Colchiques dans les prés – the song


At the end of Summer, crocuses are blooming in the meadows and clearings. When French people sing about them, we know that Autumn in near: Colchiques dans les prés…

About the song

Colchicums are flowering plants which grow in Europe. Also known as  “autumn crocus“, these crocus-like flowers bloom in meadows and clearings heralding the end of Summer. Colchicums are best known in France through a popular song: Colchiques dans les prés.

Composed by Jacqueline Debatte (lyrics) and her friend Francine Cockenpot (music) in 1942-1943, the song was first intended to scouting camps. It is often sung by children as a rhyme.

The French lyrics

Couplet 1 :

Colchiques dans les prés fleurissent, fleurissent,

Colchiques dans les prés : c’est la fin de l’été.

Refrain :

La feuille d’automne, emportée par le vent,

En ronde monotone tombe en tourbillonnant.

Couplet 2 :

Châtaignes dans les bois se fendent, se fendent,

Châtaignes dans les bois se fendent sous les pas.

Couplet 3 :

Nuages dans le ciel s’étirent, s’étirent,

Nuages dans le ciel s’étirent comme une aile.

Couplet 4 :

Et ce chant dans mon coeur murmure, murmure,

Et ce chant dans mon coeur appelle le bonheur.

English translation

Verse 1:

Autumn crocuses in the meadows are blossoming, blossoming

Autumn crocuses in the meadows: it’s the end of Summer


The Autumn leaf, taken by the wind,

In a monotonous ring falls in a swirl.

Verse 2:

Chestnuts in the woods are cracking, cracking

Chestnuts in the woods are cracking under our steps.

Verse 3:

The clouds in the sky are stretching, stretching,

The clouds in the sky are stretching like a wing.

Verse 4:

And this song in my heart is whispering, whispering,

And this song in my heart is calling happiness.

Find out more about Autumn in France.


About 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. In 2014 he moved back to Europe from Sydney with his wife and daughter to be closer to their families and to France. He has a background teaching French 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.

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