Le Chaland qui Passe - Lys Gauty




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Published on Apr 13, 2008

Le Chaland qui Passe
Sung by Lys Gauty

Music: Cesare Andrea Bixio (1931)
Lyrics: André de Badet
Recorded in 1933 (For Columbia in February and again in November).


(Lys Gauty version)

La nuit s'est faite, la berge
S'estompe et se perd...
Un bal musette, une auberge
Ouvrent leurs yeux pers.
Le chaland glisse sans trêve
Sur l'eau de satin,
Où s'en va-t-il ?... Vers quel rêve...
Vers quel incertain
Du destin ?...


Ne pensons à rien... le courant
Fait de nous toujours des errants;
Sur mon chaland, sautant d'un quai,
L'amour peut-être s'est embarqué...
*Aimons-nous ce soir sans songer
*A ce que demain peut changer,
*Au fil de l'eau point de serments:
Ce n'est que sur terre qu'on ment!

Ta bouche est triste et je pense
A ces fruits mûris
Loin du soleil qui dispense
Leurs chauds coloris,
Mais sous ma lèvre enfiévrée
Par l'onde et le vent,
Je veux la voir empourprée
Comme au jour levant
Les auvents...


* In the second refrain these lines are sung as "Tra la la", etc. See the lalalala web site for details of this!!


The story of "Le Chaland" is bound up with that of the film "L'Atalante" by Jean Vigo (1934).

Both stories are fascinating and finding out about them is like conducting a detective investigation!

The original song was "Parlami d'amore Mariù" by Bixio and Ennio Neri.
It was translated into various languages, but the French version used completely different lyrics. To complicate matters, two versions of the lyrics appeared as sheet music: the Lys Gauty version and a version "pour la Rue". This latter version was recorded by Tino Rossi as well as "Mariù".

I would recommend visiting:

to find out more!

The film made by Jean Vigo has been discussed very finely by Wendy Haslem on the "Senses of Cinema" web site:

Thanks to Ms Haslem for allowing me to include this extract from her article:

In distribution and exhibition, L'Atalante had a dynamic and stormy life. When post-production was completed in February 1934, Vigo and Nounez screened a rough cut of the film for cast, crew and associates in Paris. This was Vigo's final public outing, he died later that year at the age of 29 of tuberculosis. Nounez screened L'Atalante for Gaumont executives and Parisian cinema owners on April 25th. The distributor described the film as "commercially worthless" and demanded substantial changes, threatening to sabotage the release of the film. In an attempt to broaden its appeal, distributors and cinema owners made prudish cuts (including excising the shot of le père Jules' smoking tattoo) and re-named the film after Cesare Andrea Bixio's popular song "Le chaland qui passe" ("The Passing Barge"). With the fortuitous discovery of a copy of Vigo's original version in the British Film Institute's archives in 1990, L'Atalante was restored. Vigo's visual poetics, combined with the dynamic soundtrack, results in a film that can barely contain its passion and anarchistic fervour.


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