Patapan

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Bernard de La Monnoye

"Patapan" (or "Pat-a-pan") is a French Christmas carol in Burgundian dialect, later adapted into English. It was written by Bernard de La Monnoye (1641–1728) and first published in Noël bourguignons in 1720.[1] Its original title is "Guillô, Pran Ton Tamborin" ("Willie, Bring Your Little Drum" or "Willie, Take Your Little Drum").

The carol revolves around the birth of Jesus Christ, and is told from the perspective of shepherds playing simple instruments—flutes and drums—the onomatopoetic sound of which gives the song its name; "patapan" is meant to mimic the sound of the drum, and an accompanying lyric, "tu-re-lu-re-lu," the flute. This is similar conceptually to the carol "The Little Drummer Boy", with its chorus of "pa-rum-pa-pum-pum."

Mannheim Steamroller recorded a version of the song on their 1995 album Christmas in the Aire. (The accompanying video plays during the group's live shows when the song is performed.) American singer-songwriter David Archuleta recorded a contemporary version of "Pat-a-Pan" on his 2009 album Christmas from the Heart.[2] It was also recorded by Bing Crosby (1962) and Julie Andrews (1982).

American Composer John Gerrish wrote Variations on a Burgundian Carol for 3 Recorders published by Associated Music Publishers in 1957, based on the Patapan theme. It was played by his three children at the composer's 100th birthday party.[3] Pagan folk musician Damh The Bard recorded his version on the 2009 album, 'Tales Of The Crow Man', substituting Christian references in the lyrics with pagan ones to make it a celebration of the Winter Solstice.[4]

Burgundian lyrics[edit]

Guillô, pran ton tamborin;
Toi, pran tai fleúte, Rôbin!
Au son de cé instruman,
Turelurelu, patapatapan,
Au son de cé instruman
Je diron Noei gaiman

C’ étó lai môde autrefoi
De loüé le Roi dé Roi,
Au son de cés instruman,
Turelurelu, patapatapan,
Au son de cés instruman,
Ai nos an fau faire autan.

Ce jor le Diale at ai cu
Randons an graice ai Jesu
Au son de cés instruman,
Turelurelu, patapatapan,
Au son de cés instruman,
Fezon lai nique ai Satan.

L’homme et Dei son pu d’aicor
Que lai fleúte & le tambor.
Au son de cés instruman,
Turelurelu, patapatapan,
Au son de cés instruman,
Chanton, danson, sautons-an.

French lyrics[edit]

Guillaume, prends ton tambourin,
Toi, prends ta flûte, Robin;
Au son de ces instruments,
Turelurelu, patapatapan,
Au son de ces instruments,
Je dirai Noël gaîment.

C’était la mode autrefois,
De louer le Roi des rois,
Au son de ces instruments,
Turelurelu, patapatapan,
Au son de ces instruments,
Il nous en faut faire autant.

L’homme et Dieu sont plus d’accord,
Que la flûte et le tambour;
Au son de ces instruments,
Turelurelu, patapatapan,
Au son de ces instruments,
Chantons, dansons, sautons en!

English lyrics[edit]

Willie, take your little drum, Robin take your flute and come!
When we hear the right we will sing Noel this night,
When we hear the fife and drum, Christmas should be frolicsome.

Thus the men of olden days for the King of Kings to praise,
When they heard the fife and drum, ture-lure-lu, pata-pata-pan,
When they hear the fife and drum, sure, our children won't be dumb.

God and man are now become more at one than fife and drum.
When you hear the fife and drum, ture-lure-lu, pata-pata-pan,
When you hear the fife and drum, dance and make the village hum.

See also[edit]

References[edit]