(French) C’est L’aviron

(A voyageur song which originated in France.)

Curtis & Loretta Version:

RW Version: 

French:
M’en revenant de la jolie Rochelle,
M’en revenant de la jolie Rochelle,
J’ai rencontré trois jolies demoiselles.

Chorus:
C’est l’aviron qui nous mène, qui nous mène,
C’est l’aviron qui nous mène en haut.

J’ai rencontré trois jolies demoiselles
J’ai rencontré trois jolies demoiselles
J’ai point choisi, mais j’ai pris la plus belle.

J’ai point choisi, mais j’ai pris la plus belle
J’ai point choisi, mais j’ai pris la plus belle
J’l’y fis monter derrièr’ moi, sur ma selle.

J’l’y fis monter derrièr’ moi, sur ma selle
J’l’y fis monter derrièr’ moi, sur ma selle
J’y fis cent lieues sans parler avec elle.

J’y fis cent lieues sans parler avec elle
J’y fis cent lieues sans parler avec elle
Au bout d’cent lieues, ell’ me d’mandit à boire.

Au bout d’cent lieues, ell’ me d’mandit à boire
Au bout d’cent lieues, ell’ me d’mandit à boire
Je l’ai menée auprès d’une fontaine.

Je l’ai menée auprès d’une fontaine
Je l’ai menée auprès d’une fontaine
Quand ell’ fut là, ell’ ne voulut point boire.

Quand ell’ fut là, ell’ ne voulut point boire
Quand ell’ fut là, ell’ ne voulut point boire
Je l’ai menée au logis de son père.

Je l’ai menée au logis de son père
Je l’ai menée au logis de son père
Quand ell’ fut là, ell buvait à pleins verres.

Quand ell’ fut là, ell’ buvait à pleins verres
Quand ell’ fut là, ell’ buvait à pleins verres
A la santé de son père et sa mère.

A la santé de son père et sa mère
A la santé de son père et sa mère
A la santé de ses soeurs et ses frères.

A la santé de ses soeurs et ses frères
A la santé de ses soeurs et ses frères
A la santé d’celui que son coeur aime.

English:

Riding along the road to Rochelle City,
Riding along the road to Rochelle City,
I met three girls, and all of them were pretty

Chorus:
Pull on the oars as we glide along together,
Pull on the oars as we glide along.

By chance I chose the one who was the beauty,
By chance I chose the one who was the beauty,
Lifted her up so she could ride beside me.

With never a word we rode along together,
With never a word we rode along together,
After a while, she said, “I’d like a drink, sir.”

Quickly I found a spring from out the mountain,
Quickly I found a spring from out the mountain,
But she’d not drink the water from the fountain.

On then we went to find her home and father,
On then we went to find her home and father,
When we got there, she drank… but not of water.

Many a toast she drank to her dear mother,
Many a toast she drank to her dear mother,
Toasted again her sister and her brother.

When she had drunk to sister and to brother,
When she had drunk to sister and to brother,
Turning to me, she toasted her own lover.

3 thoughts on “(French) C’est L’aviron

  1. Rachel MacDonald

    That’s really not a correct translation, but I guess it is the English version people sing. Here, I’ll do it: “On my way back from the lovely Rochelle, I happened upon 3 pretty maidens. (chorus) It’s the rowing that leads us to the heights. (verses again) I met 3 pretty maidens. I didn’t choose any, but I took the prettiest. I had her mount up behind me on my saddle. I went 100 leagues without talking to her. At the end of 100 leagues, she asked me for a drink. I took her near a fountain. When she got there, she wouldn’t drink anything. I took her to the home of her father. There, she drank full glasses! To the health of her father and mother . To the health of her sisters and brothers. To the health of the one who her heart loves.” Serves him right for taking a pretty maiden without asking if she wanted to go with him!!! I’m not convinced that Rochelle is a city :) Written like that I’m thinking that he has a girl in another port :) Peace, Rachel.

    Reply
    1. RBW Post author

      Songs that are correctly translated from one language to another fall into two classes: The ones which are translated literally and can’t be sung, and the ones that are singable but are not entirely accurate translations. As singable translations go, this one is actually pretty good. :-) I’m not sure it was ever passed on in tradition in English; I suspect this has more Edith Fowke than oral transmission in its past….

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s