Auprès de ma blonde

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"Auprès de ma blonde" (French for "Next to My Girlfriend") or "Le Prisonnier de Hollande" ("The Prisoner of Holland") is a popular chanson dating to the 17th century. It appeared during or soon after the Franco-Dutch War (1672–78), during the reign of Louis XIV, when French sailors and soldiers were commonly imprisoned in the Netherlands.

The song's quick pace and lively melody made it well-suited to military marches, and it is still commonly played at parades. For the same reasons, it gained widespread popularity as a drinking song and nursery rhyme.

Appearances[edit]

  • Film: The song is heard during the parade scenes at the end of The Day of the Jackal. An English version of the song, titled "I love only one girl" ("the one I've got my arms around"), was sung by Elvis Presley in the 1967 film Double Trouble. (Lyrics for the Elvis version were by American songwriters Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett.) In the 1952 musical comedy film April in Paris, Doris Day and Claude Dauphin sing (and dance to) this song in the kitchen of a French ocean liner. The melody is hummed by actors Ian Holm and Christopher Lambert in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes. It is heard in the exit music of the 1938 film, "Marie Antoinette," starring Norma Shearer. The song is also sung by Christine Daaé in the 1990 miniseries The Phantom of the Opera.
  • Television: The song appeared in two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Family", and '"Final Mission". It also appeared in the British TV movie Sharpe's Revenge being sung by General Calvet's men to Richard Sharpe and Lucille. The song appears as background music in a Marseille cafe in Alfred Hitchcock Presents, episode No. 3.22 of 2 March 1958 "The Return of the Hero". It's also sung by Sarah Moffatt in two episodes of Upstairs, Downstairs. Its refrain also serves as a central theme in one episode of "Have Gun Will Travel" Season 6, Episode 27 (title: The Savages).
  • Books: Auprès de ma blonde is the title of a 1972 detective novel by Nicolas Freeling featuring Commissaris Van der Valk, and his wife Arlette of Amsterdam.
  • In Dorothy L. Sayers' novel Busman's Honeymoon, Lord Peter Wimsey and his newly-wedded wife Harriet sing the song to express their love for each other.
  • In Roger Zelazny's book Nine Princes in Amber, Corwin claims to have been the one who composed the tune to "Auprès de ma blonde".
  • In The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, he hums the tune in a war-time scenario.
  • A French singer sings this song in the court of Prinny, in the movie "The Return of the Scarlet Pimpernel." during a ball scene. The time is supposed to be that of The Terror, and the enthusiasm with which this song is greeted shows that the British aristocracy never heard it before. That is a time anachronism because this chanson existed in the 17th century.
  • In Missing Person by Patrick Modiano, the tune is mentioned briefly, towards the end of the novel, in Chapter 43.
  • In the architectural manifesto Nine Points on Monumentality (1943) by Sigfried Giedion, Fernand Léger and Josep Lluís Sert, selected verses are quoted as indicative of popular perceptions on monumentality.

Music[edit]


\new Staff {
\relative c'' {
  \key f \major
  \numericTimeSignature 
  \time 6/8
  \partial 8

  a8^ \markup { \italic Couplet }
  a4 bes8 a4 g8
  f4. f8 r f
  c'4 c8 d4 d8
  c4. ~ c8 r a \break
  a4 bes8 a4 g8
  f4. f8 r f
  c'4 c8 d4 d8
  c4. ~ c8 r c \break
  d4 d8 d4 a8
  bes4. bes8 r bes
  c4 c8 c4 g8
  a4. ~ a4 r8 \break
  f4.^ \markup { \italic Refrain } g8 a bes
  a4. c
  g4 bes8 a4 g8
  f4 d8 c4. \break
  f g8 a bes
  a4. c
  g4 bes8 a4 g8
  f4. ~ f4 \bar "|."
} }
\addlyrics { 
\lyricmode {
    Dans les jar -- dins d'mon pè -- re,
    Les lau -- riers sont fleu -- ris.
    Dans les jar -- dins d'mon pè -- re,
    Les lau -- riers sont fleu -- ris.
    Tous les oi -- seaux du mon -- de
    Vien -- nent y fair' leurs nids.
  
    Au -- près de ma blon -- de,
    Qu'il fait bon, fait bon, fait bon.
    Au -- près de ma blon -- de,
    Qu'il fait bon dor -- mir_!
} }

  \midi {
    \context {
      \Score
      tempoWholesPerMinute = #(ly:make-moment 360 8)
    }
  }