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Renaud a de si grands appas
Qui'il a charm√?¬© la fille au roi.
L'a bien emmen√?¬©e √?¬† sept lieues
Sans qu'il lui dit un mot ou deux.
L'a bien emmen√?¬©e √?¬† sept lieues
Sans qu'il lui dit un mot ou deux.

Quand sont venus √?¬† mi-chemin:
"Mon Dieu, Renaud, que j'ai grand faim!"
"Mangez, la belle, votre main,
Car plus ne mangerez de pain."

Quand sont au bord du bois:
"Mon Dieu, Renaud, que j'ai grand soif!"
"Buvez, la belle, votre sang,
Car plus ne boirez de vin blanc.

Il y a l√?¬†-bas un vivier,
O√?¬Ļ treize dames sont noy√?¬©es;
Treize dames sont noy√?¬©es,
La quatorzi√?¬®me vous serez."

Quand sont venus pr√?¬®s du vivier,
Lui dit de se d√?¬©shabiller:
"N'est pas affaire aux chevaliers,
De voir dames se d√?¬©shabiller.

Mets ton √?¬©p√?¬©e dessous tes pieds
Et ton manteau devant ton nez."
Mit son √?¬©p√?¬©e dessous ses pieds
Et son manteau devant son nez.

La belle l'a pris, embrass√?¬©,
Dans le vivier elle l'a jet√?¬©:
"Venez anguilles, venez poissons,
Manger la chair de ce larron."

Renaud voulut se rattraper
A une branche de laurier:
La belle tire son √?¬©p√?¬©e,
Coupe la branche de laurier.

"Belle, pr√?¬™tez-moi votre main,
Je vous √?¬©pouserai demain!"
"Va-t'en, Renaud, va-t'en au fond,
Epouser les dames qui y sont!"

"Belle, que diront vos parents
Quand vous verront sans votre amant?"
"Leur dirai que j'ai fait de toi
Ce que voulais faire de moi."

"Belle, donnez-moi votre main blanche,
Je vous √?¬©pouserai dimanche."
"Epouse, Renaud, √?¬©pouse, poisson,
Les treize dames qui sont au fond."

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Source: Henri Davenson, Le Livre des Chansons, 1955.


The second two lines of each verse are repeated as in the first verse above.

Davenson is not always specific about his sources; French folksong editors have generally tended, in any case, to "epitomise" songs. The song has been found reasonably often in tradition in France and in Canada.

Renaud the Woman-Killer

Renaud has such great allure
That he has charmed the king's daughter.
He has taken her seven leagues away
Without speaking to her one word or two.

When they had gone half way:
"My God, Renaud, how hungry I am!"
"Eat your hand, fair maid,
For never more will you eat the bread."

When they were at the edge of the wood:
"My God, Renaud, how thirsty I am!"
"Drink your blood, fair maid,
For never more will you drink the white wine."

Over there is a fish pond,
Where thirteen ladies lie drowned;
Thirteen ladies lie drowned,
The fourteenth you shall be."

When they came near to the pond,
He tells her to undress:
"It is not the business of knights
To see ladies undress.

Put your sword beneath your feet
And your cloak before your face."
He has put his sword beneath his feet
And his cloak before his face.

The fair maid has caught him, embraced him,
Into the pond she has thrown him.
"Come you eels, come you fish,
Eat the flesh of this thief."

Renaud has tried to catch hold
Of the branch of a laurel tree:
The fair maid draws his sword
And cuts the laurel branch.

"Fair maid, lend me your hand,
I will marry you tomorrow!"
"Begone, Renaud, begone to the bottom,
Marry the ladies who are there!"

"Fair maid, what will your parents say
When they see you without your lover?"
"I'll tell them that I did to you
What you tried to do to me."

"Fair maid, give me your white hand,
I will marry you on Sunday."
"Marry, Renaud, marry, fish,
The thirteen ladies who are at the bottom."

The translation is fairly literal; I haven't attempted a singable version, though I have used some terms and constructions which are commonplace in traditional song in the English language.

Appas: "allure" is the best I can come up with for a term that has additional connotations beyond that of "charms" and "lures"; including bait in a trap.

Vivier: a body of water in which fish are kept or bred; probably a substitution for rivi√?¬®re, which appears in other versions. "Fish pond" is a bit bathetic, but "lake" would be wrong, if better-sounding.

Child: 4

Related Songs:  The Outlandish Knight (thematic)

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