Chee chee chee chee crazy goes

May 23, 2014 @ 8:26 pm | Filed under:

It’s possible this is a you-had-to-be-there moment, and if you speak French or know anything about French songs, this won’t be as uproariously funny to you as it was to us this morning. But boy did we howl. See, every day we’ve been starting out by listening to a couple of tunes off our Lucienne Vernay Songs in French for Children CD—this started as a thing for Rilla but the truth is we all get a kick out of learning French ditties. We don’t speak French, you understand. This is important to the story.

Well, today Beanie asked for the Train song. “Le Petit Train,” you can hear a piece of it here. It’s sprightly and cheerful, with an enjoyable “ch ch fff, ch ch fff” repetition laced throughout. I decided to look up the lyrics, but my first click seemed to turn up a different Little Train song. “This can’t be it,” I murmured, scanning the lyrics. A quick comparison of the first lines confirmed the obvious. Totally different song. Laughing over the incongruity—the juxtaposition of these bleak, melancholy words with our chipper little tune—I read the song, so obviously not OUR song, out loud.

The little train of my youth
The little train is fading away
Above the roofs
Slowly through the windows I see him
Slowly and doesn’t come back
He has nothing to say
He has nothing to do
He has nothing to say
And I don’t care

About the time which goes by
About the time which hurries
The illness of my youth
I had never loved anyone else than myself
Even not you
And I was so happy with you
And I was also happy without you

I don’t care about the wind
Which comes which goes away
I don’t care about the life
Which ends or not
I don’t care ‘bout your crazy stories
I don’t care if the rain comes through the roof
I don’t care about misfortune about happiness
About joy
And all this time which is fading away
I don’t care about sad songs
The keys which open the lock
I don’t care about the life which slips away
I don’t care about the earth which closes again

I don’t care about karma of stars
About collapsing sun and the days without tomorrow
I don’t care about grief
I don’t care about grief

The little train of my youth
The little train is fading away
He bumps and continues straight ahead
I didn’t need anyone and no one needed me
And I abused the time and now it’s abusing me

The little train of my youth
The little train is fading away
And I said nothing.

“Ahh,” sighed Rose with satisfaction, “the French are my kind of people.” Nobody savors existentialist ennui like a fifteen-year-old.

Grinning, I continued my search. Our perky little train ch-ch‘d its way through what seemed to be some happy pastures, judging by the encouraging moos in the background. Clearly our tune was a celebration of the French countryside, of shiny engines gaily chugging through a bucolic landscape. True, the mental picture presented by the melody is perhaps a bit English, the conjured images perhaps a bit too reminiscent of the Island of Sodor, but—don’t you hear those happy cows, that blithe and bonny whistle?

Aha, there it was. “Le Petit Train” by André Claveau. The same lively melody, the playful lyrics, ch ch fff, ch ch fff, a tune that radiates joy!

I found the lyrics on another page and had to run them through Google Translate to get at the English. And immediately dissolved into helpless giggles.

Here, slightly mangled by the translation bots, it what our song REALLY says. I’m not going to bother to clean it up. You’ll get the drift.

A little train goes in the countryside
Train p’tit goes in the morning
can be seen spinning towards the mountain
chee chee chee chee crazy crazy
Lots of goes … In the fields, there cows always surprised to see even pass p’tit

This train that loose plumes
chee chee chee chee crazy crazy smoke …
The gatekeeper waved his red flag to say bon voyage old mechanic
But wagons zero travelers do not move because they all take the bus and the train is useless …

The train p’tit who wants to believe in miracles
The air of nothing goes whistling and calves enjoying the show
chee chee chee chee crazy mad are happy …

Unfortunately, there are people who think it’s overkill
To give so much money for a P’tit Train
So they told him this time it is well finished
Enjoy it, it’s your last outing …

A train p’tit goes in the countryside
Train p’tit goes in the morning
can be seen spinning to mountain
chee chee chee chee crazy crazy goes …

It reviews the fields and rivers and pathways that feel good summer
It reviews all humble cottages
chee chee chee chee crazy crazy …
In the near Train slows down near the firewall and the mechanic waving
She sees the red light on the rear car who slowly away and is lost in the distance …
The train p’tit lost the battle
This is the end of these beautiful strolls
He goes to the scrap heap
chee chee chee chee crazy crazy It’s over …

But later, tired of long trips
We often will think train
Who sauntered among the green groves
chee chee crazy crazy chee chee tchiiiiiiiiiii
We … regret … the … well …

So. There you have it. The cheerfulest train song you ever did see.

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8 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Ellie says:

    We …. Regret …. The …. Well ….????


    I’m with Rose — I kind of like the first song !

    (Lissa dear, I wonder if you would be willing to consider a links color change? I can’t see what is text and what is a link, and so i wonder if perhaps there is a color combination that would be pleasing for you — it being your blog and all ! 🙂 — yet not quite so subtle? Thank for considering! xoxo).

  2. Karen in SC says:

    I think those first lyrics must be the theme song for Henri the cat:

  3. Melissa Wiley says:

    Karen, that’s exactly what we said! 🙂

    Ellie, I’d be happy to. I switched it to this color about a week ago—got tired of the blue, couldn’t decide what to use. 🙂 I appreciate the feedback. Looks ok on my screen but I forgot to check on the iPad, which often renders shades a little differently. Actually I’d be interested in hearing what people’s preferences are for link colors. Would my current hover color work? Or a bit too pink? Did folks prefer the old blue? (It was the same shade as the blue border around Fox & Crow up there in the sidebar. The green around Inch & Roly is another option.) Thanks!

  4. Melissa Wiley says:

    (Trying out the green. A little too light?)

  5. Michelle says:

    Also look for:
    Promenon nous dans les bois

    I was going to say something about the French and their crazy children’s songs, but Rock a Bye Baby?

  6. Melissa Wiley says:

    Promenon nous dans les bois is one of our favorites. 🙂 The kids also especially like this version of Alouette on Youtube:

    So, to recap: on the Vernay CD, we have:
    • a wolf grabbing his rifle, ready to hunt children in the woods
    • “little lark, I will pluck you”
    • little train choo-choos to the scrap heap

    and let us not forget:
    • the haughty ballerina condemned to dance forever in her bewitched shoes
    • Jeanne’s dead duck

    And those are just the ones we’ve bothered to look up. 😉

    But yes, as you say, Rock-a-Bye Baby! Not to mention, as my girls like to point out, My Darling Clementine. Ruby lips above the water, blowing bubbles soft and fine…

    Folk songs are awesome.

  7. Ellie says:

    Lissa, thank you! I’m sorry to pester, but with my low vision … Anyway! Lots of different colors are pretty and provide the needed contrast: the greens are nice; peachy-pink-orange? But the deep indigoes, grays, or blue-purples don’t show up very well with black text is all.

    {{hugs}} and thanks 🙂

  8. Melanie B says:

    Our favorite is the Cro-cro-cro- crocodile.