Great Big Sea

Calling all Francophone Great Big Sea fans!

My Great Big Box of XX Goodness–more on this coming in my next post–arrived today! And it should surprise ABSOLUTELY NO ONE who has been paying attention to my passionate love of Quebecois trad this year that I am all over “Le Bon Vin”, the French song included in this box set!

The notes on this thing say that this song was originally recorded for the album The Hard and the Easy, about which I am hugely delighted since it’s yet another reason for me to be super-fond of that album. It wasn’t included at the time because Alan wasn’t comfortable with his French, apparently! But the notes also say that the B’ys got coaching in their French diction from a girl from New Brunswick, and as near as I can tell, she did a good job. I mean, at least to my Anglophone ears. ;D Online Quebecer friends of mine tell me Alan’s accent sounds quite bad to them, but on the other hand, friends in New Brunswick (I’m looking at YOU, userinfobrightbeak!) tell me that from the standpoint of French spoken in Newfoundland, Alan’s accent is saner.

Me, speaking as an Anglophone fangirl with a watered-down Kentucky accent who’s deeply nervous about unleashing what I’m doing to French on any actual Francophones without direct permission, I just want to figure out the lyrics to this delightful thing so I can sing along. 😀

Because I love this song. I LOVE IT SO. It’s weird to hear French lyrics without machine-gun podorythmie to support them (which is what I have trained my ear to expect with all of this Quebec trad I’m listening to), but it does have Séan’s rapid-fire bodhran which is ALWAYS awesome! And that explosion of instruments and Bob cutting loose on the accordion and full-throated harmony a couple verses in! And Alan letting out with a roar of “OH!” tearing into the bridge! This, my children, is what a Great Big Sea song for me is goddamn ABOUT in ANY language! 😀

But unfortunately the box set does NOT include lyrics to it! So I am resorting to Mother Google to see if I can cobble together a lyrics transcription. I found this version and this version of the song, which are more or less giving me the chorus and the first couple of verses. But it’s sounding to me like Alan’s diverging hard from either of these lyrics sets.

And I call upon you, any fellow Great Big Sea fans who are better at French than I am, help me figure out these lyrics! Here’s what I’ve got–who can check me over and see what I’ve gotten wrong? And I KNOW this isn’t perfect, I was just aiming for a reasonable approximation of what it sounds like I’m hearing, and hopefully those of you with better French can sharpen this up! 😀

Le bon vin m’endort, l’amour me réveille
Le bon vin m’endort, l’amour me réveille encore!

En passant par Paris, caressant la bouteille (bis)
Un de mes amis me dit à l’oreille, bon, bon, bon

Un de mes amis me dit à l’oreille (bis)
Prends bien garde à toi, à l’on poursuivre la belle, bon, bon, bon

Poursuit qui la vous, moi, je m’ai maux que d’elle (bis)
J’ai couché trois en l’ennui avec elle bon, bon, bon

Il y a trois garçons tous trois capitaines (bis)
L’un à Bordeaux, et l’autre à La Rochelle bon, bon, bon

L’un à Bordeaux, et l’autre à La Rochelle (bis)
L’autre à Versailles, à belle la connait bon, bon, bon

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