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Lyr Req: The Three Bells / Les Trois Cloches

Related threads:
Lyr Add: Jimmy Brown(Three Bells Parody) (9)
(origins) Origins: 'Three Bells' Jimmy Brown (17)


GUEST,HSHS 17 Jun 02 - 10:43 PM
Joe Offer 17 Jun 02 - 11:11 PM
Joe Offer 17 Jun 02 - 11:16 PM
GUEST,Dale 17 Jun 02 - 11:39 PM
Metchosin 17 Jun 02 - 11:39 PM
Metchosin 17 Jun 02 - 11:40 PM
GUEST,Dale 17 Jun 02 - 11:43 PM
Metchosin 17 Jun 02 - 11:47 PM
masato sakurai 17 Jun 02 - 11:50 PM
Malcolm Douglas 18 Jun 02 - 11:18 AM
Dicho 18 Jun 02 - 01:45 PM
Dicho 18 Jun 02 - 02:01 PM
greg stephens 18 Jun 02 - 04:19 PM
dorareever 18 Jun 02 - 05:01 PM
Joe Offer 18 Jun 02 - 11:30 PM
masato sakurai 19 Jun 02 - 06:51 AM
Joybell 14 Jul 06 - 03:56 AM
Q 14 Jul 06 - 12:08 PM
Cool Beans 14 Jul 06 - 03:09 PM
Q 14 Jul 06 - 05:39 PM
Michael in Swansea 14 Jul 06 - 06:22 PM
Joybell 14 Jul 06 - 07:27 PM
Leadfingers 15 Jul 06 - 06:09 AM
GUEST,Steve Parkes 15 Jul 06 - 06:55 AM
Bob Bolton 15 Jul 06 - 11:06 AM
Q 15 Jul 06 - 12:43 PM
Joybell 16 Jul 06 - 08:04 AM
Q 16 Jul 06 - 06:18 PM
Joybell 16 Jul 06 - 11:10 PM
Q 23 Dec 06 - 12:19 PM
Jim Dixon 16 May 08 - 10:08 PM
Newport Boy 17 May 08 - 06:05 AM
Newport Boy 17 May 08 - 06:42 AM
Flash Company 17 May 08 - 10:16 AM
GUEST,Barbarina 31 Oct 10 - 12:55 AM
Anglo 31 Oct 10 - 03:51 AM
GUEST 05 Apr 12 - 06:08 AM
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Subject: The Three Bells (Original)
From: GUEST,HSHS
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 10:43 PM

I wonder if anyone can help out with this. The song "The Three Bells was made popular in the 50's by The Browns. But it was originally recorded by Les Compagnons de la Chanson. The lyrics of the latter are more complete ... does anyone know the complete lyrics?


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE THREE BELLS (from The Browns)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 11:11 PM

I was sure we had a thread on this, but the only mention I could find was four messages in the Worst Song Ever thread. I think I might agree with that assessment of the song, but I think it should be posted.
Somebody lent me a recording of Edith Piaf singing this. I thought that it might sound fabulous in the original French, especially with Piaf singing it. Nope. Still sounded like sappy elevator music.
Edith, you should have been ashamed of yourself.
-Joe Offer-


The Three Bells

Artists; The Browns (peak Billboard position #1 in 1959)
Originally a French tune written in 1945, it was charted at #14 in 1952 by Les Compagnons de la Chanson.
Variously known as "Les Trois Cloches" and "While the Angelus Was Ringing."
Original French words by Bert Reisfeld and Music by Jean Villard
English words added by Dick Manning


There's a village hidden deep in the valley
Among the pine trees half forlorn
And there on a sunny morning
Little Jimmy Brown was born

(bung, bung, bung, bung)
All the chapel bells were ringing in the little valley town
And the song that they were singing was for baby Jimmy Brown
Then the little congregation prayed for guidance from above
"Lead us not into temptation, bless this hour of meditation"
"Guide him with eternal love"

