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C'était en avril un dimanche

Language: French (Français)

C'était en avril un dimanche
Oui, un dimanche, 
J'étais heureux.
Vous aviez une [jolie]1 robe blanche
Et deux gentils brins de pervenche.
Oui, de pervenche;
Dans [vos]2 cheveux [brins de pervenche.

Nous étions assis sur la mousse.
Oui, sur la mousse;
Et sans parler nous regardions l'herbe,
L'herbe qui pousse, et la feuille verte,
Et l'ombre douce, oui, l'ombre douce,
Et l'eau couler.

Un oiseau chantait sur une branche,
Oui, sur la branche.
Puis, il s'est tu, j'ai pris dans ma main
Ta main blanche,
C'était en avril un dimanche,
Oui, un dimanche, t'en souviens tu ?]3

Translation(s): ENG ENG

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View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Chaminade.
2 Chaminade: "le"
3 omitted by Chaminade

Submitted by Guy Laffaille [Guest Editor] and Ferdinando Albeggiani


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , copyright © 2017

Text added to the website: 2008-06-11.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:59
Line count: 19
Word count: 97

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It was a Sunday in April

Language: English after the French (Français)

It was a Sunday in April
Yes, a Sunday;
I was happy.
You wore a pretty white dress
And two sweet sprigs of periwinkle.
Yes, of periwinkle;
In your hair were sprigs of periwinkle.

We sat upon the moss
Yes, on the moss;
And without speaking we looked at the grass,
The grass that was growing, and the green leaves,
And the gentle shade, yes, the gentle shade,
And the flowing water.

A bird sang upon a branch,
Yes, upon a branch.
Then it fell silent, and I took in my hand
Your white hand;
It was a Sunday in April,
Yes, a Sunday - do you remember?

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About the headline (FAQ)

Translated titles
"Chanson du printemps" = "Song of spring"
"T’en souviens-tu ?" = "Do you remember?"
"C'était en avril" = "It was in April"


  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2017 by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive --

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.

    licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net
    (licenses at lieder dot net)

Based on
  • a text in French (Français) by Edouard Jules Henri Pailleron (1834 - 1899), "Chanson", appears in Avril, Chansons et poèmes, first published 1864
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Ella Adaïewsky, Alfredo-Antonio-Maria Barbirolli, Cécile Chaminade, Sergei Vasil'yevich Rachmaninov, Mathilde, Baroness Willy de Rothschild. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2017-01-19.
Last modified: 2017-01-19 14:47:30
Line count: 19
Word count: 108