Si J'Etais Petite Alouette Grise (If I Were Small Gray Lark)
DESCRIPTION: French. A young drummer/sailor returns from war. He asks a king's daughter to be his girl. She says he must convince the king he is very rich, which he does. The king agrees. The drummer/sailor thanks the king but leaves: he has prettier girls at home.
EARLIEST DATE: 1959 (Peacock)
KEYWORDS: foreignlanguage greed courting rejection gold father sailor royalty
FOUND IN: Canada(Newf)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Peacock, p. 889, "Si J'Etais Petite Alouette Grise" (1 text, 1 tune)
Trois Jeunes Tambours (Three Young Drummers)
Une Jeune Tambour (A Young Drummer)
Belle Alouette Grise (Beautiful Grey Lark)
NOTES: This ballad is common on the internet as "Trois Jeunes Tambours" -- for example at the site of "La Caverne de Cat."
The discussion of wealth is about three ships owned by the drummer/sailor:I have three ships on the sea: one has a cargo of gold, one has a cargo of pearls [or jewels], and the third is for my girl friend. The conversation about the ships may be between the drummer/sailor and the king's daughter.
The endings spoken to the king by the protagonist vary between: (1) Your daughter is something special (2) In my country there are prettier girls. - BS
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The Ballad Index Copyright 2017 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.