Sous le Ciel de Paris: the story of the song

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A popular song, “Sous le Ciel de Paris” (Under the sky of Paris) has stood the test of time, accompanying the tourists and lovers of Paris since the 1950s. Let’s find out more about how it became a popular song…

About the song ‘Sous le ciel de Paris’

Sous le ciel de Paris” is a famous French song that was first recorded for the eponymous film of 1951. It was first sung by Jean Bretonnière in the movie and later performed by Édith Piaf in 1954 who subsequently made it a hit of the 1950s. Then followed the performances of Yves Montand, Mireille Mathieu and notably the version by Juliette Greco, the Lady of Saint-Germain-des-Près in 1962.


The French lyrics of ‘Sous le ciel de Paris’

Sous le ciel de Paris
S’envole une chanson
Elle est née d’aujourd’hui
Dans le coeur d’un garçon
Sous le ciel de Paris
Marchent les amoureux
Leur bonheur se construit
Sur une air fait pour eux

Sous le pont de Bercy
Un philosophe assis
Deux musiciens, quelques badauds
Puis des gens par milliers

Sous le ciel de Paris
Jusqu’au soir vont chanter
L’hymne d’un peuple épris
De sa vieille Cité

Prés de Notre-Dame
Parfois couve un drame
Oui, mais à Paname
Tout peut s’arranger
Quelques rayons du ciel d’été
L’accordéon d’un marinier
L’espoir fleurit
Au ciel de Paris

Sous le ciel de Paris
Coule un fleuve joyeux
Il endort dans la nuit
Les clochards et les gueux
Sous le ciel de Paris
Les oiseaux du Bon Dieu
Viennent du monde entier
Pour bavarder entre eux

Et le ciel de Paris
A son secret pour lui
Depuis vingt siècles il est épris
De notre île Saint-Louis
Quand elle lui sourit
Il met son habit bleu
Quand il pleut sur Paris
C’est qu’il est malheureux
Quand il est trop jaloux
De ses millions d’amants
Il fait gronder sur eux
Son tonnerre éclatant
Mais le ciel de Paris n’est pas longtemps cruel…
Pour se faire pardonner, il offre un arc-en-ciel…

Sous le ciel de Paris - Pont de la Concorde © French Moments

Paris at dusk from Pont de la Concorde © French Moments


The English Translation: Under the Parisian Sky

Beneath the Parisian sky
A song flutters away,
It was born today
In a young man’s heart
Beneath the Parisian sky
Lovers walkabout,
Their happiness built
Upon a tune made just for them

Beneath the Pont de Bercy
There’s a seated philosopher
Two musicians and a few onlookers
And then people in the thousands

Beneath the Parisian sky
Will sing into the evening
The hymn of the people in love
With their old city

Near Notre Dame
Perhaps trouble’s brewing
But in “Paname” everything gets worked out
A few rays
From the summer sky
The accordion
Of a sailor
Hope is blossoming
In the Parisian sky

Beneath the Parisian sky
A joyous river flows
That lulls the tramps
And beggars to sleep
Beneath the Parisian sky
God’s birds
Come from around the world
To chat among themselves

The Parisian sky
Has its own secret
For twenty centuries it has been in love
With our Île Saint-Louis
When she smiles at him
He puts on his blue suit
When it rains over Paris
It’s because he’s sad
When he is jealous
Of her millions of lovers
He unleashes upon us
His roaring thunder
But the Parisian sky
Is not cruel for long
So that he may be forgiven
He offers a rainbow

Sous le ciel de Paris - Pont Alexandre III © French Moments

The bridge and the Eiffel Tower at sunset © French Moments

Translation by jam123. Read more.


Other audio versions of ‘Sous le ciel de Paris’

‘Under Paris Skies’ – the English version of the song by Bing Crosby:

The choir of the French Foreign Legion:

A vintage-looking version from Julien Dassin and Florence Coste:


About Romantic Paris

Check out my new eBook “ROMANTIC PARIS: A Photographic Journey”.

Romantic Paris eBook by French Moments

There are many romantic places to explore in Paris. If you’re not familiar with the French capital, here’ some photos to inspire you!

Pont Alexandre III © French Moments

Romantic Places in Paris: Pont Alexandre III © French Moments

Romantic Paris © French Moments

Romantic Places in Paris: the first touches of Spring in Parc Monceau © French Moments

Pont Alexandre III © French Moments

The magnificent Pont Alexandre III © French Moments

Sous le ciel de Paris - Quais de Seine © French Moments

Ile de la Cité and Pont Saint-Louis © French Moments

Sous le ciel de Paris - Quai de la Seine © French Moments

The Banks of the River Seine © French Moments

Pont Alexandre III © French Moments

Pont Alexandre III, Paris © French Moments

Sous le ciel de Paris - Place de l'Hôtel de Ville, Paris © French Moments

Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, Paris © French Moments

Sous le ciel de Paris - Eiffel Tower © French Moments

Eiffel Tower © French Moments

Square du Vert Galant © French Moments

Square du Vert Galant © French Moments

Read more about our top 10 most Romantic places in Paris!


 

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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. 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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