Sunday, 18 December 2011

Debussy : Noël des enfants qui n'ont plus des maisons

We don't have houses anymore, the enemy's taken everything away, even our little bed.  They burned our school and our teacher too. They burned the church and Lord Jesus Christ, and a poor old man who couldn't get away.

Vengez les enfants de France!
Les petits Belges, les petits Serbes,
Et les petits Polonais aussi!
Si nous en oublions, pardonnez-nous.
Noël! Noël! surtout, pas de joujoux,
Tâchez de nous redonner le pain quotidien.

Debussy wrote this about Christmas 1915, when the enemies were Les Boches. A hundred years later the enemies are different but children are still homeless and traumatized. Noël! écoutez-nous, nous n'avons plus de petits sabots. Please visit Shelter. Or Crisis or help in any other way you can.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this strangely timely item. You might enjoy reading Maeterlinck's story The Massacre of the Innocents (at least as troubling as the text of this song), which Debussy had surely seen. I believe it's likely a key antecedent to, and influence on this song.