There's a village hidden deep in the valley
Beneath the mountains high above
And there, twenty years thereafter
Jimmy was to meet his love

(bung, bung, bung, bung)
All the chapel bells were ringing, 'twas a great day in his life
'cause the songs that they were singing was for Jimmy and his wife
Then the little congregation prayed for guidance from above
"Lead us not into temptation, bless, oh Lord this celebration"
"May their lives be filled with love"

From the village hidden deep in the valley
One rainy morning dark and gray
A soul winged its way to heaven
Jimmy Brown had passed away

(bung, bung, bung, bung)
Just a lonely bell was ringing in the little valley town
'twas farewell that it was singing to our little Jimmy Brown
And the little congregation prayed for guidance from above
"Lead us not into temptation, may his soul find the salvation"
"Of thy great eternal love"


Copied from Lyrics World


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Subject: Lyr Add: LES TROIS CLOCHES
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 11:16 PM

OK, I think this is it, although I can't say I know much French. I found it here (click, but beware of popups). Who's Tina Arena?
-Joe Offer-

   Tina Arena
   In Deep
   Les Trois Cloches

   Village au fond  de la vallée
   Comme égaré, presque ignoré
   Voici dans la nuit étoilée
   Qu'un nouveau-né nous est donné
   Jean-François Nicot il se nomme
   Il est joufflu, tendre et rosé
   A l'église beau petit homme
   Demain tu seras baptisé

   Une cloche sonne sonne
   Sa voix d'échos en échos
   Dit au monde qui s'étonne
   C'est pour Jean-François Nicot
   C'est pour accueillir une âme
   Une fleur qui s'ouvre au jour
   A peine, à peine une flamme
   Encore faible qui réclame
   Protection, tendresse, amour

   Village au fond  de la vallée
   Loin des chemins loin des humains
   Voici qu'après 19 années
   Coeur en émoi le Jean-François
   Prend pour femme la douce Elise
   Blanche comme fleur de pommier
   Devant Dieu dans la vieille église
   Ce jour ils se sont mariés

   Tout's les cloches sonnent sonnent
   Leurs voix d'échos en échos
   Merveilleusement couronnent
   La noce à François Nicot
   Un seul corps une seule âme
   Dit le prêtre et pour toujours
   Soyez une pure flamme
   Qui s'élève et qui proclame
   La grandeur de notre amour

   Village au fond de la vallée
   Des jours ,des nuits le temps a fui
   Voici dans la nuit étoilée
   Un coeur s'endort François est mort
   Car toute chair est comme l'herbe
   Elle est comme la fleur des champs
   Epis, fruits mûrs, bouquets et gerbes
   Hélas tout va se desséchant

   Une cloche sonne, sonne
   Elle chante dans le vent
   Obsédante et monotone
   Elle redit aux vivants
   "Ne tremblez pas, cours fidèles
   Dieu vous fera signe un jour
   Vous trouverez sous Son aile
   Avec la vie éternelle
   L'éternité de l'amour."

   Une cloche sonne, sonne
   Elle chante dans le vent
   Obsédante et monotone
   Elle redit aux vivants
   "Ne tremblez pas, cours fidèles
   Dieu vous fera signe un jour
   Vous trouverez sous Son aile
   Avec la vie éternelle
   L'éternité de l'amour."

 


It appears that this site (click) may have better lyrics, but its servers are down at the moment. This site has a transcription of the Piaf recording, and this site (click) has a great collection of French pop lyrics.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: Lyr Add: LES TROIS CLOCHES (Villard/Herrand)
From: GUEST,Dale
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 11:39 PM

Aw, Joe, SOME songs appeal to SOME people, or they wouldn't hang around all that long, right?

I expect this is as original as it gets, though I haven't located the English version by Les Compagnons de la Chanson yet (got it SOMEWHERE). Without the old handy dandy html checker, whether I got it right I won't know until I post it.

