Music: Trad. arr. Peter Hill, Words: Trad. French

Voicing: SATB

Performance time approx: 1m 45s

Range S: b – e'' / A: b – b' / T: g – e' / B: B – a

Price code: B


New Year rather than Christmas is the main carol-singing season in France and this jaunty carol from the Orléans region accompanies a New Year’s Day tradition of children going from door to door offering bunches of mistletoe (‘gui’) in exchange for small gifts. It also refers to another New Year tradition, which was to cook a pancake in which would be hidden (for luck) a broad bean. The youngest child of the household would share out the pancake, keeping one piece — la part à Dieu — to give to the first beggars to call on the house. In the carol, the singers ask for some of this piece — hoping of course to receive the slice containing the bean.

The (A) section is sung quasi-instrumentally to “do” and acts as an introduction and interlude between verses.

Salut à la compagnie de cette maison!
Je vous souhaite une bonne année du bien à foison.
Nous sommes d'un pays étrange, venus dans ce lieu
Pour vous faire la demande de la part à Dieu.

Si la fève s'y présente nous la planterons
Dans un jardin sous un arbre nous la metterons;
Nous prierons la Sainte Vierge, Jésus, les trois Rois
Qu'ils nous fassent à tous la grâce que la puissions voir.

Traditional French song


Greetings to the company of this house!
I wish you a good and prosperous new year.
We are from abroad, and have come here
To ask you for some of God's piece*.[*see note above]

If the bean turns up we'll plant it;
We'll put it in a garden under a tree;
We'll pray to the holy Virgin, to Jesus and to the three Kings
To grant us all the grace that we may see it.

Canasg editors

Card ImageWorld, traditional, folk


Peter Hill


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