Chanson de l'Oignon

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The Chanson de l'Oignon ("Song of the Onion") is a French marching song from around 1800.

According to legend, it originated among the grenadiers of Napoleon's Imperial Guard. Before the Battle of Marengo, Napoleon found some grenadiers rubbing an onion on their bread. "Very good," he said, "there is nothing better than an onion for marching on the road to glory."[1]

Music[edit]

The verses of the Chanson de l'Oignon are in 6/8, while the refrain is in 2/4. This has the effect of rendering the verses more lyrical and the refrain more military, though both remain the same tempo as befits a marching song.

Lyrics[edit]

J'aime l'oignon frit à l'huile,
J'aime l'oignon car il est bon.
J'aime l'oignon frit à l'huile,
J'aime l'oignon, j'aime l'oignon.

Refrain:
Au pas camarades, au pas camarades,
Au pas, au pas, au pas,
Au pas camarades, au pas camarades,
Au pas, au pas, au pas.

Un seul oignon frit à l'huile,
Un seul oignon nous change en Lion,
Un seul oignon frit à l'huile,
Un seul oignon un seul oignon

Refrain

Mais pas d'oignons aux Autrichiens,
Non pas d'oignons à tous ces chiens,
Mais pas d'oignons aux Autrichiens,
Non pas d'oignons, non pas d'oignons

Refrain

Aimons l'oignon frit à l'huile,
Aimons l'oignon car il est bon,
Aimons l'oignon frit à l'huile,
Aimons l'oignon, aimons l'oignon

Refrain

I love an onion fried in oil,
I love an onion, it's so tasty
I love an onion fried in oil,
I love an onion, I love an onion

Refrain:
In step, comrades, in step, comrades,
In step, in step, in step
In step, comrades, in step, comrades,
In step, in step, in step

Just one onion fried in oil,
Just one onion turns us into lions
Just one onion fried in oil,
Just one onion, just one onion

Refrain

But no onions for the Austrians,
No, no onions for those dogs
No onions for the Austrians,
No onions, no onions

Refrain

Love the onion fried in oil,
Love the onion, it's so tasty
Love the onion fried in oil,
Love the onion, we love an onion

Refrain

In popular culture[edit]

  • The refrain was borrowed for the children's song "J'ai perdu le do de ma clarinette" ("I've lost the C on my clarinet"), and for the Swedish song "Små grodorna" ("The Little Frogs").
  • The Chanson de l'Oignon is featured in the Girls und Panzer anime's Das Finale film series.

References[edit]