Les Trois Cloches

Paroles : Jean Villard.
Musique: Marc Herrand.
1946

Village au fond de la Vallée
Comme égaré, presqu'ignoré
Voici qu'en la nuit étoilée
Un nouveau-né nous est donné
Jean-François Nicot qu'il se nomme
Il est joufflu, tendre et rosé
À l'église, beau petit homme
Demain tu seras baptisé

Une cloche sonne, sonne
Sa voix d'écho en écho
Dit au monde qui s'étonne :
"C'est pour Jean-François Nicot"
C'est pour accueillir une âme
Une fleur qui s'ouvre au jour
À peine une flamme
Encore faible qui réclame
Protection, tendresse, amour

Village au fond de la Vallée
Loin des chemins, loin des humains
Voici qu'après dix-neuf années
Coeur en émoi, le Jean-François
Prend pour femme la douce Élise
Blanche comme fleur de pommier
Devant Dieu, dans la vieille église
Ce jour ils se sont mariés

Toutes les cloches sonnent, sonnent
Leurs voix d'écho en écho
Merveilleusement couronnent
La noce à François Nicot
"Un seul coeur, une seule âme"
Dit le prêtre, "et pour toujours"
"Soyez une pure flamme"
"Qui s'élève et qui proclame"
"La grandeur de votre amour"

Village au fond de la vallée
Des jours, des nuits, le temps a fui
Voici qu'en la nuit étoilée
Un coeur s'endort, François est mort
Car toute chair est comme l'herbe
Elle est comme la fleur des champs
Épis, fruits mûrs, bouquets et gerbes
Hélas vont en se desséchant

Une cloche sonne, sonne
Elle chante dans la mort
Obsédante et monotone
Elle redit aux vivants :
"Ne tremblez pas coeurs fidèles"
"Dieu vous fera signe un jour"
"Vous trouverez sous son aile"
"Avec la Vie Éternelle"
"L'éternité de l'amour"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Three Bells (Original)
From: Metchosin
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 11:39 PM

I have no idea Joe, but it was written by Jean Villard in 1946. I have a recording of Piaf and the Les Compagnons de la Chanson performing the song and there is nothing of the reek of "elevator music" about it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Three Bells (Original)
From: Metchosin
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 11:40 PM

aha! simultaneous posts.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Three Bells (Original)
From: GUEST,Dale
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 11:43 PM

I got my version from the ifrance site (google cache). It is an excellent resource of french lyrics. (I am slow ~~ Joe's french version was not there when I started.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Three Bells (Original)
From: Metchosin
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 11:47 PM

I guess I would concede though, that the song is not up there with Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien.
It may be evident I'm a huge fan of Piaf


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Three Bells (Original)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 11:50 PM

Click here (disc 3, track 21) for "Les Trois Cloches" (sound clip) sung by Edith Piaf.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Three Bells (Original)
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 18 Jun 02 - 11:18 AM

An example of a translation which quite loses the impact of the original; Jimmy Brown just doesn't cut it. Piaf sings the French song with such intensity that anybody else pales by comparison.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Three Bells (Original)
From: Dicho
Date: 18 Jun 02 - 01:45 PM

French Lyrics as posted by Joe and Dale are the original. The original composer for both lyrics and music is given as Jean Villard-Gilles, 1945, in Les paroles. It was sung by Edith Piaf backed by Les Compagnons de la Chanson. I think both made other recordings. A great song, cheapened in English "translations."
Info from http://www.paroles.net, the largest Francophone site.
Tina Arena is a young Francophone with many fans (shows up on shows playing international material here in Canada). Pretty good pipes. I think she recently changed persona.
Les trois Cloches (Note: on this site, songs are listed by L', La, Le, Les, etc., not leaving off the "The" as most English-American sites do).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Three Bells (Original)
From: Dicho
Date: 18 Jun 02 - 02:01 PM

