Soun, soun, béni, béni

Music: Trad. arr. Sheena Phillips. Words: Trad. Anon
performance time approx 2m 00s
Range S: d' – d'' / A: b – a' / T: e – e' / B: G – g
Price code: B
Complexity: **

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This lullaby is from the Massif Central region of France. The key word is 'soun' (sleep) which, pronounced as a nasal 'soo' creates a wonderful effect, over many repetitions, of some patient mum, dad or granny trying to hush a reluctant child to sleep. A few dynamics have been marked, but feel free to try other ideas too. The piece should flow simply and gently throughout.

Pronunciation guide included


Soun, soun, béni, béni, soun, soun, béni, béni, doun!
Soun, soun, béni, béni, soun, soun, béni, d'en docon.
Lou soun, soun bouol pas béni:
L'éfontou s'en bouol pas durmi.
Soun, soun, béni O l'éfon.

Traditional. Words and tune collected by Sir Henry Walford Davies and published in French Songs (1938). They are used by permission of the Trustees of Sir Henry Walford Davies.


Sleep, come now!
Sleep, come here.
Sleep doesn't want to come:
What a nuisance!
The baby doesn't want to sleep.
Sleep, come to this child.

Purchase – 2021: Soun, soun, béni, béni

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