Lyrics

La Fontaine (The Fountain)

Au borde d'une fontaine je me suis reposée
Je me suis reposée au bord d'une fontaine
Au bord d'une je me suis reposée
Et l'eau était si claire que je me suis baignée

Et l'eau était si clair que je me suis baignée
Je me suis baignée et l'eau était si claire
L'eau était si claire que je me suis baignée
Avec des feuilles de chêne je me suis essuyée

Dessus la plus haute branche le rossignol chantaite
La rossignol chantaite dessus la plus haute branche
Dessus la plus haute branche la rossignol chantaite
Chante, belle rossignol, et toi a le coeur gai

Oui, je l'attends, je l'attends
Je l'attends que mon coeur aime
Oui, je l'attends, je l'attends
Je l'attends celle que mon coeur aime tant

Jean, mon ami, a la guerre et allé
A la guerre et allé Jean, mon ami
Jean, mon ami, a la guerre et allé
Pour un bouton de rose que je lui refusaiw

Je voudrais que la rose fut encore en rosier
Encore en rosier je voudrais la rose
Je voudrais que la rose fut encore en rosier
Et que mon ami, Jean, fut ici à m'aimer

Translation from French to English

By the side of a fountain I took my rest
And the water was so clear that I bathed in it

The water was so clear that I bathed in it
And I dried myself with the leaves of an oak tree

From the very topmost branch, the nightingale was singing
Sing on, pretty nightingale, you are the one who has a happy heart

John, my friend, to the war has gone
Because of a rosebud which I refused from him

Yes, I will wait, I will wait, I will wait
I will wait for the one my heart loves
Yes, I will wait, I will wait, I will wait
I will wait for the one my heart loves so much.

I wish that the rose were still on the bush
And my friend John were here to love me

By the side of a fountain I took my rest
And the water was so clear that I bathed in it

Words: traditional French, adapted by Connie Dover
Music: Connie Dover
From the CD, If Ever I Return, by Connie Dover © Taylor Park Music/Connie Dover

The words to this song can be traced to 1704, when they were published in Christopher Ballard's Brunettes et Petits Airs Tendre, under the title "A La Claire Fontaine." I have blended verses from Normandy and the islands of Guernsey and Jersey to create this version, for which I have composed a new melody. My source for all of the lyrics is Peter Kennedy's wonderful collection, Folksongs of Britain and Ireland.


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