My face is red! Tina Arena is an Australian. Apologies to Bob Bolton and compatriots.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Three Bells (Original)
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 Jun 02 - 04:19 PM

Well Joe Offer you must go in some great elevators if theyplay Edith Piaf et les C de la C`in them. seriously this i one of my must have Desert Island Discs, and absolutely for the intensity and attack and emotion of her singing. She's got a punch like Leadbelly at full blast.Surely a 180 degree turn absolute opposite of elevator music. And the lads' solos and backing harmonies are spot on. Wash your ears out Joe, and have another listen. And I warn you, I wouldnt marry anyone who didn't like this record.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Three Bells (Original)
From: dorareever
Date: 18 Jun 02 - 05:01 PM

Nothing is bad when Edith Piaf is singing.She was never sappy.You are deaf or the woman you heard singing the song wasn't Edith Piaf.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Three Bells (Original)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Jun 02 - 11:30 PM

OK, OK, I washed out my ears, and listened to it and read the lyrics with my wife by my side, translating. I repent. Yes, it's good. Yes, I like it.
Now, don't hit me any more!
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Three Bells (Original)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 06:51 AM

"Les Trois Cloches" by Les Compagnons de la Chanson (RealAudio clip) is HERE.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Three Bells ? American version BEFORE 1959
From: Joybell
Date: 14 Jul 06 - 03:56 AM

hildebrand here: I distinctly remember hearing a bland AMERICAN version of the Three Bells, or Little Jimmy Brown, no later than 1953, but i can't find any confirmation of that. does anybody have any information about it?
as for Piaf, as i grow older and harder to impress, i begin to think she belongs somewhere in the universe of camp, but chacun a son gout. H


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Three Bells (Original)
From: Q
Date: 14 Jul 06 - 12:08 PM

Piaf? Unique! Incomparable! Nonpareille!

Bert Reisfeld wrote the (ugh!) English version "Three Bells" about that horrible 'Little Jimmy Brown'.
"The Browns" released the hit recording, a single, in 1959, RCA Victor. The Browns, from Arkansas, were signed for RCA by Chet Atkins, Nashville. The lead singer, Jim Ed Brown, had several top country hits when he worked for the Grand Old Opry.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Three Bells (Original)
From: Cool Beans
Date: 14 Jul 06 - 03:09 PM

I never knew "The Three Bells" was originally une chanson francaise. That puts it in the same category as "Seasons in the Sun" (a far sappier song. Bleah!), which Jacques Brel had a hand in, didn't he?
And wasn't "Black Denim Trousers and Motorcycle Boots" originally a French song called "L'homme a Moto" (The Man on the Motorcycle)?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Three Bells (Original)
From: Q
Date: 14 Jul 06 - 05:39 PM

If the tune is good or different, it gets borrowed. The lyrics often are unrelated to those of the original composition.
"Never on Sunday" is a prime example, lyrics completely different from the original, which is about the children of Piraeus, not a prostitute's schedule.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Three Bells (Original)
From: Michael in Swansea
Date: 14 Jul 06 - 06:22 PM

In the UK didn't our our own Brian Poole and Tremeloes do a version back in the the 60's. Didn't like that much either. Beans thanks for reminding me about Seasons eeugh!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Three Bells (Original)
From: Joybell
Date: 14 Jul 06 - 07:27 PM

But what of True-Love's memory of the English version before 1959?

Come to think of it I can place an English version before this too. My brother, who moved away - out of my life - before this date, sang it to me when I was little. I was born in 1945. I wasn't little in 1959.
We can't be the only ones. Cheers Joy.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Three Bells (Original)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 15 Jul 06 - 06:09 AM

The Baron Knights did a wonderful parody of this a few yaers ago - About a guy stealing the lead off the Chapel roof . I am sure I posted the lyrics in another thread!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Three Bells (Original)
From: GUEST,Steve Parkes
Date: 15 Jul 06 - 06:55 AM

I found a copy on 78 in Northampton (UK) last year. It's Les Comp. de la Chans. & it has That Lucky Old Sun on the other side -- strange combination.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Three Bells (Original)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 15 Jul 06 - 11:06 AM

G'day,

Dicho: ... Hey! Tina isn't all that well known ... Google only gives "... about 975,000..." hits on her name ...

