Un flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle

Georges de la Tour (1593-1652)-

Today I’m doing another installment on my series about French Christmas carols with “Un flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle,” a traditional sixteenth century Provençal favorite. To In English, it appeared on the scene in the 18th century as “Bring a torch, Jeanette, Isabella.” Here are the lyrics and my literal translation. Apparently, Georges de la Tour was inspired by this carol to paint the canvas, above. It hangs in the musée des Beaux-Arts in Rennes, France, and the other paintings here are from the Louvre.

CerisesUn flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle (A torch, Jeannette, Isabelle)
Un flambeau, courons au berceau. (A torch, let’s run to the cradle.)
C’est Jésus, bonnes gens du hameau, (It’s Jesus, good people of the hamlet)
Le Christ est né, Marie appelle (Christ is born, Mary’s calling)
Ah! Ah! Que la mère est belle (Ah ! Ah ! How beautiful the mother is)
Ah! Ah! Que l’Enfant est beau. (Ah ! Ah ! How beautiful the baby is.)

Qui vient là frappant de la porte (Who comes there knocking on the door)
Qui vient là frappant comme ça. (Who comes there knocking like that.)
Ouvrez donc j’ai posé sur un plat (Open then, I’ve put on a platter)
De bons gâteaux qu’ici j’apporte. (Good cakes that here I bring.)
Toc! Toc! Ouvrez-nous la porte  (Knock ! Knock ! Open the door for us)
Toc! Toc! Faisons grand gala (Knock ! Knock ! Let’s have a great party)
Mary Jesus 3
C’est un tort quand l’Enfant sommeille (It’s wrong when the Child sleeps)
C’est un tort de crier si fort. (It’s wrong to shout so loud.)
Taisez-vous l’un et l’autre d’abord, (Be quiet, first one and then the other,)
Au moindre bruit Jésus s’éveille (At the least noise Jesus wakes)
Chut! Chut! Il dort à merveille (Shush ! Shush ! He’s a wonderful sleeper)
Chut! Chut! Voyez comme Il dort. (Shush ! Shush ! See how he sleeps.)

Doucement dans l’étable close (Gently in the enclosed stable)
Doucement venez un moment (Gently come a moment)
Approchez! Que Jésus est charmant, (Approach ! How charming Jesus is,)
Comme il est blanc, comme Il est rose (How white he is, how pink he is)
Do! Do! Que l’Enfant repose (Hush ! Hush ! How the Baby rests)
Do! Do! Qu’Il rie en dormant. (Hush ! Hush ! How he laughs while sleeping.)

61-0zMh2FIL__SL75_The French Christmas Album, Volume 2

About Patricia Gilbert

Patricia Gilbert is a French teacher. She's Canadian, lives in the United States, but dreams of living in France. Follow her on Instagram @Onequalitythefinest and on Twitter @1qualthefinest.
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3 Responses to Un flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle

  1. We used to sing this one when I was younger. I was trying to remember the words the other day but couldn’t… Thank you for posting!

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