Last Updated: 3 February 2023

Auprès de ma blonde (also known as Le Prisonnier de Hollande) is a military march from 1704 which became very popular in eighteenth-century France.

The story of the song

Auprès de ma blonde is often attributed to André Joubert du Collet, a lieutenant in the Royal Navy during the reign of Louis XIV. Taken prisoner by the Dutch, he is said to have composed the song in 1704, after his release.

To thank the king, André Joubert du Collet offered Louis XIV a song that he had composed in captivity as a tribute to his wife, "ma blonde".

Indeed, at the time the song was composed, blonde meant "girlfriend" or "companion". Curiously, this meaning has remained common in Quebec. Therefore, the French used to say "He's going to get married with his blonde" (his fiancée).

The song became popular during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and entered the popular repertoire.

Auprès de ma blonde. Photo Masson-Simon via Envato Elements

Auprès de ma blonde. Photo Masson-Simon via Envato Elements

The wars of Louis XIV

This military march refers to the various conflicts of the 17th century, and quickly became very popular at the time among the French troops. (learn more about the Franco-Dutch War)

History records that the soldiers of the Duke of Villars, Marshal of France (1653 - 1734), sang it as they entered Le Quesnoy in 1712.

It became the marching song of the Champagne regiment, and was then adopted by the general public. Then, like many others, it became a children's song.

Louix XIV crosses the Rhine. By Adam Frans van der Meulen

Louix XIV crosses the Rhine. By Adam Frans van der Meulen

Auprès de ma blonde

Lyrics, music, free download... let's learn more about the popular song:

Auprès de ma blonde

The lyrics in French

The original song of Auprès de ma blonde has 11 verses and a chorus.

Couplet 1

Aux jardins de mon père,

Les lilas sont fleuris;

Aux jardins de mon père,

Les lilas sont fleuris;

Tous les oiseaux du monde

Viennent y faire leurs nids.


Refrain

Auprès de ma blonde,

Qu'il fait bon, fait bon, fait bon.

Auprès de ma blonde,

Qu'il fait bon dormir !


Couplet 2

Tous les oiseaux du monde

Viennent y faire leurs nids;

Tous les oiseaux du monde

Viennent y faire leurs nids;

La caille, la tourterelle

Et la jolie perdrix.


Couplet 3

La caille, la tourterelle

Et la jolie perdrix

La caille, la tourterelle

Et la jolie perdrix

Et ma jolie colombe,

Qui chante jour et nuit...


Couplet 4

Et ma jolie colombe,

Qui chante jour et nuit

Et ma jolie colombe,

Qui chante jour et nuit

Elle chante pour les filles

Qui n'ont pas de mari.


Couplet 5

Elle chante pour les filles

Qui n'ont pas de mari.

Elle chante pour les filles

Qui n'ont pas de mari.

Pour moi ne chante guère,

Car j'en ai un joli...


Couplet 6

Pour moi ne chante guère,

Car j'en ai un joli,

Pour moi ne chante guère,

Car j'en ai un joli,

“Dites-moi donc la belle,

Où donc est votre mari ?”


Couplet 7

“Dites-moi donc la belle,

Où donc est votre mari ?”

“Dites-moi donc la belle,

Où donc est votre mari ?”

Il est dans la Hollande,

Les Hollandais l'ont pris.


Couplet 8

Il est dans la Hollande,

Les Hollandais l'ont pris,

Il est dans la Hollande,

Les Hollandais l'ont pris.

“Que donneriez-vous, belle,

Pour avoir votre ami ?”


Couplet 9

Que donneriez-vous, belle,

Pour avoir votre ami ?

Que donneriez-vous, belle,

Pour avoir votre ami ?

Je donnerais Versailles,

Paris et Saint-Denis.


Couplet 10

Je donnerais Versailles,

Paris et Saint-Denis,

Je donnerais Versailles,

Paris et Saint-Denis,

Les tours de Notre-Dame

Et le clocher de mon pays.


Couplet 11

Les tours de Notre-Dame

Et le clocher de mon pays,

Les tours de Notre-Dame

Et le clocher de mon pays,

Et ma jolie colombe,

Pour avoir mon mari.

Translation of the lyrics into English

Here is an approximative translation into English:

Verse 1

In my father's gardens,
The lilacs are in bloom;
In my father's garden,
The lilacs are in bloom;
All the birds of the world
Come to make their nests.


Chorus

By my blonde's side,
It's so good, so good, so good.
By my blonde's side,
How good it is to sleep!


Verse 2

All the birds of the world
Come to make their nests;
All the birds in the world
Come to make their nests;
The quail, the turtle-dove
And the pretty partridge.


Verse 3

The quail, the turtle-dove
And the pretty partridge
The quail, the turtle-dove
And the pretty partridge
And my pretty dove,
Who sings day and night...


Verse 4

And my pretty dove,
Who sings day and night
And my pretty dove,
Singing day and night
She sings for the girls
Who have no husband.


Verse 5

She sings for the girls
Who have no husband.
She sings to the girls
Who have no husband.
For me hardly sings,
For I have a nice one...


Verse 6

For me hardly sings,
For I have a nice one,
For me hardly sings,
For I have a nice one,
"Tell me, pretty one,
Where is your husband?"


Verse 7

"So tell me, pretty one,
Where's your husband?"
"Tell me, girl, where's your husband?
Where is your husband?"
He's in Holland,
The Dutch have taken him.


Verse 8

He is in Holland,
The Dutch have taken him,
He's in Holland,
The Dutch have taken him.
"What would you give, pretty one,
To have your friend?"


Verse 9

What would you give, pretty one,
To have your friend?
What would you give, pretty one,
To have your friend?
I would give Versailles,
Paris and Saint-Denis.


Verse 10

I would give Versailles,
Paris and Saint-Denis,
I would give Versailles,
Paris and Saint-Denis,
The towers of Notre-Dame
And the bell tower of my country.


Verse 11

The towers of Notre-Dame
And the bell tower of my country,
The towers of Notre-Dame
And the bell tower of my country,
And my sweet dove,
To get my husband.


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Auprès de ma blonde © French Moments

French Nursery Rhymes

My challenge for the year 2023 is to publish 80 French Nursery Rhymes lyrics and descriptions (list below). Come back as time goes by to discover the new articles:

About the author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. He has a background teaching French, Economics and Current Affairs, and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations, and a degree of Economics and Management. Pierre is the author of Discovery Courses and books about France.

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