Joe Offer: ... I have to add my name to those decrying your (now refuted ?) assessment of Les Trois Cloches as mere "elevator music". It is terribly French and unabashedly sentimental ... and definitely not Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien ... but I enjoyed it, in its time.

BTW: My earliest memories of broadcast music (about ... er .. um ... something over half a century ago ...) are the Weavers singing Kisses Sweeter Than Wine - and Edith Piaf singing Milord!

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Three Bells (Original)
From: Q
Date: 15 Jul 06 - 12:43 PM

Joybell, I have the explanation! We are living in parallel universes- things get done a little earlier in yours.

(Use agate type, very fine print): You are correct!

The original "Trois Cloches" by Jean Villard, lyrics and music, was written in 1945.
Reisfeld wrote his lyrics in 1950. It was dead in America until the Browns released their hit single in 1959.

A pop vocal titled "The Three Bells (The Jimmy Brown Song)" was released in 1950, performers Les Compagnons de la Chanson. It has been re-released on the cd "1950 Jamboree" on the Memoir label ("C'est Si Bon" released the same year).

ASCAP data: (More than you want to know!)

Les Trois Cloches, Title Code 500115333
Writer: Villard, Jean; performer Edith Piaf
American Publisher/Administrator- Charles K. Harris Music

Three Bells, (The), Title Code 500465705
Writers: Reisfeld, Bert and Villard, Jean
Performers: Chet Atkins, Compagnons -Chanson, and others
Charles K. Harris Music Pub. Co.

The Three Bells, Title Code 500070622
Writers: Reisfeld and Villard
Performers: J. E. Cornelius Brown, The Browns, Carter Family, J. Cash, N. Mouskouri and a host of others inc. someone named Orbison and another named Roger Whittaker.
Southern Music Pub. Co.

Jimmy Brown Song, Title code 400099505
Writers: Reisfeld and Villard
Performers: M. Davis, King's Singers
Southern Mus. Pub. Co.

Joybell, I never should have doubted you.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Three Bells (Original)
From: Joybell
Date: 16 Jul 06 - 08:04 AM

Thanks Q. Lots to think about there. My brother could have heard the version by Les Compagnons de la Chanson. So that clears up the mystery for me.
However, True-Love was born and raised in America and the version he heard no later than 1953 was not this one. It was sung by someone with an American accent. He later heard and saw (on TV) Les Compagnons de la Chanson. Their accents were decidedly French. No, there's still something missing here.
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Three Bells (Original)
From: Q
Date: 16 Jul 06 - 06:18 PM

Note the early code number (starting with 4-) on the "Jimmie Brown Song." I can't find reliable release dates on any of these (except the early Piaf). It may be the one. I didn't mean to say that the Browns release in 1959 was the first in the States; it was the one that got played ad nauseum.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Three Bells (Original)
From: Joybell
Date: 16 Jul 06 - 11:10 PM

Yes it did here too, Q -- although so did the one with the thick French accents. What we are starting to wonder is if the Browns version actually had an earlier run. It may be that a second release took off in 1959 and that's the only one listed. Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Three Bells (Original)
From: Q
Date: 23 Dec 06 - 12:19 PM

Refresh


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHILE THE ANGELUS WAS RINGING
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 16 May 08 - 10:08 PM

Here's another song put to the same tune.

Lyrics copied from International Lyrics Playground:

WHILE THE ANGELUS WAS RINGING
(English words, Dick Manning. Music, "Les Trois Cloches," Jean Villard. 1949)

While the angelus was ringing,
Calling for the evening prayer,
I could hear the choir singing,
And I saw you standing there.
Silently I stood beside you.
How my heart was beating then!
All my dreams had all come true.
I was safely back with you,
Nevermore to roam again.

