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Les goëlands

Language: French (Français)

Un brick appareillat dans un des ports de Nantes,
Et des femmes en pleurs, des mères, des amantes
Erraient dans les rochers, tout le long de la mer;
Puis, dansant une ronde, elles chantaient cet air:
Ce matin, à marée haute,
Les jeunes gens du Croizic
Vont s'embarquer sur leur brick;
Mes soeurs, chantons sur le côte,
Goëlands, goëlands,
Ramenez-nous nos amants.

Les blancs oiseaux volaient par milliers sur les lames,
De la terre au navire, et des marins aux femmes,
Ils allaient, revenaient, passaient en tourbillons
Sur la ronde plaintive et dans les pavillons.
Goëlands, aux ports d'Espagne,
Guidez nos chers matelots,
Et parlez leur sur les flots
Des filles de Bretagne.
Goëlands, goëlands,
Ramenez-nous nos amants.

Le Brick ouvre sa voile; adieu! l'ancre est tirée,
Il part, en s'inclinant vers une autre contrée.
Les fidèles oiseaux l'ont suivi: mais, hélas!
Les femmes vers la mer tendaient en vain les bras.
Suivez, suivez leur voyage,
En Espagne, en tous pays!
Ne craignez pas leurs fusils
Les amis au blanc plumage.
Goëlands, goëlands,
Ramenez-nous nos amants.

Translation(s): ENG

List of language codes

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]


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

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Faith J. Cormier) , title 1: "The gulls", copyright © 2004, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:22
Line count: 30
Word count: 176

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The gulls

Language: English after the French (Français)

A brig was being readied for the sea in one of the ports of Nantes, 
and weeping women, mothers and sweethearts, 
wandered on the rocks beside the sea. 
Dancing in a ring, they sang this tune. 
This morning at high tide,
the lads of Croizic 
will be embarking on their brig. 
Sisters, let us sing on the shore. 
Gulls, gulls, 
bring back our sweethearts. 

Thousands of white birds flew over the waves, 
from the land to the ship, from the sailors to the women. 
Back and forth they whirled 
over the plaintive round and among the flags. 
Gulls, guide our dear sailors 
to the Spanish ports 
and speak to them, on the waves, 
of the Breton girls. 
Gulls, gulls,
bring back our sweethearts. 

The brig spreads its sails. Adieu! The anchor is raised. 
Off they go to another land. 
The faithful birds followed, but alas! 
The women stretched out their arms to the sea in vain. 
Follow, follow their voyage, 
to Spain or wherever else they may go. 
Don't fear their guns, 
white-feathered friends. 
Gulls, gulls, 
bring back our sweethearts.

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  • Translation from French (Français) to English copyright © 2004 by Faith J. Cormier, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.


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Based on


Text added to the website: 2004-11-16.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:10
Line count: 30
Word count: 180