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The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)

Pat-a-Pan

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BACKGROUND

Information: A song.

A Burgundian French Christmas carol of the 17th century, first appearing in print in 1720 in Noël bourguignons de Bernard de La Monnoye. Its original title is "Guillô, Pran Ton Tamborin" ("Willie, Bring Your Little Drum" or "Willie, Take Your Little Drum").

Translation: "Pat-a-pan" is meant to mimic the sound of the drum and flute.

Pronunciation: PAHT-ah-PAHN

Other name: Patapan

Region: France


LYRICS

Guillaume, prends ton tambourin,
Toi, prends ta flüte, 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!
      Willie, bring your little drum;
Robin, bring your flute and come;
And be merry while you play,
Tu-re-lu-re-lu, Pat-a-pat-a-pan,
Come be merry while you play,
On this joyous Holiday!

When the men of olden days
To the King of Kings gave praise,
On the fife and drum did play,
Tu-re-lu-re-lu, Pat-a-pat-a-pan,
On the fife and drum did play,
So their hearts were glad and gay!

God and man today become
More in tune than fife and drum,
So be merry while you play,
Tu-re-lu-re-lu, Pat-a-pat-a-pan,
So be merry while you play,
Sing and dance this Christmas Day!

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