Quebecois Music

Fun with La Bottine Souriante lyrics

So y’all know that fun La Bottine Souriante concert video I posted yesterday? I totally got songvirused by the second song Éric Beaudry sings lead on in that–because the back of my brain kept going “HEY YOU TOTALLY KNOW THIS SONG”.

Except that it doesn’t appear on the later La Bottine albums, the ones M. Beaudry appears on. So it took my audio memory of the melody a bit before it finally went DING and appended “you know this song, but sung by André Marchand“! Turned out I recognized it because it’s “Pinci-pincette”, on the early La Bottine album Y’a ben du changement, and it was in fact on my playlist in iTunes for my favorite La Bottine songs!

‘Cause yeah. As I’ve said before, two of the biggest things I adore about Quebec trad are call-and-response and podorythmie, and this song’s an excellent example. Once I figured out which song it was, I promptly found the words right over here.

Let’s see what happens when I try to read through the lyrics without Google Translate, shall we? Here are bits and pieces of it I can take a guess at without looking them up. Translation attempts behind the fold!

  • “Pinci-Pincette veulent se marier”–assuming “Pinci-Pincette” is a name, “Pinci-Pincette wants to get married”
  • “Mais ils n’ont rien à manger”–“but they have nothing to eat”
  • “Ça je l’sais”–“That I know”
  • “J’aperçois v’nir un grand chien”–ooh, hey, apercevoir! I know that verb! SuperMemo threw it at me! So this is “I see a big dog coming”
  • “Sur son dos une cuite de pain”–“On his back a (something) of bread”
  • “Du pain nous en avons bien”–“Of the bread we have well”? Guh, that’s rough. I’m guessing this is more or less “we are nomming WELL of the bread”. Mmm, bread.
  • “Du vin nous n’en avons point”–Not sure about “point”, but I’m guessing this is more or less “we are having no wine”
  • “Ça je l’vois bien”–“That I see well”
  • “J’aperçois v’nir une souris”–“I see a mouse coming”
  • “Dans ses pattes tournait baril”–Hrmm, I don’t know “tournait baril”, but “dans ses pattes” is “in its paws/feet”
  • “Ça t’as menti”–“That you lied” (assuming this is past tense of “mentir”?)
  • “Du vin nous en avons bien”–Oh okay, maybe the mouse is bringing the wine? Since this is like the bread line above 😀

Ooh okay, now I’m getting the pattern of the song. Next verse: OHNOEZ we have no lard, oh look, here comes a fox (r’nard) bringing some.

And as long as we’re looking for things we don’t have, well GOSH notice how we don’t have any pretty girls (“belles filles”)? I don’t know “chenille”, but whatever that is, it’s bringing fourteen pretty girls on its back.

Don’t know “chameau” either, but that’s bringing fourteen boys on its back.

And OHNOEZ we have no violin players! Well, we can’t have THAT, now can we? Fortunately the rat’s on the case. A large rat, with a violin under its arm. 😀 Except right after that, there’s “Entrez, entrez monsieur Olivier”, which for previously expressed reasons involving this guy, cannot help but make me LOL.

Unsurprisingly, since a rat’s just shown up in this song, a cat’s mentioned next. It’s in “l’grenier”, but I don’t know what “grenier” is.

And the last two verses lose me completely.

As “little kid on her training bike” translation efforts go, not too bad, though! I did at least get a broad sense of the song!

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