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Chansons de Charles Trenet

Charles Trenet Songs


Charles Trenet (1913-2001), was a French singer and songwriter. He was most famous for his recordings from the late 1930s until the mid-1950s, though his career continued through the 1990s. In an era in which it was unusual for a singer to write their own material, Trenet wrote prolifically and declined to record any but his own songs.

His best known songs include "Boum!", "La Mer", "Y'a d'la joie", "Que reste-t-il de nos amours?", "Ménilmontant" and "Douce France". His catalogue of songs is enormous, numbering close to a thousand. While many of his songs mined relatively conventional topics such as love, Paris, and nostalgia for his younger days, what set Trenet's songs apart were their personal, poetic, sometimes quite eccentric qualities, often infused with a warm wit. Some of his songs had unconventional subject matter, with whimsical imagery bordering on the surreal. "Y'a d'la joie" evokes joy through a series of disconnected images, including that of a subway car shooting out of its tunnel into the air, the Eiffel Tower crossing the street and a baker making excellent bread. The lovers engaged in a minuet in "Polka du Roi" reveal themselves at length to be "no longer human": they are made of wax and trapped in the Musée Grévin. Many of his hits from the 1930s and 1940s effectively combine the melodic and verbal nuances of French song with American swing rhythms.

Many of his songs have been used in movies.

Further info can be found in his entry in Wikipedia


Click here for the song "Le soleil et la Lune" with words visible.

Click here for a computer animation of the song "Le soleil et la lune"

Click here for the song "Boum" with the words in French.

Click here for the song "La Mer"

Click here to watch the end of Mr Bean's Holiday featuring Trenet's song "La Mer"

Le Soleil et la Lune

  1. Sur le toit de l´hôtel où je vis avec toi
    Quand j´attends ta venue mon amie
    Que la nuit fait chanter plus fort et mieux que moi
    Tous les chats tous les chat tous les chats
    Que dit-on sur les toits que répètent les voix
    De ces chats de ces chats qui s´ennuient
    Des chansons que je sais que je traduis pour toi
    Les voici les voici les voilà...

    Le soleil a rendez-vous avec la lune
    Mais la lune n´est pas là et le soleil l´attend
    Ici-bas souvent chacun pour sa chacune
    Chacun doit en faire autant
    La lune est là, la lune est là
    La lune est là, mais le soleil ne la voit pas
    Pour la trouver il faut la nuit
    Il faut la nuit mais le soleil ne le sait pas et toujours luit
    Le soleil a rendez-vous avec la lune
    Mais la lune n´est pas là et le soleil l´attend
    Papa dit qu´il a vu ça lui...

    2. Des savants avertis par la pluie et le vent
    Annonçaient un jour la fin du monde
    Les journaux commentaient en termes émouvants
    Les avis les aveux des savants
    Bien des gens affolés demandaient aux agents
    Si le monde était pris dans la ronde
    C´est alors que docteurs savants et professeurs
    Entonnèrent subito tous en chœur


    3. Philosophes écoutez cette phrase est pour vous
    Le bonheur est un astre volage
    Qui s´enfuit à l´appel de bien des rendez-vous
    Il s´efface il se meurt devant nous
    Quand on croit qu´il est loin il est là tout près de vous
    Il voyage il voyage il voyage
    Puis il part il revient il s´en va n´importe où
    Cherchez-le il est un peu partout...

La mer

La mer

Qu'on voit danser le long des golfes clairs
A des reflets d'argent
La mer
Des reflets changeants
Sous la pluie

La mer
Au ciel d'été confond
Ses blancs moutons
Avec les anges si purs
La mer bergère d'azur

Près des étangs
Ces grands roseaux mouillés
Ces oiseaux blancs
Et ces maisons rouillées

La mer
Les a bercés
Le long des golfes clairs
Et d'une chanson d'amour
La mer
A bercé mon cœur pour la vie

The sea

The sea,
We see dancing along the shores of clear bays,
Shimmers with silver
The sea
Changing shimmers
Under the rain

The sea
With the summer sky
Mix up her white horses
With the angels so pure
The infinite azure shepherdess

By the ponds
Those big wet reeds
Those white birds
And those rusty houses

The sea
Has cradled them
Along the shores of clear bays
And with a love song
The sea
Has rocked my heart for life

"Boom", by Charles Trenet (original version)

Verse 1:

The clock goes tic toc tic tic 
The birds of the lake quick quack quick quick 
Gobble gobble gobble go all the tom turkeys 
And the pleasing bells bing bang bong


When our hearts go Boom 
Everything about it says Boom 
And it's love which is awakened

It sings "love in bloom" 
To the rythym of that Boom 
Which repeats Boom to the ears

Everything has changed since yesterday 
And on the street are eyes which look from the windows 
There are lilacs and there are open hands 
Over the ocean the sun will be rising

The daytime stars go Boom 
Everything about it says Boom 
When our hearts go Boom Boom

Verse 2:

The wind in the woods goes whoo oo oo 
The does at bay go baa aa aa 
The broken dishes go crick crick crack 
And the wet feet go flip flip flap


When our hearts go Boom 
Everything about it says Boom 
The bird says Boom, it's the thunderstorm

The lightning that he makes goes Boom 
And the good Lord says Boom 
In his throne of clouds

For my love is more lively 
Than lightning, lighter than a bird, a queen bee 
And if it goes Boom, if it colors itself 
It will carry us away with the marvels

The whole world goes Boom 
The whole universe goes Boom Boom 
Because my heart goes Boom Boom 
I hear only Boom Boom 
That always goes Boom Boom... 
Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom