9 February


Le temps des cerises (The time/season of cherries) is a French song that originates from the second half of the 19th century.

The story of the song

The song is a nostalgic reflection on a time of political and social upheaval in France.

The title literally translates to "the time of cherries", which symbolises a period of innocence and joy.

The lyrics of the song evoke images of the beauty and joy of the past and contrast it with the struggles of the present.

Le temps des cerises - French Countryside Market in Bédoin, Provence © French Moments

Local cherries at the market of Bédoin, Provence © French Moments

The authors

Le temps des cerises is a song whose lyrics were written in 1866 by Jean Baptiste Clément and the music composed by Antoine Renard in 1868.

Jean-Baptiste Clément

Jean-Baptiste Clément

Antoine Renard

Antoine Renard

Jean Baptiste Clément wrote this song in 1866, during a trip to Belgium. On his way to Flanders, he stopped at Conchy-Saint-Nicaise. He stopped at a house surrounded by ancient cherry trees, which inspired the author.

Le temps des cerises - Photos of Spring in Alsace - Hirtzbach © French Moments

Cherry tree in blossom, Hirtzbach, Alsace © French Moments

A reminder of the Paris Commune

Written in the 1860s, the song was popularised during the Paris Commune of 1871.

The short-lived Paris Commune was an uprising against the oppressive rule of the French government.

Although written before 1871, the song is considered a call for freedom and speaks of the hope of a better future and the desire for a better life during the difficult times of the Paris Commune.

Paris Commune Place Blanche

Paris Commune - Women fighting in Place Blanche

One of the most recorded songs in France

With almost 100 different interpretations, Le Temps des cerises is one of the most recorded songs in France, and this since the beginning of the phonographic industry (around 1895).

Among the many singers of the song are Tino Rossi, Yves Montand, Juliette Gréco, Charles Aznavour, Nana Mouskouri, Barbara Hendricks,...

Le temps des cerises

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

Le temps des cerises

The lyrics in French

The original song of Le temps des cerises has 4 verses.

Couplet 1

Quand nous chanterons le temps des cerises,
Et gai rossignol et merle moqueur
Seront tous en fête.
Les belles auront la folie en tête
Et les amoureux du soleil au cœur.
Quand nous chanterons le temps des cerises,
Sifflera bien mieux le merle moqueur.

Couplet 2

Mais il est bien court le temps des cerises,
Où l'on s'en va deux cueillir en rêvant
Des pendants d'oreilles,
Cerises d'amour aux roses pareilles
Tombant sous la feuille en gouttes de sang.
Mais il est bien court le temps des cerises,
Pendants de corail qu'on cueille en rêvant.

Couplet 3

Quand vous en serez au temps des cerises,
Si vous avez peur des chagrins d'amour
Évitez les belles.
Moi qui ne crains pas les peines cruelles,
Je ne vivrai point sans souffrir un jour.
Quand vous en serez au temps des cerises,
Vous aurez aussi des peines d'amour.

Couplet 4

J'aimerai toujours le temps des cerises :
C'est de ce temps-là que je garde au cœur
Une plaie ouverte,
Et Dame Fortune, en m'étant offerte,
Ne pourra jamais fermer ma douleur.
J'aimerai toujours le temps des cerises
Et le souvenir que je garde au cœur.

Translation of the lyrics into English

Here is an approximative translation into English:

Verse 1

When we sing of the cherry season,
And gay nightingale and mockingbird
Will all be in celebration.
The beautiful ones will have madness in their heads
And the sun lovers in their hearts.
When we sing the cherry season,
The mockingbird will whistle much better.

Verse 2

But the cherry season is short,
When we go and pick two in our dreams
Love cherries with roses like them
Falling under the leaf in drops of blood.
But the time for cherries is short,
Coral pendants that you pick while dreaming.

Verse 3

When you are in the season of cherries,
If you are afraid of heartache
Avoid the beautiful ones.
I, who do not fear cruel sorrows,
I shall not live without suffering one day.
When you are in the season of cherries,
You'll have love pains too.

Verse 4

I will always love the season of cherries:
It is from that time that I keep in my heart
An open wound,
And Lady Fortune, being offered to me,
Can never close my pain.
I will always love the season of cherries
And the memory I keep in my heart.

Download the Lyrics for FREE!

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Le temps des cerises © 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:

French Nursery Rhymes Cover by French Moments
French Nursery Rhymes
A la claire fontaine © French Moments
Ah ! dis-moi donc bergère © French Moments
Ah ! Les crocodiles © French Moments
Ah ! vous dirai-je, maman © French Moments
Ainsi font, font, font © French Moments
Alouette gentille alouette © French Moments
Au clair de la lune © French Moments
Au feu les pompiers © French Moments
Au royaume de Diguedondaine © French Moments
Auprès de ma blonde © French Moments
Aux marches du palais © French Moments
Blanc Blanc Blanc belle rose © French Moments
Bon voyage Monsieur Dumollet © French Moments
Buvons un coup ma serpette est perdue © French Moments
C'est la mère Michel © French Moments
C'était Anne de Bretagne © French Moments
Cadet Rousselle © French Moments
Car c’est un bon camarade © French Moments
Chère Élise © French Moments
Chevaliers de la table ronde © French Moments
Colchiques dans les prés © French Moments
Compagnons de la Marjolaine © French Moments
Dame Tartine © French Moments
Dans les prisons de Nantes © French Moments
Dansons la capucine © French Moments
Dodo, l'enfant do © French Moments
En passant par la Lorraine © French Moments
Fais dodo © French Moments
Fleur d’épine © French Moments
Frère Jacques © French Moments
Gentil coquelicot © French Moments
Il court, il court, le furet © French Moments
Il était un petit cordonnier © French Moments
Il était un petit navire © French Moments
Il était une bergère © French Moments
Il pleut, il pleut, bergère © French Moments
J'ai du bon tabac © French Moments
J'ai un gros nez rouge © French Moments
J'fais pipi sur le gazon © French Moments
Je te tiens par la barbichette © French Moments
Joyeux anniversaire © French Moments
La bonne aventure ô gué © French Moments
La danse des canards © French Moments
La légende de saint Nicolas © French Moments
Le bon roi Dagobert © French Moments
Le carillon de Vendôme © French Moments
Le coucou © French Moments
Le facteur n'est pas passé © French Moments
Le fermier dans son pré © French Moments
Le temps des cerises © French Moments
Le temps du muguet © French Moments
Le vieux MacDonald © French Moments
Les filles de La Rochelle © French Moments
Maman les p'tits bateaux © French Moments
Malbrough s'en va-t-en guerre © French Moments
Meunier, tu dors © French Moments
Mignonne allons voir si la rose © French Moments
Mon âne © French Moments
Mon père m'a donné un mari © French Moments
Ne pleure pas Jeannette © French Moments
Nous n'irons plus au bois © French Moments
Ô gai, vive la rose © French Moments
Passe passe passera © French Moments
Pirouette Cacahuète © French Moments
Plantons la vigne © French Moments
Pomme de reinette et pomme d'api © French Moments
Pomme, pêche, poire, abricot © French Moments
Promenons-nous dans les bois © French Moments
Savez-vous planter les choux ? © French Moments
Sur la route de Dijon © French Moments
Sur la route de Louviers © French Moments
Sur le pont d'Avignon © French Moments
Sur le pont du nord © French Moments
Tout va très bien madame la marquise © French Moments
Trois jeunes tambours © French Moments
Un éléphant ça trompe énormément © French Moments
Un kilomètre à pied © French Moments
Un, deux, trois, nous irons au bois © French Moments
Une chanson douce © French Moments
Une poule sur un mur © French Moments
Une souris verte © French Moments
V'la le bon vent © French Moments
Voici le mois de mai © French Moments
Y avait dix filles dans un pré © French Moments
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 the Discovery Course on the Secrets of the Eiffel Tower and the Christmas book "Voyage au Pays de Noël".

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