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Helping Les Bébés Fall Asleep With A Soft And Holy Carol – Silent Night In French Posted by on Dec 12, 2018 in Music

The days are getting colder as December marches on, but at least as each day gets longer there is another door to open on le calendrier de l’Avent (the Advent calendar). The cold days also mean le père noël (Santa Claus) is preparing his sleigh, and that it’s the perfect time to get into the holiday spirit.

Image from Pixabay. Licensed under CC0.

This will be the first Christmas for ma nouvelle nièce (my new niece) and that has the whole family working to make sure she gets more than enough attention and of course des cadeaux (presents). The holiday season in general has la nouveau-née (the newborn) taking in a lot of new sights and sounds and I can imagine she is already hearing what will become her favorite holiday song.

Of course, for ma petite sœur (my little sister), one of the best cadeau imaginable is having son bébé (her baby) be healthy and happy. However, like any mère ou mémère (mom or granny), she could also use the gift of relaxation and having le bébé stay asleep through the night.

La saison des fêtes (the holiday season) may be able to help her out with a nice berceuse (lullaby). While there are a lot of modern holiday songs that keep everyone jolly while les cadeaux wait under the tree, the more traditional chants de Noël (Christmas carols) often double as soft lullabies that will help any bébé fall asleep.

Douce nuit, sainte nuit (Silent night) is a perfect example of such un chant de Noël. Heureusement (luckily) for French learners the more traditional songs often have une version française (a French version) ready to be sung. De plus (what’s more), La chanson (the song) is more than likely already familiar, and that makes singing along all the easier.

That said, les paroles (the lyrics) do differ quite a bit from la version anglaise (the English version), but with a little practice it’s easy to understand. Take a moment to relax with Douce nuit, sainte nuit and try to follow along to les paroles!

Voici la chanson avec les paroles et une traduction anglaise :

Douce nuit, sainte nuit
Sweet night, holy night

Douce nuit, sainte nuit,
Dans les cieux ! l’astre luit.
Le mystère annoncé s’accomplit
Cet enfant sur la paille endormi
C’est l’amour infini !
C’est l’amour infini !

Sweet night, holy night,
In the heavens! the star shines.
The announced mystery is fulfilled
This child on the sleeping straw
It’s infinite love!
It’s infinite love!

Doux enfant, doux agneau,
Qu’il est saint ! qu’il est beau !
Entendez résonner les pipeaux
Des bergers conduisant leurs troupeaux
Vers son humble berceau !
Vers son humble berceau !

Sweet child, sweet lamb,
How holy he is! How beautiful he is!
Hear the pipes ringing
Shepherds leading their herds
To his humble cradle!
To his humble cradle!

C’est vers nous qu’il accourt
En un don sans retour !
De ce monde ignorant de l’amour
Où commence aujourd’hui son séjour
Qu’il soit Roi pour toujours !
Qu’il soit Roi pour toujours !

He’s coming to us
In a one-time gift !
Of this ignorant world of love
Where his stay begins today
May he be King forever!
May he be King forever!

Quel accueil pour un Roi !
Point d’abri, point de toit !
Dans sa crèche il grelotte de froid
O pécheur, sans attendre la croix
Jésus souffre pour toi !
Jésus souffre pour toi !

What a welcome for a King!
No shelter, no roof!
In his manger he shivers with cold
O sinner, without waiting for the cross
Jesus suffers for you!
Jesus suffers for you!

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About the Author: John Bauer

John Bauer is an enthusiast for all things language and travel. He currently lives in France where he's doing his Master's. John came to France four years ago knowing nothing about the language or the country, but through all the mistakes over the years, he's started figuring things out.