Then the great cathedral spire
Seemed to come alive and say,
Through the voices of the choir:
"There will be a wedding day."
Then a golden ray of sunlight
From a window in the sky
Shone upon us from above
Heaven's blessing on our love.
Now our love will never die.

[Recorded by Gene Autry, Tommy Dorsey, Dick Haymes, Allan Jones, Josef Locke, Guy Lombardo, The Luton Girls Choir, Frank Sinatra, Margaret Whiting.]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Three Bells (Original)
From: Newport Boy
Date: 17 May 08 - 06:05 AM

The English version by Les Compagnons de la Chanson is on YouTube here.

I'm fairly sure that this is the recording with "Lucky Old Sun" on the other side. The two sides were later combined with "Galley Slave" and something else and issued as a 45 EP. I transcribed the words of Lucky Old Sun and Galley Slave from the EP around 1959.

This is definitely the recording that was played endlessly by BBC, certainly for some time before 1955. It was often on "Forces Favourites" and other record shows.

Les Compagnons de la Chanson had a number of changes of lineup over the years, and I've also heard other recordings of The Three Bells by them which sound very different to this version.

Incidentally, I found somewhere an attribution of the words to a Swiss poet - I'll try and dig the reference out.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Three Bells (Original)
From: Newport Boy
Date: 17 May 08 - 06:42 AM

The reference to the Swiss songwriter (not poet) is on the RFI Musique site here

What triggered success with a large public was in 1946 when Piaf decided to sing "Les Trois Cloches" with them, a song written by the Swiss songwriter Gilles. Thanks to this "duet" the Compagnons now known as the Compagnons de la Chanson, became an overnight success. The song sold a million copies

Gilles was a name used by Jean Villard (1895-1982). The Wikipedia entry in French gives "Jean Villard dit Gilles", and it seems he used a number of variations of the names. It's almost certain he wrote the words, not the tune. The Wiki entry gives the date as 1940, but every other reference gives 1946.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Three Bells (Original)
From: Flash Company
Date: 17 May 08 - 10:16 AM

Joybell! Greetings from Mid Cheshire, I must have missed this thread the first time around.
Brian Poole and the Tremeloes apparently recorded this, though I have to say I don't remember hearing their version. I suspect that what you and Hildebrand are remembering is a recording by The Bachelors around the same time as Charmaine and Diane (1960's)

Brian Q


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Three Bells (Original)
From: GUEST,Barbarina
Date: 31 Oct 10 - 12:55 AM

I remember having a pre vynil recording of this in 1951/2. On the reverse was a beautiful song called Mes Jeune Annees written by Charles Trenet which went on to become a much loved song in France. Beautiful poetic lyrics if one takes the trouble to translate. It;s making the translation fit to the music that's the problem - without losing the original idea. I found this difficulty recently while trying to do this with Domenico Modugno's Vecchio Frak.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Three Bells (Original)
From: Anglo
Date: 31 Oct 10 - 03:51 AM

Piaf was fabulous, of course.

But no one (I think) has mentioned the English "folk" cover by Tony Rose on "Poor Fellows." According to the notes, the Compagnons would would have been played by Alison Bloomer, Martin Bloomer, Sean O'Shea and Barry Lister.

Well, I think it's not half bad.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Three Bells / Les Trois Cloches
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Apr 12 - 06:08 AM

I have owned this song but not sung it myself. In 1959 The Browns recorded it and it became a favorite of mine. I didn't know that tit was actually French song and had an English version before the one we know from '52. The 1948 song that is in the same tune I first heard Gene Autry sing and found out that in 1949 he had a US hit with the less known English song. The Browns were not the first to record it; we know today it was written by Bert Reisfeld in 1952 and has been recorded by many others before the they made it famous.


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