À la claire fontaine Printable Lyrics – PDF

À la claire fontaine”, meaning “By the clear fountain” is an old traditional French song originating from a 15th century poem. Both the poet and the composer are unknown.

As is the case with traditional culture, more than five hundred versions of the song can be found. Its popularity spread from France to Belgium and Canada, especially in Quebec and the Maritimes; there is testimony that Champlain’s men sang it since 1608. The song was also used as the national anthem of New France during the Patriot Revolt in 1838.

Although it’s a children’s song, it has and adult theme, which is not at all rare at all (see also “Au clair de la lune” as another example of this kind). It tells the story of a lost love: a lover washes herself in a fountain, listens to the charming singing of a nightingale and feels heartbroken in the memory of her lover whom she lost after failing to give him a rosebud.

On this page you will find the French lyrics, Singing Bell’s translation in English and a printable PDF file with lyrics for free download. You can also watch a beautiful animated video with lyrics to sing along with your kids. Enjoy!

Table of Contents

Printable Lyrics PDF

Click on the button to download a PDF file with lyrics to this song for free.

Lyrics in French

À la claire fontaine
M’en allant promener,
J’ai trouvé l’eau si belle,
Que je m’y suis baignée.

Il y a longtemps que je t’aime
Jamais je ne t’oublierai.

Sous les feuilles d’un chêne
Je me suis fait sécher,
Sur la plus haute branche,
Un rossignol chantait.

Il y a longtemps que je t’aime
Jamais je ne t’oublierai.

Chante, rossignol, chante,
Toi qui as le cœur gai,
Tu as le cœur a rire,
Moi, je l’ai à pleurer.

Il y a longtemps que je t’aime
Jamais je ne t’oublierai.

J’ai perdu mon ami
Sans l’avoir mérité,
Pour un bouquet de roses,
Que je lui refusai.

Il y a longtemps que je t’aime
Jamais je ne t’oublierai.


Je voudrais que la rose
Fût encore au rosier,
Et que ma douce amie
Fût encore à m’aimer.

English Translation by Singing Bell

By the clear fountain,
going for a walk,
I found the water so beautiful,
that I bathed in it.

I’ve loved you for a long time
I will never forget you.

Under the leaves of an oak tree
I got dried up,
on the highest branch,
a nightingale was singing.

I’ve loved you for a long time
I will never forget you.

Sing, nightingale, sing,
You who have a cheerful heart,
You have the heart to laugh,
Me, I have it to cry.

I’ve loved you for a long time
I will never forget you.

I lost my friend
Without having deserved it,
For a bouquet of roses,
which I refused him.

I’ve loved you for a long time
I will never forget you.

I would like that the rose
was still on the rosebush,
And that my sweet friend
was still [here] to love me.

Animated Sing-along Video with Lyrics

À la claire fontaine - KARAOKÉ (Paroles & Musique) - Comptines & Berceuses

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