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

By Annie André

The French version of Jingle Bells, “Vive le Vent,” has the same catchy tune and is just as joyous as it is in English; however, the French Jingle Bells’ lyrics and title are completely different. Here is the literal translation of the French Jingle bells and a few videos of famous people singing it in French.

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

French Jingle Bells lyrics are completely different than the English Version.

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

Over the years, Christmas carols and Christmas songs such as Jingle Bells have been borrowed and translated from one language to another.

What you may not realize is sometimes the translated titles and lyrics of those original Christmas songs are changed completely while the tune remains the same.

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

My guess is these changes have something to do with the cohesiveness of the song, making songs rhyme and flow. Translating songs word for word can’t really maintain these things, and so songwriters and singers who adapt these Christmas songs to their own language change the words and the title.

The French Jingle Bells

In French, Jingle Bell is called “Vive Le Vent” and literally translates to “Long live the wind” but can also mean “live the wind.”

“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)” depending on the phrase, 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!

Borrowing Christmas songs from other languages is nothing new.

The French version of Jingle bells was originally adapted to French by Francis Blanche in 1948, and it’s a popular Christmas song in France. Maybe not quite as popular as the original version is in the US and Canada, but 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 French version of Jingle bells “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 French version’s lyrics 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 French version of Jingle Bells - Vive le Vent
$1.29

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

11/25/2020 02:32 am GMT

French version of Jingle Bells: Title and lyrics translated to English

(French Jingle Bells)

(French Translated To English)

VIVE LE VENT

LONG LIVE THE WIND 

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 :

---{Refrain}---

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...

---{Chorus}---

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

--{Refrain}---

Boule de neige et jour de l´an

Et bonne année grand-mère!

Vive le vent d´hiver!

---{Chorus}---

Snowball and new year's day

And happy new year grand-ma!

Long live the winter wind.

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