Ma Normandie

Written in 1836 by Frédéric Bérat, on a boat trip from Rouen to Sainte-Adresse, Ma Normandie has been adopted as the popular, though unofficial, anthem of the region of Normandy in France.  Up until 2007, Ma Normandie was, oddly enough, the official anthem of the Island of Jersey, a British Crown Dependency!
more information at: Ma Normandie - Info

My mother was from Normandy, and I was born there.  I had made a few stabs at making a song that would convey my love for this land, but with little success.  When I first heard Ma Normandie, I knew my quest was over, and any attempt on my part to make another song like this masterpiece would pale by comparison.  My new quest would be to make this song my own...

In 2002, I visited my Normandy for the first time in thirty years, and found her beauty undiminished. It would be my mother's last visit in this life. She passed away in August of that year. We would return to Normandy the following year to spread her ashes in her beloved waters in the bay of the Mont-Saint-Michel. At her funeral I sang and played Ma Normandie for her...
Read the complete story at: Ma Normandie et Moi.

See also, created for your enjoyment, a musical video slideshow of photos of the Normandy countryside set to Ma Normandie: Ma Normandie Slideshow

Frédéric Bérat - 1836
Vocal and Appalachian Dulcimer - Tony Provencher
Album: Ma Normandie
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Lyrics
paroles et musique:
Frédéric Bérat (1836)

Quand tout renaît à l'espérance,
Et que l'hiver fuit loin de nous,
Sous le beau ciel de notre France,
Quand le soleil revient plus doux,
Quand la nature est reverdie,
Quand l'hirondelle est de retour,
J'aime à revoir ma Normandie !
C'est le pays qui m'a donné le jour.

J'ai vu les champs de l'Helvétie,
Et ses chalets et ses glaciers ;
J'ai vu le ciel de l'Italie,
Et Venise et ses gondoliers.
En saluant chaque patrie,
Je me disais : aucun séjour
N'est plus beau que ma Normandie !
C'est le pays qui m'a donné le jour.

Il est un âge dans la vie,
Où chaque rêve doit finir,
Un âge où l'âme recueillie
A besoin de se souvenir.
Lorsque ma muse refroidie
Aura fini ses chants d'amour,
J'irai revoir ma Normandie !
C'est le pays qui m'a donné le jour.
English translation:
Tony Provencher

When far from us the Winter flies,
And the world is born to hope anew,
Under France’s lovely skies,
When the sun returns in sweeter hue,
When Nature ‘round us greener be,
When swallows homeward wing their way,
I love to see my Normandy,
The land that gave to me the light of day.

Switzerland’s dales I did behold,
And her chalets and glaciers blue;
I’ve seen Italian skies of gold,
And the gondoliers of Venice too.
Although these lands enchanted me,
I knew there was no hideaway
More lovely than my Normandy,
The land that gave to me the light of day.

There comes a time, as life unfolds,
That brings an end to reveries.
A time when must the ransomed soul
Revisit cherished memories.
When time has chilled my muse and me,
And songs of love are sung away,
Again I’ll see my Normandy,
The land that gave to me the light of day.
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