la jolie perdrix,
Et ma blanche colombe
Qui chante jour et nuit.

Refrain

Elle chante pour les filles
Qui n'ont pas de maris.
Elle chante pour les filles
Qui n'ont pas de maris.
Elle ne chante pas pour moi
Car j'en ai-t-un joli.

Refrain

Dites-nous donc, La Belle,
Où donc est votre mari?
Dites-nous donc, La Belle,
Où donc est votre mari?
Il est dans la Hollande.
Les hollandais l'ont pris.

Refrain

Que donneriez vous, Belle,
Pour avoir ton mari?
Que donneriez vous, Belle,
Pour avoir ton mari?
Je donnerais Versailles,
Paris et St. Denis,

Refrain

Les tours de Notre Dame
Et les clochers d'mon pays,
Les tours de Notre Dame
Et les clochers d'mon pays
Et ma blanche colombe
Qui chante jour et nuit.

Refrain

Here's my own translation:

In my father's garden
The lilacs are in bloom.
In my father's garden
The lilacs are in bloom.
All the birds of the world
Come there to make their nests.

Refrain:

Beside my blonde,
How nice it is, nice it is, nice it is!
Beside my blonde,
How nice it is to sleep!

The quail, the turtledove
And the pretty partridge,
The quail, the turtledove
And the pretty partridge,
And my white pigeon
That sings day and night.

Refrain

She sings for the girls
That don't have husbands.
She sings for the girls
That don't have husbands.
She doesn't sing for me,
For I have a handsome one.

Refrain

Tell us then, Beautiful,
Where then is your husband?
Tell us then, Beautiful,
Where then is your husband?
He is in Holland.
The Dutch have captured him.

Refrain

What would you give, Beautiful,
To have your husband?
What would you give, Beautiful,
To have your husband?
I would give Versailles.
Paris and St.Denis,
Refrain

The towers of Notre Dame
And the belfries of France,
The towers of Notre Dame
And the belfries of France,
And my white pigeon
That sings day and night.

Sheet music for voice and mandolin can be seen here:

http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/mandolin-tab/Aupres_De_Ma_Blonde.htm

The melody can be heard here. Just scroll down to where it says, "French: Auprès de ma Blonde", and click:

http://www.saturn-soft.net/Music/Music1/MIDI/Folk2/Menu.htm

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About the author Thomas Keyes: I have written two books: A SOJOURN IN ASIA (non-fiction) and A TALE OF UNG (fiction), neither published so far.

I have studied languages for years and traveled extensively on five continents.

Visit my website here.

Email: udikeyes@yahoo.com


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