Mudcat Café message #740460 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #22617   Message #740460
Posted By: Haruo
01-Jul-02 - 10:48 PM
Thread Name: Origin: High Germany
Subject: Lyr Add: MALBROUCK S'EN VA-T-EN GUERRE
Speaking of the Marlburlian wars, I find it odd that "Malbrouck s'en va-t-en guerre" is not in the DT (nor even apparently among the unharvested lyrics as far as my lame and limited search powers show). Back in 1998 Frank Phillips said he would post a version the next day, but I don't see it or any other.

ingeb.org has numerous stanzas in French (18) and German (15), but doesn't use the most common spelling (which means if you Google search for "Malbrouck" it won't come up. I'll just post the first verse at the moment, and allow the Folk Process to do its work.

MALBROUCK S'EN VA-T-EN GUERRE

Marlbrough s'en va-t-en guerre,
Mironton, mironton, mirontaine,
Marlbrough s'en va-t-en guerre,
Ne sait quand reviendra.
Ne sait quand reviendra,
Ne sait quand reviendra.
Marlbrough s'en va-t-en guerre,
Mironton, mironton, mirontaine,
Marlbrough s'en va-t-en guerre,
Ne sait quand reviendra.

I'm pretty sure a short version of it in English and French is in one of the Fireside Books of Ms. Boni's (either Folk Songs or ¡American! Songs). The tune is one of those little-kiddie-ditty workhorses like "the old grey mare" or the "Ah! vous dirai-je maman" that we've been going over lately in the twinkle twinkle threads. English-speaking children are perhaps most likely to learn it first as "The bear went over the mountain".

According to babelfish, the first stanza (given above) means:

Malbrouck from goes away hold war,
Mironton, mironton, mirontaine,
Malbrouck from goes away hold war, Mironton, mironton, mirontaine, Marlbrough from goes away hold war, Does not know when will return.

Typically dense Gallic prose, hein? (Actually I was hoping it would provide some light on the meaning of "mironton, mironton, mirontaine", but I guess they are slated to remain nonsense syllables.)

Liland