5 March

Pierre

In France, the fifth month of the year is beautifully known as "le joli mois de mai" (the beautiful month of May). Spring is in full bloom and a children's song epitomises the whole atmosphere: Voici le mois de mai (Here comes the month of May).

La Tournette in Spring © French Moments

La Tournette in Spring © French Moments

Voici le mois de mai: A Nursery Rhyme

In May, nature takes a place of honour. Spring is blooming in the trees, gardens and fields. On the first day of May (le premier mai), it is tradition to pick up and offer bunches of lily-of-the-valley (le muguet) to family, friends and work colleagues.

In the popular tradition, May is a month devoted to the Virgin Mary when communions and baptisms used to take place.

In the southwest of France (Périgord, Quercy and Limousin), people still plant and decorate a maypole (Arbre de mai) in the centre of the village in honour to their elected officials.

It seems that the song "Voici le mois de mai" originates from Brittany and Vendée in the West of France.

The French lyrics

Couplet 1

Voici le mois de mai (bis)
Où les fleurs volent au vent (bis)
Où les fleurs volent au vent si jolie mignonne
Où les fleurs volent au vent si mignonnement


Couplet 2

Le gentil fils du roi (bis)
S'en va les ramassant (bis)
S'en va les ramassant si jolie mignonne
S'en va les ramassant si mignonnement


Couplet 3

Il en ramasse tant (bis)
Qu'il en remplit ses gants (bis)
Qu'il en remplit ses gants si jolie mignonne
Qu'il en remplit ses gants si mignonnement


Couplet 4

À sa mie les porta (bis)
Les donna en présent (bis)
A sa mie les porta si jolie mignonne
A sa mie les porta si mignonnement


Couplet 5

Prenez, prenez ma mie (bis)
Je vous donne ces gants (bis)
Je vous donne ces gants, si jolie mignonne
Je vous donne ces gants, si mignonnement


Couplet 6

Portez-les donc ma mie (bis)
Trois ou quatre fois l'an (bis)
Trois ou quatre fois l'an si jolie mignonne
Trois ou quatre fois l'an si mignonnement


Couplet 7

A Pâques, à la Toussaint (bis)
À Noël, à Saint-Jean (bis)
A Noël, à Saint-Jean, si jolie mignonne
A Noël, à Saint-Jean si mignonnement

Daffodils © French Moments

Daffodils (jonquilles) © French Moments

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Voici le mois de mai © French Moments

The English translation

Verse 1

Here comes the month of May (x2)
When flowers fly with the wind (x2)
When flowers fly with the wind, my so pretty sweetheart
When flowers fly with the wind so pretty nicely.


Verse 2

The kind son of the king (x2)
Goes to pick them up (x2)
Goes to pick them up, my so pretty sweetheart,
Goes to pick them up so pretty nicely.


Verse 3

He picked so many of them (x2)
That he filled out his gloves (x2)
That he filled out his gloves, my so pretty sweetheart
That he filled out his gloves so pretty nicely.


Verse 4

To his love he brings them (x2)
He brings them as a present (x2)
To his love he brings them, my so pretty sweetheart
To his love he brings them so pretty nicely.


Verse 5

Take, take my love (x2)
I give you these gloves (x2)
I give you these gloves, my so pretty sweetheart
I give you these gloves so pretty nicely


Verse 6

Thus wear them my love (x2)
Three or four times a year (x2)
Three or four times a year, my so pretty sweetheart
Three or four times a year so pretty nicely


Verse 7

At Easter, on All Saint's Day (x2)
At Christmas, on St. John's Day (x2)
At Christmas, on St. John's Day, my so pretty sweetheart
At Christmas, on St. John's Day so pretty nicely.

Châteauneuf - Bouquet of spring flowers © French Moments

Bouquet of spring flowers © French Moments

Spring in France: Find out more!

Find out more about Spring in France!

Read more about Spring in France on our French blog:

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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  1. Dear Pierre,

    Thank you so much for such a nice description of May. I also adore les muguets you have so imaginative described their origin. We also have such flowers, but a bit late.

    Wishing you all the best

    Grazina

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