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French Folk Music
Geoff Grainger
Last updated: 10.12.23

Freré Jaques is not the only French song that English men and women know!

Having expressed trepidations in listing Maori music, I admit to having even greater trepidations when considering the closeness of my Gallic neighbours! At least the Maoris are half a world away from me in Germany. Most of the listed French songs were all acquired from popular German songbooks and that coupled with my appalling atrocious French (my English/Worcestershire accent being as thick congealed lead dumplings) the outcome must be compellingly doubtful. French being the first foreign language acquired as an 11-year old schoolboy had something quite "classy" about it, especially with a working-class background. With my at that time new won knowledge, the then very popular Charles Trenet song, La Mer, a hit in the late 1940's and heard constantly on steam radio, took on a larger-than-life meaning. A little later whilst listening clandestinely, late at night when I should have been asleep, to Edith Piaf, who I somehow imagined to look like Brigitte Bardot, on good old Radio Luxembourg brought me to the conclusion than "chansons" were not only "classy" but quite special.
Be all that as it may, I did have the opportunity of "singing" most of them to an odd couple (a middle-aged Irishman married to a middle-aged Frenchwoman on their first visit to Germany in 1996) who managed to get themselves lost in Vegesack and who landed up in Treppchen hosted by Rolf Gawehn. I think they were so bemused by the whole affair they weren't especially critical. They only recognised "Sur le pont d'Avignon", the other songs being unknown to them. I will probably have to wait for another 3 years before having another bash.

Geoff Grainger, Bremen-Vegesack, January 2001

  Title Composer Sequencer
  Midi File(s)    
audiomidi15.gif Alouette   Unknown
audiomidi15.gif Chevaliers de la table ronde   Frank Petersohn
audiomidi15.gif En passant par la Lorraine   Unknown
audiomidi15.gif Sur le pont d'Avignon   Frank Petersohn
     Title Audio Files Remarks
french15.gif Ah! Les crocodiles   nlyrics.gif
french15.gif Ah! Vous dirai-je, mamam   nlyrics.gif
french15.gif Alouette  audiomidi15.gif nlyrics.gif
french15.gif Chevaliers de la table ronde  audiomidi15.gif nlyrics.gif
french15.gif En passant par la Lorraine  audiomidi15.gif nlyrics.gif
french15.gif Filles à marier   nlyrics.gif
french15.gif La Mer   nlyrics.gif
french15.gif Plaisir d'amour   nlyrics.gif
french15.gif Soir d'octobre   nlyrics.gif
french15.gif Sur le pont d'Avignon  audiomidi15.gif nlyrics.gif
     Title Performer Composer
youtube15.jpg Ah! Les crocodiles (3:10) Comptines et chansons
youtube15.jpg Ah! Vous dirai-je, mamam (2:166) Comptines et chansons
youtube15.jpg Alerte! Alerte! (2:45) Ida Vaudère C. Gounod
youtube15.jpg Alouette (2:23) Comptines et chansons
youtube15.jpg Chanson des Moissonneurs (2:44) Phillip Sear G. Bachmann
youtube15.jpg Chevaliers de la table ronde (3:27) Les Rats d'Swompe
youtube15.jpg En passant par la Lorraine (2:29) Comptines et chansons
youtube15.jpg English Lesson (2:57) Yvonne Printemps N. Coward
youtube15.jpg I'll Follow My Secret Heart (3:27) Yvonne Printemps N. Coward
youtube15.jpg  La femme à barbe (3:11) Henriette Leblond Unknown
youtube15.jpg La fille de Madame Angot (2:35) Ida Vaudère C. Lecocq
youtube15.jpg La grande mélie (2:13) Henriette Leblond R. Casabianca
youtube15.jpg La Mer (4:12) Charles Trenet
youtube15.jpg La Périchole (2:56) Yvonne Printemps J. Offenbach
youtube15.jpg Mon Colonel (2:33) Yvonne Printemps J. Offenbach
youtube15.jpg Nevermore (3:17) Yvonne Printemps N. Coward
youtube15.jpg Parle-moi de ma mère (2:13) Ida Vaudère
Edmond Gluck
G. Bizet
youtube15.jpg Plaisir d'amour (2:55) Joan Baez J. Martini
youtube15.jpg Plaisir d'amour (4:31) Yvonne Printemps J. Martini
youtube15.jpg  Sur le pont d'Avignon (2:32) Comptines et chansons
youtube15.jpg Sur le Pont D'Avignon & Vive la Compagnie! (4:34) Nancy Tyler arr. Jean Chatillon J. Chatillon