Petit Papa Noël

French listening practice with side-by-side translation

Listen to Petit Papa Noël, a classic French Christmas carol with no English equivalent (as far as I know). Below the video, you’ll find the French lyrics and literal English translation.

  Listening comprehension: See the links at the bottom for lessons related to the phrases in italics.

Petit Papa Noël : ParolesLittle Santa Claus: Lyrics
C’est la belle nuit de Noël,
La neige étend son manteau blanc
Et les yeux levés vers le ciel
À genoux, les petits enfants
Avant de fermer les paupières,
Font une dernière prière.
It’s a beautiful Christmas night,
Snow spreads its white coat
And eyes [are] raised toward the sky
On their knees, small children
Before closing their eyes,
Say a last prayer.

Refrain :

Petit Papa Noël
Quand tu descendras du ciel,
Avec des jouets par milliers,
N’oublie pas mon petit soulier.
Mais avant de partir,
Il faudra bien te couvrir,
Dehors tu vas avoir si froid,
C’est un peu à cause de moi.



Little Santa Claus
When you come down from the sky,
With thousands of toys,
Don’t forget my little stocking [literally, "shoe."]
But before you leave,
You should dress well,
Outside you will be so cold,
And it’s partly my fault.

Il me tarde tant que le jour se lève
Pour voir si tu m’as apporté
Tous les beaux joujoux que je vois en rêve
Et que je t’ai commandés.



I can’t wait for the sun to rise
To see if you brought me
All the lovely toys that I see in my dreams
And that I ordered from you.


Le marchand de sable est passé
Les enfants vont faire dodo
Et tu vas pouvoir commencer
Avec ta hotte sur le dos,
Au son des cloches des églises
Ta distribution de surprises.



The sandman has passed
The children are going to sleep
And you will be able to begin
With your sack on your back,
To the sound of church bells,
Your distribution of surprises.


Et quand tu seras sur ton beau nuage
Viens d’abord sur notre maison
Je n’ai pas été tous les jours très sage
Mais j’en demande pardon.



And when you are on your beautiful cloud
Come first to our house
I wasn’t very good every day
But I ask for your forgiveness.


Video courtesy of The Best Christmas Songs.Translation by LKL

  Listening comprehension



French Christmas Links

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