Jingle Bells In French: Lyrics +Translation of Vive le Vent

Jingle Bells is a well-known Christmas song in France. However, the lyrics and title are completely different in the French version. Here are some interesting facts and translated lyrics of Jingle Bells in French.

By Annie André ⦿ updated January 10, 2024  
The French version of Jingle Bells lyrics are completely different
The French version of Jingle Bells lyrics are completely different

Jingle Bells, America’s favourite sing-along Christmas song, is a worldwide sensation.

The French version of Jingle Bells is called “Vive le Vent,” which can be translated as “Long live the wind.”

French Jingle Bells has the same catchy tune and is just as joyous as it is in English; however, it has a completely different set of lyrics. 

Discover the French lyrics and English translation, plus a few music videos of famous people singing Jingle Bells in French.

In French, a Christmas song is called “Les chants de Noël” or “noëls” (with a lowercase letter “n”).

What does Vive le Vent mean? 

“Vive” comes from the French verb “Vivre which means (to live). If you say “Vive (something),” it can mean anything from “Hooray (something)” to “Long live (something),” and it can be used for a person, place or thing.

For instance…

  • “Vive la France”: A patriotic French expression which means “Long live France.”
  • “Vive les vacances”: Hooray for the holidays!
  • “Vive le roi”: Long live the king!
  • “Vive le vent”: Long live the wind!

Why does Jingle Bells in French have different lyrics than in English

Borrowing Christmas carols and Christmas songs from other languages and changing their lyrics is nothing new. 

Songwriters and singers who adapt these Christmas songs to their own language usually keep the melody but change the title and lyrics to fit the new language’s rhythm and rhyme pattern while preserving the spirit of the original songs.

For example, the English version of the song “O Holy Night” was originally a French song called “Minuit Chrétien” (Christian midnight) and has different lyrics than the French version. 

I wrote an article about popular French Christmas songs in France here. 

When was Jingle Bells adapted into French?

Francis Blanche adapted Jingle Bells in 1948 and changed the lyrics so they would resonate with French-speaking audiences. 

It became a hit in 1950 after famous French singer and actor Tino Rossi sang it.

Most French children and adults know this catchy Christmas song tune well enough to hum it.

My daughter (pictured below), who has attended French schools her whole life, has sung the French version of Jingle Bells “Vive le vent” at almost all her school holiday Christmas shows.

The French version of Jingle Bells lyrics are completely different

Dalida singing “Vive le Vent,”:  Jingle Bells in French

Just as Elvis Presley, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Michael Bublé have all put their own spin on Jingle Bells, many famous singers have done the same for the French version.

Dalida first sang the Jingle Bells in French (Vive le Vent)  back in the ’60s. 

Dalida is not French, but she was and still is a very iconic singer in France, similar to how Julio Iglesias is popular in the US.

Lyrics to the French version of Jingle Bells.

Although the lyrics to “Vive le vent” don’t match the English version, both versions celebrate winter fun. The French version has references to Father Time, New Year’s Day and Baby New Year.

French version of Jingle Bells - Vive le Vent

Jingle Bells in French is extremely popular in France, especially with small children.

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Title and lyrics of Vive le vent translated to English

(French Jingle Bells)

(French Translated To English)



Sur le long chemin

Tout blanc de neige blanche

Un vieux monsieur s´avance

Avec sa canne dans la main

Et tout là-haut le vent

Qui siffle dans les branches

Lui souffle la romance

Qu´il chantait petit enfant, oh :

Along the long path

Everything is white as snow

An old man advances

With his cane in his hand

And high above the wind

Which whistles in the branches

Blows on him some romance

That he sang as a small child, oh :


Vive le vent, vive le vent

Vive le vent d´hiver

Qui s´en va sifflant, soufflant

Dans les grands sapins verts...

Oh! Vive le temps, vive le temps

Vive le temps d´hiver

Boule de neige et jour de l´an

Et bonne année grand-mère...


Long live the wind, long live the wind

Long live the winter wind

That goes whistling, breathing

Between the big fir trees

Oh! long live time, long live time

Long live the wintertime

A snowball and a day of the year

And happy year grand-ma!

Joyeux, joyeux Noël

Aux mille bougies

Quand chantent vers le ciel

Les cloches de la nuit,

Oh! Vive le vent, vive le vent

Vive le vent d´hiver

Qui rapporte aux vieux enfants

Leurs souvenirs d´hier, oh...

Merry, Merry Christmas

To the thousands of candles

Which sing towards the sky

The bells of the night.

Oh long live the wind, long live the wind

Long live the winter wind

Which brings old children

Their memories of yesteryear, oh

Et le vieux monsieur

Descend vers le village,

C´est l´heure où tout est sage

Et l´ombre danse au coin du feu

Mais dans chaque maison

Il flotte un air de fête

Partout la table est prête

Et l´on entend la même chanson, oh :

And the old man

Goes down towards the village

It's the time where everything is good

And the shadow dances by the fire

But in every house

There's a festive spirit in the air

Everywhere the table is ready

And the same song can be heard, oh


Boule de neige et jour de l´an

Et bonne année grand-mère!

Vive le vent d´hiver!


Snowball and new year's day

And happy new year grand-ma!

Long live the winter wind.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a 'petite commission' at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through my links. It helps me buy more wine and cheese. Please read my disclosure for more info.

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Annie André

Annie André

About the author

I'm Annie André, a bilingual North American with Thai and French Canadian roots. I've lived in France since 2011. When I'm not eating cheese, drinking wine or hanging out with my husband and children, I write articles on my personal blog annieandre.com for intellectually curious people interested in all things France: Life in France, travel to France, French culture, French language, travel and more.


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