French Nursery Rhymes: Au Clair de la lunePosted through Elizabeth Schmermund ~ above Mar 16, 2018 in Culture, Music


A pair of main ago, I wrote a nursery rhyme v an exciting origin. That comptine, as nursery rhymes are well-known in French, might not have been as acquainted to English speaker as the one I’m writing around today.

You are watching: Au clair de la lune translation


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Courtesy the Pixabay.


The melody the “Au Clair de la lune” is probably familiar to most people around the world. It’s a simple melody, and one the is frequently taught to beginners learning musical instruments. “Au Clair de la lune,” interpreted as “By the light of the Moon,” is additionally famous for one more reason. That is the topic of the oldest recording in the world.

In 2008, the new York Times published an post on the recent rediscovery the the oldest recording in the world. It was actually a 20-second recording of a male singing “Au Clair de la lune” really slowly…in 1860. And that guy was Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville, the inventor that the phonautograph, which to be the earliest sound recording device.

The phonautograph used a horn, i beg your pardon vibrated a bristle. The bristle then inscribed an image of the sound trends on a black-coated cylinder. The phonautograph wasn’t capable of playing earlier sounds, but was able to inscribe “visual” photos of sounds that can then be reconstructed. That predated Edison’s invention of the phonograph by approximately 30 years.

You deserve to listen to this very first recorded sound and also learn a bit much more about just how the phonautograph functioned here:

As for “Au Clair de la lune,” it dates to eighteenth century, and so that is no an incredibly ancient French people song. The author and also composer space unknown. It speak the straightforward story of a man named Lubin who is questioning his neighbor, Pierrot, for a quill so that he have the right to write a letter. Pierrot responds that he doesn’t have actually one, however that Lubin should ask the neighbor, a friendly brune (brunette), instead. Lubin knocks on her door, and also she invites him in. The door turn off behind them, through the pointer that lock are searching for a quill and then a candle or lamp, but find love instead.

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The lyrics space below, in French and also English:


“Au clair de la lune,Mon ami Pierrot,Prête-moi ta plumePour écrire un mot.Ma chandelle est morte,Je n’ai to add de feu.Ouvre-moi ta portePour l’amour de Dieu.”

Au clair de la lune,Pierrot répondit :“Je n’ai pas de plume,Je suis dans mon lit.Va chez la voisine,Je crois qu’elle y est,Car dans sa cuisineOn bat le briquet.”

Au clair de la lune,L’aimable Lubin;Frappe chez la brune,Elle répond soudain :–Qui frappe de la sorte?Il dit à son tour :–Ouvrez votre porte,Pour le Dieu d’Amour.

Au clair de la lune,On n’y voit qu’un peu.On chercha la plume,On chercha du feu.En cherchant d’la sorte,Je n’sais c’qu’on trouva;Mais je sais qu’la porteSur eux se ferma


“By the irradiate of the moon,My friend Pierrot,Lend me her quillTo compose a word.My candle is dead,I have no light left.Open your door because that meFor the love of God.”

By the light of the moon,Pierrot replied:“I don’t have any type of pens,I am in mine bedGo come the neighbor’s,I think she’s thereBecause in she kitchenSomeone is bright the fire.”

By the light of the moonLikeable LubinKnocks top top the brunette’s door.She all of sudden responds:– Who’s knocking favor that?He then replies:– open up your doorfor the God that Love!

By the light of the moonOne could barely see.The pen to be looked for,The light was looked for.With all that lookingI don’t understand what was found,But i do recognize that the doorShut chin on them